In his autobiography: “So Far, So Good“, veteran investor Roy Neuberger, founder of well-known investment firm Neuberger Berman recalled the events of his life and shared insights on business as well as investing.
Neuberger reminiscences the days of his youth, from his wanderlust in France to his love for fine art, which led him to develop his lifelong passion and goal to support capable artists. He also recalled his first years at Wall Street, which led to the founding of his firm Neuberger Berman and the development of mutual funds for clients. Alongside Sir John Templeton, Neuberger was one of the pioneers of the mutual fund industry!
What I found particularly interesting about the man and his life was that he wasn’t doing what he’s doing solely for money. He has certainly made his fortune, but he emphasized that it was all for the purpose of ensuring that no capable artists should ever starve. Later on in the book, he shared about his philanthropy and the founding of the Neuberger Museum of Art in New York.
At the end of the autobiography, Neuberger shared his insights on investing – he calls them the ’10 Principles of Successful Investing’:
(1) Know Thyself – know your strengths, weaknesses, temperament, risk appetite!
(2) Study the Great Investors – learn from their successes and mistakes!
(3) Beware of the Sheep Market – avoid the crowd, do your own thinking and research!
(4) Keep a Long-Term Perspective – focus on what really matters for an investment
(5) Get In and Out in Time – have a perspective on your holding period and positioning
(6) Analyze the Companies Closely – know management, fundamentals, valuation etc
(7) Don’t Fall in Love – don’t fall in love with securities; remain objective
(8) Diversify, but don’t Hedge Alone – diversify your assets, get professional help in hedging
(9) Watch the Environment – be aware of general market trends/ macroeconomic conditions
(10) Don’t Follow the Rules – “my views change as economic, political and technological changes occur… it is imperative that you be willing to change your thoughts to meet new conditions”
Neuberger strongly emphasised that investing in the market is not for everyone, and advice most people to work with experienced professionals.
Overall, So Far, So Good is a light-hearted memoir of a legendary investor, a Wall Street pioneer, a successful businessman and philanthropist. Being a very-readable book, it is a great addition to a serious investor’s library!
*images taken from http://www.leurabooks.com.au/si/008199.html and Bloomberg*