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Book review: Investing through the looking glass by Michael Wassermann

Cover of  by Tim Price

In this book, Tim Price starts by explaining the problems the investing world faces. The backdrop of these problems is diverse:

[Table - removed - see original article]

In the second part of the book, Tim Price offers 3 solutions for private investors: value investing, trend-following strategies, and gold.

1. Value investing. The author builds on classic Graham metrics that work, as analysed by O’Shaughnessy. A look at the VT Price Value Portfolio shows that Price currently sees value in Japan and Vietnam (together they account for over 50% of the fund). A large part of the Japanese investments are done through Samarang Capital. Holdings like Fairfax (Prem Watsa) and Loews (Tisch family) are also well represented.

2. Trend-following strategies. Tim Price is fond of systematic trend-following, as it offers both performance (see page 182 for examples of successful firms) and de-correlation. The strategy has not performed well recently but the author remains confident in its merits. For more info, see here.

3. Gold. Given his criticism of monetary policies, it is not surprising that Tim Price likes gold and doesn’t view it as a “barbarous relic”. According to Price, “Gold is an insurance policy against both monetary and fiscal recklessness”.

In summary, the book gives a good overview of what’s wrong with the current state of investing, and offers 3 interesting solutions. As a lot of criticism is directed towards recent policies, I wonder how the views of the author are evolving in the era of Trumponomics.

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