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

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4.23  ·  Rating details ·  3,057 ratings  ·  226 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published September 9th 2014 by St. Martin's Press
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Steve Bradshaw
Nov 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: investment
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 th
...more
Shreyas Jaganmohan
Aug 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 intell ...more
Aman Vij
Jan 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 b
...more
Jaroslav Tuček
Apr 26, 2016 rated it did not like it
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 fa
...more
Dharma
Dec 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 fla
...more
Marc
Jun 06, 2014 rated it liked it
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.
Brandon Beninato
Jan 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
For a "career story", this wasn't anything special. Guy throws in some neat tidbits of information regarding networking and value investing to keep you wanting to read more, but that's really the only aspect of the book that keeps you coming back to it.

One big negative I found was the name-dropping, I found it to be quite absurd at times. There are a few parts in particular where there are sentences of names, one after the other, it's like the author was taking attendance. It was ridiculous and
...more
James Ford
Jun 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Some interesting ideas but pretty fluffy and a little too self-helpy for my liking.
Sanford Chee
Apr 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Paul Buser
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
...more
Sanjeev
Oct 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
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 ba
...more
Ian
Apr 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
BuenoBomb aka Andre Bueno
Sep 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
Fun read and easily relatable. I enjoyed his openness with discussing the inner workings of Wall Street and his bibliography is pure gold. I look forward to meeting him in person someday.
Ezra
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Thank you a lot Mr. Spier for this incredible book. You will help all young value investors with your insights in this book.
Sandy
Sep 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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, ...more
M
Jan 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 f
...more
Kanwalpreet Singh
May 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Bruce Welton
Oct 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
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 de ...more
RYCJ
Sep 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Akhil Parekh
Dec 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Bibhu Ashish
Mar 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Madhur Rao
Oct 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 o ...more
Alaeddin Hallak
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 ord
...more
Ravi
May 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Jack Oughton
Nov 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
JG
Jul 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 o
...more
Alex
Feb 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finance
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 r ...more
Suhrob
Feb 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Surprisingly enjoyable: very open, straightforward, no-pretense sort-of-autobiography, with focus on learning, decision making (particularly in investing) and finding an "authentic self" (in a completely non-new-age/pretentious way).

One of the main Spier's advantages (if not THE main advantage) in investing is his dad giving him tons of money and trust. This at the same time is the main hurdle to come of as somebody deserving to be heard out. Yet Spier does convince me and I enjoyed the book.
Pedro Saboia
Jun 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Very honest portrayal of relatable life and investing experiences. Lots of good teachings. A book that should be studied. Really enjoyed it. Thanks to my friend Fernando Barbará for the recommendation!!!
K.
Jul 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I won a free copy from the Goodreads First Reads Giveaway Program and think that it interesting. I would recommend it to everyone.
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“People will always stop you doing the right thing if it’s unconventional.” 5 likes
“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.” 4 likes
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