In this week's Five Good Questions, we're interviewing William Green about his new book Richer, Wiser, Happier. This book is based on hundreds of hours of interviews that he’s conducted over the last 25 years with a pantheon of legendary investors—everyone from Sir John Templeton to Charlie Munger, Howard Marks to Joel Greenblatt, Ed Thorp to Nick Sleep. William has written for many publications, including Time, Fortune, Forbes, Barron’s, The New Yorker, and The Economist. He edited the Asian, European, Middle Eastern, and African editions of Time. Born and raised in London, he studied English literature at Oxford and has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia. He lives in New York with his wife, Lauren, and their two children, Henry and Madeleine.
Five Good Questions:
1. How did you get these world-class investors to open up for you in such a striking way?
2. What are some of the common traits running through the people you interviewed? Are these characteristics we can develop, or are they naturally born?
3. Was there anything about a global pandemic that changed how these people thought? Or perhaps confirmed they were using the right approach?
4. It seems that often those who reach the highest levels of wealth and achievement had to sacrifice a lot to get there. Perhaps even their own personal happiness. Who seemed like the happiest of those you interviewed? Why were they happy?
5. We’re perhaps toward the end of a 40-year bull run in bonds which saw interest rates fall from high teens to practically zero. Any phenomenon which spans a career length has a greater chance of creating survivorship bias. Are there perhaps any wrong lessons to learn from their success which might hurt us over the next 20 years if the cycle turns?