Richer, Wiser, Happier: How the World’s Greatest Investors Win in Markets and Life first came out this year in 2021. Initially when I saw it being promoted on Money Twitter, I thought that there must have been a lot of money spent on marketing. I follow Guy Spier on Twitter (really enjoyed his book The Education of a Value Investor), and I thought maybe there was some kick back that Guy Spier got for promoting this book by William Green so much. Here’s my Richer, Wiser, Happier book review.
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I was skeptical when I first started reading the book, but boy, it sure does deserve the accolades and promotion on Money Twitter that it has been getting. I highly recommend this book, I wouldn’t say it is an absolutely “LIFE CHANGING” book but I think that if I read this book when I was younger, I would definitely be “richer, wiser, and happier” right now.
This book features insights to some of the world’s greatest multi-millionaire and billionaire investors, and boils down their habits, thoughts, hardships, and their story into something easy and simple to digest and understand.
Who is William Green?
William Green is a financial journalist who has written for The New Yorker, Forbes, and Time. He helped with Guy Spier’s The Education of a Value Investor. William Green also wrote the book The Great Minds of Investing.
I haven’t read that book but I like William Green’s easy to read, engaging writing style so that might be next on my book list.
Inside the Minds of the World’s Greatest Investors
In Richer, Wiser, Happier, William Green unravels the background stories and investing acumen of some of the world’s greatest investors.
Here are some of them that I found especially inspiring that I will share in this Richer Wiser Happier book review:
Mohnish Prabai- I had read The Dhandho Investor and really liked it. I found the ‘curse words’ quoted refreshing, I didn’t know that Mohnish Prabai used the the F word some liberally. His philosophy is that life is a game and the stock market is a game. He has extreme concentration in his portfolio and in 2015, half of his funds’ assets were in Fiat Chrysler and General Motors. He didn’t even bat an eye when he was down 67% in 2008/2009, it didn’t bother him and in fact he found the cheap prices “orgasmic”, lol.
Sir John Templeton– He created the Templeton Growth Fund which had an annual return of 14.5% return over 38 years. He was born in 1912 and lived in small town Tennessee. He got into Yale after he applied when hearing about it from a farmer neighbour. He touts successful investing to involve the willingness to be lonely. CEOs are more involved in team sports when they are younger but the best investors favour individual sports. He lived in the Bahamas until his death at age 95.
Joel Greenblatt– He founded Gotham Capital and has a unique way of taking something that seems complicated, like valuing a business, and making it simple. He also wrote The Little Book that Still Beats the Market. Keeping it simple also means just indexing and chill.
Nick Sleep– I had heard of his name but reading the chapter on him made him even more fascinating. His plan was to become a landscape architect, then he got laid off. He was inspired with the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance which sounds kind of like the sparking joy and valuing quality and and beauty in the most mundane tasks. Him and Qais Zakaria created a fund called the Nomad Investment Partnership in 2001. Over 13 years, they returned 921% compared to 116.9% for the MSCI World Index. They retired as fund managers at age 45. They also were highly concentrated in their portfolios and focused on quality like Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and Costco. This is a prime example of deferred gratification and the ultimate Marshmallow Test. Holding Amazon for 16 years from $30 to $3000. If you are interested here is a summary of some of Nick Sleep’s letters to Nomad Investment shareholders as reviewed by OMD Ventures.
Charlie Munger– Warren Buffett says that his right hand man, Charlie Munger, has the “best thirty-second mind in the world…He sees the essence of everything before you can even finish the sentence” His wisdom on human psychology and behaviour is very clear in Poor Charlie’s Almanack. One of his tips is the safeguard yourself against stupidity. Kind of like not buying chips at the grocery store (if you’re trying to go on a diet) because when you have it at home the temptation would be too much- humans innately have self-destructive behaviour.
Laura Geritz– She’s one of the only female investors featured in this book. She’s only 48 and has traveled to 75 countries and spends at least 6 months traveling around the world looking for the best investments for Rondure Global Advisors. Rondure has almost $400 million in assets under management and her fund opened up in 2016. She lived in Japan and speaks fluent Japanese and actually calls Japan home, not Utah.
Genymoney.ca Verdict: Richer Wiser Happier Book Review
The Richer, Wiser, Happier book by William Green is inspiring to any novice or experience investor (or even anyone remotely interested in investing, or learning in the journey called life) and I would highly recommend it.
Also it was great to read a book so current that it talks about the struggles with the 2020 COVID 19 pandemic and the effect on the market.
In summary some of the common themes for these brilliant investors include not being afraid to be ‘different’ from the rest of the pack (e.g. to be contrarian), to be strong (knowing that your calculation of intrinsic value is correct even when the rest of the market doesn’t seem to think so), to enjoy spending time by yourself reading, to be an inner scorecard type of person, to be disciplined and consistent, and to be a lifelong learner in this journey called life.
This book deserves a spot on that bookshelf full of investing books. This brief summary doesn’t do the book justice.
Hope you enjoyed this Richer, Wiser, Happier book review.
What is your Richer, Wiser, Happier book review?
Of the investors featured in Richer, Wiser, Happier, whose story inspires you the most?
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GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, dividend and ETF investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle. Before you go, check out my recommendations page of financial tools I use to save and invest money. Don’t forget to subscribe for blog updates, a free dividend yield spreadsheet, and the free Young Money Bootcamp eCourse.