Favorite Books from Colleagues 2015 EditionSubmitted by Castlebar Asset Management on December 17th, 2015
Over the last few weeks, I have reached out to colleagues around the USA and asked them to submit their favorite books on business and non business topics. I am happy to share their submissions. It was fun to see one particular book being recommended several times. Hint, pick up The Martian this holiday season.
Michael Batnick, CFA – Ritholz Wealth Management
I loved Titan, the Ron Chernow biography of John D. Rockefeller. It was an amazing look into the gilded age and the life of the richest man in the world. What I found so fascinating was the internal conflict Rockefeller had between being a deeply religious and giving man, while simultaneously defining what it means to be a cutthroat business man.
Guns Germs & Steel by Jared Diamond was a fascinating book. It tells the story of how and why civilizations advanced in different ways. Diamond has spent much of his adult life in Papua New Guinea and has a deep understanding of why some societies flourish while others never do.
Devin Carroll - Carroll Investment Management
The Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw. This is a book about an entire generation of men and women that built the America that we know today. This generation was united by shared values—duty to God, duty to country and duty to oneself. They held high such qualities as loyalty, courage, and service. Reading this book made me incredibly thankful. Thankful for the price that this generation paid to give me the opportunity that I have today. And honestly, thankful that I wasn’t called on to serve in such a capacity as those men.
Lawrence Hamtil – Fortune Financial
Popular Economics by John Tamny. Forbes writer and Fox News commentator John Tamny makes economics understandable to the lay person, and he does so without confusing graphs and equations. Much of the book gives real-world examples of economics at work, and you’ll come away from the book with a greater appreciation of how your everyday decisions and the decisions of others make sense within the economic framework.
Shareholder Yield by Meb Faber. Designed to be read in one sitting, Mr. Faber gives excellent background on the modern trend of companies delivering cash to shareholders via share repurchases. He also makes the case that investors, - long told to focus solely on dividend yield alone, - should look at other factors such as net buybacks and debt retirement.
The Eastern Front by Norman Stone is a fascinating overview of the forgotten front of World War I, the Eastern Front. Mr. Stone covers this complex topic not just militarily, but also economically and politically. The reader will come away from it with a greater appreciation of World War I, which is now currently in its centennial. Mr. Stone uses the opportunity to break new ground regarding the Russian Revolution. For instance, he makes the case that the Russian economy, - contrary to popular myth, - was actually booming leading up to the war, and continued to do so right up to the revolution.
Global Crisis by Geoffrey Parker. This book is only for the dedicated (it is very long), but it compensates for its length by covering a very complicated subject in a very informative and entertaining way. The 16th Century was one full of climate, geopolitical, and humanitarian disasters, the effects of which we are still feeling today. This book is highly recommended to anyone who seeks a better understanding of global history from the early modern period.
Clint Haynes, CMFC – NextGen Wealth
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. By far one of the most interesting books I've read in quite a while. Duhigg takes a really interesting look at how habits are formed and how they can play such a powerful role in both our personal and professional roles. Duhigg shares stories from how a new CEO turned around one of the largest corporations in America to how Procter & Gamble was struggling to sell a new product called Febreze. They all succeeded by transforming habits by better understanding human nature and its potential for transformation. Whether you are a business owner or a stay-at-home mom, you will no doubt take something away from this book.
Patrick Lach, Ph.D., CFA, CFP® - Lach Financial
I know it is old, but The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley was very good. I think this book is a must-read for younger people just starting their financial lives (actually, I think clients of IAs might be interested in this book for their kids). I remember when I was starting out, many of my friends made financially irresponsible purchases, such as oversized homes, brand-new sports cars, shiny new boats, etc. Luckily, as a finance nerd, I was smart enough not to join the crowd. Unfortunately, I think most people don't know the difference between a large income and a large net worth or that the former is worthless without the later. For your average 23-year-old, I think it would be comforting for them to learn that an American millionaire is far more likely to drive an old Chevrolet than a brand-new Lexus.
Brendan T. Mullooly - Mullooly Asset Management, Inc.
What Works on Wall Street by Jim O'Shaughnessy. This was a work in progress throughout much of early 2015 for me. I took each chapter slowly to try to absorb everything Jim had to share. It was great to work through this investment classic. I've referred back to it often since finishing, and also wrote a post about it http://www.mullooly.net/what-i-learned-from-what-works-on-wall-street/8309.
The Martian by Andy Weir. I had been recommended this book by several friends, and then I saw Tadas of Abnormal Returns post about it. I knew I had to read it at that point, and I also wanted to finish it in time to see the movie. The book and movie did not disappoint! I also wrote a post about what the book can teach you about investing http://www.mullooly.net/what-the-martian-can-teach-you-about-investing/8400.
James D. Osborne, MBA, CFP® - Bason Asset Management
Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk by Peter L. Bernstein. A great, accessible history of how we came to understand risk and how that led to the development of modern financial markets. A classic for those in finance.
The Martian by Andy Weir. Yes, I'm behind, yes, everyone else read it too. Everyone likes this book; geeks love this book. Fun, engaging, science-y. What's not to love?
Tadas Viskanta - Abnormal Returns
I enjoyed The One Page Financial Plan by Carl Richard for one very good reason. I believe it is extremely difficult to write a personal finance book for a broad audience. Carl does a great job making complex financial questions understandable for the average consumer.
I am still in the midst of reading Misbehaving by Richard Thaler and Superforecasting by Philip Tetlock and would anticipate recommending them as well.
Daniel R. Zajac, CFP ®, AIF®, CLU – Simone Zajac Wealth Management
The Go Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann: Best book I have read in a long time. Being a good person and a good business person can be all about connecting people. The more people you connect, the more you are on the lookout for doing what’s right, the more success that is going to come your way.
Disclaimer: The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.