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The Art of Execution: How the world's best investors get it wrong and still make millions

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Over seven years, 45 of the world's top investors were given between $25 and $150m to invest by fund manager Lee Freeman-Shor. His instructions were simple. There was only one rule. They could only invest in their ten best ideas to make money. It seemed like a foolproof plan to make a lot of money. What could possibly go wrong? These were some of the greatest minds at work Over seven years, 45 of the world's top investors were given between $25 and $150m to invest by fund manager Lee Freeman-Shor. His instructions were simple. There was only one rule. They could only invest in their ten best ideas to make money. It seemed like a foolproof plan to make a lot of money. What could possibly go wrong? These were some of the greatest minds at work in the markets today - from top European hedge fund managers to Wall Street legends. But most of the investors' great ideas actually lost money. Shockingly, a toss of a coin would have been a better method of choosing whether or not to invest in a stock. Nevertheless, despite being wrong most of the time, many of these investors still ended up making a lot of money. How could they be wrong most of the time and still be profitable? The answer lay in their hidden habits of execution, which until now have only been guessed at from the outside world. This book lays bare those secret habits for the first time, explaining them with real-life data, case studies and stories taken from Freeman-Shor's unique position of managing these investors on a day-to-day basis. A riveting read for investors of every level, this book shows you exactly what to do and what not to do when your big idea is losing or winning - and demonstrates conclusively why the most important thing about investing is always the art of execution.


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Over seven years, 45 of the world's top investors were given between $25 and $150m to invest by fund manager Lee Freeman-Shor. His instructions were simple. There was only one rule. They could only invest in their ten best ideas to make money. It seemed like a foolproof plan to make a lot of money. What could possibly go wrong? These were some of the greatest minds at work Over seven years, 45 of the world's top investors were given between $25 and $150m to invest by fund manager Lee Freeman-Shor. His instructions were simple. There was only one rule. They could only invest in their ten best ideas to make money. It seemed like a foolproof plan to make a lot of money. What could possibly go wrong? These were some of the greatest minds at work in the markets today - from top European hedge fund managers to Wall Street legends. But most of the investors' great ideas actually lost money. Shockingly, a toss of a coin would have been a better method of choosing whether or not to invest in a stock. Nevertheless, despite being wrong most of the time, many of these investors still ended up making a lot of money. How could they be wrong most of the time and still be profitable? The answer lay in their hidden habits of execution, which until now have only been guessed at from the outside world. This book lays bare those secret habits for the first time, explaining them with real-life data, case studies and stories taken from Freeman-Shor's unique position of managing these investors on a day-to-day basis. A riveting read for investors of every level, this book shows you exactly what to do and what not to do when your big idea is losing or winning - and demonstrates conclusively why the most important thing about investing is always the art of execution.

30 review for The Art of Execution: How the world's best investors get it wrong and still make millions

