A couple of weeks ago, as it became clear we’d have a longish lockdown and plenty of time on our hands to read, I decided to ask a handful of my professional investor friends for some book recommendations. Now, I’m a big believer that an important part of investing is to read widely, and enjoy reading, so I didn’t want them to simply provide investing books. Rather, I asked for any book they really enjoyed or view as under-rated. Their comment, if provided, follow the author name in italics.
Thanks to Stella, Andrew, Owen, Curtis, Peter, Dan, Rob, Ben, Matt, Dean, Guy and Matt.
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed By Jared Diamond – Enjoyable to read for its ability to transport the reader to diverse locations in time and place, yet educational on the subjects of adaptability and fragility.
Winning On Wall St by Martin Zweig – Very easy to read, and long term look through the cycles.
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Factfulness by Hans Rosling – The most profound book I’ve read on the invisible but incremental improvements in our society and how to understand the world.
Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan – sci-fi and action
The Road by Cormac McCarthy – post apocalyptic
The Passage by Justin Cronin
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Three Body Problem Trilogy by Liu Caixin – very thoughtful and thought provoking science fiction
The March of Patriots by Paul Kelly – The last few years I’ve been studying this book and books around the same topic. It discusses the Keating Howard years and the key issues in Australia when I was a toddler such a Immigration & Asylum Seekers, Aboriginal Reconciliation, Australian identity (including Pauline Hanson, Relations with US vs China, and of course the economic stuff on companies which I like, such as taxes & industrial relations (including waterfront dispute).
100 years Of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez – My favourite book, probably. Love the combination of history, perspective and symmetry, had a very visceral reaction to it (the last 50 or so pages especially) the first time I read it.
The Great Depression, a Diary by Benjamin Roth –
This is one professional man’s perspective in the industrial heartland of Ohio in the Great Depression. He chronicles the times with diary notes in real time which shows how hard and tough times were. The notes were not written with the benefit of hindsight and to fit the narrative after the events. He did not know when the depression would end and he revisits his diary entries over time which gives perspective on his predictions. It is apt in these current times where people will be facing similar financial hardship. You realise not a lot has changed.
To give you a sense of the writings this was part of his diary entry on September 2 1931:
“The wise investor will disregard the day-by-day fluctuations of the stock market or real estate market and base his buying and selling on these long periods of rise and fall. Above all, and I repeat it again and again – he must have liquid capital in time of depression to buy the bargains and then he must sell before the next crash. It is difficult if not impossible to do this but the conservative longtime investor who follows the general rule of buying stocks when they are selling far below intrinsic value and nobody wants them, and selling of his stocks when people are bidding frantically for them at prices far above their intrinsic value – such an investor will pretty nearly hit the bulls-eye”.
Remember The Intelligent Investor written by Benjamin Graham did not print until 1949. And Warren Buffett has just passed his 1st birthday when this was written.
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
The (Mis)behaviour of Markets by Benoit Mandelbrot
Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk by Peter L Bernstein
Asking the Right Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking by M. Neil Browne & Stuart M. Keeley – Concise, insightful and valuable insights to help us analyse and think critically about what we read and hear.
Billion Dollar Whale by Bradley Hope and Tom Wright – Just an unbelievable non-fiction story, you couldn’t make it up if you tried.
Bad Blood by John Carreyou – amazing case of fraud in Silicon Valley
Red Notice by Bill Browder – don’t get on Putin’s wrong side.
The Most Important Thing by Howard Marks – only discovered it 5 years into my career and Marks managed to put beautifully on paper some of the concepts I was trying to grasp.
Moneyball by Michael Lewis – great combination of statistics and sport.
Value Investing: From Graham to Buffett and Beyond by Bruce Greenwald
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