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Pendulum

I did a book review on Amazon.com about this book.  Amazon lets you attach a picture file, but they shrink it so much that you can't read it.

Here is a copy of the book review.........and a readable copy of my chart.........

 After living 60 years on this earth, I have come to realize nobody can accurately predict the future. William Sherden's book The Fortune Sellers, documents that although billions of dollars are spent every year on forecasting, the only person who can predict the future is the weatherman........and he is only good for 3 days into the future.

In this book, Williams and Drew claim they can predict the future by realizing that cultures change in 80 year cycles from individualism to collectivism and back.

Although I have built over 50 clocks and studied pendulum mathematics in engineering classes, I struggled with visualizing their pendulum concept. I think it is much easier to visualize their 80-year cycle concept using a sinusoidal wave diagram (see my attached diagram). As another reviewer has already noted, a picture is sometimes worth a thousand words. Of course if the authors used my sinusoidal chart, there would be need to read such a long book :)

I have no issue with using music to illustrate cultural shifts. The authors seemed to cherry pick songs that fit their theory. Why not take the Top 10 songs each year and classify them as Me, We, or other, then graph the results by year and see if it matches their theory? You could choose the Top 10, 20, 50, or 100 songs each year. Maybe there is no statistically significant difference in song type versus stage in their cycle?

Trying to apply the author's 80-year me-to-we cycle theory to the future reminds me of an interesting experience I had a few years ago. I attended a symposium for Financial Planners in Chicago a few years ago. You could get a free box lunch, but you had to listen to a sales pitch while you ate it. One pitch person said the stock market goes up and down in cycles (gee, like a Pendulum). The stock market can be divided into about 12 industry sectors. Some sectors do better in rising markets, some better in falling markets. To get rich, all you had to do was realize what part of the cycle you were in.......then buy the appropriate stocks for that part of the cycle.

After lunch, I told one of the other attendees, "If this guy has figured out the holy grail of investing, then why is he doing sales pitches for box lunches in the basement of a Chicago hotel........versus sitting on the beach somewhere?" The other attendee chuckled, and said, "Yeah, but boy he sure could tell a good story."

I will bet the two book authors can also give very interesting presentations. The problem is there is way too much "noise" in the system to really apply their concept.

I suggest you review my attached image, then decide if it is worth it to buy the book.

 

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