This article has three sections:

  • “Who is Guy Spier and what is his book “The Education of a Value Investor” about? ”
  • “Why Guy Spier and Mohnish Pabrai spent $650,000 on a lunch with Warren Buffett”
  • “How a lunch with Warren Buffett changed Guy’s life”

Warren Buffett is renowned for his successful ventures in stock investing. He has gained a reputation as a philanthropist and as an investor due to his impeccable business acumen. As an investor, he focused on value investing and managed to be ranked among the most influential and richest men in the world. Value investing, derived from the ideas of Benjamin Graham and David Dodd, is an investment approach with the core principle of buying stocks according to the underlying value, or intrinsic value, rather than following the emotions of the stock market herd. Buffett, who was mentored by Benjamin Graham, has spoken many times about the benefits of value investing. So what exactly is value investing? Our guest, Guy Spier, shares his precious knowledge about how it works…


Who is Guy Spier and what is his book, The Education of a Value Investor, about?

Guy Spier is the author of the book, The Education of a Value Investor. Currently, Spier is the CEO of Aquamarine Capital. His fund concentrates on investing in publicly traded equities. Today, it is implemented according to the ideas represented in Buffett’s original 1950’s partnerships (Buffett ran multiple partnerships during that decade). With amazing credentials from Oxford and Harvard, and an impressive record of stock returns, Spier is considered a worldwide authority in value investing. His book is a very honest account of his transformation to become a successful investor. Spier is very open about his initial setbacks and experiences, which have guided his investment approach to what it is today. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people travel to Wall Street in droves to achieve something in their life. Obtaining a degree from Harvard, Stanford, or Oxford is definitely not a piece of cake, so most students who graduate with their shiny diplomas usually head-over to Wall Street to master the tricks of the trade. Similarly, Spier, fresh out of Harvard University, stepped into the world of investments, determined to become the Gordon Gekko type.

Most students who graduate from prestigious universities are usually driven with high ambitions. Guy was no different. After he graduated with an MBA in Economics from Harvard, Spier took up a job at D.H. Blair as an investment banker. While there, he gradually realized that the working environment was compromising both his personal values and ethics. Now this is where the book is different. Instead of dishing out advise about investing, Spier talks about how he was forced to take a good look at himself. He rose to the challenge and devoted most of his time reading and understanding more about ultra-successful investors – like Warren Buffett. Since then, Spier hasn’t looked back and has modeled his life after powerful people like Buffett, Munger, and Benjamin Franklin. Most importantly, he has worked hardest on becoming a more authentic version of himself.

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While Spier talks about a variety of investment principles he adopted from Warren Buffett in his book, what’s more fascinating is how he focuses more on personal growth and development from Buffett, rather than stock investing. He stresses that it’s vital to have an inner scorecard instead of an outer scorecard in life. An outer sc