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Beating the Odds: Eddie Brown's Investing and Life Strategies Hardcover – May 3, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

BEATING the ODDS Eddie Brown's Investing and Life Strategies

Eddie Brown was born with an exceptional mind, into a loving and supportive family. From an early age, his doting caregivers instilled in him a love of learning, a spirit of self-reliance, the drive to excel at whatever he turned his hand to, and the self-confidence to back it up. Except for the fact that he was born poor and black to an unwed mother—who was, at thirteen, a child herself—in the rural South during the Jim Crow era, Eddie Brown had everything a baby starting out in life could ever want.

As heirs to three centuries of institutionalized racism, segregation, and poverty, the best most African-American children born in 1940 could look forward to was a few decades of sub-standard wages for performing backbreaking labor, and a significantly shorter than average life expectancy. Yet Eddie Brown has achieved more in his seventy years than most people dare dream of. In this unforgettable memoir, Eddie tells how he beat the overwhelming odds stacked against him to become one of the nation's most revered financial superstars.

A story with as many surprising turns as a Dickens novel, Beating the Odds recounts in vivid detail how a twelve-year-old moonshine runner, plying the back roads of Central Florida in a souped-up Ford pickup, went on to become an electrical engineer and highly regarded IBM technocrat, a vice president and star portfolio manager with T. Rowe Price, a media celebrity, and finally head of Brown Capital Management, one of the most successful financial services firms in the United States.

You'll learn how after leaving T. Rowe Price in 1983, Brown began his company out of a home office, and how over the next two decades he built it into a financial giant that has amassed more than $6 billion.You'll also discover the source of Eddie Brown's uncanny ability to spot growth stocks well in advance of the markets, and the development of GARP (growth at a reasonable price), the guiding investment philosophy behind Brown Capital Management.

Among the fascinating cast of characters you'll meet in Beating the Odds are Eddie's beloved grandmother, Mamie Magdalene Brown, whose unwavering belief in her grandson's potential for greatness gave him the confidence to do great things. There's Ed's charismatic Uncle Jake, a natural-born entrepreneur with his hand in everything from moonshining to migrant-labor contracting, who taught the young Eddie Carl the value of personal initiative and imbued him with a dogged desire to become the master of his own financial destiny. And there's the colorful financial commentator Louis Rukeyser, on whose show, Wall $treet Week, Eddie rose to prominence as the country's first African-American financial celebrity.

The remarkable true story of how one man overcame poverty to attain the pinnacle of business success, Beating the Odds is inspiring reading not just for business readers, but for everyone who believes that a person's ambition should always be as big as his or her dreams.

From the Back Cover

Praise for BEATING the ODDS

"The impressive performance of Eddie Brown and Brown Capital Management amply demonstrates why Ernst & Young puts such a high premium on supporting entrepreneurship. You never know which businessperson may turn out to be the next Eddie Brown, someone who's an entrepreneur's entrepreneur."–James S. Turley, Chairman and CEO, Ernst & Young

"Eddie Brown's transformation from pre-teen moonshine runner to managing billions of other people's dollars is a business tale for the ages. And, I know an extraordinary business saga when I see one!" –James I. Cash, Jr., PhD, former Chairman, Harvard Business School MBA Program

"Anyone determined to see beyond so-called impossibilities to pursue their destiny in life should read Eddie Brown's book, Beating the Odds. The founder of Brown Capital Management and one of the 40 'Titans' of business achievement named in the 40th anniversary issue of Black Enterprise, Brown has delivered both an uplifting biography and a practical, powerful guide to wealth building and business success. This book will change lives and inspire future generations of business leaders, just as Brown has done throughout his life."–Earl G. Graves Sr, founder, Chairman & Publisher, Black Enterprise

