It’s time for another reading update. Last quarter’s slump got fixed…I think, mostly diving into a couple of old books and digging up dirt on Henry Singleton.
Here’s what I’ve been reading the past three months:
- The Art of Wise Investing – It’s the updated wise edition of The Art of Investing written by John Hume. The difference between the two is minimal, so no point in reading both.
- Men and Idioms of Wall Street – A short pamphlet from 1875 on the language used on Wall Street, some briefs on the big-name players — Vanderbilt, Clews, Sage, Gould — of the day, and a little market history.
- Distant Force: A Memoir of the Teledyne Corporation and the Man Who Created It – The book tells the story of Henry Singleton and Teledyne. I focused on the acquisition and buyback phase of the company, so the first 120 pages or so, with a plan to finish it another time. The author gets highly technical on the products, which went way over my head. Otherwise, it’s the best (only?) book on Singleton/Teledyne out there.
- The Battle for Investment Survival – Gerald Loeb’s classic takes several contrary views to the typical thinking today. In reading, I got the sense of how the ’29 crash and aftermath shaped his investing principles. I can’t say I agree with all of it, but it never hurts to read outside your comfort zone. (Notes)
- Mastering the Market Cycle – Howard Marks’s latest book — I started it last year, set it down, and finally finished — covers everything you need to know about the different cycles and the role they play in markets.
- Common Stocks as Long Term Investments – Edgar Lawrence Smith set out to prove that bonds were better investments than stocks. Except 10 out of 11 of his backtests proved the opposite and explained why. The one exception was the period from 1866 to 1885. Stocks got hit by two market panics – 1873 and 1884 — while bond yields were above 8% over the first eight years. So stocks were good, not perfect, and bonds were useful too. It’s well worth a read.
- Fundamentals of Financial Planning – It’s the textbook for the first CFP course I’m taking. So far, I’ve learned that textbook pricing is still a racket.
- Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood – Trevor Noah’s story about growing up in apartheid South Africa. The book came recommended, and I’m still reading it, but worth it so far.
Book lists for more reading ideas:
- Crowdsourced List of the Best Finance Books by Topic
- 100 Best Books of the 21st Century
- Hemingway’s Favorite Books
- US Equities: Resilient Force or Case Study in Denial? – Musings on Markets
- Guide to the Markets 4Q 2019 (pdf) – JP Morgan
- A New Lens for Measuring Global Diversification – B. Johnson
- Everything Is Private Equity Now – BusinessWeek
- Externalities: Why We Can Never Do “One Thing” – Farnam Street
- Active Management is Reliant on the Inside View – Behavioral Investment
- “Performance Chasing” and Why It Can Be Perilous for Your Portfolio – B. Carlson
- The Bias that Can Cause Catastrophe – BBC
- The Importance of the Counterfactual – Klement on Investing
- What Makes People So Gullible? – Psychology Today
- Getting to the Truth – S. Godin
- Your Brain Chooses What to Let You See – Quanta