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Book Review – Cotter on Investing

Taking the bull out of the markets: practical advice and tips from an experienced investor by John Cotter

John Cotter has worked for Barclays Stockbrokers for many years, writing the popular ?Cotter?s Corner? column on its website as well as speaking at client seminars.

The book focuses on topics that Cotter finds private investors are interested in, and contains a wealth of sensible ideas meeting his ?3 box test? (that they?re simple, makes sense and work).

His main investment tools for generating ideas or checking value are the PE ratio, PEGs (to achieve growth at a reasonable price), dividends (dividend yielding shares tend to outperform), and directors? deal- ings. He sets out a number of rules that have clearly stood the test of time, includ- ing a 10/2/20 diversification rule (no more than 10% in one share, two shares in any sector and 20 holdings in total).

He covers the essentials of technical analysis briefly but sensibly. A common sense approach is stressed throughout the book- along the lines of ?invest in what you know? and not investing against price trends.

The book is written in an easily-digested style with technicalities kept to a minimum, the overall feel being of a conversation with a very wise stockbroker uncle. It would make a good Christmas stocking filler for the newer private investor, and the more experienced will also find useful ideas in it.

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