  1. 5 out of 5

    Gennady

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Best quotes: My findings show that the key to successfully executing great ideas and making lots of money comes down to the actions you take after you have invested in an idea and find yourself losing or winning. RABBITS do nothing when a position underperforms. Too big to fail Like many managers, the Rabbits were less inclined to walk away from a large losing investment than a small losing investment. This can be more of a problem if you have a smaller portfolio. The investors I worked with readily Best quotes: My findings show that the key to successfully executing great ideas and making lots of money comes down to the actions you take after you have invested in an idea and find yourself losing or winning. RABBITS do nothing when a position underperforms. Too big to fail Like many managers, the Rabbits were less inclined to walk away from a large losing investment than a small losing investment. This can be more of a problem if you have a smaller portfolio. The investors I worked with readily admitted that in their funds, some of which held up to 100 stocks, it was far easier to sell a losing position because it represented only 1% of the overall fund’s net asset value. Thus, if the stock was down 40%, it had only cost them 0.4%. There are a few simple things they could have done to overcome their problems. 1. Always have a plan When faced with a painful loss-making position, most people do nothing. They turn into a Rabbit and procrastinate, letting all their biases play havoc with their decision-making, hoping time will resolve their issues so they don’t have to. The best way round this is to draw up a plan of precisely what actions you will take when your investments don’t work. The Rabbits didn’t have one. You can. 2. Sell or buy more The only solution to a losing situation is to sell out or significantly increase your stake. If a stock price is down after your investment, the market is telling you that you were wrong. If you really do believe you were right to invest in that company, then you were clearly wrong in the timing. The sooner you acknowledge you have made a mistake and take steps to deal with it, the better your odds of achieving a successful outcome. “If I had a blank piece of paper and were looking to invest today, would I buy into that stock given what I now know?” If your answer to the question above is “No”, or “Maybe, but…” then you should sell. “[E]very few months I checked the story just as if I were hearing it for the first time … [and I would] get out of situations where the fundamentals are worse and the price had increased … and into situations where the fundamentals are better but the price is down … a price stop is any opportunity to load up on bargains from among your worst performers … if you can’t convince yourself when I’m down 25% I’m a buyer then you’ll never make a decent profit in stocks.”9 Doing nothing when you are losing is never an option because if the stock price rises from here you should have put more money to work. If it falls further you should have cut your position. Nowadays, I start to apply pressure on my managers when a stock is down over 20% to ensure action is taken before irreparable damage occurs. 3. Don’t go all in A corollary of the previous point is to never put yourself in a position where you find you are still convinced by your original investment idea but are not able to invest more money when the share price falls. That is poor money management. Keep some powder dry. 4. Don’t be hasty to jump in, do be hasty to jump out Buying slowly over time (known as dollar or pound-cost-averaging), 6. Seek out opposition What you should really do is to speak to someone with an opposing view. Ideally you should also sell out of the stock while you do that, so that you have removed the emotional attachment of a vested interest. 7. Be humble You should expect your ideas to be wrong and invest with that in mind. 8. Keep quiet and carry on Be careful who you talk to about your investments and how you talk about them. Some people have an almost religious zeal for shares they have bought, and like nothing better than sharing their views in public to as many people as possible. Unfortunately, this makes it impossible to walk away from an idea without looking like an idiot. It’s an unnecessary hindrance. The Rabbits might have been less likely to get stuck had they not boasted of anticipated returns. 9. Don’t underestimate the downside–adapt to it The solution is simple: treat them as if they are options. Invest an amount you are willing to lose in the same way that you would pay a one-off lump sum (called a premium) to purchase a stock option. 10. Be open to different kinds of story Many studies have shown that stocks with the worst stories tend to produce the highest returns. 11. Get sick of sick notes Unfortunately, large stock market returns are rare, even if you can hold your nerve and not sell out of one too soon. If you stick with a big loser and do nothing you are virtually guaranteed to be permanently destroying your wealth by creating a hole that is simply too deep to dig your way out of. Assassins 1. Kill all losers at 20–33% They therefore did not rely on themselves to pull the trigger. Thanks to a simple but sophisticated device, their weapons went off automatically at exactly the right time, taking out their targets without delay. This device is the humble stop-loss. Most investors use ‘review’ prices instead–if one is hit, it forces a review of the holding to decide what to do. So at what level do you set your stop-loss? Assassins despatched their losers at slightly different predetermined points depending on their own experience and preferences: almost always somewhere between 20% and 33% Don’t sell too soon It can be very tempting to take assassination to extremes and start cutting losses dead at 5, 10, 15%. Why not despatch the unhappy victims as soon as possible? It’s important to realise that the Assassins’ rules HUNTERS buy more when a price falls Let me stress at the outset that the Hunters, like all successful practitioners of what is called ‘dollar-cost averaging’, planned beforehand to buy more shares if a price fell. So they did not go all in on day one. Rather, they invested a lesser amount at the outset and kept some cash on the side–waiting for an opportunity to buy more at a lower price in the future. The key reason for the Hunters’ approach lay in their invariably contrarian style. They were value investors. They generally found themselves buying when everyone else was selling, and this was an extension of that philosophy, another way of exploiting Mr Market when he was acting irrationally. Hunters double or treble their holdings at the bottom on several occasions and then enjoy the rewards as the shares recovered. It was clear that such moments gave the Hunters a real adrenaline kick: apparently there is no better feeling than snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Be under no illusions: being a Hunter requires patience and discipline. You have to expect a share price to go against you in the near term and not panic when it does. You have to be prepared to make money from stocks that may never recapture the original price you paid for your first lot of shares. If you know your personality is one which demands instant gratification, this approach is not for you. “I’m accustomed to hanging around with a stock when the price is going nowhere. Most of the money I make is in the third or fourth year that I’ve owned something.”