By all accounts 49-year-old Guy Spier is an accidental value investor. After completing his undergraduate studies at Oxford, Spier earned his MBA from the Harvard Business School. Just like the rest of his peers, Spier ended up as an investment banker on Wall Street. But he soon found the all-pervasive whatever-it-takes culture stifling his conscience. The credo “anything goes” was not for Spier who finally found his true calling when he turned to investing in 1997 by launching Aquamarine Fund, modeled largely on Warren Buffett’s investing principles. Spier attributes a large part of his second coming to Buffett and the learnings from attending the Woodstock of Capitalism, the annual meeting of Berkshire Hathaway, since 1995. Meeting Buffett cloner Mohnish Pabrai only reinforced Spier’s faith in the tenets of value investing. But as Spier points out the best investing lessons have little to do with stocks and more to do with knowing oneself. Sitting out of his Zurich office, Spier takes us through his investment philosophy, talking about his multi-bagger picks and the lessons he learnt from missing a thing or two.
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