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The Education of a Value Investor: My Transformative Quest for Wealth, Wisdom, and Enlightenment Hardcover – September 9, 2014
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“[Mr. Spier] is worth listening to. A graduate of Oxford University and Harvard Business School, he runs the Aquamarine Fund ...that has beaten the S&P 500 by an average of 4.9 percentage points annually. He believes that most investors pay attention to the wrong things and allow their minds to get hijacked by bad ideas. Individual investors are constantly being exhorted to try beating Wall Street at its own game of trading like crazy to chase whatever is hot. But why should you bother trying to play a game that even most professional players can't win? Instead, take a page from Mr. Spier's book and play by your own rules. The faster Wall Street runs, the more you should slow down and step back from that madness.” ―Jason Zweig, The Wall Street Journal
“It is rare to find as readable a book on value investing as this one. It is even rarer to find these investing insights wrapped in a set of life lessons that you will find thought provoking, challenging and useful. Pick this book up and you won't put it down...you'll likely be a better person for it!” ―Len Schlesinger, Baker Foundation Professor, Harvard Business School
“The Education of a Value Investor offers a remarkably cost-effective education for any type of investor. And, oh, the lessons--of the forms of self-transformation, self-transcendence, and self-understanding that lead to investing success--stand to profit any reader, non-investors included.” ―Robert B. Cialdini, Bestselling Author of Influence
“Our industry is extraordinarily competitive, and knowing oneself if a huge advantage. In this wonderful book, Guy allows us to understand his journey of discovering his way. This narrative gives us each the gift of helping us understand ourselves better-- helping us become better investors. I am both inspired and impressed by his example.” ―Lisa O'Dell Rapuano, founder, Lane Five Capital Management
“Famed value investor Guy Spier has managed to write what is both a gripping memoir and a fascinating study of what it takes to succeed in investing and life. A must read!” ―John Mihaljevic, CFA, Managing Editor, The Manual of Ideas
“The Education of a Value Investor is full of pearls of wisdom that can make you a better investor, and its honesty will inspire and surprise you. It's the best book I've read that shares both highly valuable investing lessons and a fascinating description of the journey from novice to master investor.” ―Ken Shubin Stein, MD CFA, Heilbrunn Center for Graham and Dodd Investing, Columbia Business School
“Highly readable…offers practical tools for everyone” ―James Mackintosh, Financial Times
“The most interesting investment book this year.” ―Phil Demuth, Forbes.com
About the Author
Guy Spier has run the Aquamarine Fund for the last 17 years. An ardent disciple of Warren Buffett, Guy launched the fund with $15 million in assets, closely replicating the structure and approach of Buffett's original partnerships. Guy received his education at Oxford University, where he was a tutorial partner of the current British Prime Minister David Cameron and came top of his class in economics. After a stint in management consulting, he attended Harvard Business School, then worked as an investment banker before starting his own fund. He is a regular commentator in the media, having appeared on CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg Television, and Fox Business News.
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I would also recommend this book to anyone who considers her or himself a general student of self-improvement. The author has surveyed a wide variety of books from the fields of self-improvement and psychology (the bibliography alone deserves a close read), and his candor in speaking about what he gained (or didn't) from these lesson and experiences, as applied to a specific life and career, provides the reader with a concretized narrative to see such ideas as reality in action and not mere abstractions.
The chapter on his lunch with Warren Buffett alone provides incredible value (way beyond the price of the book).
Guy shares a lot of lessons and insights in his book that are very applicable to everyone even if you're not a professional investor.
In my practice, I immediately implemented the following lessons:
1. Started writing thank you notes. This has had a tremendous impact on being grateful to those around me.
2. Added some posters in my office of Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger in my office to remind me to filter every investment through their eyes. I sometimes forget to channel their presence. These posters will remind me to do it more often.
3. Write down an investment checklist. Previously, I only have one in my head.
4. Be authentic.
a. Like Guy, I have always wanted an investment record similar to Warren Buffett. Guy has made me realize that I should focus on being the best version of myself and not to try and beat Warren.
b. Marketing has always been a secondary priority for my business. My top priorities are to produce excellent risk adjusted returns and take care of my partners. Numerous people have criticized me for this strategy, but Guy has given me the strength to stay the course. Thank you Guy, I am forever grateful for this.
Whether you are a beginning investor or a Morningstar mutual fund manager of the year, I highly recommend that you read this book. I thought so highly of the book that I actually gave a copy to a friend who is a Morningstar mutual fund manager of the year.
Unlike most books on investing, Guy Spier’s addresses the "why" (vs "how") of investing (more broadly, of making a living). The author, after extensive soul-searching, realized that good returns do not come simply from hard work, connections, and knowledge; successes in life, including achieving good returns, are the results of living with honesty, integrity, appreciation, and right motivation (i.e., put others' interests above ours). I told friends that this book reads like my autobiography, except I did not have as much conviction and dedication as the author! A successful career in any field is but a manifestation of a virtuous life.
I am grateful that Mr. Spier chose to share his journey just as I began mine. I would also recommend reading The Diamond Cutter (http://www.amazon.com/Diamond-Cutter-Buddha-Managing-Business/dp/038552868X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431854449&sr=8-1), which echoes the same message but delivers it through the perspective of Buddhism. These two books influenced me deeply, and I hope others can benefit from them.