The Nature of Investing: Resilient Investment Strategies Through Biomimicry by Katherine Collins discusses how beneficial function of investing has been overshadowed by ever-more mechanized iterations of finance, which capitalideasonline posted today. First a little on the book and then an excerpt from Capital Ideas Online…

Nature of investing

The Nature Of Investing – Description

The Nature of Investing: Resilient Investment Strategies Through Biomimicry by Katherine Collins

We are all investors. We invest our time, our energy, our money. We invest every single day, as citizens, as consumers, as businesspeople. At its core, investing involves connection, exchange, and mutual benefit. Lately, however, the primary, beneficial function of investing has been overshadowed by ever-more mechanized iterations of finance. We have created funds of funds, securitizations of securitizations, and entire firms whose business is based on harvesting the advantage of microseconds of trading speed.

The Nature of Investing calls for a transformation of the investment process from the roots up. Drawing on the author’s twenty-plus years of leadership experience in top investment firms, the book connects real-world finance with the field of biomimicry. Citing real-life examples and discussing principles from the natural world, The Nature of Investing shows how we can create an investment framework that is different from the mechanized one currently employed.

Readers will discover an approach that re-aligns investing with the world it was originally meant to serve. An approach that values resiliency over rigidity and elegant simplicity over synthetic complexity. This is the true nature of investing.

The Nature Of Investing – Review

“Nature is our ultimate teacher and a powerful source of wisdom and resilience. The Nature of Investing can help everyone bring that bounty to our financial lives.” – Andrew Zolli, author, Resilience: Why Things Bounce BackThe Nature of Investing is a quiet revolution, shimmering with insight about bees, sea slugs, and the ultimate ‘why’ of finance. In generous and uncannily wise prose, Collins reminds us that we are all investors, and that our time, effort, and yes, our money, can be a nutrient, perpetuating that which makes life worth living. As an experienced biomimic who is now eager to invest, I had an ah-ha on every page.” – Janine Benyus, author, Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature; cofounder, Biomimicry 3.8“Katherine Collins has done it! She turns modern portfolio theory on its head while explaining the nature of investments. A seasoned and highly successful portfolio manager, Katherine shares her insights with both a sense of humor and irrefutable logic, while knocking down many of Wall Street’s sacred cows. By applying the laws of nature, particularly the wisdom of the honeybee, she opens the investor’s mind to a whole new way of making money.” – Amy Domini, founder, Domini Social Investments

The Nature of Investing is refreshing, thoughtful, and compelling. You will become a more successful investor and a better citizen of the world if you heed Katherine Collins’s call to ask questions, pay attention to your environment, and think.” – Michael J. Mauboussin, Head of Global Financial Strategies, Credit Suisse

“To an investing world obsessed with speed, abstruse metrics, and hyperactive transactions, Collins offers a simpler path inspired by nature. Starting with a mindful look at the purpose of investing, this book provides a framework for making wise choices.” – Joel Tillinghast, Portfolio Manager, Fidelity Low-Priced Stock Fund

“From thistle-inspired Velcro to sharkskin-inspired airplane fuselages, there’s a growing global buzz around biomimicry. But what lessons can the economy of money learn from that of honey? Like a scout bee returning to the hive, Katherine Collins signals the nature, direction, and scale of the evolving opportunities. The smart swarm—and the smart money—will follow her lead.” – John Elkington, co-founder of Environmental Data Services (ENDS), SustainAbility and Volans; Originator of the triple bottom line; author, The Zeronauts: Breaking the Sustainability Barrier

About the Author

Katherine Collins is Founder and CEO of Honeybee Capital, a research firm dedicated to the pursuit of optimal investment decision-making. Katherine has previously served in numerous capacities at Fidelity Management and Research Company. As head of US Equity Research, she led one of the largest buy-side research operations in the world. As Portfolio Manager, she was solely responsible for investment decisions for the multi-billion dollar Fidelity America funds while based in London, and for the entire range of Fidelity Mid-Cap Funds while based in Boston.

After a career in traditional equity management, Katherine set out to re-integrate her investment philosophy with the broader world, traveling as a pilgrim and volunteer, earning her MTS degree at Harvard Divinity School, and studying the natural world as guide for investing in a valuable and integrated way, beneficial to our communities and world.

Katherine serves on the boards of the Biomimicry Group, Last Mile Health, and Common Impact, a nonprofit that facilitates collaborations between global companies and local nonprofits. She is an active volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, and has held numerous volunteer positions with Wellesley College and its Business Leadership Council. She is a member of the Harvard Divinity School Dean’s Council and of the Sprout Lenders group, and an advisor to Criterion Institute, the PopTech Impact Fund, and the Massachusetts chapter of the Trust for Public Land.

The Nature Of Investing

In a must read book, “The Nature of Investing”, the author, Katherine Collins, writes on what investors can learn from nature. Mr. Chandrakant Sampat has similar views, in my opinion.

Here are parts of the book that I marked:

1) “This cycle of technological improvement has repeated itself over and over again, with most of our new tools and products and processes bringing big gains in efficiency or speed or scale. But gradually, many of these advances have chipped away at the concentration – connection to the world, and to each other – that has always been at the heart of the investment profession.”

2) “It turns out that bees are not just pretty good at decision making, or above average. They are fantastic! For example, bees choose the best available hive location almost every time when they are getting ready to swarm to a new home.

Dr. Seeley’s work is amazing from a scientific stand point, but what really struck me was the conclusion of his talk, when he described the key characteristics that enabled the bees’ optimal decision making:

  • First, bees go out into the world to gather data. When they have an important decision to make, bees do not hole up in a little honeybee conference room and bust out PowerPoint presentations. They leave the hive to see what’s out there in their surrounding environment.
  • Second, they come back together and engage in active, objective sharing of information. There are no bee spin doctors, no bee talking heads, no bee pundits. They come back to the hive and share what they’ve learned, openly, directly, and objectively.
  • Third, they reiterate this process until information is complete and compelling.
  • Finally, and most importantly, bees have a clear, shared common value system. They all know what makes for the best hive location, and those are the criteria upon which their decisions are based. There are no hidden agendas, no political motives – the bees just seek the best answer.”

3) “I decided I needed to be more like a honey bee. To deliberately refocus on an

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