Podcast & Book Reviews

October 6, 2023

Book Review | Big Mistakes: The Best Investors and Their Worst Investments by Michael Batnick

By Jared Tilley | Senior Investment Analyst at NAOS Asset Management

Book Review | Big Mistakes: The Best Investors and Their Worst Investments by Michael Batnick

Michael Batnick's "Big Mistakes" provides an insightful look into the colossal blunders made by legendary figures such as Warren Buffett, Bill Ackman, Jesse Livermore and John Paulson. This book sheds light on their worst investment decisions and the valuable lessons they learned from these missteps.

While majority of investment books focus on the success stories of professionals, Batnick focuses solely on the mistakes diving into key examples, whether it's Warren Buffett's ill-fated foray into the airline industry or Bill Ackman's infamous Herbalife short. Batnick demonstrates that even the brightest minds can make big mistakes.

"Big Mistakes" is not merely a catalogue of financial failures but a guide to becoming a wiser and more effective investor. It teaches us that mistakes are an integral part of the journey to financial success, provided we are willing to learn from them.

Favourite quotes from the book:

- “Don’t confuse brains with a bull market.” The idea that we confuse our ability to select above average stocks in a market that lifts all boats is so pervasive that there is a name for it. Attribution bias.” Humphrey Neill

- “Ideas are part of who we are they become like possessions. Especially publicly. I mean flip flopping is a bad word. I love changing my mind.” Daniel Kahneman

- “The stocks market is the only market where things go on sale and all the customers run out the store” Cullen Roche

Link to Book

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