Category Book Reviews

The Great American Dividend Machine

Product DetailsThe Great American Dividend Machine
By Bill Spetrino
Humanix
Retail Price $24.99
Amazon Pric
e:  17.75

Book Description: 

Build the optimal, income-generating investment portfolio using the power of dividends to achieve absolute financial security. In The Dividend Machine, Bill Spetrino proves his investment philosophy will provide for a solid and secure financial future.

Traders who jump from stock to stock in the hunt for a major Wall Street score lose money or, at best, break even. That’s not an acceptable fate for the retirement nest egg. Instead, true investors trust in The Dividend Machine by taking Spetrino’s proven advice: “Keep investments boring and the rest of life fun and exciting.”

By valuing safety and income above all else, Spetrino guides the reader through the process of unearthing true bargains in the marketplace. Adhering to the author’s model, The Dividend Machine portfolio is made up of mostly large, multinational companies that are involved in diverse businesses.

The companies that pass Spetrino’s rigorous, multi-step vetting process must have a number of key characteristics, such as:

  • Resonant brand names
  • Strong, competitive advantages in their industries
  • Pristine balance sheets
  • Capital to help survive and thrive in difficult markets

Be among the tens of thousands of readers whom Bill Spetrino has been honored to help build their own Dividend Machines, which deliver dependable, growing income for life.

Review

This is the first book I ever read on investing. My cousin, who was a broker at Merrill Lynch, recommended it to me.  This is really about using money you already have to make money and then reinvesting the dividends to make even more.  The author does a wonderful job making this very readable for a newbie like myself.  He believes that you don’t  need to be a Wall Street analyst to uncover great investment opportunities and he shows you how to do it.  He also shows you how to use the power of common knowledge (what you already know) to your advantage and encourages the reader to keep an open mind to new ideas.   From his many tips and great advice you will learn the best  information to focus on and how to apply it.  This was a great book.

~Reviewed by David H.

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    Mylan

    Mylan: 50 Years of Unconventional Success
    By John Seaman and John T. Landry
    Mylan Publishing
    Retail Price $29.95
    Amazon Price: $22.31

    Book Description: 

    Founded in 1961 by two entrepreneurs who saw an opportunity to expand access to high-quality, affordable medicine, Mylan went on to help shape an entire industry. Countless barriers stood in the way, but Mylan’s attention to quality—and its willingness to choose paths less traveled, even after its early successes—enabled the company to overcome these obstacles.

    As the industry globalized, so did Mylan. An American success story with deep roots in Morgantown, West Virginia, the company made two bold acquisitions that transformed it almost overnight into a manufacturing powerhouse with global reach and purpose.

    Published in Mylan’s 50th anniversary year, this book explains how one unconventional company learned to survive and thrive in the highly regulated, hyper-competitive world of generic pharmaceuticals—and to make high-quality, affordable medicine available to people around the world.

    This book will appeal to everyone interested in how the generic drug industry developed in the United States and abroad. Entrepreneurs will appreciate this case study in following the market wherever it leads, even to a place quite different from the one intended. West Virginians will be fascinated by the development of Mylan, whose Morgantown plant remains one of the largest pharmaceutical plants in the world. At a time of concern about U.S. manufacturing, here is a striking American success story

    Review

    Just so you have some background information, Mylan Inc. is a global generic and specialty pharmaceuticals company headquartered in Cecil Township, Pennsylvania. In 2007, Mylan acquired a controlling interest in two global laboratories that helped it has grow from the third-largest generic and pharmaceuticals company in the United States to the second-largest generic and specialty pharmaceuticals company in the world.  This book is a history of the company including it’s humble beginnings in West Virginaia and case study on how it not only survived but thrived.

    ~Reviewed by David H.

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      Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords

      Ultimate Guide To Google AdWords
      by Perry Marshall And Mike Rhodes
      Entrepreneur Press
      Retail Price $24.95
      Amazon Price: $18.66


      Book Description: 

      Google AdWords experts Perry Marshall and Bryan Todd, joined by AdWords and analytics specialist Mike Rhodes, present the fundamentals, techniques, tools, and tricks that Google should teach you, but doesn’t.
      This latest edition introduces revised, expanded, and new chapters covering Enhanced Campaigns, Google AdWords Express, and Google’s Product Listing Ads, as well as an introduction to Google’s Universal Analytics.

