Portfolio manager Creatura, a 20-year investment veteran who has been widely quoted in the financial media, serves up 86...


Long and Short: Confessions of a Portfolio Manager


A debut book offers a professional’s personal perspective on stock market investing.

Portfolio manager Creatura, a 20-year investment veteran who has been widely quoted in the financial media, serves up 86 microchapters of wit, wisdom, and Wall Street observations. This is not a prescriptive plan or distinct method for stock market investing. With no overarching theme other than sharing the author’s “expensive lessons,” the book bluntly and at times amusingly skewers commonly held beliefs about investing while offering just enough considered counsel to tantalize the would-be dabbler. “When participating in risky activities such as walking a tightrope, swinging on the trapeze, or buying stocks,” writes Creatura, “it is important to have a safety net.” According to the author, that safety net is a company’s balance sheet: “When you’re purchasing a stock, this is what you’re buying…what you will own.” Such common-sense wisdom permeates a volume filled with pithy statements that hold relevance for novice and experienced investors alike. Each of the book’s terse chapters is a stand-alone snippet with a well-defined point. It might be efficiency: “Reduce the number of stocks you consider while increasing the quality of ideas you look at.” It might be investment advice: “Recognizing a 60/40 proposition and investing accordingly is what you need to be successful in this business. That is all.” Or it might be a paradoxical pronouncement: “Consistency is an admirable personal attribute. It can also be a dangerous curse for an investor.” The author has a knack for educating as well as entertaining, with a writing style that ranges from factual to funny. Several full-page cartoons, including the illustration of “An Unbalanced Investor” with callouts such as “Seat of Pants for Flying,” hit just the right note. Chances are the serious investor will have to read and perhaps reread the pages with a highlighter in hand to glean Creatura’s more earnest embedded advice scattered throughout the book, but even the casual investor will find this volume enjoyable, if not illuminating.

Pub Date: May 26, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-63413-485-9

Page Count: 260

Publisher: Mill City Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2016

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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