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Nature of Investing: Resilient Investment Strategies Through Biomimicry Hardcover – May 15, 2014
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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Nature is our ultimate teacher and a powerful source of wisdom and resilience. This book can help everyone bring that bounty to our financial lives.” - Andrew Zolli, author, Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back
The Nature of Investing is a quiet revolution, shimmering with insight about bees, sea slugs, and the ultimate why’ of finance. In generous and uncannily wise prose, Collins reminds us that we are all investors, and that our time, effort, and yes, our money, can be a nutrient, perpetuating that which makes life worth living. As an experienced biomimic who is now eager to invest, I had an ah-ha on every page.” - Janine Benyus, author, Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature; cofounder, Biomimicry 3.8
Katherine Collins has done it! She turns modern portfolio theory on its head while explaining the nature of investments. A seasoned and highly successful portfolio manager, Katherine shares her insights with both a sense of humor and irrefutable logic, while knocking down many of Wall Street's sacred cows. By applying the laws of nature, particularly the wisdom of the honeybee, she opens the investor's mind to a whole new way of making money.” - Amy Domini, founder, Domini Social Investments
The Nature of Investing is refreshing, thoughtful, and compelling. You will become a more successful investor and a better citizen of the world if you heed Katherine Collins's call to ask questions, pay attention to your environment, and think.” - Michael J. Mauboussin, Head of Global Financial Strategies, Credit Suisse
To an investing world obsessed with speed, abstruse metrics, and hyperactive transactions, Collins offers a simpler path inspired by nature. Starting with a mindful look at the purpose of investing, this book provides a framework for making wise choices.” - Joel Tillinghast, Portfolio Manager, Fidelity Low-Priced Stock Fund
From thistle-inspired Velcro to sharkskin-inspired airplane fuselages, there's a growing global buzz around biomimicry. But what lessons can the economy of money learn from that of honey? Like a scout bee returning to the hive, Katherine Collins signals the nature, direction, and scale of the evolving opportunities. The smart swarmand the smart moneywill follow her lead.”
- John Elkington, co-founder of Environmental Data Services (ENDS), SustainAbility and Volans; Originator of the triple bottom line; author, The Zeronauts: Breaking the Sustainability Barrier
About the Author
After a career in traditional equity management, Katherine set out to re-integrate her investment philosophy with the broader world, traveling as a pilgrim and volunteer, earning her MTS degree at Harvard Divinity School, and studying the natural world as guide for investing in a valuable and integrated way, beneficial to our communities and world.
Katherine serves on the boards of the Biomimicry Group, Last Mile Health, and Common Impact, a nonprofit that facilitates collaborations between global companies and local nonprofits. She is an active volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, and has held numerous volunteer positions with Wellesley College and its Business Leadership Council. She is a member of the Harvard Divinity School Deans Council and of the Sprout Lenders group, and an advisor to Criterion Institute, the PopTech Impact Fund, and the Massachusetts chapter of the Trust for Public Land.
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Tired of flat screen, algorithm-driven, mechanized financial markets that feel increasingly disconnected from daily life?
Wouldn't it be nice if instead the world of finance were: effective, resilient, elegantly simple & naturally optimized?
By connecting real-world finance with a deeply rooted, scientifically valid framework (biomimicry) Katherine Collins shows us how investing can be returned to its core purpose of mutual exchange and mutual purpose.
If this sounds mind-blowing, it is. Collins' underlying point is that its time for us to refocus investing on its essential, connected form - relational not transactional, regenerative not extractive, optimized, not maximized, resilient not rigid.
As Collins notes - we are all investors. Whether wearing our hats at citizens, consumers, and/or business people... with each decision about how we spend our time, energy, and money, we are investing.
Alas, our current global financial system is in need of a serious course correct. By asking "WWND" (What Would Nature Do?) Collins presents a compelling, innovative, and highly actionable vision of a new investment path, one which emulates nature's genius. Highly recommend this delightfully readable book.
Using basic principles and guides Collins compares and contrast where things go wrong and what to look for when they are right. Her approach frames companies, products and solutions as trade offs between six pairs of solution metrics: The efficient vs. effective, the synthetic vs. simple, maximized vs. optimized, disconnected vs. reconnected, mechanical vs. mindful and finally the static vs. the dynamic. By looking at economic and investment problems from these mechanistic versus natural solution types; Collins offers simple but profound ways of probing the sustainability and resilience of companies and economies likely outcomes.
She questions GDP growth as an absolute good, correctly identifying faults in GDP which includes growth in prisons, guns and arms but doesn’t measure important qualities, such as the strength of our family ties, well being and our relationships with each other and our future legacy.
Her nature based approach using basic questions allows her to explore worthy critiques of pointless trading, math models gone wild in finance, and other examples of complex economic activity adding broad economic risk with narrowly distributed minimal returns. Finance specialists innovatively chasing their own tails on such scale rarely end well.
A critique of this book is its length. More could have been shared leaving the reader wishing for an even deeper investigation into such an interesting theme and Collins perspective on it. This reader looks forward to following Collin’s work for some time.
And the best thing is that the book is really a joy to read and made me feel really good.
Thank you Katherine!