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Value Investing: Tools and Techniques for Intelligent Investment Hardcover – December 2, 2009

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Editorial Reviews


'Any disciple of value investing will benefit greatly from reading this book.' (UK, May 2011).

From the Inside Flap

"James Montier combines a profound understanding of behaviorial finance with a fierce adherence to the tried and tested principles of value-investing. He is always readable, thought-provoking and, above all, correct."
Edward Chancellor, author of Devil Take the Hindmost: A history of financial speculation

"James' latest effort is a must read. It combines great academic and practitioner approaches written in a humorous and entertaining style. It has practical real world examples that don't require advanced mathematics to comprehend. I advise everyone to read and study this wonderful book. All of my students now have Value Investing: Tools and Techniques for Intelligent Investment to add to their required reading."
Mark Cooper, Partner at Omega Advisors & Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School

"A preponderance of evidence shows that successful long-term investing requires a strong value orientation and a proper temperament, virtues commonly blunted by behavioural and incentive-based biases. Montier, a leading light in value investing and behavioural finance, shows you what’s wrong with standard investment thinking and offers important insight into how to improve your process. Read Value Investing, live its lessons, and prosper."
Michael J. Mauboussin, Chief Investment Strategist at Legg Mason Capital Management, and author of Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 414 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (December 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470683597
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470683590
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1.1 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James Montier is a member of GMO's asset allocation team. Prior to that, he was the co-Head of Global Strategy at Société Générale and has been the top-rated strategist in the annual Thomson Extel survey for most of the last decade. Montier is the author of three market-leading books, Behavioral Finance: Insights into Irrational Minds and Markets, Behavioral Investing: A Practitioners Guide to Applying Behavioral Finance, and Value Investing: Tools and Techniques for Intelligent Investment. He is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Durham and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Montier has been described as a maverick, an iconoclast, and an enfant terrible by the press.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 82 people found the following review helpful By D. CHEN on January 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book some weeks ago, but finally had a chance to sit down with it this weekend at a coffee shop. My initial thought before I opened the cover was that it was yet another book on value investing. I would have been thrilled if I gleaned just a little tidbit from this tome. Boy, what an understatement. Montier has written a gem. It is an honor to be the first to post a review on Amazon because I feel like I "discovered" this book

Value Investing: Tools and Techniques for Intelligent Investment is a compendium of the author's pieces and speeches while he was chief strategist at Societe Generale (he is presently at Grantham Mayo according to the dust jacket). For those fortunate enough to have all the author's pieces from his SG days, this book may not be worth purchasing. For those of us who are not so fortunate, this book has more kernels of wisdom on value investing than any book I have read in years.

A quick synopsis:

Part I
Montier debunks much of the academic literature on efficient markets and CAPM. He takes much of the issues Buffett has with modern finance theory and goes into further detail. Unlike many books on value investing which often give a mystical air to the subject of value investing, he backs up many of his assertions with a plethora of data and studies . . . and he doesn't mince words: Chapter Two is entitled CAPM is Cr-p*. Along the way, he provides value investing's definition of risk which is very different from how "modern finance" defines risk, but it is a definition of risk that investors post-2008 can readily identify with.
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Erik T. Nelson on June 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you haven't read any of the other books available on behavioral economics, you didn't know that low p/e stocks (or p/b, p/s, etc) tend to outperform high p/e stocks, you think that markets are efficient, or you haven't heard of Ben Graham, then you'd probably get a lot out of this book. It's well written, and often entertaining.
Personally though, I was dissapointed. The first section spells out, in laborious detail, that the markets are not always rational. I'm sure there are a few academics around who disagree, but not many. Other writers made the same points long ago, and I seriously doubt that anyone who would buy a book with "value investing" in the title takes the idea seriously.

The second section is on behavioral economics. He goes over the same fifty or so experiments that every book on the subject seems to cover, and offers no new insights.

The third and fourth sections lay out what he thinks value investing is all about. He's more along the lines of Ben Graham than Warren Buffett, and has little or nothing in common with Marty Whitman, who also wrote a book with the title "Value Investing." (Whitman's book is poorly written, and a much less pleasant read, but ultimately far more insightful and valuable.) Montier is fond of developing numerical models, then back-testing them to see how they would have done over the last 30 years or more. His approach strikes me as a bit naïve. He rails against those who put too much faith in mathematical models based on past performance, then spends a lot of time discussing mathematical models based on past performance. Value investing, as I understand it, is figuring out much something is worth and buying it if you can get away with paying substantially less.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By tandembicycling on May 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While this book contains interesting info and stats, it is mostly composed of articles/columns that were previously written over several years. Each chapter references the current crisis from a different spot on a time line. Because each chapter also comes from a different analytical perspective, there are a lot of variables between chapters so the book doesn't feel like it hangs together. There is not a lot of practical advice. The many screening variables mentioned are not available in the screens I have access to on my brokers' websites or online. The behavioral chapters are pretty much repeated in his "Little Book of Investing" which I liked a lot better. Interesting, but too haphazard.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Steve Bradshaw on February 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A reasonable defense of value investing in general terms but disappointingly shallow, highly repetitive and weak on individual stock selection (perhaps because the author does not himself invest in individual stocks "given time constraints".) Unfortunately this book was not as interesting as his later book Bull's Eye Investing which provides a topical look at the current (high) level of the stock market and what strategies could work in the coming years - a more difficult topic in my opinion but better handled (closer to his expertise as an economic forecaster I suspect).

A great quote from the book comes from Third Avenue Management who said "DCF is like the Hubble telescope, if you move it an inch you end up studying a different galaxy". There were hundreds of similar quotes from Templeton to Buffet to Newton (who failed as an investor incidentally). While the quotes were interesting they were not well integrated into the text and came off as somewhat gratuitous.

Unfortunately, the supposed backbone of the book, "Value Investing: Tools and Techniques" is where the book really fails - it just isn't a blueprint for making successful value investments (in the way Graham's Intelligent Investor is).

That said, readers less familiar with value investing may appreciate the simplified approach and general advice.

My advice: rather purchase the equivalent works of Greenwald, Dremen, Klarman or Graham and if you are interested in Montier, read his other book "Bulls-eye Investing".
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