Is this a book? It’s kind of a book. It’s kind of a collection of short essays from different authors, most of whom aren’t full-time authors but instead run small-to-midsize financial planning shops.
I read this in part because of an ongoing fascination with the topic, but also because I’ve been following a sphere of personalities – Joshua Brown, one of the editors of this book, is part of the same company as Nick Maguilli, who wrote Just Keep Buying, a book that I enjoy, and Josh is also part of an entertaining podcast that I listen to regularly, The Compound and Friends.
This book reminded me of one of Nick Maguilli’s thoughts in his writeup How The Wealthy Invest:
I raise this point because there seems to be an obsession with the wealthy and how they invest their money as if their allocation decisions are what created their wealth. Of course, for some wealthy individuals this is true. Warren Buffett got rich based on how he invested his money. But many other wealthy people didn’t. They got rich as business owners or doctors or lawyers (or something else) and have since allocated their wealth to private equity and hedge funds. Keep this in mind before making any changes to your portfolio.
I think he’s right: a lot of rich people’s investments are not what got them there, so understanding how they invest is not as useful as it sounds.
Is this a useful book? Kind of. Some of the essays are good writing or thinking or have interesting observations. But these sorts of people are more likely to play around with odd investment strategies - private equity, dividends, etc - and to simply say that they invest in the same strategies they recommend for their clients. A lot of people write about how they don’t think money is all that important in the grand scheme of things.
Overall, it’s okay. I wish that there were fewer writers selected and a heavier hand taken with editing and structure. The page-long intros followed by 5-15 page summaries made the book feel a little like an ad for some of these people’s firms.