–Peter Lynch It is apt simply to hurt your results and increase your risk. I cannot understand why an investor of that sort elects to put money into a business that is his 20th favourite rather than simply adding that money to his top choices–the businesses he understands best and that present the least risk, along with the greatest profit potential. The Hunters often put 20% of their assets in a single stock, and had to be comfortable investing another 20% in that same stock when it was heading south. The Hunter adopts the three-bites-at-the-cherry approach to investing, which means that he initially invests a third of the total amount he is willing to invest in the stock. If the price falls beyond a certain threshold, he invests another third. The Rabbit invests his entire stake, $900, in one go and adopts a buy-and-hold approach. Michael Lewis put it in Moneyball, most failing strategies fail because they all have one thing in common; they are designed with fear of public humiliation in mind: “Every change he made was aimed more at preventing embarrassment than at achieving success. To reduce his strikeouts he shortened his swing, and traded the possibility of hitting a home run for a greater likelihood of simply putting the ball in play.” I find it bizarre that top athletes and sportsmen and women have coaches but the majority of investment professionals do not. How can they expect to improve their game if they do not have constructive feedback? RAIDERS are investors who like nothing better than taking a profit as soon as practical. I noticed the rather distressing fact that one of my investors had an incredible success rate–almost 70% of his ideas were correct, which is truly phenomenal–but he hadn’t made me any money. By monitoring a stock they are invested in several times a day, they notice the share price moves up and down quite a bit. The price seems volatile. Connoisseur/Знаток They treated every investment like a vintage of wine: if it was off, they got rid of it immediately, but if it was good they knew that it would only get better with age. Taking small profits along the journey like a Connoisseur allows us to get instant gratification without ruining our long-term wealth aspirations. This ‘trick’ is one that I have seen in action and which allowed my best investors to stay in absolutely phenomenal winners. 1. Find unsurprising companies The Connoisseurs’ approach was to identify companies with a view to holding them for ten or more years. They would buy businesses that they viewed as low ‘negative surprise’ companies. 2. Look for big upside potential Where many investors go wrong is in investing in too many ideas with limited upside potential (of, say, 10–30%). 3. Invest big–and focused When the Connoisseurs were very confident in an idea, they built up big positions. They could end up with 50% of their total assets invested in just two stocks. It was these stocks that made them so successful. This is one of the reasons that I allow each of my current investors to invest up to 25% of the money I give them in a single idea. No use having a small investment in a big winner; you have to have a large position size to generate big returns. 4. Don’t be scared 5. Make sure you have a pillow Meeting some of my Connoisseurs could be very, very boring because nothing ever changed. They would talk about the same stocks they had been invested in for the past five years or longer. On the days I had a meeting scheduled with a Connoisseur, I sometimes struggled to get out of bed. My investor’s secret was to take small profits along the way to ensure he stayed invested, a process he would describe as trimming his winners. Like going for a haircut, the idea was to take a little off–not the whole lot. This process meant he didn’t quite make the full 231% return. Why many fund managers are doomed to fail Unfortunately, many fund managers find it almost impossible to be Connoisseurs. Firstly, many professional investors over-diversify when they invest because they are managing their career risk. Most are judged by their bosses and employers based on how they perform against an index or peer group over a short period of time. This militates against concentrating investments in potential long-term winners. Secondly, regulators prohibit professional fund managers from holding large positions in just a handful of their very best money-making ideas. Academic support for ‘best ideas’ investing There is strong academic evidence for why investing in just your highest-conviction ideas makes sense. • The managers’ top five stocks also outperformed the market, as well as the other stocks in those managers’ portfolios, significantly. • The managers’ worst ideas–those stocks with the lowest weighting–performed significantly worse than the managers’ best ideas. This lends support to the notion that success is not determined by luckily investing in the hot stock at any one time. Rather, it is about investing in your best idea. This research paper shows that professional investors do have skill in picking stocks, especially when it relates to their best ideas. It seems that over-diversification is another thing to blame for poor performance by professional investors. Are you ready to be a Connoisseur? It takes a lot of nerves and patience to be a Connoisseur. It’s something everyone should aspire to–but few find easy. Hopefully this chapter has inspired you to join their ranks. My research showed that the best investors all benefited from holding a few massive winners. Strip out these big winners and their returns would be distinctly average. The Winner’s Checklist: The five winning habits of investment titans 1. Best ideas only Invest in just a handful of your very best ideas. My findings show that having one or two big winners is essential for success–the 80/20 rule (the Pareto principle) is true. 2. Position size matters Invest a large amount of money in each idea, but not so much that one decision determines your fate. Act like a successful gunslinger, not an arrogant gunslinger. The arrogant gunslinger decides to load only one bullet into the chamber of his gun because he is so confident in his ability that he believes he will not need the other five bullets. As he stares down from heaven at his blood-soaked corpse ten minutes later, he realises that the reason successful gunslingers survive to become legends is because they always have fully loaded chambers. They know that, every now and then, they need more than one bullet. I often refer to the process of adding money to a losing position as firing another bullet. Not having all your capital tied up in one idea means you get multiple opportunities to achieve success. However, do not invest in too many ideas and over-diversify. Rather, be prepared to invest big–just don’t go all in on day one. 3. Be greedy when winning Run your winners. You need to embrace the possibility of winning big. Embrace the right tail, the statistical long shots, of the distribution curve. Stop trying to make a quick 10 or 20%. Give your investments the possibility of growing into ‘ten baggers’. 4. Materially adapt when you are losing Either add meaningfully to an existing investment or sell out. Both give you the possibility of changing the ultimate outcome. You can turn a loser into a winner. Expect to find yourself in a losing situation, have a plan to materially adapt, and stick to 5. Only invest in liquid stocks Make sure any publicly listed investment is liquid enough to enable you to execute your idea. There is nothing worse than knowing what to do, wanting to do it, but being unable to do it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Owen Jones

