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The Education of a Value Investor: My Transformative Quest for Wealth, Wisdom, and Enlightenment

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Listening Length: 6 hours and 28 minutes

What happens when a young Wall Street investment banker spends a small fortune to have lunch with Warren Buffett? He becomes a real value investor. In this fascinating inside story, Guy Spier details his career from Harvard MBA to hedge fund manager. But the path was not so straightforward. Spier reveals his transformation from a Gordon Gekko wannabe, driven by greed, to a sophisticated investor who enjoys success without selling his soul to the highest bidder. Spier's journey is similar to the thousands that flock to Wall Street every year with their shiny new diplomas, aiming to be King of Wall Street. Yet what Guy realized just in the nick of time was that the King really lived 1,500 miles away in Omaha, Nebraska. Spier determinedly set out to create a new career in his own way. Along the way he learned some powerful lessons which include: why the right mentors and partners are critical to long term success on Wall Street; why a topnotch education can sometimes get in the way of your success; that real learning doesn't begin until you are on your own; and how the best lessons from Warren Buffett have less to do with investing and more to do with being true to yourself. Spier also reveals some of his own winning investment strategies, detailing deals that were winners but also what he learned from deals that went south. Part memoir, part Wall Street advice, and part how-to, Guy Spier takes readers on a ride through Wall Street but more importantly provides those that want to take a different path with the insight, guidance, and inspiration they need to carve out their own definition of success.

224 pages, Hardcover

First published September 15, 2015

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Guy Spier

4 books451 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 367 reviews
Profile Image for Steve.
114 reviews16 followers
November 25, 2014
I will definitely read this book again, slowly, considering all the life changes I want to make.

This is the most honest and open account of an investor coming of age I have come across. It deals directly with a lot of the in-the-weeds difficulties of staying disciplined, setting up the factors that will prevent known psychological traps and investing boldly as a contrarian. Spier has an extremely insightful perspective on what has led to Buffett's investing prowess. In moulding himself after the legendary investor he shows how it's possible for anyone to similarly set the odds up in their favor. They may not achieve Buffett-status but they stand a good chance of beating 90% of professional investors after fees, an approach that will surely lead to considerable wealth over a lifetime.

Similar to Guy, I experienced rapture when I first read the Intelligent Investor as well as Lowenstein's biography on Buffett. While I have implemented much of the teachings in my own investing strategy over the past six years, I now wish I'd been even more fanatical. For instance, Spier has set rules for himself such as always reading primary sources first, only checking stock prices once a week, never reading sell-side research and not talking about current investments. He has also worked hard to surround himself with high-quality likeminded investing peers. Well, I plan to remedy things, starting with attending the Berkshire annual meeting this year...

What's amazing about Graham, Buffett, Pabrai, Spiers, Dremen, Klarman, Watsa, Greenblatt, Gaynor, Einhorn and all the other great value investors is that they each publicly lay out their approach in detail (usually updated quarterly or annually), they each announce their specific holdings (on 13fs each quarter) and they each consistently beat the market by a wide margin and for long periods of time. Yet despite this, value investing continues to represent a small minority of the overall fund management business and few people succeed in copying value strategies successfully.

And the irony is it's such a simple approach! Invest in high-quality businesses that you understand with wide moats and good cashflow characteristics when they're going cheap. I.e. be greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy. Most investors think they understand this already.

The problem is that many cognitive biases remnant from our days on the savanna work against us at times of great fear and great greed, preventing us from sticking to methods that work over long periods of time but often appear to be broken in real time.

That's why this book is so important. Understanding our own cognitive biases and setting up an environment which will enhance rational thinking is where the rubber hits the road and what distinguishes great investors. It's no accident that Buffett holes up in Kiewit Plaza, reads sec filings all day, trades seldom and surrounds himself with individuals like Munger, Gates and Katherine Graham. He's nailed it.

Therefore, do not take this book lightly! It gets to the heart of what makes an investor great.
Profile Image for Jaroslav Tuček.
Author 1 book3 followers
April 26, 2016
Not an investment book! Rather, this is a self-help book - and one of the high-ground, moralizing kind. You will read a lot about:

- How investment banking institutions are snake pits (a conclusion drawn after 18 months at D. H. Blair)
- How our elite education has failed us (but does not fail to mention about twenty times that he went to Oxford)
- How important it is to keep an internal scorecard (but ran away from New York because it made him envy his more successful neighbours)

It also has its fair share of phrases like divine inspiration and exhortations to serve others and give it all back to society.

