Former Wall Street investment banker and philanthropist Guy Spier reveals how meeting Warren Buffett changed his career—and his life—in The Education of a Value Investor: My Transformative Quest for Wealth, Wisdom, and Enlightenment.
A Harvard MBA graduate and a successful hedge fund manager, Guy Spier pursued an opportunity to meet one of America’s wealthiest businessmen—bidding $650,100 with Mohnish Pabrai for the privilege to do so—at a charity lunch. What Warren Buffett shared was more important than market share strategies. He learned principles that put him on the path to becoming a real value investor.
In this fascinating inside story, 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. His journey is similar to the thousands that flock to New York’s Financial District every year with their shiny new diplomas, aiming to be King of Wall Street, realizing just in the nick of time that the true King lived 1,500 miles away in Omaha, Nebraska.
Inspired by Warren’s activist values, Spier altered his career trajectory, learning some powerful lessons along the way including: 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 financial investing advisory, and part how-to guide, 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.
About the Author
Guy Spier has run the Aquamarine Fund for 17 years, achieving an impressive record of market-beating returns. An ardent disciple of Warren Buffett, Guy launched the fund with $15 million in assets, closely replicating the approach of Buffett's original partnerships. Guy was educated at Oxford University, where he was a tutorial partner of the current British Prime Minister David Cameron and came top of his class in economics. After a stint in management consulting, he attended Harvard Business School, then worked as an investment banker before starting his own fund. He is a regular commentator in the media, having appeared on CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg Television, and Fox Business News.
“[Mr. Spier] is worth listening to. A graduate of Oxford University and Harvard Business School, he runs the Aquamarine Fund ...that has beaten the S&P 500 by an average of 4.9 percentage points annually. He believes that most investors pay attention to the wrong things and allow their minds to get hijacked by bad ideas. Individual investors are constantly being exhorted to try beating Wall Street at its own game of trading like crazy to chase whatever is hot. But why should you bother trying to play a game that even most professional players can't win? Instead, take a page from Mr. Spier's book and play by your own rules. The faster Wall Street runs, the more you should slow down and step back from that madness.” —Jason Zweig, The Wall Street Journal
“It is rare to find as readable a book on value investing as this one. It is even rarer to find these investing insights wrapped in a set of life lessons that you will find thought provoking, challenging and useful. Pick this book up and you won't put it down...you'll likely be a better person for it!” —Len Schlesinger, Baker Foundation Professor, Harvard Business School
“The Education of a Value Investor offers a remarkably cost-effective education for any type of investor. And, oh, the lessons--of the forms of self-transformation, self-transcendence, and self-understanding that lead to investing success--stand to profit any reader, non-investors included.” —Robert B. Cialdini, Bestselling Author of Influence
“Our industry is extraordinarily competitive, and knowing oneself if a huge advantage. In this wonderful book, Guy allows us to understand his journey of discovering his way. This narrative gives us each the gift of helping us understand ourselves better-- helping us become better investors. I am both inspired and impressed by his example.” —Lisa O'Dell Rapuano, founder, Lane Five Capital Management
“Famed value investor Guy Spier has managed to write what is both a gripping memoir and a fascinating study of what it takes to succeed in investing and life. A must read!” —John Mihaljevic, CFA, Managing Editor, The Manual of Ideas
“The Education of a Value Investor is full of pearls of wisdom that can make you a better investor, and its honesty will inspire and surprise you. It's the best book I've read that shares both highly valuable investing lessons and a fascinating description of the journey from novice to master investor.” —Ken Shubin Stein, MD CFA, Heilbrunn Center for Graham and Dodd Investing, Columbia Business School
“Highly readable…offers practical tools for everyone” —James Mackintosh, Financial Times
“The most interesting investment book this year.” —Phil Demuth, Forbes.com