    Lee Freeman-Shor is a fund-of-funds manager at Old Mutual Global Investors, one of the many fund partners available on our fund supermarket. His book isn’t really about investing, instead it’s more of an exploration of human behaviour under different types of stress, and this is what makes the book fascinating. Freeman-Shor splits his investors into different ‘tribes’ to describe their behaviour. He finds that the same investors make the same mistakes, or do the right things, time and time again. Lee Freeman-Shor is a fund-of-funds manager at Old Mutual Global Investors, one of the many fund partners available on our fund supermarket. His book isn’t really about investing, instead it’s more of an exploration of human behaviour under different types of stress, and this is what makes the book fascinating. Freeman-Shor splits his investors into different ‘tribes’ to describe their behaviour. He finds that the same investors make the same mistakes, or do the right things, time and time again. What really matters, the author concludes, is how trades are executed rather than which company is chosen. The most successful investors, Freeman-Shor argues, understand the influence of human behaviour on their work. The simple stop-loss gets top billing as a very effective way of cutting losses before they become too big to recover from (this tribe is named the ‘Assassins’). This is where Freeman-Shor excels himself, delving into the science of human behaviour and a suite of biases that affect our decision-making. A lot of us will recognise these biases in our own lives. Framing bias or anchoring heuristic? These scientific terms mask behavioural traits that we can all relate to, and indeed Deal or No Deal is cited as an example of how our decisions are affected by other decisions we have recently made (recency bias). Our tendency to hold on to investments when they are falling and to sell when winning is completely irrational. These tendencies are explored and real-life examples as to how the best investors reverse these tendencies – and how the not so good ones get the sack. Freeman-Shor also touches on how the culture of a fund house can adversely affect its fund managers. If annual-bonuses purely reflect performance a fund manager might be tempted to realise gains of 30% - a decent return – when in fact holding on to the stock could have created a ‘ten-bagger’. This is the key for successful investing – if you are only winning half the time, when you do win you need to win big. And to win big you need to be brave, to have a large position in a winner. Freeman-Shor makes the point that a lot of funds are restricted in the position they can hold in one fund – usually no more than 10% in one position. This is meant to reduce risk, but really all that is happening is you are swapping one kind of risk for another. You’ll see the risk warnings on this site for funds that have a concentrated portfolio, Lindsell Train UK Equity is a favourite example – note how the top ten holdings are all going to add up to far more than 50% of the total holdings; the upside being that if these funds rise in value, it has a bigger effect on the overall performance. The risk is meant to be that should the shares fall, this will have a disproportionally negative effect on the value of the fund. But the risk of having too small a share in a company whose share price is rising is just as relevant. This book is written to appeal to all kinds of investors, and is bound to appeal to both the author’s peers and to the inexperienced investor.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Subash

