Here’s what I’ve been reading the past three months:
- Reminiscences of a Stock Operator — The Edwin Lefevre classic was a worthwhile re-read. It tells the fictional life story of Jesse Livermore. The additional history around that time period in the annotated version is worth spending the money on if you’re into that sort of thing. I can’t recommend it enough. Read the notes.
- Tuxedo Park: A Wall Street Tycoon and the Secret Palace of Science that Changed the Course of World War II — The book is the biography of Alfred Lee Loomis. Loomis made a fortune on Wall Street mostly through the consolidation of the electric utility industry. Then he walked away at his peak and used that money to bankroll his personal scientific research. The book focuses almost entirely on his scientific endeavors and their impact on the war, while only briefly covering his time on Wall Street.
- The Facts about Speculation — I picked this up after coming across a quote by Thomas Gibson. Gibson wrote the book in 1923, as a warning about the major mistakes and errors that are frequently repeated by investors and traders. Not much has changed since.
- Caught Short! A Saga of Wailing Wall Street — Eddie Cantor was a comedian, singer, and actor. He also lost a small fortune in the 1929 Crash. He wrote this joke book shortly after the crash to recoup some of his losses and bring a little humor to the situation.
- The Great American Swindle, Inc. — A. Newton Plummer wrote this tell-all book in 1932. It details his experience on the seedier side of Wall Street. He also tells a few stories of other questionable types from that time period. Plummer worked as a promoter to build up publicity on specific stocks for pool operators — stock manipulators — during the 1920s bull market. The goal was to manipulate a stock’s price and the public, so the pool could make a profit selling the stock at a higher price to unsuspecting buyers. I picked up an old copy and have been slowly working my way through it.
- Capital Account: A Money Managers Report on a Turbulent Decade — The book is a collection of essays by Marathon Asset Management arranged and edited by Edward Chancellor. The essays cover the period from 1993 to 2002, as well as Marathon’s capital cycle approach to investing. I’m halfway through it. So far it’s offered a relevant reminder of the Dotcom and telecom bubbles.
- Retirement Planning and Employee Benefits — It’s exactly like the title says. The textbook is tied to a course that covers everything about retirement planning, the different types of retirement plans, and other employee benefits.
Here are a few book lists in case you want some other reading ideas:
- If You Only Read a Few Books in 2021 – Ryan Holiday’s book recommendations for this year.
- Seeing Differently – Seth Godin’s book recommendation to help you better understand the world.
- What was the best book you read in 2020? – Shane Parrish asked this on Twitter and got a ton of replies.
If you can’t find a good book in those three links…
- Marks Memo: Something of Value (pdf) – H. Marks
- Two Worlds: So Much Prosperity, So Much Skepticism – M. Housel
- The Irony of Growth – Verdad
- What to Expect From Funds After They Gain 100% or More in a Year? Trouble, Mostly – J. Ptak
- Oscillations in Opportunity – Indexology
- A (Data) Look Back at a Most Forgettable Year (2020)! – Musings on Markets
- What Puzzles and Poker Teach Us About Misinformation – T. Harford
- Steph Curry got Red Hot and Torched the Hot Hand Fallacy – Mind Matters
- A Brief History of Consumer Culture – MIT Press