- Hardcover: 192 pages
- Publisher: John Wiley & Sons (27 July 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1119366550
- ISBN-13: 978-1119366553
- Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 2.3 x 23.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #83,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Big Mistakes: The Best Investors and Their Worst Investments (Bloomberg) Hardcover – Import, 27 Jul 2018
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From the Inside Flap
Studying and emulating the strategies and behaviors of successful investors are a well-trodden path to improved returns, but there's also a wealth of wisdom to gain from examining the follies and missed opportunities that failed to derail their illustrious careers. Big Mistakes: The Best Investors and Their Worst Investments shines an eye-opening light on the humbling lessons learned by more than a dozen of the world's most well- known investors.
In this brilliantly researched volume, a diverse collection of investors is fleshed out beyond their famous accomplishments to illustrate investing isn't easyeven for those blessed with remarkable talent and impeccably good timing. If you think you know the stories behind such investing giants as Warren Buffett, Bill Ackman, Chris Sacca, Jack Bogle, Ben Graham, and John Maynard Keynes, to name a few, the unique treatment inside adds a fresh and nuanced perspective to their commonly recognized biographies.
After reading this book, you will become a wiser investor who knows:
- The importance of managing your risk and not getting attached to investments
- Why you need to invest with your strengths, while remembering you aren't as smart as you think
- Taking big losses in stride are critical to success because you only need to win once
- Building the perfect portfolio is futile
- Failing can be your biggest step to achievement
One of the biggest takeaways these cautionary tales provide is the valuable gift each of your mistakes gives you. All of these investors suffered major financial losses, but none of them folded. In fact, many of the skillsets and strategies widely practiced today exist because of epic disasters.
For every investor looking to reach their full potential, now is the time for Big Mistakes.
From the Back Cover
"We're often told how the best get it right, but not how the best can still get it wrong. In Big Mistakes: The Best Investors and Their Worst Investments, Michael Batnick illuminates the reasons why revered investors like Warren Buffett and Jack Boglealong with brilliant minds like Mark Twain and even Isaac Newtonhave still, at times, lost grand sums of money."
Bethany McLean, Author of The Smartest Guys in the Room, Contributing Editor, Vanity Fair
"Michael Batnick has written a terrific book on investing that doubles as solid financial history. Learning about what has failed, and why, is often more instructive than highlighting success."
Jim Chanos, President and Founder, Kynikos Associates
"Michael Batnick's new book Big Mistakes: The Best Investors and Their Worst Investments is superb. It succinctly covers the mistakes that some of the greatest investment legends made, and in doing so, reminds us that everyone makes mistakes and that one of the best things we can do to improve our investment results is learn from both our own mistakes and those of others. Happily, one big mistake is easy to avoidnot reading Michael's fascinating and informative new book. Now that would be a big mistake."
Jim O'Shaughnessy, Author of What Works on Wall Street, Founder, Chairman, and Chief Investment Officer, O'Shaughnessy Asset Management
"Michael has written one of the important investment books of our time. Good investing isn't all about being smart; it's about maintaining emotional discipline. This book is an amazing chronicle of investors who, at times, didn't. And since many of those profiled are the greatest investors who ever lived, their lessons are even more relevant to the rest of us."
Morgan Housel, Partner, Collaborative Fund
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For an amateur who is first getting introduced into the stock markets, the book is great, but will be unrelatable. But for someone who's read variety of books like Liar's poker, Snowball, Charlie's Almanack, and other books, this one reads like a collection of blog posts. The only chapter that was pretty good - was the last one about himself, but that too isn't worth more than a blog post.
Charging 915 rupees for the kindle edition and 1900 for the paperback sounds like robbery - that too for this book. Money & Power by far one of the longest books I've read sells at 570 rupees and 270 rupees respectively for paperback and kindle edition.
This book would have been fine at 150-200 rupees for a kindle edition and 300 rupees tops for a paperback(if you ask me, i'd never have it published at all). It's a short read. It's everything available in Google. Reads like a bunch of blogposts that don't command any premium value coz all this information is available for free if you'd only search Google.