    Yet another investment book with tons of quotes from investment biggies and human psychology. Easily avoidable.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Jammal

    In a year of reading investment books, this is a standout. Brief and clear Lee Freeman-Shor does not waste your time with excessive anecdotes or digressions. The style is direct and the information included is humbly stated and well supported by data and case studies.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Pradip Caulagi

    This was one of the aha moments for me, since I heard it for the first time - " And crowds are often surprisingly wise - the market can be right even when everyone who makes it up is individually wrong. In 1987 Jack Treynor presented 56 of his students with a jar full of jelly beans and asked them a simple question. How many jelly beans were in the jar? There were 850, but not one student got it right - hardly surprising. What is more surprising is that despite the guessed varying massively from one This was one of the aha moments for me, since I heard it for the first time - " And crowds are often surprisingly wise - the market can be right even when everyone who makes it up is individually wrong. In 1987 Jack Treynor presented 56 of his students with a jar full of jelly beans and asked them a simple question. How many jelly beans were in the jar? There were 850, but not one student got it right - hardly surprising. What is more surprising is that despite the guessed varying massively from one student to the next, the average number taken among all those wrong numbers was only 2.5% off the actual number of 850. Only one student guessed a number closer to the actual number than the average. " My other take away from the book is to stay away from investors, as long as possible :D

  6. 4 out of 5

    InvestingByTheBooks.com

    I’m a terrible snob when it comes to investment literature. Books written for private investors rarely interest me. This is different. This might be the most important book on investments that a private investor can read – if he can gather the discipline to follow the advice. It might actually save quite a few professional portfolio managers’ bacon as well. Lee Freeman-Shor is the PM of Old Mutual’s Best Ideas Fund. The fund’s strategy is to select the 45 best investors they can find and let them I’m a terrible snob when it comes to investment literature. Books written for private investors rarely interest me. This is different. This might be the most important book on investments that a private investor can read – if he can gather the discipline to follow the advice. It might actually save quite a few professional portfolio managers’ bacon as well. Lee Freeman-Shor is the PM of Old Mutual’s Best Ideas Fund. The fund’s strategy is to select the 45 best investors they can find and let them invest in 10 stocks each. The aggregate of the underlying positions makes up the fund. The interesting thing from the perspective of the reader of this book is that this has given the author an unprecedented real time access to analyze and learn from the best during a long stretch of years. It turns out that less than half of the PMs’ positions were profitable. Some PMs lost money on as much as 2/3rds of their positions. And still, on average these elite investors generated good or even great overall investment results. How this could be is the content of this book. The short answer is so called money management. The author first analyzed how the PMs acted when it came to their loosing positions, dividing them into three groups according to their behaviour. The Rabbits that didn’t handle loosing positions well and the Assassins and the Hunters who had two different profitable methods to turn losses around. Then Freeman-Lee looked to the opposite – how the PMs handle winning positions. They are now sorted into the unsuccessful Raiders and the top performing Connoisseurs. For each investor type the author analyzes their behavioural biases and discusses what could be learnt from what they are doing wrong and what they are doing right. A bit like The Little Book of Behavioural Investing by James Montier, but for the private investor and with a money management touch. The thing with losses is that they become disproportionally harder to come back from the larger they get. If a stock goes down 25 percent it has to go up 33 percent to get even. If it goes down 50 percent it has to go up 100 percent and if it goes down 75 percent it has to go up 300 percent. The one thing you cannot do when experiencing losses is nothing. This is what the Rabbits did and they ended up in rabbit holes that were so deep that they couldn’t come back from the losses. Two things work – either you sell or you buy. The Assassins used stop-losses that gave them a fair amount of small losses but never the big ones that were impossible to turn around to profits. This is the typical trend following investor. The Hunters instead waited a little longer and then they doubled down by adding to the position. By doing this they lowered their average purchase price to something that was possible to make a profit from when the stock turned up again. This is the typical value investor. The loosing habit in handling profits was taking profits too early. High returns are built “through preservation of capital and home runs” as Stanley Druckenmiller put it. A successful portfolio’s return is disproportionally created by a few very successful holdings. By selling as soon as a nice profit was at hand the Raiders effectively closed down their chance of home runs. Don’t. This is a book written for private investors so it is very simple. Take away the case studies and use normal size font and it could be 70 pages. For its stated audience it is great. There is a fine balance in writing about a specialist area to the broader public. The good author writes for an intelligent person who doesn’t know much about the subject. The bad treats his readers like children. Freeman- Shor is in the good camp. I also like that he, in contrast to trading literature, gives a fuller range of money management options suited to both trend following investors and value investors. The professional investor will not be surprised by anything in this book. Yet his performance could be vastly improved if he followed the advice. Simple but not easy.

