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Book review, by John Rennie

“‘Naked Trader 2’ by Robbie Burns: Even for those of us who love reading about money, books on finance are a tricky one. Either they can be so dry and technical that they spur you to find the nearest wall of drying paint for light relief, or they are so simplistic and dumbed down to be almost useless. Into the latter skip I toss much of the positive thinking genre, while praying that the next author of a tome on technical analysis has managed to breathe life into his subject. Robbie Burns cut his teeth working on local papers and thank god for that, because he has the hackâ??s eye for a story, an angle and a human interest point that makes his copy sing.

I whizzed the 300 or so pages of ‘Naked Trader 2’ by Robbie Burns in a weekend…before picking it up to read again and making some serious notes. This is an elegant and readable explanation of how to invest and make money from shares. He relentlessly debunks the tipsters and systems merchants who would sell you their secrets (I think we all know what the secret of their money making success really is). He describes the traps for the unwary and, while making great play of being an excessively relaxed bald bloke, who likes nothing better than downing industrial quantities of tea and toast while monitoring his stocks, he constantly bangs on about the importance of research, hard work, discipline and understanding what youâ??re buying. Burns is a get-rich-slow merchant, which sounds good to me, and I think heâ??s at his best with this cautions to excise emotion from your trading. There is no magic in trading, there is a little luck, but mostly thereâ??s assiduous research.

And if that sounds dry and boring then blame me not ‘Naked Trader 2’ by Robbie Burns, because itâ??s an enormously entertaining primer on buying and making money from the stockmarket. Coming from a property investment background, I’m only too aware of the legions of people who pat themselves for raising the value of their properties in a rising market (where does Property Ladder go in these credit crunch days). Similarly there are lots of stock picking geniuses during bull markets, but during the current stumbling, confused bear of a stockmarket? I reckon you need a good guide and this is the best Iâ??ve read. Certainly this is a high-concept popular finance book, and not everyone will go for the matiness of it – the tea, the toast, the toddler, the lovely Mrs Naked Trader. I loved it though and, more to the point, Mr Burns publishes his trades on the website, so you can see if he really DOES know his stuff. Donâ??t buy a system, buy this instead.”

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