Saturday, 5 November 2016

The Value Investors: Lessons from the World's Top Fund Managers (Ronald W. Chan)

This book is a collection of interviews with different value investing fund managers from around the world. They were interviewed by Chan, who founded his own investment managment company.

12 different fund managers were interviewed, from America, USA and Asia. A little of their life story and their views on value investing is covered. The final chapter summarises all interviews. The managers include famous names like Walter Schloss and lesser known names such as Shuhei Abe and Francisco Garcia Parames. This is more of a book of philosophy rather than a how-to and is suitable for all levels of investors.

It was very easy to read. Readers will have their own takeaways. Mine was that value investing is different to different people as each of the fund managers had different interpretations; some believed in talking to management while others didn't, and some trusted annual reports while others didn't.

Recommended: Yes

Found in NLB: Yes

Friday, 7 October 2016

The Committee to Destroy the World: Inside the Plot to Unleash a Super Crash on the Global Economy

Lewitt is a financial profession and author and publisher of The Credit Strategist, a newsletter covering politics, economics and finance. The book captures the author's opinion of what has happened after the Great Financial Crisis, both in the finance realm and a little in geopolitics.

It was challenging to read this book due to the length and content, so I shall summarise the content as best as I can. Lewitt introduces the current global backdrop (2015) including politics and finance. He covers the GFC and policies surrounding it. There is also heavy philosophical discussion of money and he reaches back in history to draw ideas from Keynes, Karl Marx and Adam Smith and interprets their writting in the modern setting. Towards the end of the book, he writes about his ideas on financial reform which ideas are focused on America. The last portion deals with what investors should do which is a very touch-and-go section.

Despite the interesting title, the book was difficult and dry. There were the usual explanations of what a CDL/ CDO, normal in any book discussing the GFC. There is overage of some global situations, but the book is mainly focused on the American context. What was good about this book was the excellent and more philosophical discussions about the idea of money, interwoven with the author's observations of modern times. This book is more a commentary than a finance book, similar to the previously reviewed A Banquet of Consequences by Das. This book also contains a rather negative view of the policies and people responsible for our current finance climate. I recommend this book to readers looking for intellectual stimulation in its financial philosophy portions; I skimmed over the policy bits. Compared to A Banquet of Consequences, TCTDTW is less broad and more difficult to digest.

Recommend: No

Found in NLB: Yes