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There's Always Something to Do: The Peter Cundill Investment Approach Paperback – February 10, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0773538634 ISBN-10: 0773538631

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There's Always Something to Do: The Peter Cundill Investment Approach + The Manual of Ideas: The Proven Framework for Finding the Best Value Investments + The Education of a Value Investor: My Transformative Quest for Wealth, Wisdom, and Enlightenment
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Mcgill Queens Univ Pr (February 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0773538631
  • ISBN-13: 978-0773538634
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #713,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"An excellent book and a fresh contribution to the subject of value investing, through the compelling life of one of its key thinkers and practitioners. There's Always Something to Do should prove fascinating reading for both Canadian and foreign investors." Karl Moore, Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University

"Having known Peter Cundill for thirty-five years, and participated with him in many investments, There's Always Something to Do tells the tale of one of the great value investors of our time. It includes stories of many small and mid cap situations that the large cap, institutional world wouldn't otherwise know. This is a must read for the value crowd, right up there with Buffett and Klarman." Michael Price, MFP Investors Inc.

About the Author

Christopher Risso-Gill lives and works in London and for ten years was a director of the Cundill Value Fund.

More About the Author

Christopher Risso-Gill is the author of 'There's Always Something To Do - The Peter Cundill Investment Approach'. He is currently working on a new, more personal Peter Cundill biography 'Routines And Orgies', which will be published in Spring 2014.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By AdamSmythe on March 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Peter Cundill, the subject of this book, took control of the All-Canadian Venture Fund in 1975 (which became the Cundill Value Fund), and over the next 33 years he averaged a compound annual rate of return of 15.2%. Put differently, $10,000 invested in Cundill's fund in 1975 grew to over $1 million during that time. The assets under his management in this fund jumped from about $8 million to $20 billion over the same time (obviously, there were inflows to the fund). That's significant, because keeping a very strong track record becomes progressively harder as the amount of money you are managing gets large. Cundill's success over such a long period of time is simply remarkable. Okay, so how did he do it? Please read on.

The title of this book is taken from a quote by value investor, Irving Kahn: "There's always something to do. You just have to look harder, be creative and a little flexible." That's a good description of the work process for any value investor, and it's an especially good description of what Peter Cundill did to earn his success.

Way back in 1968, a book titled "The Money Game" (about the go-go investing years during the 1960s) became a best seller. The book's author followed with another, not-quite-as-popular book, "Super Money." It was "Super Money" that 35-year-old investor Peter Cundill read during a plane trip in 1973. In that book, he read about Benjamin Graham's (and David Dodd's) classic book, "Securities Analysis," and after reading Graham and Dodd's book Cundill seriously took up in-depth value investing. Benjamin Graham had that kind of effect on people. Years earlier, a young Warren Buffett read Graham's "The Intelligent Investor," and remarked that "the scales fell from my eyes.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By investingbythebooks on June 15, 2013
Format: Paperback
Peter Cundill - deep value, contrarian fund manager extraordinaire, Canada's fiercest disciple of the Benjamin Graham investment principles and a live-life-to-its-fullest-type human being, do you really know enough about him? If not, you will have the immense pleasure of reading this well-written book as well as supporting the Cundill Foundation and the memory of Peter Cundill who passed away in 2011 after suffering from a rare degenerative neurological condition. Michael Price of Mutual Series fame recently stated: "Whenever somebody asks me about what an investor ought to be all about, I give them this book".

All value investors, no matter how you calculate your intrinsic value - asset based or cash flow based - will find golden nuggets in the book. Cundill's legacy illustrates that value investing is more than a proper use of a calculator - it's how you deal with your internal demons that separates good from great. After racking up 15 straight years of positive returns, the Cundill Value Fund met fierce resistance in the fall of 1989, through a combination of a few languishing stock-picks and a short-position on Japan. The book's vivid first-hand account of the tremendous anguish Cundill feels going through this rough patch makes it clear that the answer to the question when can one relax a bit after a run of good performance, is never. Peter Cundill beat his demons - and a plentitude of doubters - that time by applying well-trusted principles and sticking to his guns. But clarity of mind and common sense is never very clear when you need it the most.

One of many unique aspects of Cundill's life was his copious note-book-taking.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By James East VINE VOICE on March 7, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Though Peter Cundill did not find the Benjamin Graham value approach until relatively later in his investment career, he found it nevertheless and was quite successful at the process once identified and mastered it quickly. What makes this book a worthy candidate for any investor's bookshelf is that Peter Cundill kept a daily journal for forty-five years which is used extensively in conjunction with the text. If you are mildly acquainted with the deep value 'margin-of-safety' process, this quote from his journal should sound familiar, 'be prepared to put money into anything, anywhere, provided that the downside is measurable and acceptable and the chances of a good profit appear to be better than 50%. I will not take gambles, but it is part of my job description to be ready to take very carefully calculated risks.' That is in essence, protect the downside first and the upside will usually take care of itself.

All in all, Peter's process of 'Buying a Dollar for Forty Cents' is a worthy addition to the investment community and to the margin of safety framework.
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