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.
Books and authors mentioned:
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
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
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
How to Decide by Annie Duke
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