THIS BLOG IS MY BLOG. THIS BLOG IS MY BLOG. Welcome to the Home of Hyperopia.: On Prognostications - Part 2

Monday, March 02, 2009

On Prognostications - Part 2

A little over a year ago (on 2008-01-18, to be exact), I wrote this blog entry about Robert Prechter's depressing volume "Conquer the Crash" (originally published in 2002). I noted that in "Conquer the Crash," Prechter predicted many Very Bad Things, including abysmal returns for investors in all asset classes other than cash (and short-term U.S. Treasuries).

I also noted that back then, the book had an sales rank of less than 87,000 (that is, there were more than 87,000 other books selling better at than Prechter's "Conquer the Crash."

And I opined that if the sales rank for "Conquer the Crash" ever advanced below 5,000, it would be time to buy U.S. stocks. I indicated that I thought such a development would be very bullish for U.S. equities from the point of view of a contrarian investor.

But I see that Prechter's "Conquer the Crash" has a current sales rank of 3,601, meaning two things: (1) there are now only 3,600 books selling better at than "Conquer the Crash" and (2) it's time to re-evaluate my chosen contrarian indicator (i.e., Prechter's book achieving that measure of popularity).

Check here for the updated ranking: Prechter's "CTC" @

(The rankings are updated at least hourly, I think, so don't be alarmed or annoyed at me if the book isn't ranked 3,601 if you go there to check.)

In any event, I now elect to modify the implications of my indicator. I now say that if Prechter's book is ever selling in the top 1000 books on, that will indicate that there have been some very, very bad things happen in investment markets around the world. I can't say with any confidence that it will be time to be U.S. stocks, though, because America's politicians have been actively destroying our capital markets for the past eleven or twelve months. (And obliterated capital markets are a bad thing for equity investors.)

I'm interested and surprised Prechter's book is up to 3,601 at I wish I had some idea what that means in terms of how many copies of it are actually being sold. Could it make a jump of that magnitude in the rankings on the sale of, say, six copies today?



P.S. By the way, me including the above picture of Ben Stein is decidedly NOT a recommendation that anyone pay attention to what Ben Stein has to say about investing. Much of his advice has been terrible ("buy-and-hold" establishment pap) for at least the last several years. He totally missed the meltdown and in fact actively denied that there were any problems to come in a showdown ("shoutdown"?) interview with Peter Schiff in 2006 or 2007. He also lost piles of money personally, and wrote about that on Yahoo (to his credit on that point).


Blogger Erin O'Brien said...

Amazon sales ranks? Gawd.

Selling one copy of my book will take it from over one million to 40,000.

The rank is not weighted on all books. It's a very strange number, with categories and god knows what else. Hence, this book's rank is probably not behind Harry Potter.

5:35 AM, March 06, 2009  
Blogger garrett said...

I figured there was some goofiness to it. Is a book consistently showing up in the top 5,000 (or 1,000 or whatever) more meaningful?


9:19 PM, March 06, 2009  

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