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Book Review- Investing Against the Tide


investingagainstthetide Currently reading this book by the famed money manager, Anthony Bolton. He is the British answer to Peter Lynch and also works at Fidelity like Peter Lynch.

I was reading this book while my wife was playing with her iPhone at Coffeebean. So it isn’t true that we don’t spend money.

While reading, I couldn’t help but notice that one of the customer’s book under his arm was the essays of Warren Buffett. Maybe that will be the next item for me to read.

The book, Investing Against the Tide:, starts with a very nice foreword by Peter Lynch who claims that being associated with an investment legend like Bolton was his honour.

The book is easy to read so far, except that the editorial work leaves a bit to be desired as there are quite a few errors in sentences that detracts from the message.

The narration in the book is concise and sums up the key things that a professional investment manager does to evaluate companies. Some of the key topics mentioned is having an investment thesis for companies you are looking to invest in, use of cash flow analysis, investment mindset etc.

However, I think that at times, the writing style is a little simplistic at times and leaves unanswered questions. For example, he talks about the use of Company Watch H-scores to assess credit risk of the company which are graded between 1-100 and states that his disasters in investment choices falls at the low end of 25 or below. So what exactly is a good range to look at?

Well, unless you are a very rich individual investor, you probably wouldn’t use this tool. Also it isn’t free, and at the point of writing, it is only available for UK stocks.

To balance this, there are valuable nuggets of information in the book.

“Remember that bad news doesn’t travel well. There are lots of factors in the system that try to contain poor news while the investment manager’s job is to try to discover it. Some people will definitely know that something is wrong at a company, but they won’t broadcast this fact. ”

One of the key attributes of a fund manager according to him is temperament. He rates it as more important than IQ as a good fund manager needs to be calm and humble to learn from mistakes that they invariably make. Open mindedness and a questioning attitude is important too.

As seen from the photo, I borrowed the book from the library. I remembered seeing this book at Kino and the price I think was upwards of $40 or more. At this moment, I still like the Peter Lynch book better, so you may want to borrow this from the library if you can.

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Shang Lee said...
May 4, 2010 at 9:07 AM  

The essays of Warren Buffett are actually a selection of his letters to shareholders. You can go through all his letters online. http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/letters/letters.html


la papillion said...
May 4, 2010 at 10:47 AM  

Hi, I read both this book and the essays by Warren. Enjoyed both actually.

Lemizeraq said...
May 4, 2010 at 10:32 PM  

Hi Shang Lee,

Thanks for visiting and giving me another option to read online rather than the book :)


Lemizeraq said...
May 4, 2010 at 10:34 PM  

Hi La Papillion,

Ya, I am still reading the book on my journey to work and the evenings, almost finished :) I like his perspective to how the professional does it but wish some parts could be a little more specific. Guess he didn't want to give the whole farm away.

I'd be looking out for the essays either in the library or online as suggested by another reader.


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