Published On: Sun, May 31st, 2015

Book Review: The Great Minds Of Investing

The Great Minds Of Investing


1) The book does not give you detailed biographies of the people that it features. Indeed, the writing on each person is less than the amount that Ken Fisher wrote in his book, 100 Minds That Made the Market. If you are looking for detailed biographical sketches, you will be disappointed.

2) The book does not give detailed and comparable reviews of the portfolio performance of those that it features. There’s no way from what is written to tell really how good many of the investors are. I mean, I would want to seedollar-weighted rates of return, and perhaps, measures of dollar alpha. The truly best managers have expansive strategies that can perform well managing a large amount of money.

3) The book admits that the managers selected may not be the greatest, but are some of the “greats.” Okay, fair enough, but I would argue that a few of the managers don’t deserve to be featured even as that if you review their dollar-weighted performance. A few of them showed that they did not pay adequate attention to margin of safety in the recent financial crisis, and lost a lot of money for people at the time that they should have been the most careful.

4) If you wanted to understand the strategies of the managers, this is not the book for you. They are not described, except in the broadest terms.

5) There is no integration of any common themes of what makes an investment manager great. You don’t get a necklace; you just get a jar of pretty, non-comparable beads that don’t have any holes in them.