Described by the author as "a slightly autobiographical and heavily biased book about investing", Simple But Not Easy has plenty of interest to the experienced professional, and is aimed also at the interested amateur investor. The theme of the book is that investment is simpler than non-professionals think it is in that the rudiments can be expressed in ordinary English, and picked up by anybody. It is not a science. But investment is also difficult. People on the outside tend to think that anyone on the inside should be able to do better than the market indices.
Richard Oldfield - Simple But Not Easy
This is not so. Picking the managers who are likely to do better is a challenge. Richard Oldfield begins with a candid confession of some of his worst mistakes and what they have taught him. He discusses the different types of investment, why fees matter, and the importance of measuring performance properly. He also outlines what to look for, and what not to look for in an investment manager, when to fire a manager, and how to be a successful client.
The right of Richard Oldfield to be identified as the author has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Design and Patents Act All rights reserved; no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior written permission of the Publisher.
This book may not be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise disposed of by way of trade in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published without the prior written consent of the Publisher. No responsibility for loss occasioned to any person or corporate body acting or refraining to act as a result of reading material in this book can be accepted by the Publisher, by the Author, or by the employer of the Author.
For eight years, with great success, Richard Oldfield looked after the investments of a family office in London with substantial assets.
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In Simple but not easy , Richard provides a common sense guide to the art of investment, enlivening such apparently dull topics as fees and benchmarks and valuations with a treasure trove of entertaining anecdotes and asides. He demolishes with clinical logic much of the conventional wisdom propagated by some professional investment consultants and practised by most institutional investors. He explains the futility of market forecasts and why the consensus is almost always wrong.
Simple but not easy : an autobiographical and biased book about investing
He tells you what to look for when choosing an investment manager, and illustrates the pitfalls with candid confessions of some of his own mistakes. And, by the way, the book is worth reading for its critique of hedge funds alone. Richard is more than just an exceptional investor. He reads widely, as most successful investors do, writes easily and amusingly as this book demonstrates and, although modest almost to a fault, is a natural public speaker who enjoys explaining his essentially contrarian, often courageous and occasionally controversial investment philosophy to others.
This he does in an uncomplicated way and without the sometimes impenetrable investment speak used by so many in the business.
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He looks after a big house in Kent, puts on an opera every summer to raise money for one of several charities to which he lends his talents and energy, rides to hounds, runs marathons and dabbles in politics. He is a keen gardener, knows a lot about trees, has an eye for modern art and a weakness for dark chocolate. He is, in short, a man of many parts, and if not yet quite an eccentric, he is at least an original, and certainly an original thinker.
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Above all, he is blessed with a finely tuned sense of humour. I have had the good fortune to have known Richard since the start of his career more than 25 years ago, and I have always enjoyed his company and admired his achievements. Now I commend his book to anyone who wants to take an informed interest in their own portfolio or to know how to appoint an investment manager. It should certainly be required reading for every investment management professional. How nice. Slight embarrassment. The subject is a sure social conversation-stopper. The business of investment, said John Maynard Keynes, is intolerably boring for anyone exempt from an instinct for gambling.
For many it is a no-go area. A friend who looks after the money of one of the wealthiest British families told me that when members of that family come of age, and so into some money of their own, he has a chat with them. He tells them that they can either become actively involved in how their money is managed; or they can leave it to him and his colleagues in the family investment office.
If they choose the latter, congratulations, he tells them, you are normal. Another person in the business has told me I have always thought that investing is something to do, rather than to talk about. Investment involves the fluctuating ownership from a sedentary position of what were once pieces of paper and have now been virtualised so that they are no more than entries in some faceless computer records.
It is an activity which can seem unreal. Consequently it is rather less normal to be interested in investment than in a dozen other potential enthusiasms. But most investment managers do what they do because they find it strangely captivating. People outside the profession think it complicated. Generally speaking, it is not. One of the reasons that investment is, for the amateur, a rather obscure activity is that, like anything specialised, it is full of jargon, much of it devised to put off the amateur, and to reassure professionals that what they are doing is scientific.
But the rudiments of investing in equities and bonds can be expressed in fairly ordinary English, and picked up by anybody.
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On the other hand, though not complicated, investment is difficult. People on the outside tend to think that anyone on the inside should be able to do better than the market indices purely by virtue of being a professional. Sadly not. Professional managers find it hard to beat the market over the long-term. Fewer than half the professional investment managers outperform the market itself. All of them can be quite sure that they will not outperform the market in every year.
The fact that investment managers in aggregate are not producing anything useful does not mean that all investment managers are useless. How to decide who is likely to do a useful, outperforming, job is a fascinating challenge.
To succeed in it the investor must first understand the paradox that investment is simple but not easy. I should explain what this book is, and what it is not. It is not a stage 1 primer. I have not provided a glossary of terms. If the reader wants to find out what an equity is or, more sophisticated, the definition of a Sharpe ratio, there are other places to look.
It is not an academic book, and to avoid giving that sort of impression I have eschewed footnotes. Experimental fiction is something you write for the love of it. It is rarefied. But it is important because it often forms the foundation of our creative ecosystem. Other artists musicians, painters, architects etc higher up the food chain read us and engage with our ideas and translate what we do. This year, as every year, there have been versions of the old op-ed standby that the Man Booker is succumbing to pretension or political correctness or snobbery or irrelevance. These all make for pleasingly attitudinal headlines but they ignore the glaring point that every single year you get a whole new panel of judges who make a whole new determination from a whole new batch of books.
That has happened, and it can be agonising. This year though, Anna Burns was felt to be the answer to both. Easy good books will, with a bit of luck, find their audiences; easy bad books will do so too, because they are often fun in spite of or because of their badness. Difficult bad books will tend to die in a ditch; and difficult good books, without a helping hand, are likely to do so too. These prizes are set up to reward the best literary fiction. Here, though, something of a definitional abyss opens.
There are indeed good and bad books but books also succeed and fail — and are responded to by readers — in relation to the genres they fit into or escape from. Like it or not, literary fiction is a category that we use.
And if it is just another genre and needs to get over itself, fine. We can identify features of other genres. Aliens and nanobots? SF, more often than not. Guns and hats and dead bodies? Dossiers and dead drops?
Spy novels. Literary fiction can, like most fiction, be unimportant. It can also be unserious: some of the best of it is. That may be true, some of the time — but these things are more likely to be symptoms than necessary features. That can be moral or psychological complexity — crudely, the goodies and baddies are less clearly delineated — but it can also be, and tends to be in the best work, allied to a greater attention to the form and to the sentence-by-sentence language itself. And where I say that it mingles with other genres, the point I mean to make is that just like hats, or nanobots its features can be found in any genre.
He discusses the different types of investment, why fees matter, and the importance of measuring performance properly. He also outlines what to look for, and what not to look for in an investment manager, when to fire a manager, and h. Help Centre. Track My Order. My Wishlist Sign In Join. Be the first to write a review. Sorry, the book that you are looking for is not available right now. Books with a similar title.