I have just published my new book Crude Forecasts: Predictions, Pundits and Profits in the Commodity Casino. Along the way I’ve had the opportunity to read some great books about psychology, finance, economics and innovation. Here are some of my favourites.
The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor, by Howard Marks (US) (UK): Marks was one of the first fund managers to produce content for investors way back in the 1990’s and still does to this day. This book is a collection of his best notes, organised into 20 succinct and compelling chapters.
Black Box Thinking: Marginal Gains and the Secrets of High Performance, by Matthew Syed (US) (UK): The main thing I took away from this book is the need to change how we think about failure. As Syed describes the French Larousse dictionary historically defined error as ‘a vagabondage of the imagination, of the mind that is not subject to any rule’. That perception of failure pervades schoolrooms and businesses to this day preventing what many see as something to be hidden from being educational.
Abnormal Returns: Winning Strategies From the Frontiers of the Investment Blogosphere, by Tadas Viskanta (US) (UK): Although an introductory book to finance in many ways, the book picks up on some important factors often missed by other books – in particular how to be a consumer of financial news and analysis.
Stand Firm: Resisting the Self-Improvement Craze, by Svend Brinkmann (US) (UK): Brinkmann’s overriding message is that doubt is a legitimate and necessary virtue in our modern society. Although he targets his doubt at the trend towards self improvement and development (skillfully pulling apart their foundations), the steps he suggests can be applied in other fields (personal or corporate) too.