As a potential reader it may help you to know what I think you can hope to gain from becoming a subscriber to The Investment Reader. These are the main benefits as I see them. Please note that we offer a one-month trial subscription, so it is simple to gain a flavour of the information we offer before you have to decide whether to pay for a subscription. You can cancel your subscription at any time. My objective is to under-promise and over-deliver, rather than the reverse. For better or worse, this is not how most commercial investment publications pitch their wares!
First class contacts
After more than 30 years analysing and writing about financial markets, I have been fortunate to learn a lot about the best professional investors – who they are, what they think and when best to speak to them. By subscribing to Investment Reader you can share in the ideas and insights of these top professionals on a regular basis. I am not foolish enough to think that I have all the answers myself. When I was writing my book Money Makers I asked the late Nils Taube, one of the most successful stock market investors of the postwar period, for the secrets of his success. He answered, only half tongue in cheek, “plagiarise”. Every professional I know will tell you how much they value their contacts and the good ideas they pick up from sharing and challenging each other’s ideas.
The more you look into the way the financial services business works, the more apparent it becomes how important financial independence and freedom from conflict are. For better or worse, most financial services firms have their own agendas and economic interests, which are often at odds with the best interests of their cients. As a privately owned business Independent Investor, the publisher of Investment Reader, has no professional or financial obligations that compromise its independence, and I plan to keep it that way. We do not pay for content, nor do we accept sponsorship. The decision who to interview is entirely down to me as Editor.
30+ years of experience
I have been analysing and writing about financial markets for more than 30 years. I started my first job in the City of London on the Sunday Telegraph newspaper in December 1978 and have been adding to my knowledge and experience ever since. Several bull and bear markets have been and gone in that time, as well as many crises. They include the 1987 market crash, the UK’s exit from the ERM, the Asian debt crisis and the 2007-09 banking tsunami.
Although my training was a journalist, specialising in research and the written word, I am comfortable with quantitative analysis as well, developed through studies at the London Business School and the Sloan School of Management at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where I studied the methods of Warren Buffett for a thesis. I am a qualified Member of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment, the main professional body for investment professionals in the City of London.
Many investment publications peddle impossible dreams. If you are looking for a get rich quick scheme, or for a cluster of hot share tips, Investor Q and A is most definitely not for you. Speculation in individual securities can be highly profitable, but sensible asset allocation and stock selection, allied to low turnover and prudent risk management, remain the key to long term wealth creation. Anything you read in Investment Reader is intended to help you make better decisions.
Alignment of interests
I have been actively managing my own money for a number of years. The research I do for Investment Reader informs my own portfolio decisions. There is a strong correlation between the model fund and stock portfolios I describe here and the holdings in my ISA and SIPP. The steady rise in the number of self-directed investors using online platforms shows that there are many potential readers who face the same decisions and choices that I do.
Education, education, education
Investment is one of those activities where you need never stop learning. Financial markets don’t stand still, and there are always new subjects, new ideas and new products to be considered. One of my motivations in starting the publishing arm of Independent Investor is to put together a comprehensive library of educational material about the art of investment for those who are hungry to learn more. This is an ongoing work in progress that may, alas, take me many months, or even years, to complete.
The power of networks
My hope is that the readership of The Investment Reader will grow over time to become an important network for the exchange of information and ideas between like-minded professional and private investors. Subscribers will be encouraged to submit interesting links and research that they come across for the benefit of other members. Our events programme provides an opportunity for subscribers to meet and hear a range of interesting speakers face to face. The master classes and speaker events we organise are usually well received, thanks to the quality of speakers we are able to attract. In my experience, there is no substitute for hearing first hand how an Anthony Bolton or a Jeremy Grantham goes about his business. Subscribers to The Investment Reader have priority notice of forthcoming events and will often be offered a discount on the normal entry price.
Value for money
A subscription to Investment Reader currently costs less than £1 per day. I hope that you will decide that this is good value for money.