The only thing this book has to do with investing is the author's obsession with cloning (his term) Warren Buffett. This gets so ridiculous at times that by the middle of the book you will be thinking Buffett must be running a cult, not a company. As an amusing example, he's got an investing rule on his checklist never to speak with the management of prospective acquisitions - but, you guessed it, Berkshire Hathaway excepted.
Profile Image for Shreyas Jaganmohan.
1 review1 follower
August 18, 2014
Spier's work was some of the best I've read in a while. His reading style makes it fun and quick to read, but at the same time, you learn so much. Whether it's life advice or value investment advice, Spier handles transitions from one to the other beautifully. His anecdotes to the lessons he is trying to teach are always relevant and full of humor, reflecting an intellectually curious yet still sociable lifestyle. I would recommend this book to anybody that not only wants a motivation for intelligent decision making, but to people who are just beginning to explore independence in their adult lives, like me.
Profile Image for Aman Vij.
2 reviews12 followers
January 13, 2015
Much more than an Investing book!!!

For me this book is way more than just a value investing book. This book is about how to align your inner world with the outer world by doing small things like choosing the right people for your inner circle, understanding your weakness and constantly striving to overcome them and others. I have read number of books on Investing ranging from Intelligent Investor, Investing against the tide, Common stocks and Uncommon profits, One up the wall street and others but most of the books only talked about the investors investing journey which is based on set of limited number of rules which almost everyone knows and how they were able to apply these rules with some examples. But according to me most of them rarely talked about the inner journey that the investor goes through while developing the skills which is equally important. Guy also discusses number of books and personalities (there is an exhaustive list in the end) which influenced him greatly which I believe is a good way to let the readers explore more books .The icing on the cake was that I got to know more about Mohnish Pabrai as well (way more than from Mohnish's own book Dhandho Investor). I really hope we can get an unabridged version of the book at some later stage as I heard in one of his interviews on youtube that the editor/publisher had cut the size of the book into half.

This books is definitely not for someone looking for shortcuts to riches but this book is definitely a must have if you are ready to go through the long but enjoyable journey of becoming a better investor.
Profile Image for Nyamka Ganni.
259 reviews117 followers
August 30, 2021
I really enjoyed reading this one. This is not just a book about investing. It’s much more than that. It’s part memoir, part cautionary tale, and part checklist for value investors. Guy Spier is definitely one of the most bookish investors I’ve ever read 😂
46 reviews7 followers
October 4, 2014
If you are looking for book to help you chose value stocks, this is not the book. In fact this book is not at all about stock picking or mechanics of value investing. This book is the memoir of Guy Spier, how he became value investor.

He graduated from Oxford and Harvard Business School, was arrogant and greedy and ready to make his billions on the Wall Street. After the bad experience at first Wall Street investment house, where clients were secondary, just a tool to make money for investment bankers, he opened his own Hedge Fund with family money.

Then he became friends with Mohnish Pabrai, another value investor and Buffett disciple and they end up having lunch together and learning few nuggets of wisdom about life and investment from Warren Buffet.

The book is basically about his transformation from Gordon Gekko kind of Wall Street trader to a value investor with a different out look on money and life, based mainly on Buffet’s life and principles. Eventually he moves away from Wall Street to Zurich. It is a very readable book.
Profile Image for Marc.
27 reviews
September 11, 2014
Good book with some interesting ideas and one man's investing journey. Would have liked to learn a bit more about specific things like Guy's approach to portfolio management and idea generation.
70 reviews2 followers
July 11, 2018
Some interesting ideas but pretty fluffy and a little too self-helpy for my liking.
Profile Image for Dharma.
90 reviews3 followers
December 19, 2014
Extraordinarily Useful and Insightful

Guy Spier has provided readers with a shortcut through years of hazardous business experience. For many of us, struggling on our own, without mentors or role models, the lessons which he conveys in this book will be invaluable. The story is common enough: An outsider youth, a privileged education, and then a decline into moral and professional murkiness. But the path he takes is both unusual and courageous. Rather than blaming his failure on psychological flaws, behavioural disorders, or "bad luck" (all of which he suffers) he undertakes to rebuild his approach to business, investing, and ultimately his own life, using the tools of self-help, inspirational leadership, and value investing. He recognizes early on that the success of investors like Warren Buffett and Monish Pabrai is as much about process as it is about choices. And that the process extends into lifestyles and friendships, as much as it does into analysis.

