Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Deep Value

I really enjoyed Toby Carlisle's latest, Deep Value. There are a lot of books that offer compelling stories, but to my mind the plural of anecdote is not statistic. On the other hand, books heavy on the stats tend to bore their readers to sleep. For me, Deep Value was the perfect blend of real-life investing stories combined with the stats necessary to make for a convincing argument.

Most chapters focus on a protagonist who is on a quest for better returns. You may recognize some of them, including Carl Icahn and Warren Buffett, but you may not others (or at least I didn't), including Ron Brierley. In this way, the book reminded me a lot of (the heavily-recommended by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett) Business Adventures, but with a focus on investor activism rather than general business.

But unlike a lot of books I have read, the story-telling does not complete the tale. Carlisle examines the factors that lead to success in activism, thus giving passive investors the opportunity to predict (statistically) which stocks are most likely to attract an activist. At this point, the book reminded me of Carlisle's previous book, Quantitative Value, which I also highly recommend.

There is some heavy back-testing involved, where Carlisle teases out which factors contribute to investing success. Some of the factors may surprise, while if you've read Quantitative Value, some will not.

If you're a value investor, I strongly believe reading Deep Value will help you make better investment decisions.

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