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Guy Spier: Our brains didn’t evolve for a modern economy

Guy Spier explains what studying Warren Buffett has taught him about decision making, and why he's optimistic in the current market
Guy Spier: Our brains didn’t evolve for a modern economy

To be a successful stock picker over a long period of time, not only do you have to be a scrupulous researcher, you also have to guard against powerful human emotions.

In this podcast, famed value investor Guy Spier talks through how his investment process has developed over the past two and half decades and why he’s feeling more optimistic in the current market rout than he has in previous crises.

In conversation with the IC’s Mary McDougall, he talks through his investment thesis in some key holdings, explains why he bought and sold Twitter and questions whether fear and concern over China has sparked more critical stories about the investment case, or if it reflects a genuine underlying reality. 

They discuss the benefits that can be gleaned from studying your heroes, the challenges and opportunities presented by feelings of envy and the extent to which fund management is an attractive way to live a life. 

Guy has managed Aquamarine Fund since 1997, achieving annualised returns of 9.5 per cent since its launch, compared with 8.1 per cent for the S&P 500 Index and 3.6 per cent for the FTSE 100 Index.




00:00 - Intro
02:27 - Outlook for your investments
07:03 - Reassessing the portfolio
09:04 - How much emphasis on macro factors
11:09 - Getting exposure to good ideas
15:25 - Investing in China
19:01 - Owning and selling Twitter
23:43 - Practical tips for emulating investor role models
27:34 - Investor biases/psychology
32:56 - Dealing with envy
36:29 - Investment rules to follow
40:17 - Why are you a fund manager?