Steven L. Mintz

Writing and editing geared to corporate management, investment strategy and public policy



The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission Report

(Staff writer) Assigned by the U.S. Congress to unravel causes of economic catastrophe that followed the housing bubble and the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, the Commission convened investigators, attorneys to find answers. A small group of staff writers turned exhaustive investigation into a best-selling 600-page report.

Viewed by many experts as the definitive record of the financial crisis, the Report found that economic dislocation stemmed from decisions made during every Presidential administration over several decades. The run-up to collapse by appetites for excessive risk and insufficient regulatory safeguards made a predictable disaster inevitable.



“The second time through was just as much fun as the first time. My clearly favorite parts are Dean [LeBaron] and Humphrey [Neill], at opposite ends of the story, but the interim chapters are also illuminating and held my interest all the way.” 
—Peter L. Bernstein, author of Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk and Capital Ideas

Every one of us has a tuning fork inside of himself that vibrates to a greater or lesser extent along with the crowd. It works so uniformly that when sometimes I talk to salesmen of mutual funds I give them a rule, which is this: that the more it hurts them and the more they have to fight themselves to make a sale, the better it will be for the customer and also for the salesman himself. And that just means going contra to his inborn crowd segment.” 

—Fidelity Investments founder Edward C. Johnson II  

Five Eminent Contrarians explores contrarian investing by probing the minds, personalities and careers of five outstanding investors unburdened by the millstone of prevailing opinion:

  • Dean LeBaron, the Batterymarch Financial Management chairman who once sold popcorn in New Guinea to prove that opportunity exists at all times in all places
  • Humphrey B. Neill, the Vermont Ruminator whose ideas spawned Fidelity Management’s Contra Fund
  • John B. Neff, the savvy manager of the immensely successful Windsor Fund
  • Babson Funds founder David L. Babson, who foresaw prosperity after World War II while most investors waited nervously for the Depression to resume
  • Michael Aronstein, a contemplative investment manager whose vision of capitalism’s future draws inspiration from philosophers and poets.



Book (co-author) and eight-part television series  (co-writer) that aired on PBS stations.

“Beyond Wall Street achieves a laudable balance between human drama and sage advice, and the sages involved are some of the finest investors of our times.” 
—Ed Finn, Barron’s editor and editorial director, Smart Money

Essential reading for both novice and expert investors, the profiles in Beyond Wall Street show how the country’s most successful investors make money. Read this and learn what it takes to come out on top.” 
—Jane Bryant Quinn, Newsweek columnist and author of Making the Most of Your Money

This book is a delicious blend of the techniques and biographies of some of the greatest professional investors and financial scholars. Anyone serious about long-term investment success will profit from the indispensable insights of these diverse masters... You don’t just get secret investment recipes, you get a great sense of the full stories behind the great returns each manager has produced.” 
—Roger Segal, The

“This book is short (a plus for beachgoers), well edited and a pleasure to read.” 
—James K. Glassman, “Investment Books for Lazy Summer Days,” Fidelity Focus, Summer 1998

“This book is a wonderful source of knowledge for investors ranging from novice to professional. We can all learn something from today’s most accomplished thinkers and practitioners.” 
—Elizabeth J. Mackay, CFA

Co-authors Dana Dakin and Tom Willison were executive producers of Beyond Wall Street, the PBS television documentary series directed by Eugene Shirley. I was his co-writer.




“You can count on your fingers the number of investment managers that have been able to beat the market over long periods of time. John Neff is one of those extraordinary professionals. Written with grace, humor and irrepressible Neffian style, this book offers important insights into the methods and long-term rewards of ‘value’ investing. The serious investor will not want to miss this clear exposition of the successful Neff technique.” 
—Burton G. Malkiel, author of A Random Walk Down Wall Street

This book is a must-read for anyone who is serious about investing. John Neff’s record is well known, and these pages make clear how and why he accomplished what he did. I also recommend it to corporate CEOs who see the same world from the other side of the fence.” 
—John Reed, former chairman and co-CEO, Citigroup, Inc.

John Neff is the investment profession’s investment professional. Nobody has ever managed a large mutual fund so very well for so very long a time. And no one is likely to do so ever again.” 
—Charles Ellis, author of Winning the Loser’s Game

“Many thanks for the Neff book, which I am glad to have on my shelf.” 
—Paul A. Samuelson, 1970 Nobel Laureate, Economic Sciences


Co-author John Neff is the sole author of the ideas and strategies that the book describes.