Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Book Review: Big Money Little Effort

I wish it was that easy. Big Money Little Effort is the second trend following book by Mark Shipman.

The premise of the book is that the best way to invest in financial markets is to participate in long term trends. Mark Shipman's recommended approach to getting into long term trends and for exiting when the trend ends can be summed up in one sentence: buy when the 30 week moving average moves above the 50 week moving average and sell when the 30 week moving average moves below the 5o week moving average.

The advocated investment strategy (called the "long term investment strategy") is supported by back tested data on the S&P 500 index. Using that data, the long term investment strategy looks very successful.

As with all "systems", I have some reservations - if it was that easy why aren't more people doing it? The obvious weakness of a system like this one is the potential to be whipsawed in a market which is volatile without trending.

Regardless of the merits of the system, Shipman has a concise and easy to read writing style which makes Big Money Little Effort potentially a good choice of reading material for someone looking for a quick and easy introduction to a very simple trend following system. That said, both Shipman's earlier book The Next Big Investment Boom and Curtis Faith's The Way of the Turtle made for better reading and, in my view, would provide a more useful basis for developing a trend following investment system.

No comments: