Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Book Review - The Investment Zoo by Stephen Jarislowsky

The fact that there are so few investment books written with a Canadian focus of the caliber of The Investment Zoo is in no small part a fair reflection of the fact that there are correspondingly few Canadian investor-authors that compare not only to Jarislowsky’s financial success but also his emphasis on corporate ethics, shareholder interest and responsible philanthropy. Sadly, I have found that there are, of late, few investment books that are, in themselves, investments, and I was quite pleased to count this book among the exceptions. Not only was his investment advice valuable, but the experience he conveyed through numerous real-life examples - entirely without ego – also made for a very enlightening read. With 50+ years working as an analyst, advisor and investor, there are few ‘insiders’ as ‘inside’ as the author in question, who paces the work in a very engaging style. Arguably, some of the earlier sections, covering his background and political views could have been trimmed, though again, these passages speak as much to the author’s outlook as do his financial successes.

As much as Jarislowsky’s charisma shines through the work, its value as a practical investment guide cannot be overstated. He advocates purchasing large (if not global) industry leading companies in stable, non-cyclical industries and prefers those that pay rising dividends, and provides numerous examples of such companies (as well as those he suggests one avoid) There were many passages I bookmarked as particularly noteworthy, and hope to revisit them often and with reflection. Here’s a sample:
The beauty of the high-quality, worldwide, non-cyclical approach is that it gives a good reward while being low-risk, simple, non-commission intensive, and exposed to few surprises…. It adapts well to a do-it-yourself approach because there is no need for constant, high-quality security analysis to support it.
Others have also commented on this book. If interested in more than one view, please have a look at:

Thomas Connelly’s Review
Canadian Capitalist’s Review


Anonymous Average Joe said...

Great review.

This book is on my reading list. Hope to get to it soon.

2/28/2006 10:54 PM  

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Disclaimer: These articles are for information only, and are not to be construed as financial advice, legal advice, or a solicitation to buy or sell securities.