MiB: Hired to Pound the Table

When James Montier was hired at, GMO, co-founder and chief strategist Jeremy Grantham told him to “pound the table” when he believes “things get cheap” or any time an opportunity arises.

“Pounding the table” is just what Montier has been doing recently. A member of GMO’s asset allocation team, Montier he has used the 35% sell off last month to urge purchases of cheap equities. He observes that “Emerging markets were looking really, really cheap” and “Europe was looking pretty damned exciting as well.” The reason for his enthusiasm was valuation: “This was one of those examples where prices and fundamentals were getting dislocated.”

Part of our discussion included the impact of fear on investing. Montier mentions a study of people with damage to their amygdala. This led these people to actually make better risk-based decisions, that were free from emotions and fear. He penned a piece on this, called, “Fear and the Psychology of Bear Markets.”

Prior to joining GMO in 2009, he was the award winning co-head of Global Strategy at Société Générale. Montier has authored several books including “Behavioural Investing: A Practitioner’s Guide to Applying Behavioural Finance”; “Behavioural Finance: Insights into Irrational Minds and Markets” and “The Little Book of Behavioural Investing.”

His favorite books are here; A transcript of our conversation is available here.

You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras, on Apple iTunes, Spotify, Overcast, Google, Bloomberg, and Stitcher. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.

Next week, we speak with Christopher Whalen, an investment banker and former Federal Reserve researcher. He is the author of Inflated: How Money and Debt Built the American Dream.




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