It’s time for another quarterly reading update. It feels like I quit more books than I read over the last 3 months. For some reason, it was unusually hard to find books that held my interest beyond the first chapter. So I turned to a couple of classics to get back on track. Anyways, onto the books.
Here’s what I’ve been reading the past three months:
- How to Take a Chance – The book is an intro to thinking in probabilities using humor and real-world examples, like coin tosses and card games, to help avoid expensive mistakes in life. (Notes)
- Fortune’s Formula – It’s the story of John Kelly, his betting system, and the battle between the big brains who used it in the real world to get rich and the academics who wrote it off as folly. The author does a great job of making a complex topic (and what some might see as boring), entertaining and easy to read. The tiny stories within the story make the book, like Ed Thorp’s early escapades in Reno.
- The Big Secret for the Small Investor – This was the last of the Joel Greenblatt books I hadn’t read yet. It’s a short book written mostly for beginners on value investing, markets, cap-weighted funds, fundamental-weighted funds, and behavior.
- Where are the Customers’ Yachts? – The first of the classics mentioned earlier. It’s Fred Schwed’s weaves humor and cynicism with his insider perspective to offer a warning about Wall Street and the game of investing. (Notes)
- Reminiscences of a Stock Operator – The other classic I finally made time to read. It’s an entertaining, highly quotable story about Larry Livingston (a fictional version of Jesse Livermore), Wall Street, and investing in the 1920s, yet it’s timeless.
- The Sustainable Endowment * – The book is about setting up a small foundation/nonprofit/charity and how to align a proper investment policy with its goals to sustain it for the long term. It’s obviously a niche topic, so not for everyone, but a good starting point for it.
- Happy Money * – I thought it was a personal finance book but it’s more like a self-help book. Because of that, it was highly repetitive and difficult to finish. I tried. I don’t get along with self-help books.
- Only the Paranoid Survive – Currently reading.
* I receive free books from time to time, like these, of which some I read.
And some book lists for more ideas:
- 100 Books for All Ages – Washington Post
- Summer Reading Recommendations – MOI Global
- 20 Books TED Speakers Think You Should Read – Inc
- Why Things Break: Easy Causes of Business and Investing Failure – M. Housel
- Why are We So Pessimistic? – Brookings
- When Self-Deception Becomes Global Hoax – Welcome Collection
- The Death of Value – Abnormal Returns
- Private-Equity Funds in 401(k) Plans? – J. Rekenthaler
- Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble – Research Affiliates
- The Earnings Mirage: Why Corporate Profits are Overstated and What It Means for Investors – OSAM
- Bill Gurley: All Things Business and Investing (podcast) – Invest Like the Best
- James Montier: How Do I Get Paid for Owning This Asset? (podcast) – The Long View
- Eric Cinnamond: Talks Small Cap Value (video) – The Acquirer’s Podcast
- The Great Race to Rule Streaming TV – NY Times
- What You Didn’t Know About the Apollo 11 Mission – Smithsonian