For a young person starting a career, or someone who needs a mid-life boost, this book will be an invaluable tool to point them in the direction of help and happiness.

I find myself giving away copy after copy. What better recommendation could there be.
Profile Image for Yuriko.
139 reviews1 follower
August 9, 2022
Books are a priceless source of wisdom. But people are the ultimate teachers, and there may be lessons we can only learn from observing them or being in their presence.

I hardly bother to write reviews for investment books since the technical explanations tend to spin my own brain cells in order to digest with ease after finishing the book.

For starters, if you are looking for “how to invest” technicals, this is not for you. It is more of a self-help book with some pieces of good investment advice.

There are plenty of reasons to respect this book. To be accurate, it is a memoir about the author’s investment journey from an arrogant banker to a peaceful value investor; the formed friendships, lessons learnt through his own painful mistakes which he shared to the readers with no façade but authenticity.

I have learnt so much from Guy Spier’s wisdom and personal experiences, and my expectations were exceeded by the end of the book. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Sanford Chee.
383 reviews48 followers
February 18, 2017
Some tips & thoughts from Guy Spier:

"We like to think that we can change our environment, but the truth is that it changes us... Ideally, we should stick close to people who are better than us so that we can become more like them."

“It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behavior is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.” - Warren Buffett

"What I'm about to tell you may be the most important secret I've discovered in all my decades of studying and stumbling ... What I stumbled upon was this. Desperate to figure out how to lead a life that was more like his, I began to ask myself one simple question: "What would Warren Buffett do if he were in my shoes?""

On shorting stocks: "It's karmically better to focus on the positive and act as a force for good instead of getting gratuitously embroiled in acrimonious battles."

"We don't like trading agony for money." - Charlie Munger

Compound goodwill and relationships instead of merely compounding money.

"It's very important always to live your life by an inner scorecard, not an outer scorecard." - Warren Buffett

"As part of my reinvention of myself, I was determined to have a lot more fun. One aspect of this was that I began to travel more."

"When you see a good move, look for a better one." - Edward Lasker

"I want to invest in companies that are a win-win for their entire ecosystem... Personally, I don't want to invest in companies that make society worse even if their products are legal. Call me irrational, but I think it's bad karma."

"Thanks in large part to Mohnish and Warren, I began to realise that I ought to focus more on what others need from me instead of constantly trying to get them to fulfill my own needs."

"When you get to my age, you'll really measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually love you. I know people who have a lot of money, and they get testimonial dinners and they get hospital wings named after them. But the truth is that nobody in the world loves them. If you get to my age in life and nobody thinks well of you, I don’t care how big your bank account is, your life is a disaster. That’s the ultimate test of how you have lived your life." - Warren Buffett


Interview w/ The Graham & Doddsville Newsletter
7 reviews
April 15, 2020
Tips on Investment Strategies? Not really
This is not an informative book for anyone interested in improving their investment skills. Rather, it is an account of the author's own career journey. The book is more like an autobiography. In the first 130 pages of the book, I could not find any practical tips on how to actually practise value investing. From page 133 onward, the author finally included some "investing tools." However, these rules are either just common sense or not applicable in our daily life. The rules are as follows:
1. Stop checking the stock price (This is just common sense)
2. If someone tries to sell you something, don't buy it because he/she is likely to have an interest in you buying it. (Common sense too)
3. Don't talk to management. (As an amateur investor myself, I certainly will not have the chance to talk to management)
4. Gather information in the right order. Start with the least biased and most objective sources such as annual report.
5. Discuss your investment ideas only with people who have no axe to grind. (common sense)
6. Never buy or sell stocks when the market is open. This rule is essentially "ignore the noise in the market"
7. If a stock tumbles after you buy it, don't sell it for two years. (This rule is problematic. As a value investor, the more reasonable approach should be "once you decide the stock is good value and quality, don't sell it even though it stumbles after you buy it.")
8. Don't talk about your current investments. (This rule is not that useful. The author talked about one of his investments in an interview so he was publicly invested in the stock and couldn't part with it. But to be honest, how many of us reading this book will have the chance to be interviewed about our portfolio?)

