Book Bits For Saturday: 6.25.2011

Investing in Energy: A Primer on the Economics of the Energy Industry
By Gianna Bern
Excerpt via publisher, Bloomberg/Wiley
The energy industry is undergoing unprecedented change as it reacts to new challenges in safety, regulation, exploration, and alternative-energy initiatives. One need only layer on the global political environment and the long-ranging repercussions of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill or the turmoil in the Middle East to realize that the energy sector is as complex as it has ever been. From this increasing complexity springs the need for this book. The following pages present a framework for understanding the basic elements of energy-industry economics. While not covering geology or refining from technical standpoints, this book provides a framework for analyzing the industry’s basics and economics, and thereby helps prepare investors and other energy-industry professionals to more confidently venture forth into this vast and complex sector. This book explores various opportunities available to investors in the energy arena and provides tools to better equip those new and not so new to investing in oil, gas, and alternatively generated energy. Time-tested analytic tools and investment criteria are utilized to provide the reader a better understanding of the economics behind the various energy sectors. Thoughtful and deliberate use of these analytic tools should enable deeper understandings of opportunities and more confident investment decisions.

World 3.0: Global Prosperity and How to Achieve It
By Pankaj Ghemawat
Review via Andrew Smith’s Blog
Although it has a few flaws, this book is excellent and should be read by anybody interested in globalization. I teach on the history of globalization, so I approached this book from a historical angle. Although some historians will be left dissatisfied with the amount of historical material Ghemawat has included, the author has does a fairly good job of situating present-day globalization in its historical context. Ghemawat’s stylized rendition of the history of globalization is a tolerably accurate generalization. Moreover, he has incorporated into his theory the key research finding of globalization historians, namely that globalization is not an irreversible process and the world economy experienced a long period of de-globalization between 1914 and 1945… Ghemawat effectively demolishes the theories of Tom Friedman, the New York Times columnist whose The World Is Flat became a bestseller and influenced countless public thinkers, from Colin Powell to Tony Blair to many business leaders. Friedman argued that we are now living in a fully globalized world in which neither distance nor national boundaries impinge on commercial activity. Friedman, who is a big fan of globalization, regards this development as welcome. Anti-globalization activists have accepted Friedman’s premise the world has indeed become flat, although for them, the emergence of McWorld is something to be condemned. Ghemawat shows that both sides of this debate are ill-informed.
All About Investing in Gold
By John Jagerson and S. Wade Hansen
Interview with authors via Wall Street Cheat Sheet
We approach gold investing strategies differently than many other authors/managers. We are not making the case that gold is a great investment in 2011 (although personally we think it looks pretty good) and will continue to rise indefinitely. What we wrote in the book was designed to help investors understand what moves the gold market, and how they can use those principles to time a new entry into gold (NYSE:GLD) in 2011, 2015, 2025, or whatever. Using a book to “time the market” is going to be pretty tough, and we wouldn’t attempt it. Also, its important to understand that the book emphasizes the importance of gold as a component of a well-diversified portfolio not a portfolio unto itself. Long term traders interested in this subject are much less concerned with market-timing and whether its “too late” for gold in 2011. We spent a lot of time in the book discussing why gold is a benefit (regardless of timing) in a long term portfolio, and how it can improve overall performance significantly in the long run.
Trading With Charts for Absolute Returns
By Robert Fischer
Summary via publisher, Wiley
Robert Fischer, a pioneer in developing trading strategies for Fibonacci price and time analysis, has now developed charting analysis that achieve absolute returns in bull, bear, and trendless markets. In Trading with Charts for Absolute Returns, Fischer provides traders with a shortcut from the intensive programming and data analysis work, explaining which patterns work, the best markets to trade using the strategies, and advanced trading signals. Uncovers the key chart patterns that work best in combination to provide real returns year-after-year and in all markets. Provides an augmented futures strategy for bear markets. Includes exclusive access to the Trading with Charts for Absolute Returns Web site with historical data and trading signals. While relative returns provide a means of judging performance on a comparative basis, as the saying goes, “you can’t eat relative returns.” Absolute returns is the only thing that matters, and Trading with Charts for Absolute Returns shows how to routinely achieve just that.
Trend Commandments: Trading for Exceptional Returns
By Michael W. Covel
Excerpt via publisher, FT Press
This book is for those kindred spirits who grasp there is no secret to trading but rather just knowledge you have not yet discovered. It is for anyone who wants to make the most money possible—without going broke or going overboard on risk. It is for investors and traders small and large, young and old, female and male—worldwide. Trend Commandments is also for anyone fascinated by how great trend traders think and act to make a fortune. If you have other reasons for reading this book, that is fine too… My words are not a set of magic rules for becoming a wealthy trend following trader with no work on your end. To achieve the pot of gold, you will need more than that. However, to explain all the details you will need, you must know what you are up against. The well-constructed fortress of government, media, and Wall Street, all designed to bleed you dry, is “The Wall” (think Roger Waters). None of those players want you to comprehend or act on the contents of this book. If you do get it, those groups lose power and money. They do not want to lose anything. Their grip on you is stranglehold tight.