  7. 4 out of 5

    James

    1. USE MOVING STOP LOSSES to preserve capital (minimize big losses) while embracing the right tail (riding winners) - PM's won big in a few names while ensuring the bad ideas did not materially hurt them 2. invest big in a few positions; don't over diversify- build position in each idea over time, saving ammo to lower DCA 3. materially adapt - add to position when losing or sell out 4. don't be a raider + rabbit - If you combine the urge to sell winners too soon with the reluctance to sell losers, 1. USE MOVING STOP LOSSES to preserve capital (minimize big losses) while embracing the right tail (riding winners) - PM's won big in a few names while ensuring the bad ideas did not materially hurt them 2. invest big in a few positions; don't over diversify- build position in each idea over time, saving ammo to lower DCA 3. materially adapt - add to position when losing or sell out 4. don't be a raider + rabbit - If you combine the urge to sell winners too soon with the reluctance to sell losers, the net result is losing a lot more than you win: you have effectively got an investment style that combines significant downside risk with insignificant upside potential. 5. liquidity

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ragavendhra Perumall

    I’ve got some powerful ideas from this book and acted on it. You lose on a few investments and still you make money, how is that possible ? This book covers some interesting ideas.

  9. 5 out of 5

    D.B.

    This book is frankly kind of a mess. It's not well written, but that can be forgiven as long as the ideas are valuable. Sadly, they're not. The author argues that some strategies are good, and other strategies are bad. The evidence provided for these broad claims are examples where stocks are purchased for one price, and later sold at another. Then the author concludes that because the stock went up a lot holding on to the stock must have been justified, and in other cases where the stock goes do This book is frankly kind of a mess. It's not well written, but that can be forgiven as long as the ideas are valuable. Sadly, they're not. The author argues that some strategies are good, and other strategies are bad. The evidence provided for these broad claims are examples where stocks are purchased for one price, and later sold at another. Then the author concludes that because the stock went up a lot holding on to the stock must have been justified, and in other cases where the stock goes down a lot the author says the investor made a mistake by not selling earlier. Not exactly persuasive. Then, in later chapters he advocates buying and holding your best ideas for years without even looking at the stock price, thereby making it easy to ride out 50% drawdowns. Except the author spent half the book arguing that sitting on losses is for losers ("rabbits" in his terminology). The arguments and ideas contained in this book are entirely contradictory, and the truths in this book are really basic. Like it's good to have a plan before you buy something. Yeah, no kidding. The author argues that some great investors got great returns by having 50% of their assets in a single stock. But does the author give any evidence the risk-adjusted return of this kind of concentration is good? Of course not. Survivorship bias? Not mentioned anywhere. Despite the repeated calls to invest more in your best ideas and less in your 10th idea, the author has a fund where 45 investors invest in their best 10 ideas each. That's 450 stocks. Having this many investors involved in the decision making guarantees absolutely mediocre returns, especially after fees. Who in their right mind thinks it's a good idea to manage money this way? The author notes, correctly, that there is no such thing as "paper" losses or profit. You just exchange one asset (dollars, euros) for another (equities, options). The liquidation value is what your account is worth. But almost the entire book is about responding to changes in share prices. Whether you should sell/buy when a stock goes up/down 20%/40%. But this entire way of thinking is invalid. You buy/sell based on expected value. The author makes this mistake again and again. It's unbelievable. When a stock goes down 30% you should buy more or sell, the author says. Well, do you? Did the entire index also go down? Did the company issue a profit warning? Are regulators smelling blood? Doubling down or liquidating shouldn't be a dumb algorithm. The book presumes the investing universe consists of only European stocks, and you can only go long. Nothing about hedging. Nothing about risk management. Nothing about trading around a volatile position. Nothing about macro conditions. Good execution must take these things into account. The author might be a good investor but he can't write. He's not a lucid thinker. Skip this one.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Wulan Suci Maria