Except for the last chapter where he recounts his experience, book amounts to a rehash of everything that's come before, more like a so-so summary of other books in each chapters. It would have been great at least if he'd been honest about that, and in pricing it right.
All of the "wisdom" that this book supposedly offers have been told before in a better manner. Long story short, in the history of books in finance and trading, this book will be most irrelevant. You'd be better off listening to CHAT WITH TRADERS and reading MARKET WIZARDS series of books.
All said, I'd give 0 stars for this book, coz this book was a waste of money and a wee bit waste of time, because it was more like revising all that i read in other books for 4 hours. Yes, i finished this book in 4 hours.
Skip this book. Don't buy. This is too steeply priced for a cheaply written book with nothing new to offer.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
That said he points out the most common of errors all of us have, even the great ones, in that we are victims of hubris/overconfidence, we get sucked in by the allure of leverage and out of frustration we invest outside of our circle of competence. His many examples include, Jack Bogle, Michael Steinhardt, Stanley Druckenmiller, John Paulson, the Sequoia Fund, Long Term Capital Management, Bill Ackman and yes, Warren Buffett. In Buffett’s case Batnick believes Buffett became overconfident based on his prior experience in investing in the shoe business with his purchase of Dexter Shoe in the early 1990s. He compounded his mistake by paying in stock that would become more valuable over time only to see the business ravaged by foreign competition.
In cases of Paulson, Druckenmiller and Steinhardt we see them investing beyond their core competencies and the case of Bill Ackman we his very big ego get in the way with his giant short position in Herbalife. Of course leverage and hubris brings down Long Term Capital Management. These are all wonderful vignettes and there is much to learn, but I wish Batnick had a sharp penciled editor.
– being overleveraged and building too big positions in assets that were illiquid or suddenly became illiquid;
– venturing outside of expert zone when having to manage a much bigger amount of capital;
– overconfidence and hubris;
– normal mistakes that cannot really be prevented; they are part of the investing process;
– fear of missing out.
I enjoyed reading Michael’s book . It is not a how-to book. It is an interesting dive into market history and psychology. Here are some of the more interesting insights I found:
1. Leverage made Livermore his fortune, leverage destroyed him. He knew everything one can possibly know about market psychology and price action but it seems he never learned how to control risk – it was a constant all or nothing betting for him. No wonder he went broke 4 times.
2. Ben Graham understood that no approach works all the time. There are time and place for everything. Markets evolve and some concepts stop working. A margin of safety doesn’t matter during periods of forced liquidation, especially when you are leveraged to the hill.
3. “A high IQ guarantees you nothing! This is one of the hardest things for newer investors to come to grips with, that markets don’t compensate you just for being smart.” and “Intelligence in investing is not absolute; it’s relative. In other words, it doesn’t just matter how smart you are, it matters how smart your competition is.”
4. “Putting too much money into something you don’t fully understand is a good way to lose a lot of money. But what’s more damaging than losing money is the psychological scar tissue that remains after the money vanishes.”
5. “Once something belongs to us, objective thinking flies out the window.”
6. “Professional win points. Amateurs lose points”, therefore professionals should play to win and amateurs should play not to lose (try to make fewer mistakes).
7. “Bad things tend to happen when we compare our portfolios with others, especially if they possess a lesser IQ and extracted a higher return.”
8. On the dangers on concentrated bets: “A single stock leveled one of the most successful funds of all time, you should think twice before putting yourself in the same type of situation.”
9. “The most disciplined investors are intimately aware of how they’ll behave in different market environments, so they hold a portfolio that is suited to their personality. They don’t kill themselves trying to build a perfect portfolio because they know that it doesn’t exist.”
10. “The average intra‐year decline for US stocks is 14%, so a little wind in the bushes is to be expected.2 But saber‐toothed tigers, or backbreaking bear markets, are few and far between. Corrections occur all the time, but rarely do they turn into something worse, so selling every time stocks fall a little and waiting for the dust to settle is a great way to buy high and sell low.”
Its a wonderful thing to be able to learn about mistakes from other investors, and especially the ones we admire the most like Buffet, Munger etc.
Pick up a copy and read it. You will not regret it!