There are a lot of books out there on
how to become a millionaire, and quite a few on investing as
well. Mostly, they’re disappointing. The millionaire books
might be inspirational, the good ones anyway, and they may
have some advice that’s useful, but in order to actually
making them work, you would have to sign up for follow-up
seminars and the special, proprietary coaching programs of
the authors, all of them expensive.
And about those books on investments –
they tend to be disappointing for a different reason:
Either they’re too basic and conservative, in the vein of
promising you that you too can become a millionaire if you
invest 10% of your salary for the next 40 years.
Or they are, once again, too vague.
They might provide introductions into some of the basics of
certain aspects of stock trading, but if you’d try to
actually follow their advice, you’d soon find yourself in
Not so with Adam Khoo and Conrad Lim’s
book, Secrets of Millionaire Investors. Just from looking
at the title, I would have probably expected more of the
same. But Adam and Conrad actually provide the blueprints –
and the details – on how to make investing work.
The book starts with a bang – taking us
right into the world of trading stocks, and the challenges
Adam faced during his first attempts at making it work.
Let’s just say it wasn’t a pretty sight. For two years, he
played it safe after that.
But the failures were just stepping
stones, prompting Adam to seek out mentors and models from
whom he could learn, something he discusses in much detail
in some of his other books, for example in Master Your Mind
and in Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires.
His key role model: Warren Buffett,
arguably the world’s most successful investor. He studied
what Buffett had done and quickly saw where he himself had
gone wrong. His other investing books were of the sort I
mentioned above – providing good but incomplete information,
and Adam learned the hard way that a little knowledge, even
if it’s good, can be very dangerous.
So he set out to learn everything he
needed to know to become a successful investor, and started
to apply what he learned. First he focused on Singapore,
but he quickly moved on to the U.S. stock market, a much
more dynamic marketplace.
But even skilled investing in the stock
market only gets you so far. He soon noticed that some of
his friends doubled their money in weeks... by buying
So he attended seminars and quickly
expanded his expertise to options as well.
Next, Adam’s co-author, Conrad Lim,
shares his own rags-to-riches story. He decided to learn
about the stock market after going through several business
failures and a bankruptcy. I actually find that inspiring.
It means that even after thorough failure, you have a chance
to better yourself, and become wealthy.
On his quest to learn about the stock
market, Conrad too suffered the failures caused by good but
incomplete information. He quickly learned from his
mistakes, though, and slowly, he was making gains. After
about a year, he was consistently earning a nice full-time
income just from trading stocks, and things went uphill from
there. He went from failure to becoming someone people
sought out for advice.
Next, the book goes into the meat of
investing, starting by dispelling the myths perpetrated by
most of the other books, especially the one about the
correlation between low risk and low return on one side, and
high risk and high return on the other.
A poignant quote by Warren Buffett
underlines that point:
“Risk Comes from Not Knowing What You
And that’s the situation the book sets
out to remedy. I was amazed at the wealth of detail the
book went into – efficiently and clearly explained in its
272 pages. And not just regular stock investing either, but
all the fancy stuff, including options and short-selling.
Here’s some of the kind of information
covered in this book:
1. Basic principles of how the stock
market works, and how to work the stock market successfully,
including such gems as how to make sure you get out early if
you picked the wrong stock without getting burned too badly.
2. In a chapter, called “The Idiot
Proof Way To Making Money” the authors explain the first
and most basic system for making money in stocks. They
argue that with the information they provide, it’s possible
to achieve just about risk-free annual returns. The only
“skill” you need is patience.
Have you ever been at those teaser
investment seminars, where they tell you about surefire ways
to make money in the stock market and show you some fancy
charts that they say will tell you exactly when to buy and
sell and so on? I have. And then they say that we’d get
all the info we need to actually apply this information if
we bought into their $5000 or so program.