      You’ll learn how to:
      Master Enhanced Campaigns, Google Shopping Campaigns, and Google Analytics
      Implement flexible bid strategies that keep you on budget
      Triple traffic with Google’s Display Network
      Profit using local advertising
      Corner the second largest search engine with YouTube ads
      Avoid costly mistakes made by most Google advertisers
      Chisel your way into tough markets
      Write killer advertising and website copy that gets clicks
      Determine what is and isn’t working with Google’s AdWords

       

      In simple terms, AdWords are the online advertising arm of Google; here advertisers bid to appear on the top and right side of search results when users search for keywords relevant to their product/service. Google AdWords bridges the gap between online users and businesses, with the help of placed text advertisements.  If you are new ad Google AdWords then you will want to get started by reading this book.  It teaches you all about Google Ad Words from the ground up. You will learn what Google Adwords is, why you should use it, and how to get started gaining traffic for the smallest amount of money possible.  This is a great book for entrepreneurs.

      ~Reviewed by Dave H.

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        Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder

        Entrepreneurial Strengths Finder
        by Jim Clifton and Sangeeta Bhardwaj Badal
        Gallup Pres
        Retail Price $29.95
        Amazon Price: $18.86


        Book Description: 

        Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder delves into the psychology of the entrepreneur. Gallup research shows that decisions and actions, influenced by the personality of the entrepreneur, affect the survival and growth of the venture.

        Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder is about understanding what drives entrepreneurs to start, sustain, and grow a successful company. What are the personality characteristics and behaviors that lead to venture creation and success? Can one learn to be an entrepreneur, or is it a quality a person is born with? The book attempts to answer these questions with the hope that if you are planning to start a business or are managing one, you can discover your entrepreneurial talents and in the process, increase your potential to start or grow your venture.

        Written in an engaging, conversational style, Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder includes strategies and action items for building successful ventures. It also features an online test that measures readers’ entrepreneurial potential.

        Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder is meant for several audiences — from those who are planning to start or grow a business to investors and coaches who can help identify talent and then foster and support that talent to start or grow a business.

        Review

        This  book is very informative for prospective entrepreneurs.  It helps you take a look at yourself and determine if you have what it takes to start your own business.  Successful entrepreneurs are neither unique nor especially gifted but they are special. They are special because they have made themselves special. They have worked on their skills. I believe that all of the core skills as exhibited by entrepreneurs are learned disciplines.  This book will give you strategies to help you be successful.  And there is plenty of food for thought.  It was an interesting and enlightening read.

         

        ~Reviewed by Dave H

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          What Motivates Me

          Product DetailsWhat Motivates Me
          By Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton
          The Culture Works
          Retail Price $24.95
          Amazon Price: $18.78

          Book Description: 

          What Motivates Me will help readers align the work they do every day, for the rest of their lives, with what truly motivates them. It also includes a code to the Motivators Assessment. This is not a personality test, but a scientifically valid assessment that digs straight to the core of what motivates you at work. The book also features a set of thought-provoking exercises to help readers sculpt their jobs with 60 powerful strategies.

          After analyzing the results of 850,000 interviews, the authors sought to discover why so many people are not as engaged and energized as they could be at work. They found those who are happiest and most successful are engaged in work that aligns with what motivates them. What Motivates Me offers an extensively tested method to help readers identify their core motivators and figure out the disconnects between their passions and their current work, and guides all those searching for joy and engagement by asking the important questions – “What motivates me?” and “What can I do about it?”

          Review

          I have read a number of books about life and career and this has sparked me like none of the others. I found the  writing style to be easy to read and the suggestions offered to be very helpful. The narrative was peppered with great advice that I could apply to my life and the motivation assessment really helped me to pinpoint what my motivations are.   I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with any life issues, whether career  or otherwise.
          ~Reviewed by David H.

           

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            Ultimate Guide To Google Adwords

            Ultimate Guide To Google AdWords
            by Perry Marshall And Mike Rhodes
            Entrepreneur Press
            Retail Price $24.95
            Amazon Price: $18.66


            Book Description: 

            Google AdWords experts Perry Marshall and Bryan Todd, joined by AdWords and analytics specialist Mike Rhodes, present the fundamentals, techniques, tools, and tricks that Google should teach you, but doesn’t.
            This latest edition introduces revised, expanded, and new chapters covering Enhanced Campaigns, Google AdWords Express, and Google’s Product Listing Ads, as well as an introduction to Google’s Universal Analytics.

            You’ll learn how to:
            Master Enhanced Campaigns, Google Shopping Campaigns, and Google Analytics
            Implement flexible bid strategies that keep you on budget
            Triple traffic with Google’s Display Network
            Profit using local advertising
            Corner the second largest search engine with YouTube ads
            Avoid costly mistakes made by most Google advertisers
            Chisel your way into tough markets
            Write killer advertising and website copy that gets clicks
            Determine what is and isn’t working with Google’s AdWords

             

            In simple terms, AdWords are the online advertising arm of Google; here advertisers bid to appear on the top and right side of search results when users search for keywords relevant to their product/service. Google AdWords bridges the gap between online users and businesses, with the help of placed text advertisements.  If you are new ad Google AdWords then you will want to get started by reading this book.  It teaches you all about Google Ad Words from the ground up. You will learn what Google Adwords is, why you should use it, and how to get started gaining traffic for the smallest amount of money possible.  This is a great book for entrepreneurs.

