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The Little Book That Builds Wealth: The Knockout Formula for Finding Great Investments (Little Books. Big Profits)
In The Little Book That Builds Wealth, author Pat Dorsey—the Director of Equity Research for leading independent investment research provider Morningstar, Inc.—reveals why competitive advantages, or economic moats, are such strong indicators of great long-term investments and examines four of their most common sources: intangible assets, cost advantages, customer-switching costs, and network economics. Along the way, he skillfully outlines this proven approach and reveals how you can effectively apply it to your own investment endeavors.
"A little learning is a dangerous thing."
- April 6, 2008
Becoming an investor who can quite regularly beat a broad based index (e.g. S&P 500) is near impossible. Just ask two of the most famous investors ever: John Bogle of Vanguard (who wrote his own "Little Book" warning investors to stay away from anything but low cost index funds) and Warren Buffett (of Berkshire Hathaway who also recommends index funds for the average investor). They point out that numerous studies show professional money managers (mutual funds) fail to beat the index funds they set out to beat time and time again--and trying to find the few mutual funds that will beat the index is close to a fool's errand. And when regular folks try to pick individual stocks, the results are even worse. Unfortunately, there is one problem with index fund investing: it's boring. Very boring. Moreover, we, for better or worse (worse in the case of investing in capital markets), don't like to be "average" and index fund investing by definition will only yield "average" results... read more
All about moats
By Sreeram Ramakrishnan
- February 24, 2008
This is a remarkably pithy discussion on what constitutes a "real" moat - competitive advantage that is sustainable. Regular readers/subscribers(like myself)of Morningstar products are already familiar with Morningstar's views on the importance of picking companies with moats for long term investing. This book essentially distills all such discussions into a very quick guide on "how to find good investments that can build wealth?". The use of excellent examples and a very down-to-earth (typical of the Little book series) discussion style makes this book an easy and useful read. Prospective readers need to be warned on two aspects - unlike the other books in the series (value investing, growth investing, etc.) this book doesn't have a specific "formula" but more a discipline on stock selection. (to borrow a cliche'd expression, the book aims to provide a method to fish than a fish itself). Secondly, regular Morningstar readers will be hard pressed to find anything new in these... read more
Useful guide to differentiating companies
By Julie Jason
- June 27, 2009
Think of a strong brand.
Take Tiffany's, explains Dorsey. Remove a Tiffany diamond from the blue box, and it looks no different than one sold by Blue Nile, he explains. Yet, Tiffany's is able to charge more than competitors.
Or take Bayer aspirin, says Dorsey. Bayer can charge almost two times as much as generic aspirin, making it a power brand.
If a company can charge more for the same product just by selling it under a brand, it's likely that you have a wide economic moat and a stock that is worth considering.
These are simple, straightforward lessons any reader can benefit from.
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