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    The Great
    "This book should be admired first,
    and then studied seriously"
    - Ken Shubin Stein,
    Professor of Advanced Investment Research,
    Columbia Business School



This unique book provides a rich array of perspectives on many of the preeminent investors of our time. It features 33 portraits by Michael O’Brien, whose iconic photographs have appeared everywhere from major magazines to museums. Over five years, O’Brien traveled the world to produce the remarkably intimate portraits in this book. When you look through his camera at famous investors such as Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, Mario Gabelli, Bill Ackman, Jean-Marie Eveillard, and Bill Miller, you see them in a new light — a testament to O’Brien’s gift for capturing the essence of his subjects.

These photographs are accompanied by extraordinary profiles, all of them written or edited by William Green. Over two decades, Green has interviewed many legendary investors for publications such as Fortune, Forbes, Money, and Time, returning again and again to one overarching question: What qualities and insights enable this elite group to achieve enduring success? In his interviews and profiles for this book, Green explores the combination of talent, temperament, and powerful principles that the greatest investors possess. The lessons that emerge from these richly reported and elegantly written profiles will prove invaluable to anyone who wants to become a better investor.

Those lessons are both practical and profound. For example, when Green asks Irving Kahn for the most valuable piece of financial advice he can share, the 108-year-old replies: “Safety. Considering the downside is the single most important thing an investor can do.” Francis Chou speaks of detaching oneself from the crowd, warning: “If you want to participate in the market all the time, then it’s a mug’s game and you’re going to lose.” In explaining his astonishing investment returns, Joel Greenblatt remarks: “It’s easier to find bargains off the beaten path or in extraordinary situations that other people aren’t looking at.” Howard Marks notes that “the only constant is impermanence” and explains the importance of understanding that “you can’t control the environment.”

Beyond investing, the brilliant thinkers in this book also share many other lessons they have learned—for example, about family, faith, philanthropy, self-belief, luck, visualizing one’s dreams, handling stress, surviving failure, the pleasures and perils of being rich, and what has given them the most satisfaction.

Combining photographs and profiles in this highly original manner, The Great Minds of Investing is both a visual delight and a treasure trove of wisdom. It is a celebration of these investors, their achievements, and their ideas. And it is a timeless source of insight and inspiration. This book is destined to be read and re-read for decades to come.


William_Green-copyright Madeleine Green

William Green (Author) about The Great Minds of Investing

William Green has written for many publications in the U.S. and Europe, including Time, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, The New Yorker, The (London) Spectator, and The Economist. He edited the Asian edition of Time while living in Hong Kong, then moved to London to edit the European, Middle Eastern, and African editions of Time. As an editor and co-author, he has collaborated on books such as Guy Spier’s much-praised memoir, The Education of a Value Investor, and an upcoming autobiography of a legendary art collector. Born and raised in London, Green studied English literature at Oxford University and received a master’s degree in journalism at Columbia University. He lives in New York with his wife, Lauren, and their two children, Henry and Madeleine.

Michael O’Brien (Photographer) about The Great Minds of Investing

Michael O’Brien is one of the country’s premier portrait photographers. In a career that has spanned four decades, O’Brien has photographed subjects ranging from presidents to small-town heroes, celebrities to “ordinary” people. His candid, unapologetic style captures the dignity and humanity of all his subjects, in equal measure. His work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Life, National Geographic, Texas Monthly, The (London) Sunday Times, and many others. He is the author of two books, The Face of Texas and Hard Ground. O’Brien has twice been the recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. His photographs belong to the permanent collections of many museums, including the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, in Washington, D.C. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, Elizabeth.



Hendrik Leber (Producer) about The Great Minds of Investing

Hendrik Leber is the founder and a managing partner of ACATIS Investment, a German asset management firm. Born in Essen, Germany, he studied business administration in Saarbrücken, Germany; St. Gallen, Switzerland; Syracuse, New York; and Berkeley, California. He received his doctorate from St. Gallen University. At McKinsey & Company, his primary focus was on consulting for financial institutions. After that, as a partner of a unit of private bank Metzler, he worked on corporate finance and financial consulting projects. In 1994, he set up his own firm, ACATIS. He hosts value investing conferences and seminars and organizes the ACATIS Value Prize for outstanding academic work in the field of value investing. He has been married to his wife, Claudia, since 1984.

Additional writers:

Gisela Bauer • Joan Caplin • Peter Carbonara • Amy Feldman • Birgit Wetjen

Designers of the book:

DJ Stout and Barrett Fry
Suite 100
1508 West Fifth Street
Austin, Texas 78703

Expert Testimonials

John Mihaljevic
John Mihaljevic
CFA, Managing Editor, The Manual of Ideas

In The Great Minds of Investing, William Green has brought to life a treasure trove of wisdom from the world's most highly-regarded investors. Leveraging unprecedented personal access, he captures not only the essence of their investment wisdom but also the life lessons of these remarkable personalities. Truly unique is Green's close collaboration with world-renowned photographer Michael O'Brien whose portraits add a wonderful aesthetic dimension to the book, transforming it into a work of art. The result is a rich and layered book -- something readers will treasure for decades and return to again and again for inspiration and wisdom.

Guy Spier
Manager of the Aquamarine Fund and author of The Education of a Value Investor

This is a beautifully written book that offers a rare depth of insight into the lives and minds of the greatest investors of our time. And it is a showcase for William Green who has drawn deeply on 20 years of experience as a writer and editor for publications like Time, Forbes, Money, Bloomberg Markets and Fortune. During that time, he has spent countless hours interviewing many of the world’s great investors. This book benefits from Green’s desire, through careful contemplation, to understand the essential aspects of habit, personality and temperament that make these great investors who they are. This book needs to be on every serious investor’s bookshelf and should be reviewed and re-read regularly.

Ken Shubin Stein
MD CFA, Heilbrunn Center for Graham and Dodd Investing, Columbia Business School

I love this book, which is both visually beautiful and filled with valuable pearls of wisdom from some of the top minds in investing. The book gives the reader multiple ways to win in investing and life. I have always relished learning about successful people, their strengths and weaknesses, ambitions and fears, and the most important lessons they have to teach. Inside The Great Minds of Investing, William Green’s superb writing gives the reader access to an abundance of talent and wisdom, with each investor sharing a few of their most important ideas that have helped them excel. Taking to heart the lessons shared inside this book is a high-probability path to success for any investor. This book should be admired first, and then studied seriously.

Roy Flukinger
Senior Curator of Photography, Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas

If you are not actively engaged in market investing then you may tend to just lump all investors into a plain package or an amorphous group. Bad, very bad idea. Investors are, like the rest of us, shaped by their character and life experience, and are therefore ruggedly individual in terms of their philosophies and practices. Still, how do you capture, preserve and present that unique experience of each person behind the dollar? Now that takes a remarkable individual as well.
Enter Michael O’Brien, who is clearly the right photographer for the job. A champion at celebrating the human story whether within a documentary investigation or over the shifting landscapes of portraiture, O’Brien finds the liveliness and insight within each face. He brings the same comprehension, compassion and insight to each of these subjects that he has shown throughout decades of photographing celebrities, politicians, street people, musicians, artists and not a few everyday citizens as well. He understands both the nature of the capitalist profession as well as the character and humaneness –yes, humaneness! – that underlies each of these men in suits. And through this publication he also provides us, the viewers, with a common forum in which we may have the unique opportunity to better understand and appreciate the economic heartbeat of this nation.


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