The author's journey is not very relatable for those who do not receive an education from Oxford/Harvard or work in elite investment banks on Wall Street as the author focuses on the minute details of his unique journey instead of common themes that other people can also relate to.

Maybe someone will find it to be a good autobiography. Since I was expecting to learn how to become a better investor, I gave this book one star. Don't waste your time on this book if you are trying to learn how to invest. If you are a professional money manager though, the book may be much more relatable for you.
1 review1 follower
January 27, 2016
Key takeaways:
-motivated by internal factors not how others view you (avoid the outer scorecard)
-antifragility a vital trait
-Joseph Campbell - follow your bliss
-move to intuition - this is how Buffett and Pabrai do it
-become a learning machine
-Tony Robbins had huge affect on him
-Napoleon Hill did too
-the original Buffett structure is ideal to balance alignment of interests
-admit your mistakes and shortcomings
-refers to Cialdini constantly
-Nick Sleep influenced him
-giver vs takers - choose which one you want to be
-mentions Marcus Aurelius Meditations
-create the ideal environment (for him, it is Zurich)
-know your temperament and adjust your approach and structure accordingly
-8 rules
1) stop checking stock prices
2) if someone tries to sell you something, don't buy it
3) don't talk to management
4) gather investment research in the 'right' order to stay unbiased
5) discuss your ideas only with people with no axe to grind
6) never buy or sell stocks when the market is open
7) if a stock tumbles after you buy it, don't sell it for two years
8) don't talk about your current investments (commitment and consistency bias)
Profile Image for Ian.
229 reviews19 followers
August 1, 2019
We have dozens of serviceable to good primers on the nuts and bolts of value investing. Spiers references a few of them himself.

What we don't have much of is how investors learn to overcome their own irrational quirks that impair their investing. On paper, most people can be succesful investors/traders... I know tons of people that make bank in paper accounts and blow a fortune with real money.

Spiers shows you A) why the market is irrational - because we have animalistic brains that malfunction in the worst of moments -- and how he overcame his own particular shortcomings.

Invaluable reading for investors who already know the basic techniques but get tripped up in moments of mental weakness.

There are dozens of techniques that -- properly followed -- will make you a successful investor/trader. Yet very few people ever master their own brain sufficiently to become a success in the investing arena. Spiers did it and has some great advice for helping you do so as well.
28 reviews
October 19, 2015
Thank you a lot Mr. Spier for this incredible book. You will help all young value investors with your insights in this book.
Profile Image for Zhou Fang.
140 reviews
August 15, 2021
This is a wonderful book about the lessons an Oxford and Harvard-educated Wall Street financier learned from his mistakes. Guy Spier comes across as wonderfully humble and honest about his own personality pitfalls, and how he came to recognize them and engineer his environment to account for them. In his younger days, Spier wanted to be a traditional hedge fund hotshot like his Harvard classmates Bill Ackman and Chris Hohn. But eventually he came to find his own path and a fulfilling pursuit of authenticity. Some of my favorite lessons from the book:

1. Our environment has a great impact on who we are, so we need to be careful to choose where we live, how we work, and most importantly, who we associate ourselves with. We can also design our environments to account for the irrational handicaps that our brains force on ourselves

"We like to think that we change our environment, but the truth is that it changes us. So we have to be extraordinarily careful to choose the right environment—to work with, and even socialize with, the right people. Ideally, we should stick close to people who are better than us so that we can become more like them."

"For me, the goal isn’t to make money, though I’m guessing Sequoia will continue to outperform. It’s really a question of choosing to have certain people in your life (however tangentially) who embody the values you admire. As we will discuss in detail later, creating the right environment or network helps to tilt the playing field subtly in the right direction so that you become far more likely to succeed. Advantages are often created imperceptible step by imperceptible step, so it makes a difference to enter the universe of a firm like Ruane Cunniff."

