The performance was good. It is hard to perform these kind of books on dry financial topics. The narrator did a good job of keeping me interested.
This book is a good distillation of both the history of ETF's as an investing tool and the best ways to invest to invest in them. The book also covers ETF related financial instruments including ETV's and ETN's. It does a terrific job of elucidating the differences between these exchange traded vehicles and Mutual funds, and why ETF's for most people, most of the time are a better investment than Mutual funds. I enjoyed the history of the ETF industry, as it helped me understand the reasons the ETF's ended up structured as they are. If you are not into finance history, skip the history sections. The other parts of the book are worth it for most beginning investors, since ETF's are likely to be your best investment vehicle for reasons that become very clear in the book.
I would not buy another book from Lee Lowell because I would not trust the information to be accurate.
The four winning strategies the author outlines are much riskier than he suggests they are. It seems the author, despite his years of experience in the options world, has a fundamental misunderstanding of "risk" in investing. Risk has nothing to do with percentage of winning trades. For example if you are successful in 9 out of 10 trades and make an average of $100 per trade, but lose $1000 on the 1 trade you are not successful at, you will still lose money with these strategies. Selling options increases your risk because you have limited gains and the potential for severe losses. If you are not a serious and experienced investor avoid this book. If you are, then you will probably already take it with a grain of salt.
For anyone who wants to jump into a different world, this book is for you. I don't just mean hard sci-fi fans, who will appreciate the superbly created world of earth in the future, but anyone who wants to wander in a foreign land. The Thai setting makes this more interesting, than if it were set in the "developed" world. But contrary to the reviewers who couldn't get into the book in the beginning, I enjoyed wading in this new world and trying to understand how human folly had brought us there.
The narration was superb. The voice characterizations, adding a richness and texture that enhanced the listening experience.
There is a lot not to like about this book. One of the co-authors constantly advertises what a genius he is and in later chapters, pumps his own brokerage firm. The chapter on Gold is particularly weak. And he seems to take an uncritical eye toward Japan, which is in at least as bad a shape as the United States with more immenent demographic concerns.
On the other hand, it is impossible to ignore the unsustainable debt levels of the US and that there will be ramifications down the road. Mr. Schiff correctly identifies that when a crisis in the dollar hits, it will be too late to hedge. He also correctly identifies at length why TIPS are not a good investment, because the CPI cannot be trusted, and is likely to be less trust worthy in the future.
The reading is well done, including a nice impression of former President Bush.
Worth a read, but the process will be painful nonetheless.
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