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11 Books Every Investor Should Read

11 Books Every Investor Should Read

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Bernard Baruch, known as “The Lone Wolf of Wall Street,” owned his own seat on the New York Stock Exchange by age 30 and became of the country’s best known financiers by 1910. Mr. Baruch, while a master of his profession, had no illusions about the difficulties of successful stock market investing, saying, “The main purpose of the stock market is to make fools of as many men as possible.” According to Ken Little, author of 15 books on investing and personal finance topics, “If you are an individ... Read more

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Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought

2017 | Andrew W. Lo

A new, evolutionary explanation of markets and investor behavior Half of all Americans have money in the stock market, yet economists can't agree on whether investors and markets are rational and efficient, as modern financial theory assumes, or irrational and inefficient, as behavioral economists believe--and as financial bubbles, crashes, and crises suggest. This is one of the biggest debates in economics and the value or futility of investment management and financial regulation hang on the outcome. In this groundbreaking book, Andrew Lo cuts through this debate with a new framework, the Adaptive Markets Hypothesis, in which rationality and irrationality coexist. Drawing on psychology, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and other fields, Adaptive Markets shows that the theory of market efficiency isn't wrong but merely incomplete. When markets are unstable, investors react instinctively, creating inefficiencies for others to exploit. Lo's new paradigm explains how financial evolution shapes behavior and markets at the speed of thought--a fact revealed by swings between stability and crisis, profit and loss, and innovation and regulation. A fascinating intellectual journey filled with compelling stories, Adaptive Markets starts with the origins of market efficiency and its failures, turns to the foundations of investor behavior, and concludes with practical implications--including how hedge funds have become the Galapagos Islands of finance, what really happened in the 2008 meltdown, and how we might avoid future crises. An ambitious new answer to fundamental questions in economics, Adaptive Markets is essential reading for anyone who wants to know how markets really work.

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The DAO of Capital: Austrian Investing in a Distorted World

2013 | Mark Spitznagel, Ron Paul

As today's preeminent doomsday investor Mark Spitznagel describes his Daoist and roundabout investment approach, "one gains by losing and loses by gaining." This is Austrian Investing, an archetypal, counterintuitive, and proven approach, gleaned from the 150-year-old Austrian School of economics, that is both timeless and exceedingly timely. In The Dao of Capital, hedge fund manager and tail-hedging pioneer Mark Spitznagel--with one of the top returns on capital of the financial crisis, as well as over a career--takes us on a gripping, circuitous journey from the Chicago trading pits, over the coniferous boreal forests and canonical strategists from Warring States China to Napoleonic Europe to burgeoning industrial America, to the great economic thinkers of late 19th century Austria. We arrive at his central investment methodology of Austrian Investing, where victory comes not from waging the immediate decisive battle, but rather from the roundabout approach of seeking the intermediate positional advantage (what he calls shi), of aiming at the indirect means rather than directly at the ends. The monumental challenge is in seeing time differently, in a whole new intertemporal dimension, one that is so contrary to our wiring. Spitznagel is the first to condense the theories of Ludwig von Mises and his Austrian School of economics into a cohesive and--as Spitznagel has shown--highly effective investment methodology. From identifying the monetary distortions and non-randomness of stock market routs (Spitznagel's bread and butter) to scorned highly-productive assets, in Ron Paul's words from the foreword, Spitznagel "brings Austrian economics from the ivory tower to the investment portfolio." The Dao of Capital provides a rare and accessible look through the lens of one of today's great investors to discover a profound harmony with the market process--a harmony that is so essential today.

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