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The 52-Week Low Formula: A Contrarian Strategy that Lowers Risk, Beats the Market, and Overcomes Human Emotion

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Praise for The 52-Week Low Formula

"In The 52-Week Low Formula, Luke Wiley makes it clear that if you hope to be a superior investor, your thinking has to be different from that of the crowd and better. He provides insight into how control over psychological influences can enable it to be different, as well as an example of the kind of disciplined, reason-based process that's essential if it's going to be better."
--Howard Marks, Chairman and Cofounder of Oaktree Capital Management; Author of The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor

"The gathering and arraying of the data, the projection, and the judgment calls are the simple tools we train our research analysts to focus on.  Luke Wiley's The 52-Week Low Formula highlights this approach to focus on price as an important element to stock selection."
--Mario J. Gabelli, CFA; CEO of GAMCO Investors, Inc. (NYSE: GBL)

"My only argument with The 52-Week Low Formula is that its title makes it seem overly simplistic. Rather than a rules-based formula, this book is a useful and substantial framework for understanding the key elements of long term investing. With refreshing clarity, Luke Wiley combines his own research with the core tenants of securities analysis to create a thorough yet readable guide that will serve new and experienced investors alike."
--Christopher C. Davis, Portfolio Manager and Chairman, Davis Advisors

"Luke Wiley's The 52-Week Low Formula will make you a far wiser investor if you give it a few 52 minutes of your time to analyze this careful low risk investment philosophy."
--Donald R. Keough, Retired President of The Coca-Cola Company and author of The Ten Commandments for Business Failure

"The foundation of successful investing is discipline, and Luke Wiley's The 52-Week Low Formula offers one of the clearest and well-reasoned stock-investing disciplines you'll find. Investors of all stripes will benefit from the wisdom in this book."
--Haywood Kelly, CFA, Head of Global Research, Morningstar

"Buying great businesses at cheap prices is easy in theory, but hard in practice. Luke Wiley shows you how to put your emotions aside, ignore the crowd, and successfully follow this profitable investing path."
--Pat Dorsey, CFA, Founder of Dorsey Asset Management

"Luke Wiley's The 52-Week Low Formula is a well thought out strategy that should appeal to any investor looking to beat the market while taking lower risk. How can you argue with a strategy that results in surfacing companies with low expectations, strong balance sheets, cash flow and competitive position?"
--Paul D. Sonkin, portfolio manager, GAMCO Investors, Inc. (NYSE: GBL), and Co-author of Value Investing: From Graham to Buffett and Beyond

"Luke Wiley has finally answered the value investor's age-old question: When to Buy. This businesslike and common sense approach are valuable tools to identify great companies at great prices. Wiley shows us a disciplined approach to buy low and sell high using a formula everyone can follow."
--Mary Buffett, New York Times best-selling author, Marybuffett.com

"Great book for those looking to improve both their investment process and odds of finding successful investments. Wiley uses vivid examples that bring the concepts to life."
--Michael Shearn, Time Value of Money, LP, author of The Investment Checklist: The Art of In-Depth Research

"The 52-Week Low Formula should be required reading for all new investors or those looking for better returns. Luke Wiley has captured the essence of value investing in a readable format. This was written for the average investor that has been disappointed in following the 'herd'. This is not a textbook on investing, but instead a disciplined formula for better, more consistent investing with five essential steps. This should be at the fingertips of all those Financial Advisors looking to improve their returns for their clients and differentiate themselves in a very crowded market."
--Rob Knapp, President, Supernova Consulting Group LLC; author of The Supernova Advisor


LUKE L. WILEY, CFP®, CRPC, is the Senior Vice President of Wiley Wealth Management at UBS Financial Services in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 2012, he was among the top ten of the 7,000 UBS Financial Advisors in client retention and acquisition and has been called upon to provide strategic guidance for other wealth managers, financial planners, and investment managers by UBS management. His investment strategy and approach to life was defined by 17th century German mathematician Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi who once wrote, "Invert, always invert." By solving for the opposite of your intended result, non-traditional paths to success reveal themselves. The idea of finding attractive investment opportunities within the 52-Week Low lists came about from Wiley reading a book that sells used for about $1,400 written by Seth Klarman, Margin of Safety: Risk-Averse Value Investing Strategies for the Thoughtful Investor.

Introduction xiii

Foreword xxvii

Acknowledgments xxxi

Chapter 1 The 52-Week Formula 1

Chapter 2 Herding and the Bandwagon Effect 19

Chapter 3 Filter 1: Competitive Advantage 25

Chapter 4 Five Common Mistakes Investors Make 55

Chapter 5 Filter 2: Free Cash Flow Yield 67

Chapter 6 The Power of Fear and Decision Fatigue 83

Chapter 7 Filter 3: Return on Invested Capital 91

Chapter 8 This Time Is Never Different 105

Chapter 9 Filter 4: Long-Term Debt to

Free Cash Flow Ratio 109

Chapter 10 The Sunk-Cost Bias and Pride and Regret 131

Chapter 11 Filter 5: The 52-Week Low Formula and My Journey Trying to Disprove It 137

Chapter 12 The Importance of Embracing a Trailing 12-Month Return of −25 Percent 151

Chapter 13 The Problem with Selective Perception and Confirmation Basis 163

Chapter 14 Putting It All Together 169

Afterword 179

About the Companion Website 183

About the Author 185

Index 189