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The Single Best Investment Review

If you’ve ever wanted to go into the mind of a professional money manager and figure out how someone who is responsible for millions in other people’s money makes decisions on what investments to get in on, The Single Best Investment [3] is the book for you. Lowell Miller, the author, is the President and lead portfolio manager of Miller/Howard Investments Inc. and that firm manages over $500 million dollars of other people’s money. That, and Miller is a 5th degree black belt in Aikido.

At first I thought this was going to be another one of those “invest in an index fund” type books but it isn’t, though it is quite similar in that he warns that you should bounce around and try to beat the market. What Miller does do is recommend that you go into stocks that show constant moderate growth and regularly sends you a check, i.e. dividends, and goes through his process of selecting the best stocks using his evaluation techniques.

One of the things that makes books enjoyable is the writing style of the author. Personally, I enjoy no nonsense writing and Miller writes exactly like that. Throughout the book, Miller speaks plainly and openly, without trying to show his own superior intelligence by using complex words or trying to wow you with lots of irrelevant graphs or charts. For example, in this excerpt, Miller outs the BS of some managers:

If there’s one universal constant in the market, it’s the claim of money managers and brokers that they seek only “undervalued” stocks. I’ve never heard a manager or broker proclaim that their favorite stocks were overvalued, or even fairly valued… how all these would-be’s whose portfolios consistently underperform the averages could claim to buy only undervalued stocks is beyond me.

Finally, each chapter is summed up with a few brief points that act as the skeleton of the chapter. If you want to grasp the essence, read these points. If you want to feast on some meat, read the chapter. What’s also nice about the book is that the Table of Contents lists not only the chapter titles but gives you a bit of stream of consciousness summary of what the chapter holds so you aren’t trying to guess based on a broad sounding chapter title.

So, what is the single best investment? It’s a steady private compounding machine and that’s what Miller sees as each one of these moderate growth, dividend producing companies – not the latest hot stock. Slow and steady wins the race… sounds familiar.