Here are some books on investing and finance that we have found to be useful, informative or inspirational. If you have any other suggestions feel free to contact us.
These books are provided for information only and do not constitute and should not be construed as, investment advice or a recommendation to transact in any company, stock or sector mentioned.
Misbehaving: Richard Thaler.
A thoroughly enjoyable history of behavioural finance. Helpful in identifying potential pitfalls in human behaviour, much of it relevant to investing.
Capital Returns: Edward Chancellor.
A collection of letters from Marathon Capital, who think more than most about business cycles. Useful reminder not to focus on both demand and supply. Too easy only to do the former.
Competition Demystified: Bruce Greenwald and Judd Kahn.
Very clearly articulated consideration of various sources of competitive advantage. Real life examples ensure it is an easy read.
Other People’s Money: John Kay
What exactly is the finance sector for? Takes an axe to the pretence of institutional capital market participants and implies (not too subtly) that high individual rewards in no way reflect the industry’s contribution to society.
The Great Depression: A Diary by Benjamin Roth.
Roth wasn’t a financial professional, he was a lawyer who lived through the Great Depression and kept a diary – focusing on companies and stocks. Subsequently he goes back and annotates his thoughts at the time.
Factor 5: Ernst Ulrich von Weizsacker, Charlie Hargroves, Michael H. Smith, Cheryl Desha, Peter Stasinopoulos.
Provides the questions we should be asking about economic growth within the scale constraints of the environment. Includes countless examples of how businesses, with this in mind, are operating differently.
Le Petite Prince: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
A fine lesson in the virtues of simplicity – “grown-ups never understand anything by themselves”!
Wealth, War and Wisdom: Barton Biggs.
A fascinating study of war and the stock market.
When Money dies: Adam Fergusson.
Germany, hyperinflation, war – brilliant.
The War of the Worlds: History’s Age of hatred: Niall Ferguson
A compelling and fascinating account of the twentieth century.
The Cash Nexus: Niall Ferguson:
Money and Politics in Modern History 1700-2000.
Liar's Poker: Michael Lewis.
A semi-autobiographical true story of Wall Street traders and salesmens' behaviour through a financially engineered bull market in the 1980s. Amusing and frightening in equal measure.
Why Nations Fail: Daron Acemoglu & James Robinson
A historical study of the institutional characteristics which allow developing countries to progress towards becoming more robust and open societies. Extremely helpful in contextualising investing in emerging markets equities.
Thinking, Fast and Slow: Daniel Kahneman.
Offers original and very helpful insights into how we make decisions. An important book for investors because Kahneman explains how we can get better at recognising when to trust or look beyond our intuitions and how we can get better at slow thinking.
The Age of Absurdity: Michael Foley.
Brilliant survey of contemporary culture and the norms and ideas that shape our thinking and design for living. Foley draws on eastern and western philosophy, social theory, and simple observation and analysis. He also writes with humour and flair. An important book for investors because Foley sheds light on modern life and our human condition, and in so doing encourages us to think again about what is socially useful and how we might live differently and with a greater sense of wellbeing.
Underworld: Don DeLillo.
Magnificent, big, ambitious American novel that renders, through the lives and experiences of its characters, the latter half of the twentieth century. An important book for investors because it helps us understand our modern selves, our recent past and the trajectory of modern development.
Wolf Totem: Jiang Rong (pseudonym)
Chinese novel set during cultural revolution underscoring the non - linearity of systems - important because most of finance is designed linearly.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenence: Robert M. Pirsig
Best description of quality you will ever read.
Lord of the Rings: J. R. R. Tolkien
An enlightening description of power and ego - very relevant in understanding dictators, CEOs and Fund Managers!