"Part of the problem was that it was so easy to get sucked into the vortex of the New York financial world, with its skewed values and seductions. I felt that my mind was in Omaha, and I believed that I could use the force of my intellect to rise above my environment. But I was wrong: as I gradually discovered, our environment is much stronger than our intellect. Remarkably few investors—either amateur or professional—truly understand this critical point. Great investors like Warren Buffett (who left New York and returned to Omaha) and Sir John Templeton (who settled in the Bahamas) clearly grasped this idea, which took me much longer to learn."

"It helps that Buffett has created a peaceful environment for himself in which he can operate calmly and rationally. By staying in Omaha, he has remained far from the madding crowd. His legendary personal assistant Debbie Bosanek (who has worked at Berkshire for more than three decades) also helps to shield him from unnecessary distractions. She once told Mohnish and me that Warren usually keeps his cell phone switched off and doesn’t even have an email address. The fact that he has the right filters clearly helps him to guard against letting in the wrong type of information."

"I discovered that it’s critical to banish the false assumption that I am truly capable of rational thought. Instead, I’ve found that one of my only advantages as an investor is the humble realization of just how flawed my brain really is. Once I accepted this, I could design an array of practical work-arounds based on my awareness of the minefield within my mind."

"I also found it telling that there was no Bloomberg terminal in Buffett’s office. Apparently, there’s one at the other end of the building, used by a Berkshire employee who manages a bond portfolio. Buffett could no doubt access it if he wanted to, but he’s consciously chosen not to have this informational fire hose within easy reach."

2. Value investing is a lonely pursuit. It requires a focus on what Buffett called "an inner scorecard." Therefore it's very important to avoid environments which create strong feelings of envy

"Value investors have to be able to go their own way. The entire pursuit of value investing requires you to see where the crowd is wrong so that you can profit from their misperceptions. This requires a shift toward measuring yourself by an “inner scorecard.” To become a good investor, I would need to come to an acceptance of myself as an outsider. The real goal, perhaps, is not acceptance by others, but acceptance of oneself."

"At the time, Bill and Chris were going from strength to strength. Based on their stellar returns, they were running billions, while I was still a minnow. Before long, I felt a deep, avaricious need for size and status. The green-eyed monster had gotten the better of me, and I was consumed with envy. This is an oversimplification of many crosscurrents, but it captures a key component of my New York vortex. Until that point, I hadn’t ever experienced envy in such a visceral way, and I didn’t recognize it at the time. But that’s what it was."

"There are plenty of things I regret about that period in New York. But I made one decision that would prove hugely beneficial: I began to surround myself with a “mastermind” group of investors who would become life-long friends and trusted sounding boards. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to become successful on your own. The greatest opera stars have singing teachers; Roger Federer has a coach; and Buffett meets regularly with like-minded people."

3. Try to do anything in life that may have potentially huge upside

"In retrospect, I’ve come to see that this is a smart strategy for life: whenever I have the choice of doing something with an uncertain but potentially high upside, I try to do it. The payoffs may be infrequent, but sometimes they’re huge. And the more often I pick up these lottery tickets, the more likely I am to hit the jackpot. This is an application of a powerful philosophy that Mohnish describes in his book The Dhandho Investor: The Low-Risk Value Method to High Returns. As he puts it, “Heads, I win. Tails, I don’t lose much.”"

4. Small steps of effort compound over a long period of time. This also applies to efforts of gratitude and goodwill, like writing thank-you cards

"Tony Robbins had taught me that small differences in how we behave can, over time, have a profound impact. And this small action of writing hundreds of letters a year was transformational for me. Initially, it wasn’t easy. I often didn’t know what to write or to whom. So I’d end up writing to my doorman or the person who’d served me coffee that morning. At times, I felt foolish. And I didn’t see an immediate impact. My view now is that it can take as long as five years to have a significant effect, so most people give up long before they reap the benefits."

"I now see that every letter I wrote was an invitation for serendipity to strike. To many people, it might seem like a waste of time. But I couldn’t win the lottery without a ticket, and these tickets were almost free. In a sense, this is a value investing approach to life: pick up something cheap that may one day prove to be precious."

"some businesses succeed because they get one thing right, but most succeed because they get a lot of small things right. This is what made a company like Wal-Mart so successful. A key aspect of my real-world education involved learning to take more and more of these intelligent but practical actions on a micro level: writing thank-you notes, picking a great place for breakfast, listening actively to what people told me, or treating them the way I wished to be treated. Over a lifetime, a myriad of simple actions like these can accumulate to create big reputational and relationship advantages. It’s not about luck. It’s about working harder to get these things right so that it becomes more likely that something good will happen."

