Books and Recommended Reading
This list is by no means exhaustive, nor in any particular order, but a guide to some of the books I enjoy reading. These books can help you gain a deeper insight into many of the ideas and concepts presented at my web site…and some of the books that will appear here are just “good books”!
My new book, The 65th. Octave will be published by May, 2000. I will inform you by e-mail once it is published.
The Dream Society
The Dream Society: How the Coming Shift from Information to Imagination Will Transform Your Business by Rolf Jensen
The future is uncertain–the world is constantly changing. While anything can happen, some things are far more likely than others. Rolf Jensen, internationally renowned futurist, provides readers with a tangible look at what the future will be like over the next 25 years. By identifying what lies ahead, Jensen gives people the knowledge they need to make informed decisions and strategically align themselves to capitalize on the unknown future, a future Jensen call “the Dream Society.”
(From the Back Cover)… “Businesses need to imagine their futures the way good novelists imagine their stories.” -Rolf Jensen, Director, The Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies. What's the future of business after the Information Age? It won't be the latest technology or newest product, but the story behind the product that will provide the competitive edge. The company with the best story wins; consumers will pay for the story that sparks the imagination…
The Millionaire Next Door
The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy by Thomas J. Stanley, William D. Danko
A funny thing happened on the way to researching how people became wealthy: The authors discovered that most of the wealthiest households were not located in the most upscale neighborhoods. This discovery led to additional studies, and finally to this book. These wealthy people don't dine out much, are likely to drive four-year-old Buicks, and own very few Armani suits. Conversely many households in the posh areas have little real wealth.
The Motley Fool, Jerry Thomas
Suppose you had a chance to interview hundreds of people who had succeeded in building wealth on a scale that placed them among the richest people in America. What if you could get inside their heads, and find out what they think, how they behave, and what they feel about money? Imagine how your chances for success would improve if you could adopt the attitudes and mindsets of those who have proven their ability to achieve the kind of financial security that escapes nearly all of us.
Crisis of Global Capitalism
Crisis of Global Capitalism by George Soros.
The symptoms are hard to ignore. First the Thai crisis precipitated the currency collapse in Asia. Next the Russian meltdown inflicted temporary chaos on the Western financial system. And the recent volatility of the world's stock markets has caused most investors a lot more than heartburn. The connection? According to billionaire philanthropist George Soros, there's a profound and dangerous imbalance between the explosive growth of the global economy and the development of a free and open society. In The Crisis of Global Capitalism, Soros argues that in the last 20 years, the emergence of “market fundamentalism”–that is, the idea that markets need only be regulated by the forces of profit and competition–has distorted the role of capital to the extent that it “is today a greater threat to open society than any totalitarian ideology.” Not that Soros advocates the demise of the capitalist system.
On the contrary, Soros himself has made billions on Wall Street, and it's his aim to save capitalism from itself. While his theory of reflexivity reads a bit thick, his analysis of our present financial system is lucid and convincing. If wondering about the stability of today's markets keeps you up at night, then put this book at your bedside. Highly recommended. –Harry C. Edwards
Business Week, Robert J. Dowling
Abstract and exasperating as this book is, it is also worth sticking with, both for a brilliant narrative of what went wrong in Asia, Russia, and other emerging markets and also for some challenging, perhaps kooky, intellectual leaps for which he's willing to risk ridicule.
The Essays of Warren Buffett
The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America by Warren E. Buffett, Lawrence A. Cunningham.
Buffett, the Bard of Omaha, is a genuine American folk hero, if folk heroes are allowed to build fortunes worth upward of $15 billion. He's great at homespun metaphor, but behind those catchy phrases is a reservoir of financial acumen that's generally considered the best of his generation. For example, in an essay on CEO stock options, he writes, “Negotiating with one's self seldom produces a barroom brawl.” This is his way of saying that an executive who can give himself compensation totally disproportionate to his performance surely will. There are uncountable gems of financial wisdom to be harvested from these essays, taken from the annual reports he writes for Berkshire Hathaway, his holding company. Just to pick one more, here's a now-famous line about those he competes with when making stock-market investments: “What could be more advantageous in an intellectual contest–whether it be chess, bridge, or stock selection–than to have opponents who have been taught that thinking is a waste of energy?”
While Buffett has a policy of seldom commenting on stocks he owns–he feels public pronouncements will only lead to the public's expectation of more public pronouncements, and he likes to keep his cards close to his vest–he loves to discuss the principles behind his investments. These come primarily from Ben Graham, under whom Buffett studied at Columbia University and for whom he worked in the 1950s. First among them is the idea that price is what you pay and value is what you get–and if you're a smart investor, the first will always be less than the second. In that sense, the value of the lessons learned from Buffett's Essays could be far greater than the book's price. –Lou Schuler