Friday, 12 August 2016

This book is a selection essays from Marathon Asset Management over 2002 - 2015.

The book is divided into two parts: investment philosophy and a deeper look at the GFC and what the group did. In the first part, there are essays on the capital cycle, their views on value investing and management, written with real case studies of companies. The second part records their thoughts before, during and after the GFC. There is also a last set of humorous essays written fictitiously from the point-of-view of a greedy banker. The book is easy to read and each chapter is short with some dry humour injected at various sections.

Marathon's views of the capital cycle and valuation of a company are not mainstream, hence this is a good book to read to pick up new concepts. The real-life examples flesh out their ideas well. I have not come across some of their investment ideas in other books, so this would complement intermediate investors well. 

Recommended: Yes

Found in NLB: Yes

Friday, 29 July 2016

Mr. Market Miscalculates: The Bubble Years and Beyond (James Grant)

James Grant is the editor of Grant's Interest Rate Observer. This book is a collection of some articles from the subscription from the 1990's up to the 2008 GFC.

The articles are arranged by topic, then by chronology. Topics include Fed interest rates, housing mortage situation in the years leading up to the GFC and some securities-related analysis. The essays are opinion pieces on the market situation in the relevant time period and because the original magazine is concerned with interest rates, there is a very huge slant towards that topic. The editorial staff are very well-read and the essays do delve into financial history. The book is not easy to read at points but not very dry. It can get technical due to the nature of the topic but I believe this has been simplified as much as possible to help the essay narratives. However, there is plenty of humour and the writer(s) takes many potshots at central banks and Alan Greenspan. The topics are very America-centric in the market perspective. There is also a nice mixture of macro and micro analysis.

The book is not suitable for beginners and serves as a good sampling if you intend to take up subscription, which does not come cheap. Only recommended if you are interested in articles on interest rates from a historical perspective. Even then, these are snapshots of the past decades.

Recommended: No

Found in NLB: Yes