            ~Reviewed by Dave H.

             

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              The Lazy Fundamental Analyst

              The Lazy Fundamental Analyst: Applying Quantitative Techniques to Fundamental Stock Analysis

              The Lazy Fundamental Analyst
              by Fred Piard
              Harriman House
              Retail Price $34.00
              Amazon Price: $23.75

              Book Description:  This is a simple, quick and effective approach to quantitative fundamental analysis. The Lazy Fundamental Analyst presents a collection of strategies based on the application of quantitative analysis to fundamentals-based investing. It will appeal to anyone looking for simple, effective and low-risk investing strategies. The strategies are organised by ten business sectors: Consumer Discretionary, Consumer Staples, Energy, Financials, Health Care, Industrials, Information Technology, Materials, Telecommunication Service and Utilities. For each sector a strategy is proposed for large capitalisations (companies in the S&P 500 Index) and another is given for small capitalisations (companies in the Russell 2000 index). For each sector, and each strategy, Fred Piard explains how to follow his ‘lazy’ approach to choose stocks by using only a couple of financial ratios. The strategies eschew detailed due diligence of companies and markets – instead they rely on applying quantitative techniques to filter out the best investments in each sector. These strategies can be managed in just a few minutes per month, making them suitable for those who only have limited time to devote to investing but still wish to have a winning return. Portfolio protection through the use of market timing and hedging is also presented and this can be used with any of the strategies. If you don’t have the inclination for in-depth fundamental analysis, or only have a few spare minutes per month for your investing, try Fred Piard’s lazy approach to quantitative analysis.

               

              Review

              Quantitative fundamental analysis is a business or financial analysis technique that seeks to understand behavior by using complex mathematical and statistical modeling, measurement and research. It can be done for a number of reasons such as measurement, performance evaluation or valuation of a financial instrument. It can also be used to predict real world events such as changes in a share price.  In this book author Fred Piard makes quantitative fundamental analysis easy.  He provides a logical, methodical, and systematic approach to investing for self-directed, risk-oriented investor.  This is a book to keep in your library and refer to often.

              ~Reviewed by Kyle P.

               

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                Excess Returns

                Excess Returns: A Comparative Study of the Methods of the World's Greatest Investors

                Excess Returns
                by Frederik Vanhaverbeke
                Harriman House
                Retail Price $58.45
                Amazon Price: $43.15

                Book Description:  An analysis of the investment approach of the world’s top investors, showing how to achieve market-beating returns. It is possible to beat the market. Taking this as a starting point, Excess Returns sets out to explore how exactly the most famous investors in the world have done it, year after year, sometimes by huge margins. Excess Returns is not a superficial survey of what investors have said about what they do. Rather, Frederik Vanhaverbeke applies a forensic analysis to hundreds of books, articles, letters and speeches made by dozens of top investors over the last century and synthesises his findings into a definitive blueprint of how exactly these investment legends have gone about their work. Among the legends whose work has been studied are Anthony Bolton, David Bonderman, Warren Buffett, Philip Carret, David Einhorn, Benjamin Graham, Joel Greenblatt, Seth Klarman, Peter Lynch, Jim Rogers, Walter Schloss, George Soros, John Templeton and many more. Among the revealing insights, you will learn of the striking similarities in the craft of great investors, crucial subtleties in their methods that are ignored by many, and the unconscious errors investors commonly make and how these are counter to successful investing. Special attention is given to two often overlooked areas: effective investment philosophy and investment intelligence. The investing essentials covered include: finding bargain shares; making a quantitative and qualitative business analysis; valuation methods; investing throughout the business cycle; timing buy and sell decisions; and much, much more! Excess Returns is full of timeless and practical insights, presented in a unique style, to help investors focus on the most promising opportunities and lead the way to beating the market.

                Review

                This is a fantastic book for both new and seasoned investors alike.  The author gives you a glimpse into the mind and strategies of the “big boys” of investing, handing you over a map to follow as you invest on your own.  He also summarizes the process of fundamental analysis and valuation in everyday language which is helpful.  While he writes in broad strokes, Vanhaverbeke gives you a very good foundation that you can use as you continue to study this field and apply what you learn.  It is an excellent resource.

                ~Reviewed by Chet L.

