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Book on Keynes the investor


ragnarisapirate
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Has anyone read a book on J M Keynes that addresses his investing that they would be willing to suggest? I have read several articles on him investing, and also seen where Miller and Buffett talked about him investing.

 

thanks in advance.

 

 

Keynes and the Market  by Justyn Walsh. It's on my personal list of top 10 books on investing. :)

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Has anyone read a book on J M Keynes that addresses his investing that they would be willing to suggest? I have read several articles on him investing, and also seen where Miller and Buffett talked about him investing.

 

thanks in advance.

 

 

Keynes and the Market  by Justyn Walsh. It's on my personal list of top 10 books on investing. :)

 

I just ordered it. Thanks for the input!

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Keynes record was amazing!  He was first a successful speculator, mainly in currencies just a few that he understood very well by fundamentals.  He wrote a paper on probability that was so well received that he was made a Fellow at Kings College, Cambridge without jumping through the usual hoops.  He had a good sense of concepts like what we now call standard deviation.  He knew how to wait for the fat pitch, and this saved him from ruin on a couple of occasions.  In the late 1920's he repented of his highly leveraged speculations and became a value investor, mainly in equities.  His portfolio lost 70% of its market value in the 29-32 market crash, but he slept soundly without margin.  At the bottom of the market, he shifted most of his funds to the US market which had tanked much more than the UK.  He bought solid, dividend paying utilities at absurdly low prices.  These promptly tripled.  By the late 1930's, his portfolio was worth thirty times its value at the low point in1932!

 

Sadly, he died of a heart attack just after WWII .

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This take on Keynes investment prowess is superficial.  At one point during his speculative period he was insolvent.  He was indeed rescued by friends with money, but not mainly because he was from a wealthy class.  He had made a lot of profit for his investors earlier, and he was esteemed highly enough to be advanced a little more capital.  He soon recouped their losses.  His situation was similar to Ben Graham's rescue by the Newman family. :)

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this book is just another book on Buffett and paradoxally not on Keynes!

 

 

Are you commenting on Keynes and the Market by Justyn Walsh?  If so, I don't understand how you arrived at your opinion.  There are quite a few brief references to Buffett throughout the book and also references to Graham and others, but the book is very much about Keynes.  The fact that great investors come to similar conclusions about some of the most important issues reinforces the intrigue of understanding the nuances of their investing styles.  My personal preference is Keynes later value investing style: cautious, holding back, but still a plunger when presented with a very deep discount on solid companies.

 

IMO Keynes' insights on the psychology of investing are timeless and far more important than the also valuable recent academic studies.  Buffett and Graham also are wise here.  But Keynes was especially observant with original insights and profound understanding of the irrational quirks of our nature.  :)

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yes I comment on this book. There are a lot of references to Buffett. Keynes was more macroeconomic in his investment style even in the second part of his life and used a lot of leverage. He didn't see the crash coming in 1937 and lost a lot of money he didn't recoup (far from it) until his death in 1946 (after world war 2)

I don't mean he is not a genious but I found this comparison to Buffett superficial.

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Keynes returns managing the Chest Fund were okay. Not outstanding, about 9-13%. However relative to the UK Market return at the time which was about -0.11% from 1928-1945 a 9-13% return is above average.

He started out market timing and speculating, but after experiencing big losses ... came around to buying good value and holding over the long term.

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Keynes had de facto control over the Kings College endowment for several years while he was its Bursar, according to Walsh.  During his stewardship, the value of the endowment increased 12 times while the general market was up less than two times.

 

Walsh quotes Keynes: "The financial concerns where I have had my own way have been uniformly prosperous . . . My difficulties in financial quarters all through have been the difficulty of getting unorthodox advice accepted by others concerned."

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  • 4 years later...

Great post.  I've done the same thing as Keynes.  tried commodities related businesses but realized that the value was dependent on other's agreeing with my views.    this could take years.  With good companies, the cash flow and cash in the bank make it easy for others to agree with my assessment and the portfolio keeps moving up. 

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Is this one better than "Keynes's Way to Wealth"?  I had picked that one up on my "to read" list from somewhere.

 

I finished this book the other day and was going to put a short review in the books sub forum. I bought it because I was interested in Keynes's view on concentrated portfolios since I knew he was an early practitioner of the focused fund. Unfortunately, the book didn't contain much investment insight. It briefly went through his investment career. What was astounding to me was the volatility he experienced. Completely insane by today's standards. He went bust several times too thanks to leverage. All in all, it was an interesting book and a light read but I don't feel like I learned a whole lot. I haven't read the other books mentioned but if I were you I'd skip this one and just watch the author's lecture (where he gives away most of the interesting parts of his book anyways):

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yes I comment on this book. There are a lot of references to Buffett. Keynes was more macroeconomic in his investment style even in the second part of his life and used a lot of leverage. He didn't see the crash coming in 1937 and lost a lot of money he didn't recoup (far from it) until his death in 1946 (after world war 2)

I don't mean he is not a genious but I found this comparison to Buffett superficial.

 

In 1936 Mr. Keynes had net assets worth £506,522 and loans worth £299,347. Therefore, his debt / equity ratio was 0.6. It doesn't seem too levered at all...

Besides, from 1937 until 1949 the Shiller P/E of the S&P500 contracted from 22.2 to 9.1...

Of course, I cannot speak for Mr. Buffett, but I guess even him would have found difficult to navigate such turbolent waters...

2008 in comparison has been a walk in the park... Imagine 12 years of markets going down, instead of just 1! Imo nobody would be spared. So, let's just hope it won't ever happen again! ;)

 

Gio

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  • 4 months later...

http://greenbackd.com/2014/07/07/john-maynard-keynes-and-the-performance-of-value-glamour-and-the-market-1926-to-april-2014/

 

I’ve been reading John F. Wasik’s Keynes’s Way to Wealth: Timeless Investment Lessons from The Great Economist, a book about British economist John Maynard Keynes’s life as an investor. Keynes started out as a foreign currency and commodity speculator in 1919, was wiped out twice in 1922, and 1929, and went on to become a Buffett-style concentrated value investor by around 1932.
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