Wealth, War and Wisdom

Wealth, War and Wisdom

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Description

An intriguing look at how past market wisdom can help you survive and thrive during uncertain times


In Wealth, War & Wisdom, legendary Wall Street investor Barton Biggs reveals how the turning points of World War II intersected with market performance, and shows how these lessons can help the twenty-first-century investor comprehend our own perilous times as well as choose the best strategies for the modern market economy.


Through these pages, Biggs skillfully discusses the performance of equities in both victorious and defeated countries, examines how individuals preserved their wealth despite the ongoing battles, and explores whether or not public equities were able to increase in value and serve as a wealth preserver. Biggs also looks at how other assets, including real estate and gold, fared during this dynamic and devastating period, and offers valuable insights on preserving one's wealth for future generations. With clear, concise prose, Biggs





Reveals how the investment insights of truly trying times can be profitably applied to modern day investment endeavors
Follows the performance of global markets against the backdrop of World War II
Offers many relevant lessons-about life, politics, financial markets, wealth, and survival-that can help you thrive in the face of adversity


Wealth, War & Wisdom contains essential insights that will help you navigate modern financial markets during the uncertain times that will increasingly define this new century.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 368 pages
  • 171 x 239 x 31mm | 576g
  • John Wiley & Sons Ltd
  • Chichester, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1. Auflage
  • 0470223073
  • 9780470223079
  • 827,232

Flap copy

World War II was a world war, and there was great uncertainty at the time whether Western Civilization would survive. But today, those dark years offer many relevant lessons--about life, politics, financial markets, wealth, and survival--that can help investors, both large and small, deal with adversity and difficult times. In Wealth, War & Wisdom, legendary Wall Street investor Barton Biggs reveals how the turning points of World War II intersected with market performance, and shows how these lessons can help the twenty-first century investor comprehend our own perilous times as well as choose the best strategies for the modern market economy. Biggs reveals how "the wisdom of the markets" prevails, even in the most turbulent of eras: the British stock market bottomed out just before the Battle of Britain; the U.S. market turned at the epic Battle of Midway; and the German market peaked at the high-water mark of Germany's attack on Russia. Those events turned out to be the three great turning points of World War II--although at the time, no one and no instrument except the stock markets recognized them. Through these pages, Biggs skillfully discusses the performance of equities in both victorious and defeated countries, reveals how individuals preserved their wealth despite the ongoing battles, and explores whether or not public equities were able to increase in value and serve as a wealth preserver. Biggs also looks at how other assets, including real estate and gold, fared during this dynamic and devastating period, and offers valuable insights on preserving one's wealth for future generations. Investors, unlike traders and speculators, must make long-term judgments about the course of events in economies and the world. Wealth, War & Wisdom provides a new and revealing context for such judgments. And its lively and lucid pages are completely relevant, indeed essential, to predicting the way modern financial markets and the economy will act during uncertain times that increasingly define this new century.
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Back cover copy

"Barton Biggs's Wealth, War & Wisdom entertains us with a creative juxtaposition of a war narrative and a security market history. He challenges us with a notion that stock markets exhibit incredible prescience. He teaches us that equity-oriented, stable allocations of passively managed assets provide superior investment results. As has been the case throughout his remarkable career, Barton Biggs adds to our store of knowledge with his elegant, wonderfully crafted prose." --From the Foreword by David F. Swensen, Chief Investment Officer, Yale University "Barton Biggs has brought his love of history together with half a century of investment experience and written a remarkably readable book about the destruction of wealth and the wisdom of markets during World War II. It is both scholarly and impressionistic and will likely become a mainstay in the libraries of serious financial people for generations."--Byron Wien, Chief Investment Strategist, Pequot Capital Management, Inc.

At least once in every century there has been an episode of massive wealth destruction when the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse--Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death--have ridden. The apocalypse will come again, but probably in a very different form than in the past. How do you preserve wealth amidst chaos, and are there messages from what has happened in the past?In Wealth, War & Wisdom, renowned Wall Street investor Barton Biggs studies World War II. He notes the surprising and previously unrecognized wisdom of stock markets in discerning the major tipping points. He then examines the performance of different asset classes, and what happened to wealth before and during the war. There are lessons to be learned as to what steps should be taken to preserve and enhance wealth in times of the most extreme adversity.

