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Reading recommendations for October 2023
A Question of Power, Electricity and the Wealth of Nations
By: Robert Bryce
With the price of energy so top of mind, A Question of Power is a powerful narration to broaden one’s understanding of the demands and challenges of power production and how to close the massive gap between the electrical power rich and electrical power poor. What I liked about this book is it tells the human story of electricity which a is point of view that I had not previously considered. The equality and climate change rest on figuring the balance of demand and sustainability in energy infrastructure. This is a solid read to understand where we are and more importantly where we need to be and by when.
Lifespan: Why we age and why we don’t have to
By: David A. Sinclair
There are certain truths we hold as inevitable. One of these truths is that we as human beings will age with the passing of time. This is true in my profession. As Portfolio Managers we often consider actuarial lifespan in our calculations of risk and return to ensure we create and manage strategies to pay for one’s retirement years. But what if that is simply not the case. What if aging is actually not an inevitability. What if aging is actually a disease, a disease that is treatable? This book takes the reader into the forefront of cutting-edge research into the topic of aging and how it may be possible to slow if down or even reverse it’s affects.
September Reading Recommendations
The Intelligent Investor
By Benjamin Graham, Jason Zweig (Contributor), Warren Buffett (Contributor)
This classic and timeless book is a must read at some time in their lives for every investor. First published in 1949, this book is often referred to as the stock market bible. But it’s more than that. What I have always loved about this book, is that the research is presented in a relatable and human fashion. It set the tone for the future of investment advice by communicated a teaching principal routed in long term thinking.
By Matthew McConaughey
This lighthearted memoir after 50 years of life on the planet is a breath of fresh air. I loved this book for how honest it was while also indicating the lessons the author learned on the paths that have come together to form his life to this point. For me this book was a great reminder to look out for the greenlights and to follow them on this great road of life.
By Walter Isaacson
This world wide best seller is a good book to circle back to from time to time in my humble opinion. I first read the book in 2011 and I recall a feeling of admiration for Jobs when the book began which grew chapter by chapter as his larger than life accomplishments were portrayed next to his very human struggles. His story is one of true passion, but the true genius of the story is that he allowed it to be written warts and all. "The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do".
Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World - and Why Things Are Better Than You Think
By Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling, Anna Rosling Ronnlund
I found this book challenging in that it forced me to set aside snap judgments and reactions and forced me to consider whether my opinions were based on facts or perceptions based on my relatively small sample size. The ten instincts that we all possess can easily distort our perspectives. It was eye opening but also comforting me to to understand that when the facts are on the table, the world perhaps better then we may think.
Thinking Fast and Slow
By: Daniel Kahneman
This is a book I recommend that every investor reads and re-reads every few years. I’ve done so three times since it was published in 2011. What a like about this book is the author’s way of articulating how and why we process information and decisions the way we do. His obvious deep analysis into the human mind is on full display in the text but what is more striking is Kahneman’s genius in helping the reader understand and connect to the information.
Superforcasting: The Art and Science of Prediction
By: Philip E. Tetlock and Dan Gardner
We all love to a good forecast. The ability to peek around a corner to see what’s coming is just part of what drives us. But let’s be fair, barely anyone forecasts well all that often. The authors of this book distill the very small factors that separate good forecasts from bad ones and offer demonstrably effect ways to improve forecasts.
How the World Really Works: A Scientist’s Guide to Our Past Present and Future
By: Vaclav Smil
This book is as provocative as it is perceptive and that is what the author was hoping for in my opinion. The “just the facts” approach leaves the reader challenged with their own beliefs about many topics for which they may have been certain in their minds. This book offers a reality check. Controversial topics such as the necessity of globalization as well as the future path of fossil fuels are covered. I recommend the reader keep an open mind to get the most out of this read.
The Storm Before the Calm: America’s Discord, the Coming Crisis of the 2020s, and the Triumph Beyond
By: George Freidman
In this book, the author and noted forecaster, paints the picture of the future or the United States. By examining past periods of economic and institutional shifts, the reader is brought along on journey of understanding the socio-economic systems in place that drove the prosperity in America and when they came to an end being replaced by the next system. This journey leads to a forecast of where America will go from here and what may drive it there.
Geopolitical Alpha: An Investment Framework for Predicting the Future
By: Marko Papic
I found this book to be a great guide in dispelling the myths on how the industry at large deals with geopolitics in their investment thesis. The authors insights on how to incorporate a geopolitical framework into one’s decision-making criteria as part of a greater investment process is good reading for any serious investor.
Central Banking 101
By: Joseph J. Wang
After spending a few years working as a trader on the Open Markets Desk at the Federal Reserve, the author shares his experience in understanding how things happen at the Fed. I liked this book as much of the “magic” of how the Fed operates and keeps wheels of finance turning are demystified. For anyone wanted to understand how money is actually created this is the book for you.
Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice.
By: Bill Browder
A Real-life account of a hedge fund manager turned human rights activist and his perilous mission to expose the corruption in the Kremlin. This book is a page turner of high finance and politics which highlights where market principles apply, and other factors need to be considered.
China’s Great Wall of Debt: Shadow Banks, Ghost Cities, Massive Loans, and the end of the Chinese Miracle
By: Dinny McMahon
Here in the West, we often marvel at the incredible growth story over the past few decades in China. In this book, peels the onion down to the bedrock of the Chinese economy and uncovers some startling and unsettling things that investors need to consider.
Apollo's Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live
Nicholas A. Christakis
Apollo's Arrow was a great read. It offers a thorough account of the coronavirus pandemic and how the author sees the recovery unfolding in the coming years. What I liked about this book was the depth of historical research on past pandemics and how the author uses them as guides to what we may expect in the years ahead. The author did not stop with the path of the virus but also offered his opinions on what the economy and societal organization. It can be a bit heady at times but illuminating nonetheless.
Chip War: The Fight for the World's Most Critical Technology
The author makes the claim that microchips (chips) are the new oil of our age. Chips are in virtually everything in our modern society. But who controls the future of chips on our planet. The worldwide shortage of chips caused business leaders and policymakers all over the world to take stock of the concentration of the chip industry and what that could mean for world economic security among other things. This book illuminating, timely and fascinating.