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Book Review: Wall Street Craps: How To Play Today’s Hot & Cold Stock Market For Fast Money With Less Risk by Steve Nakamoto

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Author Steve Nakamoto spent five years on iVillage, the world’s largest women’s online community, serving as their Mr. Answer Man relationship advisor. Not surprisingly, the two-time Writer’s Digest Award-Winning author’s recent books have been in the personal development/relationship genre. But his newest book, a guide for independent investors seeking counsel in today’s difficult stock market, may surprise some people. In Wall Street Craps, Nakamoto writes about his nearly 40-year love affair with Wall Street and his fascination with the game of craps. Although he earned a degree in business administration/finance, the “only things that interested me at the time were making money and investing.”

The author’s varied business endeavors over the years led him to Las Vegas on multiple occasions and it was on one such trip that he was struck by the notion that playing craps was the perfect metaphor for playing Wall Street. Given this revelation, “Wall Street Craps’ was simply something that I felt destined to express and create.”

In his Introduction, Nakamoto simply and clearly lays out what the reader will take away from his book: “In my book, you’ll learn a simple, yet sophisticated approach to playing the stock market. This approach uses an innovative ‘crap game’ metaphor to help investors quickly grasp the nuances of this challenging investment arena.” With that, the author leads the reader through ten, easy to read and follow chapters that explore what he considers to be the ten most critical areas to understand in order to accelerate one’s success in the market.

The content of Wall Street Craps is solid. It includes interesting background on the modern evolution of trading and investing, varied philosophies and approaches to “the game,” and a few new twists on proven, effective strategies. I found the ideas in Chapter 3, “Money Management,” to be especially relevant to that subject beyond the stock market. While I felt confident overall in the book’s content, a notable distraction for me as a reader was the book’s inconsistent manner of content presentation. While lists such as “8 New Rules For Playing Today’s Market” make it quick and convenient for the reader to process Nakamoto’s approaches, his frequent use of this method began to impart the feeling to me that some of the chapters were long on hype and short of substance. For me, Wall Street Craps was most engaging when the author was writing in his approachable, “let me be straight with you” advisor mode.

I like Steve Nakamoto’s tone and manner in writing about trading and marketing in Wall Street Craps. He makes “the game” entertaining, fun and fairly easy to follow and understand. Despite some instances of heavy hype, there is plenty of savvy substance to contemplate and empower individual investors to take a shot at the market, even if they’ve not fared well in the past. Since most of Nakamoto’s audience will likely already perceive that Wall Street is a crap game, the book’s title should play nicely to them.

Wall Street Craps: How To Play Today’s Hot & Cold Stock Market For Fast Money With Less Risk
by Steve Nakamoto
Java Books (Jan. 1, 2012)
ISBN 9780967089386
Available at Amazon.com.

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