Biggs discusses the performance of equities in both victorious and defeated countries and also relates what happened to other forms of wealth such as bonds, land, gold, jewelry, and property during those years--offering important insights about what a person should do to pass on wealth to future generations in an uncertain world. Filled with in-depth observations and practical advice, Wealth, War & Wisdom will help investors apply these original financial lessons directly, and beneficially, to today's turbulent markets.
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Table of contents

Foreword v


Introduction 1


Chapter 1 Listen to the Market Crowd 7


Chapter 2 A World Darkened by Fear: An Overview of Soviet, German, and Japanese Aggression from 1929 1945 19


Chapter 3 Stock Markets Struggle: From the Great Depression to the Start of WWII 35


Chapter 4 1940: The Most Splendid, Most Deadly Year : The Time of England s Greatest Peril 55


Chapter 5 Besieged and Alone: England in 1941 91


Chapter 6 Operation Barbarossa: Germany Attacks Russia 109


Chapter 7 Miracles at the Coral Sea and Midway: Japan and America 131


Chapter 8 Stock Markets Understood: Nobody Else Did 153


Chapter 9 The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Ride Again 173


Chapter 10 France Declines Financially, Economically, and Socially 187


Chapter 11 Gone with the Wind: Preserving Wealth in Italy and Germany 203


Chapter 12 Stalingrad: The Battle of the Century 231


Chapter 13 Defeats and Then Victories in Asia and North Africa 251


Chapter 14 The Test in Korea: The Last Battle of WWII 275


Chapter 15 Preserving Wealth in a Time of Cholera 303


Chapter 16 Barbarians at the Gate 321


Notes 335


Bibliography 347


Index 353
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Review Text

"'Wealth, War & Wisdom' fills a void...Biggs has read widely and thought deeply." (bloomberg.com)
"air of scholarly detachment and his lucid prose make [the book] worthy as both an economic primer and history seminar." (Trader Monthly, March 2008)
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Review quote

"'Wealth, War & Wisdom' fills a void...Biggs has read widely and thought deeply." (
bloomberg.com)
air of scholarly detachment and his lucid prose make [the book] worthy as both an economic primer and history seminar. (Trader Monthly, March 2008)


...completely relevant, indeed essential, to predicting the way modern financial markets and the economy will act during uncertain times (HereIsTheCity.com, Sat 8th March)


His clear and lively writing style and his deep knowledge of markets and investments will entertain as well as educate . (Yahoo Finance, Tuesday 15th April 2008)


must-read book . CNBC Squawk Box Wednesday 4 June 2008


Journal interview with the author. EFinancialNews.com Tuesday 3 June 2008


Very comprehensive All of his recommendations are backed up with extensive research and presented in an easy-to-understand manner. Stockerblog.Blogspot.com Saturday 31 May 2008


"...contains fascinating insights and should be valuable to all those who are struggling to put the present financial crisis into perspective." (Spear's WMS, January 2009)
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About Barton Biggs

Barton Biggs spent thirty years at Morgan Stanley. In that time, he formed the firm s number one- ranked research department, built up its investment management business, and served as chairman of the investment management firm. At various times during this period, he was ranked as the number-one U.S. investment strategist by the
Institutional Investor magazine poll and then, from 1996 to 2003, as the number-one global strategist. He was also a member of the five-man executive committee that ran the firm until its merger with Dean Witter in 1996. In 2003, Biggs left Morgan Stanley and, with two other colleagues, formed Traxis Partners. Traxis now has well over a billion dollars under its management. Biggs s previous book,
Hedgehogging, was also published by Wiley and is an international success.
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Rating details

213 ratings
3.86 out of 5 stars
5 30% (63)
4 38% (82)
3 23% (50)
2 6% (12)
1 3% (6)
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