Book Review: The Harriman Book of Investing Rules

The Book ‘ The Harriman Book of Investing Rules’ is written by Philip Jenks and Stephen Eckett.

It’s a strange kind of book in the sense that it contains 10 rules from 150 investors…i.e. a collection of around 1500 rules on investing !

But much to my surprise, I found the book to be an interesting read.

One reason was that the investors were from all parts of the financial jungle-futures traders,market makers,options traders,index investors, stock pickers,macro traders,currency specialists.,economists, financial journalists etc.One investor was actually a financial astrologer !

The other reason was each investor brought something different to the table based on his experience and his expertise.Just like it takes different opinions to make a market, similarly it takes different kinds of rules for one’s one persona and style.

There were sections on specific parts of the market like tobacco stocks,chemical industry,emerging markets,ipos etc

I learnt quite a few things from the Book and but two important takeaways from the Book was in a section called “Interpreting the News Flow”:

a) Silence Speaks Volumes

If there is no statement of denial from a company within 24 hour of a speculative story, chances are it’s true

b)The Company Declined to Comment

If a story contains the phrase ‘the company declined to comment’, it normally means precisely the opposite.In most cases. the company has commented and confirmed a story, but does not wish to be on the record.

What I didn’t like about the Book was that it was originally published in 2001 and later reprinted in 2006…so its not really updated.The financial crisis which is mentioned in the book is the dot com crash of 2000 !!

I would recommend this Book only for people who are endlessly fascinated by all things related to investing.

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