I always have a giant stack of books waiting to be read — the part of The Matrix I coveted the most was the process of downloading entire books directly into the cerebelum in about 3 seconds.
Until that technology is perfected, these will be awaiting when precious time gets freed up to plow thru them.
Over the long weekend, I did start Ken Fisher’s The Only Three Questions That Count.
And I got a Festivus present from Donna at CNBC — 3 books that look intriguing (and in all liklihood that I will only get around to skimming): Don Tapscott’s Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything looks really intriguing. So many firms from Amazon to Zillow now rely on user generated content.
Tim Harford writes the Undercover Economist column for FT. Not surprisingly, his first book is called The Undercover Economist.
Finally, the book many people will feel obligated to read (but won’t) Nobel prize-winner Joseph E. Stiglitz’ Making Globalization Work. I suspect it will be economic’s answer to Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time (bought by many, read by few).
Anyway, here’s what clogging up the queue:
Harford: The Undercover Economist: Exposing Why the Rich Are Rich, the
Poor Are Poor–and Why You Can Never Buy a Decent Used Car!
* Sigh * So many pages, so little time.
The problem with non-fiction books, especially financial ones, is that they could be whittled down to a medium-sized magazine article and lose nothing.
You just revealed Malcolm Gladwell’s secret — he takes his own very interesting New Yorker magazine articles, and expands them into full length non fiction books
There are newsletter publications that exist to do one thing only: precis good books for busy professionals and managers.
There are often just a few really worthwhile, useful nuggets in a big book. I find that if the Readers Digest versions select and condense intelligently, one enjoys a really good bang for the buck.
Barry (and/or anyone else),
What are your thoughts on Evidence-Based Technical Analysis by David Aronson? It looks compelling, however I’d rather look over it before I buy it – but I can’t find a bookstore that has it in stock.
The Undercover Economist is a great book to read on the beach (in a freakonomics kind of way) but falls short of expectations, imho.
I cannot agree more on the theory that nonfiction business books are lenghty for the sake of being lenghty (worst exemple ever: The influentials, and 80% of marketing books), however if you buy best-ofs or compilations you get more bang for your eye-balls time and for your buck… best exemple Market Wizards, The essential Drucker, the rediscovered ben graham, etc.
the ken fisher book looks very interesting.
he gave an interview about it on the financial sense newshour.
here’s a link for those who are interested.
some of the highlights:
-stocks DO NOT rise and fall with oil prices
-high p/e stocks are not necessarily dangerous; people should focus on earnings yield instead
-the us inverted yield curve is less important than a global inverted yield curve
-growth and value do just as well each other, in the long run; their outperformance relative to the market is cyclical in nature
-leading economic indicators and gov’t economic data are inaccurate at best (something barry co-signs almost everyday.)
he’s got some really fascinating observations.
Big shout-out to David Swenson’s Unconventional Success.
Emphasis on asset allocation and the perils of active mutual funds. Joins Intelligent Investor, the Buffett Books, Money Masters, and Trading Wizards on the all-time great books.
The beauty of Swenson’s book is everything you need to know is in the first, two-page chapter.
His methods are wonderful; simple in execution yet complex and richly supported ( in the remaining 98% of the book.) I follow his formula except:
TIPs instead of Treasuries
I’m out of REITs completely
A bit more cash
Less US equity with more foreign (double his EM allocation)
A small smattering of open ended funds Tweedy Browne, Hussman, Wintergreen.
The problem I have with all financial books is they never address the problem of investing a lump sum with any intellectuel rigor. What is the optimal time frame to allocate out of cash? …into the various asset classes?
Also, ‘Fooled by Randomness’ is a must…
I agree – most investment/business books, even the best intentioned ones, tend to be too long. One exception is ‘Freakonomics’ Its more statistical than economic – but a great read nonetheless. A non-fiction Ken Follet thriller – without the empty calories. Write On!