Diary of a Hedgehog
Barton Biggs was a renowned hedge fund manager and Wall Street commentator and completed this, his fourth book on the markets, just before his death last year.
The book consists of a series of musings from his diary spanning the period summer 2010 to spring 2012, with more recent explanatory notes on each entry outlining the context of his thinking at the time. He offers commentary on the major financial events of the time and explains the rationale for his investment decisions, admitting where he made mistakes along the way.
Biggs also takes a philosophical approach to life, quotes writers such as Frost and W B Yeats and writes in an engaging style.
Emotions play a huge part in markets and investors need to understand their own emotional responses if they are to prosper, he says, concurring with Warren Buffett’s view of when to buy and when to sell.
It can be likened to being in business with a bipolar partner. When your partner is in a dark mood and offers to sell his share of the business at a huge discount, you should buy it. When he is ebullient and wants to buy your share at an exorbitant premium, you should oblige him, he says.