"Eddie Brown's story is one of determination, talent, and hard work. His background is not typical for a business success story. But, as he relates in this book, he overcame many obstacles on his path to outstanding achievement in the demanding investment management profession. He has built a highly regarded firm by emphasizing his core beliefs, focusing on quality, performance, and attention to clients. The book also shows the clear parallels in Brown's attention to his community, education, and family."–Abby Cohen

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (May 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470936622
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470936627
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #939,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ronnie Vann on January 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I heard about this book via an "on-air" radio interview with the author (Eddie Brown). I thought it was a good Biography book, however, I thought the content of the book was going to supply more in dept info about investing, i.e. deliver some of the strategies for investing, i.e. the different types of investments. how products, i.e. stocks, bonds. Blue chips, etc. differ. Basically, I thought it would be more educational for the average "Lay" person. Anyway, I think the author might think of writing a book with more of the content I've described. i.e. what makes a good investment, i.e. a more in depth look at his strategies for investing. etc. Sounds like he has a wealth of knowledge on this subject. Anyway, it was a good Bio.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gwen L. Hughes on May 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mr. Brown's book was so engaging and amazing and charming, all at the same time, that I read it straight through in one day. Since then, I have been telling everyone about it. It should be required reading in schools! Mr. Brown reveals how, by simply making the right decisions and choices while working hard and exercising discipline, anyone can achieve success. It will appeal to anyone of any age, no matter their goal.
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This was a very compelling book, so compelling that once I begin reading it I couldn't put it down until I had completed my reading. It is good to be able to read books in which you know the author and can vouch for many of the events. I would strongly encourage any person, especially young persons, who are thinking about starting a business or have the entrepreneurial spirit to read this book. It can be motivating and helpful, in demonstrating how being focused, disciplined and goal setting can help a person achieve, no matter what hurdles in life they may be facing. It is also a testament to how philanthropy, no matter how small or large can touch people in very positive ways and have an influence in motivating those persons who are beneficiaries to become philanthropic.

Eddie Brown in many ways in life not only "talks the walk, he walks the talk".

William V. "Bill" Bell
Mayor, Durham, NC
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C Flamer on April 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Humorous, sincere , serious , wise , smart , mischievous , super self -confident, honest and gracious describes Ed Brown and the tools he used to "beat the odds". Discovering an intriguing account of all of these qualities in this book turned my plans to read a few chapters on a quiet Sunday afternoon into a " readathon". Having the good fortunate to know Eddie and Sylvia made the experience of reading his / their story extra , extra special . So many life lessons come through chapter after chapter. Do not miss this experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B. Perlitz on May 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is an inspirational and entertaining book that makes for a quick read. For years Ed Brown has been recognized for his stock picking acumen, but this book lays out the story of his rise from his humble beginnings in central Florida. The challenges which Ed faced and the accomplishments he achieved are a lesson for all of us. His journey was accompanied by a sense of humor and an unwavering personal drive. The book is worth reading, not just for those interested in capital markets, but also for those facing education or career decisions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LOVELY LYNDA LIBRARIAN on January 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is an inspirational account of the life of a young African American male making life choices that raised him from poverty to great wealth. His wealth is not only counted in dollars but also in a life of contentment and philanthropy. It's a lesson for all of us and its well written. I gave copies of Beating the Odds to all of my children and grandchildren for Christmas. The reviews from them have been excellent as well. I highly recommend this book.r
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kiwi on May 10, 2011
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This book should be in every household--what a journey! The authors use the present tense to effectively transport the reader to the exact location of whatever event is unfolding.
You are so emotionally drawn in that it 's hard to put the book down. You can't help but feel the raw honesty of each episode of Eddie's journey and admire the support of his wife.

Beating the Odds is a road map for success in any walk of life. A must read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Maria Pinelli on April 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
What a wonderful book! Eddie Brown is a scholar and a gentleman. It is a tribute to his grandparents and his uncle who raised him with dignity, pride and a strong work ethic. Congratulations on overcoming adversity and for having the courage to tell the story.
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