"As a result, I would find myself sitting with Mohnish at the front of the room, enjoying a perfect view of Warren and Charlie. This was a much better place from which to learn than the back row, where I had previously been a more passive and even judgmental observer. As I had come to realize, if you’re going to do something, it’s best to commit to it with wholehearted gusto. Other serious investors—including Prem Watsa, Li Lu, and Mario Gabelli—had clearly come to the same conclusion because I found them at the front too. Once again, the point is that these small actions make a major difference at the margin."

5. When you focus less on yourself and shift your attitude to give more to others, the world responds by giving back

"The paradox is that, as I became more authentic and discarded my agenda, people became more interested in investing in the fund. This was an unintended consequence of becoming less selfish and more honest about who I am."

"But when you begin to change yourself internally, the world around you responds. I hope this idea resonates because it’s important—more important, perhaps, than the fact that I had lunch with Warren Buffett. As I hope you can see from my experience, when your consciousness or mental attitude shifts, remarkable things begin to happen. That shift is the ultimate business tool and life tool."

6. Checklists can be a very effective way to avoid investment mistakes

"Pronovost took a single sheet of paper and listed all of the steps required to avoid the infection that had almost killed the man. These steps were all “no-brainers,” yet it turned out that doctors skipped at least one step with over a third of their patients. When the hospital began to use checklists, numerous deaths were prevented. This was partly because checklists helped with memory recall, “especially with mundane matters that are easily overlooked,” and partly because they made explicit the importance of certain precautions."

"My other caveat is that a checklist is emphatically not a shopping list of the desirable attributes that we’re looking for in a business. I’ve seen investment checklists that ask questions like: “Is this company cheap?” Or: “Does it have a high return on equity?” In my opinion, this is a misguided way to use checklists. I prefer to use them in much the same way that pilots use them. They don’t ask: “Does this plane fly fast?” Or: “Am I flying to a sunny destination?” Rather, the items on their checklists are designed to help them avoid mistakes that have previously led to plane crashes. In investing too, the real purpose of a checklist is to serve as a survival tool, based on the haunting remembrance of things past."

"Checklist Item: How could this business be affected by changes in other parts of the value chain that lie beyond the company’s control? For example, are its revenues perilously dependent on the credit markets or the price of a particular commodity?"

"Checklist Items: Is this stock cheap enough (not just in relative terms)? Am I sure that I’m paying for the business as it is today—not for an excessively rosy expectation of where it might be in the future? Does this investment satisfy me psychologically by meeting some unmet personal need? For example, am I keen to buy it because it makes me feel smart?"
Profile Image for Chu Qiao.
189 reviews
September 14, 2015
the book is remarkable. it tells many things I have reflected in past 6 month. Money and relationships. they are inseparable. from inner self to physical glamour. what is definition of a success investor. he should know himself , know the irrational and chaotic world, and hang out with better people out there. Books may give you wisdom, but people surrounding your give you a better sense of yourself. where you want to go. that is what I am missing in my life. find those models, learn from them, and be a better and valuable person to my family and the society. A must read.

the author talks about how his earlier life hood impact his perception about money. what make him so different with his master monish who is more willing to take more risk, and view vitality as a normal of his life, because his family experienced so many ups and downs in his childhood.

in a brief, we are so bounded by our old thoughts, our habits, and experiences. if you haven't taste the sense of success, you will never be motivated to gather yourself together to pursue your next success.
I am so ready for taking my life to the next level. are you? I want to develop my own business within 5 years.
Profile Image for Malin Friess.
675 reviews20 followers
November 12, 2014
Guy Spiers lives a disbelievable life. He started as a banker and graduated on to becoming a rediculously wealthy hedge fund manager. He idolizes Warren Buffet and spent 650,000 dollars just to have lunch with the Oracle from Omaha. Sometimes Spiers lives in Manhatten, or Zurich, or London depending upon the mood of his wife.

