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The Money Makers: How Extraordinary Managers Win in a World Turned Upside Down

Anne-Marie Fink

Retail Price: $27.50
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Format: Hardcover, 320pp.
ISBN: 9780307396303
Publisher: Crown Business
Pub. Date: January 27, 2009

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

When real money is at stake, it tends to clarify the mind, and for over a decade, Anne-Marie Fink has had literally billions of dollars resting on her assessments of companies. As an equity analyst and professional investor, she has been charged with understanding whether businesses are solid, long-term moneymakers–or rotten tomatoes–before investing with them.

She has had unusual access to an incredible variety of businesses, from entertainment conglomerates to newspapers, Internet companies, airlines, railroads, furniture manufacturers, auto suppliers, staffing agencies, and others. Well known for her ability to drill down to the details and understand what makes a business tick, she has skillfully dissected the story of many a CEO and talked with people up and down the ranks, as well as customers, suppliers, regulators, distributors, bankers, and rivals–anyone who could give her insight on a company’s operations.

The result is a book of great originality–an unusual and perceptive look at business that busts myths and conventional thinking. Based on what she and her investing colleagues have seen firsthand, Anne-Marie Fink’s The Moneymakers provides a highly pragmatic framework for thriving in our hypercompetitive world. They include:
  • Shrink to grow: Why expanding a bad (low-return) business means you just have more of a problem, and how a step backward is often the best way forward.
  • Good performance requires inefficiency and duplication: How maximum efficiency produces suboptimal results by stifling innovation.
  • Don’t be a customer fanatic: How to know when to listen to and when to ignore your customers.
  • Economics always trumps management: Ignore bedrock economic laws–such as supply and demand–at your peril; it is akin to ordering the tides to stay in place.
  • Why happy employees don’t make for high-performance workplaces.
  • Problems in business are like cockroaches–there’s never just one: How to catch problems before they infest your company.
  • Avoid the trap of profitless growth: Additional profitis an illusion if it consumes too much capital.
  • Megatrends start as ripples: How to position your business to ride long-term waves, not be drowned by them.


“An incredibly sharp mind, Anne-Marie offers a strong, insightful point of view on what really makes companies succeed. Her book should be read by anyone with a serious interest in how companies achieve results.”
—Leslie Moonves, president and chief executive officer, CBS Corporation

“Anne-Marie knows the dynamics of the marketplace and what it takes for the best managers and companies to win.”
—Sumner Redstone, executive chairman of the board and founder, Viacom

“Her knowledge of the factors underlying long-term value creation will make her book essential reading for all managers.”
—Douglas H. McCorkindale, former chairman, president, and chief executive officer, Gannett Co., Inc.

“I have long been impressed with Anne-Marie’s innate ability to understand the dynamics that drive business. . . . A must-read for all managers.”
—Kenneth W. Lowe, president and chief executive officer, the E. W. Scripps Company

“She probes persistently to determine the economic reality underneath a company’s reported numbers and presentation. Her insights on what makes companies successful will be valuable to all managers and those who evaluate them.”
—Trevor Harris, vice chairman of client services, Morgan Stanley

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Chasm and How to Bridge It1
1Think Like an Investor to Establish Your Edge11
2With Information "Roach Motels," Problems Won't Checkout41
3Avoid the Trap of Profitless Growth73
4Don't Be a Customer Fanatic103
5Get More Reward for the Risk You Take125
6Economics Trumps Management149
7The Best Companies to Invest in Are the Worst to Work for169
8Good Performance Requires Inefficiency and Duplication197
9Megatrends Start as Ripples219
10We're All Dead in the Long Run243
11Shrink to Grow and Other Backward Steps Forward269
Conclusion: What Investors Want: Good Numbers That Last289

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