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Book Review: The Last Safe Investment, Bryan Franklin & Michael Ellsberg

Verdict: Took me about 4-5 hours to read, 263 pages, easy read and a really worthwhile book.

It’s the kind of book you can listen to on audio format and you will still get a lot out of it. It’s very different from the books I usually read which focus more on specific investment ideas and less on the big picture.

This is a big picture book. Investing is not about which stocks or mutual funds to pick but it’s about investing in yourself, your skills and your friends (referred to as tribe in this book).

The authors don’t dismiss securities investments, they just believe that it’s as much of a crap-shoot as many other investments out there, leaving little in your control. If these investment degrade you are left with nothing, possibly.

They instead talk about learning specific skills such as sales and marketing as well as writing. They talk about creativity and how to develop it and what constitutes creativity. Michael seems to have a more creative approach to solving problems which comes out in his writing. Bryan has a more systems-view which is nice for those who think more methodically.

In other chapters they break down specific problems, how to approach them, how to break them down into various steps and how to know what to focus one’s attention on.

I really liked 2 aspects of this book, one where they talk about developing ‘Adviser Equity’, which means learning skills with which you can help others therefore building your network. The other is the idea of a ‘Tribe’. It’s basically another word for connections/network of people but they write about how to form it without wanting to make money off of it; it’s interesting and definitely worth reading.

You can purchase it here on Amazon in various formats including audio through Audible.

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