The Harvest Interview Series provides exclusive access to financial business leaders including money managers, institutional allocators, research firm founders and other top investment professionals. Interview questions are crowd-sourced from thousands of professional managers, allocators, and investors. The most relevant and interesting questions are selected and then posed anonymously to the Interview Series subject.
Patrick O’Shaughnessy, Principal and Portfolio Manager at
O’Shaughnessy Asset Management (OSAM)
Khai Nguyen interviews Patrick O’Shaughnessy
Patrick O’Shaughnessy is a Principal and Portfolio Manager at O’Shaughnessy Asset Management (OSAM). Patrick is the author of Millennial Money: How Young Investors can Build a Fortune, published by Palgrave Macmillian. Patrick is also a contributing author to the fourth edition of What Works on Wall Street and the author of several market commentaries, including “The Same Old Bear” which earned awards from Advisor Perspectives for The Top 25 Venerated Voices™ by Author and The Top 10 Venerated Voices™ by Commentary. Patrick holds a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Notre Dame and is also a Chartered Financial Analyst. He lives with his wife and son in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Khai Nguyen: I’m here with Patrick O’Shaughnessy, author of the book, Millennial Money: How Young Investors can Build a Fortune. Patrick thanks for joining me today.
Patrick O’Shaughnessy: I wish there were more long form interviews like the ones you conduct, so thank you for including me in your series.
KN: Patrick, your book has received excellent reviews. What inspired you to write the book?
Patrick O’Shaughnessy: Do you know how there are some things in life you just feel natural doing? For me it’s always been reading and writing. To write a decent book, I think you need to first read 300 to 400 other books, so I spent my early mid-twenties reading. When I was 27, I felt like I had accumulated enough knowledge to start writing.
Because I am young myself, I wanted to write a book addressing younger investors. They make an ideal audience for several reasons. First, they have such a long time horizon, so they have enormous investing potential. Second, the millennial generation has been underserved thus far by the financial services community. As a group, they haven’t accumulated enough wealth to make them lucrative clients. They own just about 4% of mutual fund assets. Most financial authors are much older, so I thought I had a neat opportunity to appeal to younger readers. It has been a blast connecting with them. Thus far I’ve found that hearing from someone their age helps millennials get interested. Many that I’ve talked to have started investing sooner than they would have otherwise.
KN: How has the experience of authoring the book affected the way you look at investing?
The millennial generation has been underserved thus far by the financial services community. As a group, they haven’t accumulated enough wealth to make them lucrative clients.
Patrick O’Shaughnessy: Writing a book made me realize how little I know. As I read and researched more and more, the amount that I knew grew, but the amount that I didn’t know grew even faster. For every question answered, three new questions popped up. Faced with so many questions and so little time, I’ve realized that investors simply can’t know it all. Instead, I think it’s best to identify areas where you have an advantage and stick to it. Sometimes simple rules-and investing strategies-work very well. I lay out five pretty basic attributes to look for in stocks in Chapter 6 of the book. They may not be the absolute best attributes, but they have worked very well. There is a common saying in the art world that “perfect is the enemy of good.”If you try to get everything exactly right you’ll never get anywhere. Trying to build a perfect investing strategy is impossible. This was a liberating realization.
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