    A very helpful and practical book for someone who is super blind in this sector (me). I enjoyed reading the book and had many aha moments while reading the book. I think it is because it doesn’t discuss hard technical formula, but rather the psychological side of pro investors when they face losing and winning situation. The author classifies many of ‘pro’ investor into 5 types, tells the differentiation response for each types, and advices which one is the best response. Simple mantra that actua A very helpful and practical book for someone who is super blind in this sector (me). I enjoyed reading the book and had many aha moments while reading the book. I think it is because it doesn’t discuss hard technical formula, but rather the psychological side of pro investors when they face losing and winning situation. The author classifies many of ‘pro’ investor into 5 types, tells the differentiation response for each types, and advices which one is the best response. Simple mantra that actually apply for life in general ‘to keep life moving on, we should always take action’ is also applied in investing. In this book, the author has concluded that in time of losing, either you sell or buy more, whilst in time of winning, delay the gratification and ride on the moment.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book should be a sentence long:"cut Ur losses quickly,let Ur profits run" the golden rule ...nothing new. Now to the cardinal Sin commited by the author : Advising "private investors" to add to a losing position... NEVER ADD TO A LOSER. It is the second biggest mistake a trader can make( the first is letting a profit run into a loss). Trying to correct a mistake (being in a losing position), with another mistake, (adding to a loser)is the most dangerous thing u can do in trading and investin This book should be a sentence long:"cut Ur losses quickly,let Ur profits run" the golden rule ...nothing new. Now to the cardinal Sin commited by the author : Advising "private investors" to add to a losing position... NEVER ADD TO A LOSER. It is the second biggest mistake a trader can make( the first is letting a profit run into a loss). Trying to correct a mistake (being in a losing position), with another mistake, (adding to a loser)is the most dangerous thing u can do in trading and investing. The author mentions Stanley druckenmiller who if he had read his work would probably point out that, not only would he not add to a loser, he would most probably close out and reverse his position by shorting. Overall not a bad book, just unnecessary

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ugh

    Good advice, no doubt, but not much of it - and if you've read much on investing before, you'll probably already be familiar with what there is, not least because it's been regurgitated abundantly by the investing world. I read the Kindle sample, was torn whether to fork out for the full book, Googled around to see if I could get the gist from blogs etc about the book, decided I probably could, then caved and bought the book anyway, only to discover that I really had got the gist already. I would Good advice, no doubt, but not much of it - and if you've read much on investing before, you'll probably already be familiar with what there is, not least because it's been regurgitated abundantly by the investing world. I read the Kindle sample, was torn whether to fork out for the full book, Googled around to see if I could get the gist from blogs etc about the book, decided I probably could, then caved and bought the book anyway, only to discover that I really had got the gist already. I would have preferred more specifics - e.g., what percentage to sell and how often / based on what triggers when riding a stock upwards over the longish term. All this book tells you to do is take some profits, it says nothing at all about how to do it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Justas Šaltinis

    "The bulk of investors' return in bull markets come in the first third of the rally. Also, the first half of a rally accounts for two-thirds of the overall return in a bull market." "Forecasts tell you little about the future but a lot about the forecaster" - W. Buffet "The one thing you do not hear is that he/she made a lot of money because she stayed invested in her great idea/company." Winner’s Checklist -Best ideas only -Position size matters -Be greedy when winning -Materially adapt when you are l "The bulk of investors' return in bull markets come in the first third of the rally. Also, the first half of a rally accounts for two-thirds of the overall return in a bull market." "Forecasts tell you little about the future but a lot about the forecaster" - W. Buffet "The one thing you do not hear is that he/she made a lot of money because she stayed invested in her great idea/company." Winner’s Checklist -Best ideas only -Position size matters -Be greedy when winning -Materially adapt when you are losing -Only invest in liquid stocks The Loser’s Checklist -Invest in lots of ideas -Invest a small amount in each idea -Take small profits -Stay in an investment idea and refuse to adapt when losing -Do not consider liquidity

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alberto

    More useful for investing than for trading, as the data becomes handy with long term (3+ years) strategies. I liked the fact that the overarching thesis is backed up by data at every major point, the author took analyzed over one thousand trades and ran the numbers on what made them successful: it turns out that data supports the old adage "cut your losses, let your profits run". There's a section at the beginning where many of the cognitive biases explored by Kahneman and Tversky are contextualis More useful for investing than for trading, as the data becomes handy with long term (3+ years) strategies. I liked the fact that the overarching thesis is backed up by data at every major point, the author took analyzed over one thousand trades and ran the numbers on what made them successful: it turns out that data supports the old adage "cut your losses, let your profits run". There's a section at the beginning where many of the cognitive biases explored by Kahneman and Tversky are contextualised into the trading environment, though I wish the author had spent more time explaining them and relating real life examples from his long carreer.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kieran

    A concise look into the habits of professional investors. The book is short but will give any investor something to think about. The case is made for lower diversification, faster selling of losers (but not too fast), and when it comes to your winners - be boring and stick with them over the years. Sell small amounts over time. It is those one or two winners that make or break your returns. Jeff Bezos is not the richest man on the planet just because he started a business. He didn’t diversify and A concise look into the habits of professional investors. The book is short but will give any investor something to think about. The case is made for lower diversification, faster selling of losers (but not too fast), and when it comes to your winners - be boring and stick with them over the years. Sell small amounts over time. It is those one or two winners that make or break your returns. Jeff Bezos is not the richest man on the planet just because he started a business. He didn’t diversify and kept the vast majority of his wealth in his single best idea.

