Finance 101: Bill Ackman on investment basics

Quick one here.  For those brand new to saving/investing, I recommend this 45-minute overview by the quite successful value investor, Bill Ackman.  Very well-produced.  A few notes:

  1. Begin at about 21:30 if you’d like to skip an opening session on starting a business (including the vocabulary around accounting and capital markets).  The second half is purely focused on investing.
  2. Mr Ackman speaks of mutual funds being the obvious solution for those not wanting the effort of choosing their own portfolio companies.  I’m sure he wouldn’t begrudge me a pitch for ETFs which do the same things, but usually carry lower fees.
  3. Given Mr Ackman’s value-oriented investment approach, I wasn’t surprised to hear his cynicism for investment styles outside of value (namely ‘technical’ or systematic approaches).  I disagree here, noting that both Mr Ackman’s approach and other approaches can work in the long term, and frequently provide different sorts of investment returns.
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