This book is not at all what I expected: a book about how to make good value investments (wallmart, coca-cola, etc) the style that has made Buffet and his Berkshire Hathaway fund famous and successful. No, this book is about how to be a value investor. Where to live? How to avoid checking the internet too frequently? What do value--not money but how your money can be used (like Buffet is doing with his money to the Gates Foundation) to better society.

It was slightly fascinating to see how Hedge fund managers function (instead of reading about companies) they travel the world and get meetings with the CEOs, as compared to the average joe e-trade investor like myself who trolls the internet for stock picks.

2 stars. Would like to seen more strategies (like what is on your checklist for buying a stock) and a little less lifestyle.
Profile Image for M.
7 reviews
September 15, 2015
This isn't your standard investment book, à la Security Analysis or The Intelligent Investor. Instead, The Education of a Value Investor is a melange of biography, self-help and investment-oriented advice that's applicable to everyday life.

Guy Spier takes his reader on a thoroughly entertaining journey of self discovery and self improvement, starting with his childhood in London, which leads us to learn about his time at Oxford and HBS, his post-graduate role at D.H Blair and finishes with his friendship with Mohnish Pabrai, his lunch with Warren Buffett and his ideas on how to be "the most authentic version of yourself" possible. I genuinely enjoyed having an inside look into the mind of one of the top investors of our time and hearing about how he overcomes issues like ADD, emotions like jealousy and greed, and how he uses those forces to guide him towards meeting people better than himself and learning from them in a genuine way.

For those just starting to learn about investing, especially value investing, there's no better book than The Education of a Value Investor to give you the set of mental tools to do well in investments and in life. Enjoy it.
Profile Image for Kanwalpreet Singh.
8 reviews8 followers
May 12, 2016
Self help for a value investor through the learnings of Guy Spier. Book is replete with examples but not so much on financial aspects of investing. Book focuses more on why it's most important to fight your inner demons to become a better investor and generally a better human being. The last two paras will sum up the book for you -

“The stock market has an uncanny way of finding us out, of exposing weaknesses as diverse as arrogance, jealousy, fear, anger, self-doubt, greed, dishonesty, and the need for social approval. To achieve sustainable success, we need to confront our vulnerabilities, whatever they may be. Otherwise, we are building our success on a fragile structure that is ultimately liable to fall down.
But the real reward of this inner transformation is not just enduring investment success. It’s the gift of becoming the best person we can be. That, surely, is the ultimate prize."

Excellent read, but like the author cautions - this was his education, your own education will come through the discovery of your own inner demons. Hopefully this book will give you enough food for thought to find and overcome them more easily.
Profile Image for Bruce Welton.
72 reviews1 follower
November 7, 2014
I enjoyed this book as a glimpse into the life of a full-time investor. Not a technical manual by any reach, Spier still lets us know how his acquaintance with Buffett and value investing changed not only his approach to portfolio management, but also to his life management. The key lesson I got out of the book was to not get so worked up about the short run, but in either financial speculation or in relationships or projects, live with an eye to the long haul. I appreciated Spier's accent on developing key relationships in life, and on being someone who seeks out friendships of merit. He also focuses on being a thank you not guy. This book is as much about how to become a better investor in people and projects as it is about financial investing. It also does contain some broader suggestions about how to be a value investor that are worth keeping in mind. In money, as in life, invest for the long term.
Profile Image for RYCJ.
Author 19 books29 followers
July 23, 2016
The Good. I like the telling of Spier’s experiences right away. He’s to the point. Personable. Sincere. And effective.

The Mmeh Okay. It didn’t take long to see a picture emerge that although many ignore, or take for granted, and then too, openly discount, is none-the-less fairly common knowledge, particularly for adult students who’ve ever returned to school at the university level after spending a decade or more working in corporate.

The Best Part. I'm thinking "time-tested wisdom"; which is exactly what makes the insight imparted timely useful. Young investors, and especially young people pursuing business disciplines will benefit greatly from reading this book. I, myself, really appreciated coming by that "one secret" shared, in addition to being flattered by the 'distinct' personality traits (and habits) of successful investors.
Profile Image for Akhil Parekh.
23 reviews5 followers
December 6, 2014
This book comes as a spiritual awakening for any value investor. Book is not just an investment book, but a self help book within the investment category. Key learnings from this book can be found on my blog - http://www.rotmanassetmanagement.com/...

