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.An informative, diverting guide on what it takes to be a successful investor, with a healthy dose of seasoned humor.