Guy Spier’s New Book “The Education of a Value Investor”

A Review of Guy Spier’s New Book “The Education of a Value Investor” by Greg Speicher

“The unexamined life is not worth living” – Socrates

“We have met the enemy and he is us” – Pogo

Guy Spier has written a very thoughtful book about investing and about life. Fans of value investing may initially be disappointed that The Education of a Value Investor does not dispel more valuation techniques or models. But alas anyone who has seriously taken up the task of becoming a skilled value investor eventually realizes that the value investing framework per se is relatively straightforward. Ben Graham and Warren Buffett have already provided these and there are no secrets. The real challenge is the emotional and psychological discipline required to actually implement this proven investing framework.

Some investors such as Warren Buffett and Mohnish Pabrai display a kind of natural virtuosity in this regard that can make it look easy (this may indeed be their greatest genius). Yet, anyone who has seriously undertaken the task of becoming a skilled investor who can add real value – whether measured in relative terms (beating the S&P 500) or in absolute terms (doubling your money every X years) – is sooner or later disavowed of the notion that it is easy.

Fortunately, to quote one of Guy’s mentors, Tony Robbins, “Biography is not destiny. The past does not equal the future.” This is where Guy’s The Education of a Value Investor shines. It is a book-length memoir of one man’s journey to overcome his mistakes and limitations and become a successful investor. Along the way, he discovers much more about life and relationships and important values that we all need to learn or be reminded of.

Charlie Munger has taught us to learn from other peoples mistakes. Here Guy has been remarkably candid and generous in his self-revelations, and there is much to learn from them. It can be a catalyst to look at our own foibles and blind spots and work to overcome them.

In case all this sound too fluffy and devoid of real meat, I want to assure you that The Education of a Value Investor contains plenty of useful and actionable investing information, from how to set up an environment that supports rational behavior, to rules of thumb for countering your psychological biases, to how to research a stock, to the importance of checklists and how to construct one that adds value, to a first-rate reading list.

I commend The Education of a Value Investor to you and look forward to using its many lessons myself to become a better investor and, hopefully, along the way, a better person.

The Education of a Value Investor

The Education of a Value Investor: My Transformative Quest for Wealth, Wisdom, and Enlightenment by Guy Spier



About the Author

Greg Speicher
GregSpeicher.com was founded in 2009 by Greg Speicher. Greg is a private investor who has been investing, studying and writing about the the markets since 2006. Greg built several successful offline businesses including an Inc. 500 Company which he co-founded. Buffett stated, “I am a better investor because I am a businessman.” It is in that spirit that Greg brings his years of business experience to investing. ?? Greg received his B.A. in philosophy Magna Cum Laude from the University of St. Thomas in Rome, Italy, and attended the MBA Program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He also studied with Bruce Greenwald at the Value Investing Executive Education Course at Columbia University.