Big Mistakes: The Best Investors and Their Worst Investments
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More About This Title Big Mistakes: The Best Investors and Their Worst Investments


A Must-Read for Any Investor Looking to Maximize Their Chances of Success

Big Mistakes: The Best Investors and Their Worst Investments explores the ways in which the biggest names have failed, and reveals the lessons learned that shaped more successful strategies going forward. Investing can be a rollercoaster of highs and lows, and the investors detailed here show just how low it can go; stories from Warren Buffet, Bill Ackman, Chris Sacca, Jack Bogle, Mark Twain, John Maynard Keynes, and many more illustrate the simple but overlooked concept that investing is really hard, whether you're managing a few thousand dollars or a few billion, failures and losses are part of the game. Much more than just anecdotal diversion, these stories set the basis for the book's critical focus: learning from mistakes. These investors all recovered from their missteps, and moved forward armed with a wealth of knowledge than can only come from experience. Lessons learned through failure carry a weight that no textbook can convey, and in the case of these legendary investors, informed a set of skills and strategy that propelled them to the top.

Research-heavy and grounded in realism, this book is a must-read for any investor looking to maximize their chances of success.

  • Learn the most common ways even successful investors fail
  • Learn from the mistakes of the greats to avoid losing ground
  • Anticipate challenges and obstacles, and develop an advance plan
  • Exercise caution when warranted, and only take the smart risks

While learning from your mistakes is always a valuable experience, learning from the mistakes of others gives you the benefit of wisdom without the consequences of experience. Big Mistakes: The Best Investors and Their Worst Investments provides an incomparable, invaluable resource for investors of all stripes.


MICHAEL BATNICK is the director of Research at Ritholtz Wealth Management. He develops and implements risk management and portfolio strategies for clients and leads internal research efforts. He educates people on investing at The Irrelevant Investor blog and co-produces the weekly podcast, Animal Spirits.


Preface ix

CHAPTER 1 There Are No Iron-Clad Laws 1
Benjamin Graham

CHAPTER 2 Manage Your Risk 13
Jesse Livermore

CHAPTER 3 Don’t Get Attached 25
Mark Twain

CHAPTER 4 Genius’s Limits 35
John Meriwether

CHAPTER 5 Find What Works for You 45
Jack Bogle

CHAPTER 6 Stay in Your Lane 55
Michael Steinhardt

CHAPTER 7 You’re Not as Smart as YouThink 65
Jerry Tsai

CHAPTER 8 Beware of Overconfidence 73
Warren Buffett

CHAPTER 9 Get Off Your Soapbox 85
Bill Ackman

CHAPTER 10 Hard Lessons Can Be Necessary 97
Stanley Druckenmiller

CHAPTER 11 The Risks of Concentrated Investing 107

CHAPTER 12 The Most Addictive Game 117
John Maynard Keynes

CHAPTER 13 You Only Need to Win Once 129
John Paulson

CHAPTER 14 Handling Big Losses 137
Charlie Munger

CHAPTER 15 Dealing with Regret 145
Chris Sacca

CHAPTER 16 Looking in the Mirror 155
Michael Batnick

About the Author 165

Index 167

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