John Train (investment advisor)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

John Train (born 1928) is an American investment advisor and author. He attended Groton School and Harvard University (B.A. and M.A.), where he was head of the Lampoon and the Signet Society. In 1953, he co-founded and became the first managing editor of The Paris Review, which won attention by publishing extended interviews with such authors as Ernest Hemingway, Thornton Wilder and William Faulkner.


After serving in the U.S. Army and working in Wall Street, he founded the New York investment counsel firm now known as Train, Babcock Advisors. During this period, he became the principal owner of Château Malescasse, a Cru Bourgeois wine producer in Lamarque, Gironde in France. He is chairman of the Montrose Group, investment advisers and tax accountants, and is a director of a major emerging markets mutual fund. He is the founder-chairman of the Train Foundation, which since 2000 has annually awarded the Civil Courage Prize for "steadfast resistance to evil at great personal risk." The Prize was inspired by the career of Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, with whom Train once worked closely. Asked whether he would prefer to receive the prize, or have it named after him, or be a judge, Solzhenitsyn chose the last, which he did to the end of his life. The trustees and directors of the Civil Courage Prize include five ambassadors: American, English and South African. He is an overseer of the Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University (affiliated with the United Nations), and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute of Strategic Studies (London).[citation needed]

Presidential appointments[edit]

Train received part-time appointments from Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton as a director of government agencies and entities dealing with Africa, Asia, and Central Europe respectively.

Other distinctions[edit]

Train has two decorations from the Italian government for humanitarian work, and is an officer of the (British) Order of St. John. In 1980, he helped to establish the Afghanistan Relief Committee to provide medicine and food to the victims of the Soviet invasion, serving first as its treasurer and later as president. The ARC merged with the International Rescue Committee, whose board he joined. He was an original trustee of the American University in Bulgaria.

Personal life[edit]

John Train is the son of Arthur Train, a district attorney in New York City and the author of the popular "Ephraim Tutt" stories that appeared in the Saturday Evening Post in the 1930s and 1940s. A descendant of an old New England family, he was a cousin of the late United States Senator Claiborne Pell, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and of Russell E. Train, head of the United States Environmental Protection Agency under Richard Nixon and a founding trustee/former chairman of the World Wildlife Fund. John Train's siblings include ambassadors, military officers and other officials.[clarification needed][citation needed]

Out of Train's three daughters one became an active member of his firm. Another daughter was married to Paul Klebnikov, a journalist murdered in Russia.[1]

Select bibliography[edit]

Train has written several hundred columns in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, London's Financial Times, and other publications. Also, about 25 books, translated into many languages, including:

  • Money Masters of Our Time (HarperCollins)
  • Investing and Managing Trusts Under the New Prudent Investor Rule: A Guide for Trustees, Investment Advisors, & Lawyers (Harvard)
  • The Craft of Investing (HarperCollins)
  • The Midas Touch: The Strategies That Have Made Warren Buffett "America's Preeminent Investor" (HarperCollins)
  • Dance of the Money Bees: A Professional Speaks Frankly on Investing (HarperCollins)
  • The Olive: Tree of Civilization (M.T. Train/Scala Books)
  • The Orange: Golden Joy (M.T. Train/Scala Books)
  • Comfort Me With Apples (M.T. Train/Scala Books)

He has also written several humorous little books, including John Train's Most Remarkable Names, Most Remarkable Occurrences, Wit: The Best Things Ever Said, Love, and others (mostly HarperCollins), all in the same format.


  1. ^ Otto Pohl (21 May 2005). "The Assassination of a Dream". New York. Archived from the original on 23 August 2012. Retrieved 3 October 2012.

External links[edit]