Here’s what I’ve been reading the past three months:
- Baruch: My Own Story — This is the first of two volumes of Bernard Burach’s autobiography. Baruch built his fortune on Wall Street as a speculator and dealmaker, before entering public life managing the mobilization effort of WWI and advising presidents. I found it easy to read and fascinating not only for the stories of his investing hits and misses but the history of major financial events as seen through the eyes of someone who was there. (notes)
- The Pitfalls of Speculation — Thomas Gibson wrote the book in 1906 to highlight the many ways people lose money speculating in the market. Of course, those ways are still the same today. It filled my old book quota for the quarter.
- Ice Age: The Theory That Came in From the Cold — Ice Age explains the history behind the discovery of the cycle of ice ages, why it happens, and how it impacts the planet. (notes)
- The Davis Dynasty — The book tells the story of three generations of the Davis family but primarily focuses on Shelby Collum Davis and his 47-year investing career. The author, John Rothchild, does a great job weaving market history and investing lessons into the Davis family’s story. I had read the book about seven years ago so a second read-through gave me a chance to compare and update my notes.
- 100-to-1 in the Stock Market — The book promotes the idea of “buying right and holding on” to individual stocks by highlighting stocks that investors could have made 100x their money on. Unfortunately, each chapter devolves into a “had you bought” list of stocks, with a starting price and ending price as if it proves the author’s point. He makes it sound easy. It’s not! There’s no mention of why anyone would buy any of the stocks mentioned beyond happenstance (or hindsight bias) and, so far, the most difficult part of actually holding on is glossed over. I’m seven chapters in and have a waning desire to finish.
Need more reading ideas? Try these book lists:
- What’s Oaktree Reading: 2021 Year-End Book Recommendations – The folks at Oaktree offered a good mix of 10 book recommendations.
- The 100 Must-Read Books of 2021 — A great best-of list for last year.
- The 36 Best (Old) Books We Read in 2021 – If you’re looking for less current, timeless choices.
- A Day to Remember – W. Bernstein
- Inflation Expectations Are Less Important Than You Think – Klement on Investing
- Interview with Ian Cassel – Entrepreneur
- Jason Zweig: Traders vs. Investors, “Conflict-Free” Advice & Investing Heroes (podcast) – Investors First
- The Five Levels of Hype – J. Klingebiel
- Innovation Hubs: Past, Present & Future – Investor Amnesia
- How Campbell Soup Turned New Jersey Into a Tomato-Growing State – Smithsonian
- Favorite Stories from 120 Years of Popular Mechanics – Popular Mechanics
- How A.I. Conquered Poker – NY Times