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“The Jubak Picks” – (Jim Jubak) Book Review

“The Jubak Picks – 50 Stocks That Will Rebuild Your Wealth and Safeguard Your Future” (pub. Crown Business, 2008), is a book of a certain time and place. By this, I mean that since it was written in early 2008 it offers a sort of time-capsule view into the prevailing attitude of the markets before the “financial meltdown”. Readers of Jubak’s popular online column at MSN Money are no doubt familiar with Jubak’s bearish stance on the market before 2008, and since. Having read the book after the meltdown it is easy to criticize some of his points with the 20/20 vision of hindsight. While reading the book, I tried to imagine myself situated in 2008 and not the present. This review will not attempt to analyze Jubak’s various predictions and insights as to how each fared, but rather simply report on the ideas presented.

The book begins off with Jubak’s opinions on fundamental and technical investing, identifying common themes and stocks that move according to that theme, and an overview of his method of stock selection. Interestingly enough, Jubak basically criticizes both approaches as being either too simplistic, or too naïve. Each subsequent chapter  in the book is based on a list of economic themes and arguments to support these themes and 'risks' associated with that trend. For each trend, he names the key stocks that are his picks for that particular sector. Also each chapter lists additional stocks that he considers to be of value if you were to overweight that theme in your portfolio including mutual funds and ETFs.

        “The Jubak Picks” concludes with a detailed listing of his 50 stock picks, with a summary of what appeals to him in each stock. For an experienced investor who may buy this book, this section is perhaps the most valuable. A more inexperienced investor will benefit tremendously from the discussion of the sectors and specific stocks for that particular trend. If you are not familiar with Jubak and his investment philosophy, you can visit the Moneycentral website to view his sample portfolios before you decide to purchase this book.

       While this book may seem to be only for beginners, and may also appear to reiterate common beliefs of other analysts, the book is designed to actually make the concepts investable, and not just an academic theory. Most of the real-life aspects of the book revolve around the basic concept of trends that Jubak identifies and how he monitors those trends for increases or decreases in momentum. In a sense, he shows investors how to make money off the prevailing economic trends, and perhaps more importantly how to identify when the trends may have run their course. Jubak’s book is a nice addition to any investor’s library who is looking for hands-on, real-life investing advice which, in his opinion, will stand the test of time.