Whether from business-focused cable TV channels, newspapers, magazines, Web sites, or friends and family, investment advice comes these days from every corner. The nagging question for conscientious investors remains, though: how to separate good advice from bad? In a world of squawking television commentators and garish headlines, who and what should we trust? With Just One Thing
, veteran investment writer John Mauldin offers his answer: take just the best advice, from the best investors, and discard everything else. Mauldin has solicited 12 leading investors for what each considers his most valuable insight or lesson over a long and illustrious investment career--the "one thing" he considers most important to investing--and gathered the tips for future generations of investors to learn.
The lessons which Mauldin has compiled in this thin, readable volume range widely. Some readers may enjoy the folksier tone of hedge fund manager Andy Kessler's piece, which analogizes investing to a hike up New England's Mt. Washington, on a foggy day. Other may prefer the approach of bond investor Gary Shilling, who argues for finding and developing a consistent and long-term narrative (or "story" about a market) around which to build investment picks. Yet others may find it most comforting to go with financial analyst Rob Arnott, who runs a multi-billion dollar fund for Pimco and who anchors his market analysis in deep skepticism and extensive quantitative analytics.
As with the larger market, Mauldin's group of 12 expert investors brings its own mix of philosophies, tactics, and personalities to investing, and in his notes between each selection, Mauldin is careful not to tip his hand favoring one or the other. Instead, quality for Mauldin rests in the survey of the masters, and the restriction of those masters to "just one thing" each. Mauldin should know: as the author of Bull's Eye Investing: Targeting Real Returns in a Smoke and Mirrors Market, as well as a weekly investment newsletter with readership over one million, he has seen his share of both charlatans and geniuses.
Mauldin's work can be taken a couple of different ways. For younger investors, it may provide a valuable survey of different investment philosophies, and the opportunity to learn just enough to undertake further research elsewhere. For more experienced investors it can provide the possibility of a new idea gleaned here or there, some new concept that may have been overlooked previously. Either way, both audiences will benefit from the diversity of perspectives included in this book. In an increasingly chaotic and noise-filled world, trusted sources which give such sure-handed perspective on the business of investments deserve high praise. --Peter Han
“…a well-researched work…goes against the grain…” (Gulf Business
, January 2006)
[Author interview in Offshore Engineer] “…few books have caused as much consternation…”