Andrew Allentuck

Friday, December 29, 2000

Handbook of Canadian Security Analysis
Edited by Joe Kan
John Wiley & Sons, two volumes: I 644 pages, II. 601 pages;
ISBN (vol. I) 0-471-64182-2; ISBN (vol. II) 0-471-64390-4.

These volumes are basic for any fundamental investor who is prepared to take the time to do the work that professional investors do routinely before buying equities. The massive work, with chapters by experts in each sector, covers (volume I): metals and minerals, golds, steel, chemicals, oil and gas, paper and forest products, transportation, industrial products, banks, telecoms, pipelines and utilities, biotech and pharmaceuticals, techs and investment strategy and (volume II): oilfield services, airlines, diamonds, emerging golds, printing and publishing, broadcasting and entertainment, aerospace, fertilizers, insurance, merchandising, strategy and income trusts.

Within each chapter are units that give an industry overview, show trends, establish performance metrics, discuss markets and regulation, and examine short term and cyclical trends. One should not approach these volumes without a commitment to work through them. Readers should have a sense of accounting, some background in statistics, and patience for what is at times turgid prose. Readers who master sector chapters in Canadian Security Analysis will be on the way to avoiding a lot of the hype and scams and bad research that are part of the promotion of many stocks. Call it not just an education, but an insurance policy with hard covers, Canadian Security Analysis is a basic shelf reference for the serious investor.