Saturday, July 15, 2006

Book Review: The Next Big Investment Boom

I started reading this book with a certain degree of scepticism. A book advocating commodities as the "next big investment boom" is a little bit dated after the way commodity prices have surged over the last three years. Also, the fact that the author advocates a trend following approach did not impress me either given my distrust of technical analysis (too unreliable). I was pleasantly surprised.

The author (Mark Shipman) is a successful investor with a lengthy track record of doing what he preaches: essentially identifying a trend and following it as long as it continues and exiting when the trend ends. Mr Shipman writes in a tidy concise style without the waffle that many other investment books seem to be padded with. The chapter on the psychology of successful long term investing made some very good points and was the most useful material. The book also contains a smattering of useful insights into the way markets move. As an example, he makes the point that there really is no such thing as a steady return. This is a point which anyone planning to live of their investments simply has to understand if they want to be confident that their money will last.

By the end of the book Mr Shipman had just about persuaded me to add some commodities to my portfolio and to do so through the futures market (spead betting on commodities is not yet available in Hong Kong). More significantly, I am now taking trend following (also known as momentum investing) more seriously and am reading a second book in the subject. For those interested in reading more, Mr Shipman has his own website: Trend-follower/

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