I personally loved the book because it cleared my thought process not just from the perspective of investments, but more from the perspective of looking at life and steering my life in a way that suits me the best. Apart from what I mentioned on my blog, I realized the importance of being humble, not doing things just to impress others, and most importantly aligning with the universe. The best aspect of the book that I admire is that I was able to relate it on a personal level.
Profile Image for Bibhu Ashish.
126 reviews7 followers
April 9, 2015
I just could not help myself but get an internal enjoyment after listening to this book.I Listened to the audio version of the book while commuting to the office and I was not disappointed at all. This is one of the finest books on investing which any one can read and enjoy. Guy has put all his learning in this wonderful book while he took to the art of value investing and making money. The book was fun and enjoyable due to the reason that Guy has not put any emphasis on money making in life. It was all about finding himself in the process of learning about value investing. This is truly a gem of a book. I would recommend every one to read it. May be some people people may not like this book due to it's leaning towards share market investment but hey, who cares when you get the gems, no matter from where ever they come from.
Profile Image for Madhur Rao.
31 reviews
October 11, 2014
A good nice book, easy read and has number of interesting nuggets. Guy has been very open with his investment process, his mistakes, his vulnerabilities etc which I believe, all investors go through and struggle with in some shape or form. Each investor finds his / her own path, but this book helps you to rethink / learn / unlearn some of the things that one has learned. The book clearly brings out his admiration for Warren Buffet / Charlie Munger and Mohnish Pabrai which clearly highlight how one can learn from smarter/wiser people around you. He has been generous in giving the list of the books that he has read which is good. Being a staunch Buffet / Charlie disciple myself, this book was something that I couldnt afford to miss. Thank you Guy Spier!!!
Profile Image for Alaeddin Hallak.
157 reviews21 followers
January 25, 2016
Becoming a value investor means breaking with business conventions, creating a valuable social network and taking yourself on an inner journey. By surrounding yourself with positive people and working on growing your self-awareness, you’ll inevitably become not just a better investor, but a also better person.

Some key takeaways I learned from this book:
- How important it is to be selfless in your interaction with others
- The power of "thank you" notes
- The role of shaping your environment in order to increase the odds of your investment success
- Social circle of people who are better than you is an unrivaled educational tool
- Investment checklists are great defensive tools to have in your arsenal
4 reviews
May 19, 2015
Amazing book. The two concepts I am taking away from this is that our environment has a significant impact on our long term success ( more so than our intellect) and the concept of accepting and understanding yourself better than trying to be someone else or trying to change into something you are not. Ha! Absolutely didn't see that I would read about these things in an investment book. I almost wish this book didn't come with the investing Title so a few people in my social circle who aren't as much into investments would also read this book more willingly. Looking forward to reading The Dhandho investor as Guy talks a great deal about Mohnish Pabrai in his book.
Profile Image for Jack Oughton.
Author 6 books24 followers
November 9, 2015
If I had to have an 'essential reading list for life', this would most certainly make the cut. An antithesis to the 'whoever has the most toys at the end of their life wins' school of materialistic thought. And this guy should know, he's worked in hedge funds...

The value investing approach/philosophy Guy follows seems to reflect a broader philosophy, one that focuses on quality and the essentials of life. It seems closer to the stoicism of Marcus Aurelius and has a lot of things I needed to hear at this point in my journey (as I also work in finance at the moment).

Will re-read this one many times!
Profile Image for JG.
98 reviews
July 29, 2014
This is the kind of book I wish I had read during college so I could have avoided so many mistakes in my early professional life. It's not just a book about Value Investing, but also a kind of guideline to know which path one must take in order to save time and misery, in order to be a better investor and the better person we can be.

I totally recommend it for all Value Investors, for anyone who wants to become one, but mostly for all those who are just graduating from college and ready to take on the world.
Profile Image for Alex.
162 reviews38 followers
February 7, 2015
I bough this on a whim, and to be honest, I didn't expect much. However, the book completely blew me a away. It was succinct, entertaining, and the anecdotes were super memorable. Though all of the advice in it I've heard before - hang out with people better than you, make checklists, etc - the way Spier packaged the information was refreshing and original. I especially loved his thoughts on writing letters to people. Obviously networking/relationship advice is nothing but common, but for some reason the way Spier wrote about it was much more compelling. Great book!
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