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Simple But Not Easy: An Autobiographical and Biased Book About Investing Hardcover – 1 May 2007

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Doddington Publishing (1 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955576601
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955576607
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 2.3 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 89,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

the best book of its kind I have ever read --William Ress-Mogg, The Times

...the best practitioners book since Barton Briggs's 'Hedge Hogging'...an expert, extremely readable real-life tour through the main features of the investment landscape --Alistair Blair, Investors Chronicle

the most accessible (and amusing) book about investing I have read --Jonathan Davis, The Spectator

About the Author

Richard Oldfield is chief executive of Oldfield Partners LLP, which manages equity portfolios for families, trusts, charities, endowment funds and pension funds with an approach the firm describes as long-only, concentrated, value-focused, and index-ignorant.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Adam Smith VINE VOICE on 24 July 2007
Format: Hardcover
When you are jaded and dispirited with your lack of success with the MACD, the RSI, and Bollinger Bands, and suchlike hocus pocus, give yourself the equivalent of a refreshing cold shower with this gem of a book. It is full of rigorous commonsense and written in the most readable manner. I unhesitatingly recommend it to anyone interested in investment. After reading it, you will once again be able to see the wood for the trees. Mr Oldfield's autobiographical style is most refreshing and amusing: I am sure you will learn a lot from this book, and its a damned good read to boot. You cannot say that about many books on investment.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. RJ WILMSHURST on 10 Nov. 2008
Format: Hardcover
As other reviewers have stated, on the face of it, this book is nothing more than a commonsense explanation of the principles of investment. So on that basis I wouldn't recommend it as a guide to investment. However, what it is really is a very well written, self-deprecating and thoroughly entertaining autobiography. Therefore I highly recommend it as an enjoyable read, whether or not you have any particular interest in investment.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Louis V. Gave on 12 Feb. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Common knowledge states that a smart person learns from his mistakes. Of course, a very smart person learns from other people's mistakes. This may be why Richard Oldfield starts off his very enjoyable book, "Simple, But Not Easy", enumerating the different ways he has lost money in the financial markets. Richard Oldfield obviously hopes to prevent his reader from falling into the same pot holes that he encountered. But at the same time, by starting his book with an enumeration of his various mistakes, Richard Oldfield also:
- Creates an immediate bond with his reader who will likely respond with thoughts along the lines of "yep. I've done that" or "that reminds me of the time I bought X".
- Establishes his immediate credibility as a money manager. Indeed, if nothing else, managing money teaches one humility and, as Mr Oldfield points out towards the end of his book, investors who consistently talk up their gains are rarely the most successful over the long-term.

Having established both his credibility and a bond with the reader by the end of the first chapter, the author can then proceed to the task at hand, namely share the rules he picked up in over thirty years of investing, first as a fund manager for Warburg and Mercury, then as the CIO of a London-based family office and finally as the general partner of his own firm, Oldfield Partners.

Over the years, the author has obviously amassed a treasure trove of interesting quotes and surprising facts that he brings out to further a point, or simply make the book a lighter read. Indeed, books on financial markets and "how to invest without losing your shirt" can rapidly become tedious or preachy. Simple but Not Easy avoids this fate.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By LMW on 4 July 2007
Format: Hardcover
"And what do you do?"

"I'm an investment manager."

"How nice." Pause. Slight embarrassment.
"I'm afraid I don't know anything about
investment."

Simple but not easy, which Richard Oldfield describes as a slightly autobiographical and heavily biased book about investing, has plenty of interest to the experienced professional, and is aimed also at the interested amateur investor. The theme of this 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. 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.
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