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Simple But Not Easy: An Autobiographical and Biased Book About Investing by Richard Oldfield

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Chapter 1 – Howlers galore

My family motto used to be vulnere viresco – through my wound I grow strong. This was a typical dog-Latin pun on our name: an old field, ploughed up and resown, grows a crop again and flourishes. But in India in the early 1800s an aggrieved employee tried to murder my great, great grandfather with a sword. He was wounded in the back and lost two fingers. Thereafter he could not bear the motto and changed it to something much duller.

Vulnere viresco is a perfect motto for an investment manager. That people learn from their mistakes is a truism. In investment management there are plenty of them to learn from. Mistakes are the things that make one fractionally better at it, at least as much as successes, and any manager ...

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