                 

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                  The Innovator’s Method

                  The Innovator’s Method
                  by Nathan Furr, Jeff Dyer and Clayton M. Christensen
                  Harvard Business Review
                  Retail Price $30.00
                  Amazon Price: $18.98

                  Book Description: 

                  Have you ever come up with an idea for a new product or service but didn’t take any action because you thought it would be too risky? Or at work, have you had what you thought could be a big idea for your company—perhaps changing the way you develop or distribute a product, provide customer service, or hire and train your employees? If you have, but you haven’t known how to take the next step, you need to understand what the authors call the innovator’s method—a set of tools emerging from lean start-up, design thinking, and agile software development that are revolutionizing how new ideas are created, refined, and brought to market.

                  To date these tools have helped entrepreneurs, designers, and software developers manage uncertainty—through cheap and rapid experiments that systematically lower failure rates and risk. But many managers and leaders struggle to apply these powerful tools within their organizations, as they often run counter to traditional managerial thinking and practice.

                  Authors Nathan Furr and Jeff Dyer wrote this book to address that very problem. Following the breakout success of The Innovator’s DNA—which Dyer wrote with Hal Gregersen and bestselling author Clay Christensen to provide a framework for generating ideas—this book shows how to make those ideas actually happen, to commercialize them for success.

                  Based on their research inside corporations and successful start-ups, Furr and Dyer developed the innovator’s method, an end-to-end process for creating, refining, and bringing ideas to market. They show when and how to apply the tools of their method, how to adapt them to your business, and how to answer commonly asked questions about the method itself, including: How do we know if this idea is worth pursuing? Have we found the right solution? What is the best business model for this new offering? This book focuses on the “how”—how to test, how to validate, and how to commercialize ideas with the lean, design, and agile techniques successful start-ups use.

                  Whether you’re launching a start-up, leading an established one, or simply working to get a new product off the ground in an existing company, this book is for you.

                  Review

                  I have a number of other business books, but for life lessons on on launching your business, product, or idea, this one comes up the winner, hands down.  You will find many helpful tips and strategies for implementing innovation in your ventures so you can take your business to the next level. The authors  take you from understanding how innovation is important to you as a business owner to seeing how it will help you scale past your competition by broadening your reach and generating significant profits in the process. The book is well-researched, yet shares many success stories that make it very reader-friendly. If you want to move your business forward, read this book!

                  ~Reviewed by Rich W.

                   

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                    What Do You Want to Create Today

                    What Do You Want to Create Today
                    by Bob Tobin
                    Benbella
                    Retail Price $19.95
                    Amazon Price: $15.45

                    Book Description: 

                    Forget what you think you know about success and make your own happiness.

                    Dr. Bob Tobin lived what looked like a great life in Southern California: he had a house by the beach, a good consulting practice, and a BMW. But he wasn’t truly happy. Work didn’t really work for him.

                    After losing a job, going on a life-changing trip, and gaining a major change in perspective, Bob relocated to Japan, where his career path changed in ways he had never predicted and he finally found personal satisfaction, success, and happiness.

                    But how did he do it? And how can you do it?

                    Many of us are dissatisfied with our lives but don’t make happiness a priority. It’s time to forget everything you think you know about success, and stop trying to fit the mold. Traditional models of “success” don’t work—not in a way that is right for you. Start learning more about yourself and your passions—and start realizing your creative and professional dreams—today.

                    What Do You Want to Create Today?: Build the Life You Want at Work shows you how to develop your career in a way that uniquely suits you. Tobin has spent 25 years using the strategies outlined in this book to inspire hundreds of executives and thousands of students to create the kind of lives they want at work.

                    Offering a mix of inspiring advice, practical suggestions, questions for reflection, and uplifting stories, What Do You Want to Create Today? is an essential guide in finding happiness and fulfillment via your work.

                    You’ll gain a new perspective as you learn:
                    Why focusing on objectives is holding you back
                    How to “read the air” and act on what people don’t say
                    How to develop courage and confidence
                    How best to handle difficult coworkers

                    It’s time to embrace your dreams, surround yourself with positive people, summon your courage, have fun working, and never stop learning.

                    Review

                     

                    My father worked at the same job for 50 years and hated his job for most of his adult life. Growing up seeing how unhappy he was made me determined that I would do life differently.  I never could stand being unhappy in my work, so I gravitate toward books that help you find work that you love.  That is exactly what this book does.

                    The author confronts the reader to determine if the work they are doing is just a way to pay the bills or is it something that is enjoyed.  He will show you how to believe in yourself and find the courage to make the necessary changes to help you find happiness in your work.

                    This book was well-written and thought-provoking.  It really made me think about whether I am still happy with my current employment and what changes I should make.

                    ~Reviewed by Adam B.

                     

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