Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Little Book That Builds Wealth

I'm trying to get back into the swing of reading. Of course, I naturally gravitate toward financial investment books.  As I've posted before in my blog about the best investment books to read, the best books are those you will actually pick up and finish.  I've been hard for time lately, so I decided to pick up another book in "The Little Book" series.

This time, I picked up The Little Book That Builds Wealth by Pat Dorsey.   You will notice that this is the same Pat Dorsey who wrote another one of my recommendations, The Five Rules for Successful Stock Investing.  I like his style of writing, even though some might find it dry.  I find it to be easily understandable for even the average person with little investing background.

The book focuses on the concepts of economic moats.   It is a concept used heavily by the likes of Warren Buffet as well as the company Pat Dorsey works for, Morningstar.  The idea is simple.  Those companies that have sustainable and strong competitive advantages, will in the end be worth more money than those that don't have such advantages.  Despite the rather simple concept, the book does spend some time trying to convince the reader why the concept is important.  It actually is something that needs to be explained, because it is a rule often ignored by so many (myself included).

For me personally, the most useful thing was not how to think about companies that I am looking to invest in.  It was most useful to me as a way to think about my own company.  It got be thinking about the industry I am in as well as my company's position in it.  The book made me think about ways I can help my company create a lasting economic moat or if it was a waste of time to even try given my industry's dynamic.  I actually recommend it highly to anyone who has major influence in a company and is looking to jump start ideas on how to create strong competitive advantages.

So overall I recommend the book.  Probably because it fits in so nicely with my own investment style.  Just take a look at my Shopping List (which I know needs to be slightly updated) .  Almost every single one of those picks are a wide moat company.  All of them were picked before I ever read this book.    Great minds just think alike.

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