Ep. 178: Benj Gallander - Contrarian Investing, Curiosity, and Going Against the Herd

Today’s episode has a bit of everything. My guest is Benj Gallander. Benj is one of Canada’s most successful contrarian investors. Benj started investing in the 1970s and in 1995 with his friend Ben Stadelmann, he co-founded Contra The Herd, an investment newsletter that has achieved an astonishing annualised return of 19.6%. Benj is the author of three best-selling books, including The Contrarian Investors’ 13 and The Uncommon Investor III – How to Earn Superior Returns in the Stock Market. He writes a column in the Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper, is a regular speaker in the investment media, and is on the board of two companies.

Now, I thought this was going to be a conversation about contrarian investing but it turned out to be so much more. Benj has a wide array of interests and experiences and the conversation reflects that. I think it also reflects the big lesson of this episode – curiosity and diversity of interests and thoughts are fundamental to enduring, sustainable success – and I think they most certainly have played a big role in Benj’s success.

This also comes through throughout the episode – from when Benj describes his investment philosophy, co-founding Contra the Herd, discussing learning from mistakes, the importance of reading and learning, cryptocurrencies, Benj’s take on fear, doing uncomfortable things, and so much more.

Show notes:

Benj Gallander

Contra The Herd

Benj’s Globe and Mail column

The Contrarian Investors’ 13

The Uncommon Investor III – How to Earn Superior Returns in the Stock Market

Meme stocks

Technical analysis

Ron Meisels on technical analysis

Alpha Pro Tech (APT)

Fairfax

Books and authors mentioned:

            Walden by Henry David Thoreau

            Sylvia Plath

            My Stockbroker is a Bum: Or, Where are all the Customers’ Yachts by Charles D’Ambrosio

            The Spy and the Traitor by Ben Macintyre

            A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

Shel Silverstein

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

            How to Decide by Annie Duke

Annie Duke on All Things Risk

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