My Favorite Books of 2015Submitted by Castlebar Asset Management on December 16th, 2015
One of the few hobbies I have been able to keep up as I enter middle age is reading. I read a lot more this year, but only a few books make the cut that I would recommend to you. If you are looking to pick up something to read this holiday season here are a few of my favorites for 2015.
Investing and Business Books
Charlie Munger: The Complete Investor by Tren Griffin
Warren Buffet gets much of the accolades for the success of Berkshire Hathaway. Charlie Munger has been Warren’s business partner for much of the time he has been running Berkshire and is largely the reason Warren transformed his investment style from a pure value investor. Charlie’s no nonsense approach, wisdom and passion for lifelong learning is legendary. Tren Griffin, a Microsoft Executive, curated and analyzes the insights of Charlie Munger on a wide variety of topics. This is a must read for any fan of Berkshire or Munger.
The Dhandho Investor: The Low-Risk Value Method to High Returns by Mohnish Pabrai
Mohnish Pabrai is an investor who has an amazing track record. In this book, he discusses his investing approach associating it to Indian immigrants starting businesses in the US. It is filled with powerful lessons on risk management and expands upon some classic value investing frameworks. I gained a lot of insight about sizing investment positions and taking a heads you win, tails you don’t lose much approach to investing. It is written in an easy going style that sophisticated or novice investors will get something from. I discovered this book after reading Guy Spier’s book The Education of a Value Investor, which was on my 2014 list.
Carl Richards is known for his sketches to explain personal finance and more importantly behavior finance of financial planning. This is a great book to pick up if you are a seasoned financial advisor or novice just trying to figure out where to start. There are loads of gems in this book that you can pick up to help professionals and DIYers.
A Wealth of Common Sense: Why Simplicity Trumps Complexity in Any Investment Plan by Ben Carlson
Ben Carlson’s book is a prudent discussion about investing and money. He encourages long term thinking and being self-aware of your own abilities. The book also discusses common beliefs in the market and distinguishes between facts and myths. Pair this with Carl Richards book and you’ll be a better investor than most of your peers.
Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson
This is not a new book but it came recommended from James Osborne at Bason Asset Management. The book is a wonder nonfiction work of two men’s drive to find out the history of a German U-Boat. The weekend deep sea shipwreck divers, a dangerous hobby, spend years of their life searching out the truth behind what they discovered. The topic is interesting but the writing in this book is just amazing.
The Martian by Andy Weir
This page turner was turned into a popular movie this fall. This book is easiest explained as MacGyver on Mars. The book is about an astronaut who gets left behind on Mars after his fellow crew is forced to abort their mission. Astronaut Mark Watney is left to use his own will to survive until NASA can figure out how to rescue him. I have no idea if the science holds up but I enjoyed every page and I felt smarter reading this book even though it was written at an approachable level. If you are a fan of Michael Crichton. It is well worth reading first before seeing the movie.
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown
A great sports book has a special place on my reading list. An underdog story moves up a few places. This book is about the 1936 University of Washington’s crew team and their quest to qualify for the 1936 Olympic team. It is a great account of how an upstart program from the West Coast challenged Ivy League elites and rival West Coast schools to achieve greatness. Everyone loves a story of American underdogs beating Germans, right?
What happens when a flu or virus wipes out most of the world’s population? Station Eleven takes readers through the moments before the virus strikes and what happens a decade or longer after the virus and how humanity is surviving. A well written and interesting look at a pre and post-apocalyptic world.
Let me know what you think of my list and tell me some of you favorites from 2015. Send me your favorite books on Twitter or Facebook.
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.
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