Next Meetup

Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty
To read and discuss Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty. It seems safe to say that Capital in the Twenty-First Century will be the most important economics book of the year―and maybe of the decade. Piketty, arguably the world’s leading expert on income and wealth inequality, does more than document the growing concentration of income in the hands of a small economic elite. He also makes a powerful case that we’re on the way back to ‘patrimonial capitalism,’ in which the commanding heights of the economy are dominated not just by wealth, but also by inherited wealth, in which birth matters more than effort and talent. (Paul Krugman New York Times) Piketty provides a fresh and sweeping analysis of the world’s economic history that puts into question many of our core beliefs about the organization of market economies. His most startling news is that the belief that inequality will eventually stabilize and subside on its own, a long-held tenet of free market capitalism, is wrong. Rather, the economic forces concentrating more and more wealth into the hands of the fortunate few are almost sure to prevail for a very long time. (Eduardo Porter New York Times)

Deer Park Library

40 St Clair Ave E St. Clair subway station · Toronto, ON

What we're about

"There are two kinds of people who lose money: those who know nothing and those who know everything." - Henry Kaufman

“The first lesson of economics is scarcity: there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”-Thomas Sowell

“The eyes of other people are the eyes that can financially ruin us. If everyone was blind but myself, I should want neither fine clothes, fine houses, nor fine furniture. ”--Benjamin Franklin

This Meetup is a book club for inquisitive members who are or want to become independent thinking investors. We will also have economic debates. Meetups will involve reading a chosen investment or economics book (any format) before each meeting in order to learn, discuss and debate the content of what was read.

Please note this Meetup is definitely not about "get rich fast schemes" or selling any kind of financial services. Skepticism, curiosity, independent thinking and openness to learning new ideas is what this group is all about.

Here are some of the investment topics we will discuss:

Investment approaches that have generated high returns in the past. Various investment valuation methods. Does the past performance of various investment approaches mean similar returns in the future? Why is it so hard to beat indexes?

And why is it so foolhardy to trust many in the investment industry with your wealth? Could it be that many in the industry are hyper-competitive strivers, advancers, joiners and cheerleaders who are prone to herd together to market the latest of investment manias to their clients? As Maynard Keynes once said: "Worldly wisdom teaches that it is better for reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally.”

The following are investment quotes from authors of books that we will discuss:

“Choosing individual stocks without any idea of what you're looking for is like running through a dynamite factory with a burning match. You may live, but you're still an idiot.” Joel Greenblatt

"If you don't know who you are, the stock market is an expensive place to find out" - George Goodman aka Adam Smith .

"Risk means more things can happen than will happen" - Elroy Dimson

"The stock market is filled with individuals who know the price of everything, but the value of nothing." - Phillip Fisher (Fisher rephrased a Oscar Wilde quote)

"The desire to get rich fast is pretty dangerous."- Charlie Munger

"A successful investor is relatively immune to both optimism and pessimism" - Benjamin Graham

Bottom Line: Knowledge in the field of investments helps. But it's certainly not everything without the emotional strength to be a contrarian. In the words of Warren Buffett: "I will tell you how to become rich. Close the doors. Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful."

This group is for anyone who is an avid reader of not only investment books but also economics books. In terms of economics there is a lot to discuss : free market competition, free trade, inequality, productivity, innovation, taxation, deficits and many other issues.

And here are economics quotes from authors of books that we will read and discuss:

“For millions of people, “wealth” amounts to little more than a few weeks’ wages in a checking account or low-interest savings account, a car, and a few pieces of furniture. The inescapable reality is this: wealth is so concentrated that a large segment of society is virtually unaware of its existence, so that some people imagine that it belongs to surreal or mysterious entities. That is why it is so essential to study capital and its distribution in a methodical, systematic way.” - Thomas Piketty

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." - Frederic Bastiat

Last but not least is a quote from neither an economist nor an investor, but is included here because it is one gem of a quote :

“Wise people should have money in their head, but not in their heart." --- Jonathan Swift

I look forward to having some very interesting discussions with fellow members.

Tarek El Dewy, CFA

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