  16. 5 out of 5

    元伟 陈

    This is a really good read on investing! Learnt so much important concepts on execution. Here's my take to sum it all up; only invest in your best ideas and enter slowly over time but in large positions, when the price is falling, be a Hunter and materially adapt to buy more or be an Assassin and cut loss between 20-33%. Finally, when the price is going up, be a Connoisseur and exit slowly over time, and ride the winners to get multi-baggers. This is a really good read on investing! Learnt so much important concepts on execution. Here's my take to sum it all up; only invest in your best ideas and enter slowly over time but in large positions, when the price is falling, be a Hunter and materially adapt to buy more or be an Assassin and cut loss between 20-33%. Finally, when the price is going up, be a Connoisseur and exit slowly over time, and ride the winners to get multi-baggers.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Worakan Vongsopanagul

    Actually 4.5 star. This Book describe the fact that you can be wrong more than be right when come to stock or investment selection and still get a fabulous return. The most important part is what you have done when your position is losing money or gaining money. That is the meaning of execution is. The content in this book is not novel or special. However, it can change my investment idea. For that reason I think this is a great book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    KARAN DESAI

    You don’t have to worry about whether an investing idea works or not if you focus on how to invest in that idea, how much money you allocate to it and what you will do when you find yourself in a losing or winning position. This book is a good guide about skills which you need to adopt and habits to abandon to become a better investor

  19. 4 out of 5

    Josh Aucoin

    Excecution Very simple guide for executing well when you are losing or winning in a stock. Breaking down the percentages from loss to break even was eye opening about how much it takes to make a winner out of a losing bet. Good examples of ideas being implemented in stocks and why certain strategies are more successful than others.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Bertram

    Helps in understanding heuristics Good points only slight niggle is it could be more concise = however great summary at the end. A straightforward read easy to understand key points.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    Investing Best Practice Probably the best book I have read concerning best practices and discipline execution. A top 5 read for anyone looking to build long term wealth. A short, simple and illustrative read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ganesh

    Quick and enjoyable read The book talks about various types of investors and what they do when stock prices fluctuate. It also highlights winning strategies, which collectively act as key points to remember throughout one’s investing life.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Warren Mcpherson

    Simple ideas, solid validation. This book follows a formula that is not very exciting and a bit anti-climatic but it seems to be a foundation for knowledge. This looks a human behavior that is associated with positive and negative outcomes in investment management.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Erik

    This book is quite a quick read, with good quotes. Besides the obvious common advice: cut losers short and ride winners, and some behavioral explanations on why people don’t always follow this advice. An article resuming the content of this book should be enough. If you are familiar with trading, avoid reading it, otherwise you can read at your own expense. advice from the book: cut loses short to 10%-33% max. It would take years to recover beyond this, considering current average returns. My own This book is quite a quick read, with good quotes. Besides the obvious common advice: cut losers short and ride winners, and some behavioral explanations on why people don’t always follow this advice. An article resuming the content of this book should be enough. If you are familiar with trading, avoid reading it, otherwise you can read at your own expense. advice from the book: cut loses short to 10%-33% max. It would take years to recover beyond this, considering current average returns. My own advice: if you cut loses, try to optimize write-offs to reduce income taxes.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Luis Fernando

    Simple and to the point. It engages the reader with his real life examples, which helps a lot to understand the why and how you need to become a connoisseur about your investments and trading habits.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mark A.

    Good Read Found the ideas pretty simple and that gives me confidence in their soundness. If Only LTCM could have explained their investment rules this succinctly.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    Concise analysis of investor psychology boiled down into a half-dozen positive and negative archetypes. A practical tool to recognize and control one's tendencies. Concise analysis of investor psychology boiled down into a half-dozen positive and negative archetypes. A practical tool to recognize and control one's tendencies.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Chuck Cho

    A good read to remind investor what to do in different situation.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Rishabh Katiyar

    Mr Freeman has done a great job of exploring one central idea in detail - handling losing positions - which hasnt been dealt with much in the classics

  30. 4 out of 5

    Henry Fosdike

    Fascinating. The ideas are simple, presented in an interesting way and perfect for anybody looking to invest their savings.

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