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Alternative Market Briefing

Book review: 50 laws for keeping it real

Friday, September 05, 2014

amb
Ian Morley
Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva:

Ian Morley, a veteran in the alternative funds industry and the founding chairman of AIMA, published a book this year that is a signature of his professional personality. Mixing wit, irony and common sense, he exposes some of the main foibles of fund managers, investors, heads of business, consultants and journos in "Morley’s Laws of Business and Fund Management" (available on Amazon, Waterstones, Book Depository and other outlets).

There are 50 laws, each taking up a page and written in an easy and succinct style, and each with an accompanying cartoon for further glee, making the book an enjoyable read of home truths and advice.

With common sense and shrewdness, he sheds light on some common errors and assumptions that all industry participants could be guilty off.

For example, he warns on collective self-delusions or hypocrisies, such as changing benchmarks or not giving the full picture with regards to numbers, and points to the dangers of arrogance and obstinacy. He challenges common beliefs and their misuse, as for example the overuse of diversification. He even brings in consultants, or rather the mishandling of them, as they are at times used as scapegoats or to confirm what one should already know (he is currently Chairman of Wentworth Hall Consultancy).

I particularly liked Law no. 38, about The Economist. To quote the first paragraph: "If The Economist was writing a lead article about Genesis, the fir......................

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