Reading this chapter brought back those
memories because all the charts they showed (and many more)
are right here in this book, starting with this chapter. The
difference: They’re explained in so much detail that you
can actually apply that knowledge. That’s when I really
started to pay attention. This was good stuff.
It teaches you how to buy, how to sell,
when to buy and sell, and so much more. The “more” is key,
of course. If you did just the idiot proof techniques, you
could make a nice chunk of change, but it would probably be
hard to become really wealthy that way. That’s why the
authors added many ways to turbo-charge the process. And,
something very important, especially when the economy goes
through challenging times – they’ve provided plenty of ways
to make money no matter what the economy does.
The next chapter is about Value
Investing, Warren Buffett’s secret. But this goes way
beyond the kind of information you can buy at a regular
bookstore. And one of the key skills you learn in this
chapter: How to evaluate a business and the potential of its
stock – in great depth! Worksheets are provided.
Next, something really cool: “Momentum
Investing.” I must admit that I had never even heard of
that before. The idea is that you catch stocks that are
about they take off and rise in value so quickly that most
other people don’t catch on till they have to buy them at a
premium. Many detailed charts and instructions help you to
figure out which stocks are good candidates, and how to
catch them just before they hit it big.
Of course, what goes up often comes
down, either temporarily or, sometimes, permanently. So
this chapter also provides detailed strategies on how you
can protect yourself from losing what you’ve just earned.
If the book ended here, it would have
already surpassed my expectations, as well as most of what
you can find elsewhere, and probably most of those $5000
seminars as well.
But it doesn’t end here. It goes on to
cover stock options, the real secret to making lots of money
in the stock market, and quickly. Of course, you can also
lose your shirt, but after learning and carefully applying
all the strategies in this offer, that chance is much
The beauty of stock options, according
to Adam and Conrad, is that you can make money with them in
any kind of economic climate, that results can come quickly,
and that you can leverage whatever funds you have by
controlling a much larger amount of money. That is also the
key to the risk, which is why options are something to be
approached with caution – and knowledge of how they work.
There are a few warnings in this
chapter. Don’t try this at home... (unless you know what
you’re doing). Yet there are also techniques that are much
less risky – and the authors point them out and proceed to
explain them so thoroughly, I wanted to stop reading the
rest of the book and just have a go at them.
In fact, options are really the heart
of this book. They are the key to making significant
financial gains in a short amount of time, and so they get a
lot of extra coverage. How they work, how to understand the
information you need to gather to make informed decisions
about them, and how to best go about making money with them.
There’s even a super safe way to make
money with options. Yes, you can still lose money but the
amount is very limited – and you stand to gain a great deal
if your bet pays off. Plus, of course, with the
information you have gathered using the other techniques,
your bet will always be informed.
Another whole chapter is devoted to the
fine art of short selling, a technique that can pay off big
during bear markets. You’ve probably read about them in the
paper. Well, here’s how to do it, and, of course, with lots
and lots of detailed info along with work sheets for help
with assessing funds and their performance so your chances
at success are maximized.
The last chapter guides you towards
putting all this information into action. Once again, it
comes with work sheets you can use to assess your risk and
the probable movement of the stocks. And advice on how to
keep track of your gains and losses so you can tweak your
system and make it turn mostly profits.
All in all – it’s an outstanding guide
to how to make money in the stock market – with charts and
plenty of work sheets where you can track and evaluate the
stocks you’re interested in.
It’s a how-to book that really lives up
to its name. Just one small disappointment – there were a
few places where the authors mention some even more advanced
strategies, which are only available to members of their
proprietary Wealth Academy program. So there’s still a bit
of the old tease.
But on the other hand, the book
provides a wealth of actionable information, which is plenty
to keep its readers busy for a long time, and, if they apply
it diligently, it should quickly pay for Adam’s Wealth
Academy program, where they learn to accelerate their income
And come to think of it, there’s always
more to learn, and considering the value that this book
provides, the fact that Adam and Conrad offer a way to learn
even more is actually great news.