This is not so much a book as a 2012 collection of the mega rich investor’s memorable soundbites, asides and witticisms suitable for this Twitter age of diminished attention spans. And yet, I shouldn’t sneer as I zipped through the book and absorbed much of what he said, which was helpfully arranged thematically. So, we get his thoughts on investing, US politics, Wall Street, wealth and taxes, and life lessons. Much of what he says I agree with, he is essentially a New Deal Democrat who is aware of his privilege and contemptuous of Wall Street’s charlatans and crooks. His advice to invest in good companies that make useful things when everyone else is panicking, and then just hold on to that stock is wise and as relevant to us in the corona-virus world as it was in his youth, though his untarnished faith in America to solve the world’s problems was easier to believe when this book was published and Trump was just a sick late-night TV joke.
No. 13 of 100 books I intend to read and review in 2020.
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Patrick Sherriff, an Englishman who survived 13 years working for newspapers in the US, UK and Japan. Between teaching English lessons at his conversation school in Abiko, Japan, with his wife, he writes and illustrates textbooks for non-native speakers of English, releases Hana Walker mystery novels, short stories, essays and a monthly newsletter highlighting good fiction published in English about Japan. Saku’s Random Book Club is his latest project to spend more time with books.