Tuesday, April 25, 2006

An Unusual Book about Investing

Most personal finance books tend to be published in the first quarter, to tie in with all the New Year's Resolution and Tax Prep displays in stores. But there are still a few stragglers hitting the market at other times of year, such as this one:
More Than You Know: Finding Financial Wisdom in Unconventional Places by Michael Mauboussin was recently previewed in Publishers Weekly-- it kind of sounds like a Freakonomics about the stock market. The author is a Wall Street equity analyst, and the book is a collection of reports applying scientific findings from various fields to investing. Some topics include animal behavior ("Guppy Love: The Role of Imitation in Markets"), psychology ("Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers"), and philosophy of science ("The Janitor's Dream: Why Listening to Individuals Can be Hazardous to Your Wealth"). PW says:

Each essay describes a fascinating scientific finding, then develops and applies it to personal investing. "Survival of the Fittest," for example, begins by discussing how Tiger Woods improved his golf swing, introduces the concept of fitness landscapes from evolutionary biology, then explains why investors in commodity-producing companies should like strong centralized management, while technology-stock buyers should prefer flexible organizations with lots of disruptive new ideas.

PW's bottom line was that the book is well-written and entertaining enough for a general readership as opposed to just serious investors, but that some of the material is out of date. I may have to check this out when it's published in June.

1 comment:

Jessica H. said...

Madame X,

I've been reading your blog for about a month now and I notice you often write about books on finance. I just got done reading a great financial book called Automatic Wealth for Grad's by Michael Masterson. The book was so amazing and a super easy read. Mr. Masterson shows readers how the miracle of compound interest and smart financial planning can make even the guy working at the gas station down the street can become a millionaire. I've started using his investment advice and am on my way to becoming a millionaire by age 40 (Im 25 now). This book was so great Im recommending it to everyone I know.