I have read many investment books over the past 30 years, and one of the titles easily in my Top 5 is The Education of a Value Investor by Guy Spier. In the world of value investing, Guy needs no introduction. He’s been interviewed hundreds of times and he’s also been a Talks at Google presenter. With thanks to another author, Guy gladly said he’d join the show, and he certainly delivered.
- A hero’s journey
- On who the real hero is
- Dhando Investor and Mohnish Pabrai
- Books, books, books
- Great advice from a father
- Lunch with Warren
- COVID vs 2008-09
- Temperment vs IQ
- Adaptive and complex systems
- Investing checklists
- Making a living as a value investor
The Lightening Round
Years ago, I used to listen to Jim Cramer’s radio show on my way home each night. I don’t know if this segment is on the TV show, but during his radio show, I loved the fast-paced lightning round. Accordingly, I did a lightning round of topics with Guy:
- inner vs outer scorecard
- the posse
- going short
- intrinsic value
- greed and envy
- cocain brain
Favorite Quotes in The Education of a Value Investor
My Kindle version of Guy’s book has more yellow highlights than the non-highlighted sections. Picking favorite lines from the book is like ranking your favorite children. But here are a few that I found especially meaningful.
You can easily end up with the mental equivalent of a Formula 1 Ferrari, when what you need in the real world is a hardy Jeep that can operate adequately in a variety of environments.The Education of a Value Investor – Page 22
On the topic of continuous and lifelong learning:
Warren is better in his 70s and 80s, in many ways, than he was when he was younger. If you keep learning all the time, you have a wonderful advantage.The Education of a Value Investor – Page 29
Guy has a great relationship with Mohnish Pabrai and mentions him periodically throughout the book. This is a great line from Mohnish on the accumulation of small wins over a lifetime:
… some busineesses succeed because they get one thing right, but most succeed because they get a lot of small things right.The Education of a Value Investor – Page 68
On not trying to be like Warren Buffett:
This became my own goal: not to be Warren Buffett, but to become a more authentic version of myself. As he had taught me, the path to true success is through authenticity.The Education of a Value Investor – Page 84
On types of companies to invest in:
The point is that I want to invest in companies that control their own destiny, not in companies that have their destiny determined by forces beyond their control.The Education of a Value Investor – Page 166
Near the end of the book, Guy talks about a mastermind book who meets twice a year. Guy calls this process an inner journey:
The truth is that it doesn’t matter how you do this inner journey. What matters is that you do it.The Education of a Value Investor – Page 194
Thank You Adam Mead
I’m generally not the person who goes out of their way to ask for help. Plus, I never want to be in a situation where it may appear I’m taking advantage of someone’s generosity.
I already knew that Guy Spier had an endorsement blurb on the cover of Adam’s outstanding book, The Complete History of Berkshire Hathaway. I’ve also had Adam on the show, one of the top downloads of 2021.
Earlier in the summer, I wanted to listen to Guy’s book during my evening 1-hour walks. It was still as good as the first time I read it. It was too good (again). After listening to the book, I reached out to Adam to see if he could connect me to Guy. I apologized in the process. But the content is just too good.
Anyway, a million thanks to Adam Mead. Oh yes, get his book.
Advice on Guy’s Book
I can name less than a dozen books where I’ve both listened to the book and read it. With Guy’s book, I’ve both listened to it and read it twice. This is one of those books where the reader/listener is not wasting their time with both formats. In both cases, 5 stars all the way.