The New Money Masters

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

THE NEW MONEY MASTERS is a companion volume to John Train’s best-selling book, THE MONEY MASTERS, published in 1980. His new book, like its predecessor, is a series of profiles of prominent personalities in the investment world who deal in hundreds of millions or billions of dollars. Train’s first collection of profiles was faulted by some critics for being too chatty and anecdotal, in obvious imitation of the famous profiles of THE NEW YORKER magazine. His new book leans almost too far in the opposite direction: He pays scant attention to personalities and private lives, focusing instead on business tactics. This creates the impression that his subjects work around the clock and, like King Midas, have had to pay a high price for success.

Some of his interviewees’ statements are surprising. Several of them stress the fact that they have no use for undocumented tips or so-called insider information because most of it is worthless or even harmful. Train passes along the names of specific corporations, commodities, mutual funds, and other investment opportunities which his informants have recommended based on their own research; however, he cautions that he is not offering investment advice and assumes no responsibility for any losses the reader might incur.

A money manager’s investment strategy is naturally predicated upon his vision of future economic conditions. Most of Train’s subjects see perils ahead in the 1990’s and are more interested in conservative values than spectacular gains at this time.

Train is a successful investment counselor himself as well as a noted business writer: He knows what kinds of questions to ask and how to report his findings intelligibly. His book is a good source of ideas for both large and small investors.