Monday, December 19, 2011

Review: Laughing at Wall Street by Chris Camillo

Title: Laughing at Wall Street
Author: Chris Camillo
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publish Date: November 8th 2011
Source: I received a copy from the PR. This did not affect my review.

Why You're Reading This Book:
  • You're looking for easy to follow financial tips.
What's the Story?:

From "Chris Camillo is not a stockbroker, financial analyst, or hedge fund manager. He is an ordinary person with a knack for identifying trends and discovering great investments hidden in everyday life. In early 2007, he invested $20,000 in the stock market, and in three years it grew to just over $2 million.

With Laughing at Wall Street, you’ll see:
•How Facebook friends helped a young parent invest in the wildly successful children’s show, Chuggington—and saw her stock values climb 50%
•How an everyday trip to 7-Eleven alerted a teenager to short Snapple stock—and tripled his money in seven days
•How $1000 invested consecutively in Uggs, True Religion jeans, and Crocs over five years grew to $750,000
•How Michelle Obama caused J. Crew’s stock to soar 186%, and Wall Street only caught up four months later!

Engaging, narratively-driven, and without complicated financial analysis, Camillo’s stock picking methodology proves that you do not need large sums of money or fancy market data to become a successful investor."

My Two Cents:

The main point of this book is just to notice the things going on around you in order to make stock picking decisions. It was an idea that I'm familiar with. I think it's a good way to determine whether or not a particular stock has market power. That's typically how my husband and I have picked stocks in the past. We've gone with stocks based on our own observations about what's going on in the world and we've done okay. It doesn't do a lot of good to listen to talking heads in my own opinion.

This book is really geared towards people who are afraid to jump into the market for the first time (and who wouldn't be a little nervous with the roller coaster that's been the stock market recently) or are relatively new to the stock market or just needs a little reassurance that you don't have to know a whole lot about Wall Street in order to get your feet wet. If you're not new to the stock market, this book is probably not going to have a whole lot of new information for you.

Camillo relies a lot on anecdotal stories to make the idea of investing in the stock market a little more friendly. It's definitely a good leaping off point for newbie investors. One part I was really confused about was the chapter that covers online forums in all their gory detail. His point was that you can learn a lot about stocks from online forums. True but do people reading this book really need to learn about what trolls are? I'm not too sure about that. The whole chapter didn't seem to fit well with the rest of the book.

Bottom line: This is a good book for those seeking to get the quick and dirty on an easy way to enter the market.


  1. This sounds interesting. I've had moments watching the news where I thought, "wow, I bet this would be a good time to invest in that company." Sure enough, when I talked with a financial adviser, he agreed.

    If only I had money :)

    Paul D. Dail A horror writer's not necessarily horrific blog


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