recommendations: books

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Books on value investing:

THE book by the granddaddy of value investing. If you think picking individual stocks to invest in, you need to read this book!

Joel Greenblatt is another great investor who is kind enough to share his wisdom for a couple of dollars. He has two books that are well worth your time.

Mohnish Pabrai is another investor that proves that value investing done right can still produce above average investment returns.

 Philip Fisher is another of the great value investors. His book ‘Common stocks and Uncommon Profits’ may be from 1960 but there is a reason why it is still in print!

 Being a value investor is not believing in the efficient market theory. Psychology is the reason why the markets are not rational or efficient. “Influence: the psychology of persuasion” gives great insights into this. A book that is high on my ‘need to read again’-list.

Also in the realm of behavioral economics although the book predates the term by more than a 100 years is ‘Extraordinary popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds’. Learn why intelligent people do amazingly stupid things when caught up in speculative endeavors! Some parts of the book where originally published in 1841!

Since we appear to have ended up in the history section of the investment world. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator is a fun and educational read.

And Manias, panics and crashes teached me that wild fluctuates in stock prices are of all time and are no reason to panic.

I also enjoyed Titan: the life of John D Rockefeller.

Barbarians at the gate is a real page turner and hard to put down. or like the New York time put it: ‘One of the finest, most compelling accounts of what happened to corporate America and Wall Street in the 1980’s.

Also covering those crazy ’80s: Liar’s Poker from Michael Lewis. a briliant look into the world of traders and hedge funds before algorithms ruled the day.

Michael Lewis also wrote the Big short and Flash Boys. Both of which should be required reading for anybody studying finance or economy.

Optiedronken by Jacky de Donder is out of print but well worth the hunt to find it! Do not let the terrible cover photo scare you off! I think it is a joke (I really, really hope it is a joke!). After reading this book two things will be certain: Jacky de Donder is crazy, Jacky de Donder really, really knows options! And perhaps those two things are linked, perhaps you need to be a little bit crazy too truly get options …

Conventional wisdom need not apply

If you follow the same rules everybody else follows you will get the same results than everybody else has. Sometimes it pays to go look at the fringes of conventional wisdom. Or leave conventional wisdom behind.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb wrote a brilliant book that has you rethinking a lot of what you thought you knew.

The Black swan is more of a rework of Fooled by randomness so if you are going to read only one you should pick The Black Swan (but you really should read both).

Another book that will challenge conventional wisdom is Freakonomics. A very fun read as well!

‘How to get rich’ is a terrible title for a fantastic book. Felix Dennis is, well, different, very different. Every 20 year old should read his book. Everybody thinking about starting his own business should read this book. It is a brutally honest book about everything he did right and wrong in his business and personal life. Including anecdotes about his cocaïne and hookers habits (come to think of it, he never did put that under his many wrongs …)

Technology, future optimism

I love technology and I believe we are of the cusp of a wondrous future where the unimaginable will become part of the day to day.

Great books about this are:

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the threat of a jobless Future