The Nature Of Investing: Book Preview!


Hello Honeybees!

As many of you know, the writing of my first book is well underway, and it’s set to be published by Bibliomotion in springtime 2014.  Below please find a mini-manifesto about this mega-project.  If you’d like to receive ongoing book updates, please click here.

We are all investors.  We invest our time, our energy, our money.  We invest every single day, as citizens, as consumers, as businesspeople.  At its core, investing involves connection, exchange, and mutual benefit:  we humans invented this activity, to serve our own needs, our communities, and our planet.

Lately, however, the primary, beneficial function of investing has become overshadowed by ever-more-mechanized iterations of finance.  We have created funds of funds, securitizations of securitizations, and entire firms whose business is based on harvesting the advantage of microseconds of trading speed.  As we move deeper into the specialized mechanics of finance, we often lose sight of the primary role of investing.

It is now widely recognized that our financial system is not as robust nor as resilient as we’d hoped and planned.  The time has come for us to refocus on investing in its essential, connected form – to reintegrate investing with the real world, rather than the world on the screen.

How can we re-center investing in its original, beneficial role?  Traditional economic theory, upon which traditional investment theory relies, can be useful, but it is incomplete.  These theories take a mechanical approach, rooted in physics. A more provocative, nuanced approach is to use biology instead of mechanical engineering as our starting point for modeling.  Specifically, the field of biomimicry provides us with a framework that embodies connection and integration, a model of our natural systems that have proven to be effective, adaptive, and sustainable.  The principles of biomimicry, Life’s Principles, are not the newest theories:  they are the oldest facts.  These concepts describe how the natural world has actually functioned for 3.8 billion years.

The Nature of Investing unites investing with life’s principles, transforming the investment process from the roots up.  Drawing on my twenty years of professional investment experience as leader of one of the largest buy-side research organizations in the world and manager of multi-billion-dollar portfolios, this book connects real-world finance with a deeply rooted, scientifically valid framework – a different framework than the mechanized one currently employed.  The result is an investment approach that goes “beyond sustainability” to form a system that is inherently resilient and regenerative.

Readers will be inspired by the power and relevance of natural principles, and will discover new ways to understand the recent shortcomings (and successes) in our financial system.  Most importantly, they will explore the map of an approach that re-aligns investing with the world it was originally meant to serve.  This is the future of finance:

Instead of efficient, effective. 

Instead of rigid, resilient. 

Instead of synthetic complexity, elegant simplicity. 

Instead of maximized, optimized. 

This is the true Nature of investing.

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