Laughing at Wall Street by Chris Camillo – A Book Review
Synopsis of Content:
The subtitle of this book is “How I beat the pros at investing (by reading Tabloids, shopping at the Mall, and connecting on Facebook) and how you can too. This is a good summary of what this book is about.
The author, Chris Camillo is touted as one of the most successful amateur investors in the world. His claim is that from September 2007 until the book came out in April 2010 his self-managed investment portfolio appreciated from $83,752 to $2,388,311. A schedule of that performance is available at his website, chriscamillo.com.
Camillo’s method is to be acutely observant of trends and hot products as observed at the malls, in internet media, and from what he sees on television and in tabloid publications. The idea is that demand for a particular product or service can skyrocket for reasons that Wall Street often is unaware of and that if you purchase the stock of the company involved before Wall Street is wise to the trend and sell as soon as Wall Street sees the trend you can realize some serious gain. Camillo demonstrates in the book in some detail how he has done this to grow his portfolio so impressively.
He tells us that the traditional, mostly white, male and middle aged Wall Street types are not plugged into the popular trends that drive these kinds of market demand. They rely on corporate reports and mainstream financial news reporting neither of which report these trends until they are old news.
He offers examples including observations of a hot new shoe that he observed on the beach before it became well known in financial circles and a brand of clothing that the Obama first family wore at the inauguration which sparked a buying spree sending stock prices up fast.
Camillo gives some attention to traditional fundamental and technical trading methods and tells us how and why they are not dependable. He then discusses how this popular trend watching is superior. His method requires a lot of observation, web browsing and a form of due diligence to insure that the trend he suspects he is seeing is genuine and that the stock market is not yet aware of it on Wall Street. He then dives in, buys this stock and waits for it to peak when it becomes common knowledge.
The appeal of Camillo’s approach is that it does not require any specialized knowledge of stocks, the market as a whole, technical treading techniques or fundamental analysis of company management which Warren Buffet is famous for. This method could be done by anyone who is observant and disciplined and willing to do the leg work required. A high school student could do it and have done so.
As with any method at making money this one requires significant time and effort. This is not really a get-rich-quick scheme, although Camillo has demonstrated some remarkable performance in his trading using it. It is not about day trading either, he waits until he identifies a genuine potential money maker, buys and holds the stock until it takes off and market demand ends the upward ride, then sells before it comes down again once everyone knows about it.
It must also be observed that the author is a professional market researcher by trade, this is what he does for a living, and in that he watches market trends for a living he starts out with some advantage over the novice.
This method is clearly not for everyone. It takes time and commitment to the methodology and some awareness and understanding of market trends for a specific product or service that are not yet common knowledge. It does appear however to offer a unique and very accessible method of beating the market odds for someone willing to do the work in the manner he illustrates. For anyone who has the time and willingness to learn this method there is clearly potential to beat the index fund averages.
This book is a must read for anyone looking for an accessible and relatively simple method to capture market gains.
For the person with some money to invest and the time and self-discipline to apply this method this book is an excellent primer on a novel and promising way to increase gain on equity investments.
Disclaimer: all investment methods carry some risk including this one. This review should not be relied upon as professional investment or financial advice. See a professional financial advisor for professional advice.
The book is very readable and easy to follow. It is well organized.
Notes on Author:
Chris Camillo is a market researcher who has been less than impressed with more traditional stock trading methods and has used his own power of observation to beat the averages on the market.
Three Great Ideas You Can Use:
1. If traditional market analysis is not for you and you do not want to leave the management of your investment portfolio to a professional manager there is a method that most anyone can use to learn about promising stocks before they take off.
2. This method requires continued time observing and learning about products and services and the emerging market trends that one can observe at the local mall, on Facebook, and many other places. It then requires some due diligence to insure that you have observed a genuine large scale trend that will pump up the value of stock.
3. If you follow a proven method taking care to do the homework you can improve your odds with stocks. You have to read the book though to learn the details of how it is done.
Laughing at Wall Street by Chris Camillo
Copyright 2011 by Chris Camillo. Published by St. Martin’s Press