Ahead of the Curve: A Commonsense Guide to Forecasting Business and Market Cycles
Economic and stock market cycles affect companies in every industry. Unfortunately, a confusing array of anecdotal and conflicting indicators often renders it impossible for managers and investors to see where the economy is heading in time to take corrective action. Now, a 35-year Wall Street veteran unveils a new forecasting method to help managers and investors understand and predict the economic cycles that control their businesses and financial fates. In Ahead of the Curve, Joseph H. Ellis argues that the problem with current forecasting models lies not in the data, but rather in the lack of a clear framework for putting the data in context and reading it correctly. The book explains critical economic indicators in nontechnical language, identifies and documents the recurring cause-and-effect relationships that consistently predict turning points in the economy, and provides the tools managers and investors need to position themselves ahead of cyclical upturns and downturns. Economic events are not as random and unpredictable as they seem. This book helps readers recognize and react to signs of change that their rivals don't see—and win a sizeable competitive advantage. Joseph H. Ellis was a partner at Goldman Sachs and was ranked for 18 consecutive years by Institutional Investor magazine as Wall Street's No.1 retail industry analyst.
By Robert Morris - December 12, 2005
This is one of the most informative business books I have read during the past 12-18 months as Ellis shares with his reader what he learned when he set out "to investigate how I might develop an improved method for forecasting consumer spending and, with it, the rest of the economy. Furthermore, I wanted to document the basis for my forecasts with such clarity that my [Goldman Sachs] clients would understand not only the forecast but also the rationale supporting it." At this point, it is worth noting that, for eighteen consecutive years, Ellis was ranked as Wall Street's #1 retail industry analyst by Institutional Investor magazine.
As Ellis explains, his book has two broad purposes: "To help us understand and then overcome major flaws in the way most economic information is reported and digested by the business, investment, and economist communities" and "To put the this new framework to work in forecasting." The material is carefully organized and presented in four... read more
Don't be fooled
By Fernando Saldanha - April 19, 2006
I started to read this book with high expectations. I believe that a strong dose of commonsense sometimes can do more than a lot ot analytical expertise (I have a Ph.D. in Economics from MIT, and through the years I have come to recognize the limitations of hard analytical methods). The first few chapters of the book were OK. However, I was expecting the book to end with a bang, but it did end with a whimper. The author does not provide a model that can be used to forecast anything. He basically tells you to build your own. There are two possibilities:
1) You have enough technical expertise to build an econometric model of the US economy that would potentially be useful to forecast the stock market.
2) You have no analytical skills.
In case 1) you will find out that the book is basically useless, as it contains nothing new or original. The author makes a lot of noise about tracking rates of change instead of levels, but anyone who does econometrics... read more
TWO THUMBS UP.....
By J. Turkeri - November 6, 2005
Joseph Ellis, gives a clear method on how to forecast business cycles...This book is NOT all about unproven theories, or fancy calculus, or econometrics, on the contrary, Joseph Ellis shows us a simple yet elegant logic on deducting casual relationships among the driving forces of the economy, which can make one filter out all the unnecessary noise and see clearly what really makes the economy thus the stock market perform....This book is a MUST READ... read more
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