Library / Other Books

Date of review: March 2021
Book author: Paul Mumford
Вook published: 2016

Stock Picker. A Financial History for the Sharp End by Paul Mumford (2016)

Not a widely promoted book. In case you find it on one of the traditional bookshops (I bought it in Waterstone's in Canary Wharf), be prepared that this is a fairly long description of personal experience without very well structured takeaways and action points. I admit that since investing is at least half art, I should not be expecting clear-cut formula on how to beat the market.
Still, I think in a world where so many new books are published and dozens that are on my reading list, I would not spend too much time reading it if you seek to learn and improve.

I think one particular message I disagree with is that investing requires lots of buying and selling of different stocks. In particular, I think it is dangerous for a beginner to read this (quote from the book): "For an active investor, investment decisions need to be made on a daily basis. Most of the time, this involves adding or reducing holdings in order to take advantage of share price movements, but there are occasions when more drastic action needs to be undertaken".

One of the crucial lessons that I have finally learnt is that if you find a great business run by competent CEO, hold it long enough and ignore the noise. Berkshire Hathaway was selling for about $10 a share when Warren Buffett started buying it in 1965. It is now trading at about $435,000 a share - 43,500x growth in 56 years - I doubt trading in and out of Berkshire shares would have significantly boosted investors' returns.

Nevertheless, I think the book provides a few interesting facts and details on UK listed stocks which may be useful for some.

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