Monday, September 22, 2014

Review: Irrational Exuberance

Irrational Exuberance
Irrational Exuberance by Robert J. Shiller

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I really battled to get into this book. I didn't enjoy it at all. We all know that market bubbles exist and I really don't think Robert Shiller added much to the discussion (I will no doubt come under fire here from all the fans out there). This was summed up for me in the last chapter when he listed things that could go wrong in the future. He listed every conceivable scenario in the world. While I agree that you need to consider all possibilities and investing is about probabilities, it is in my opinion very easy to write a book saying all these things could go wrong and then listing everything that could go wrong.

Don't get me wrong. Robert Shiller is a very smart man but I really battled to enjoy this book. Not recommended.

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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Review: Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist

Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist
Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist by Roger Lowenstein

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Carrying on from my interest in reading about people that I think people have romanticised and trying to find the real story about these people, I turned my attention to Warren Buffett. Anyone who has any interest in investing knows who Warren Buffett is. In fact, people seem content to quote him to back up anything when it comes to investing. I am hopefully not one of those people. There is no doubt in my mind that Warren Buffett is a smart man. I would say he enjoyed more success in his earlier years and recent history has really struggled. Interestingly, he seemed to do worse and worse as the limelight shone more on him. I got the feeling that he was quite fond of being in limelight contrary to what he says. I suppose he is only human.

I also found it interesting the number of investing mistakes he has made. Most people think everything he touches turns to gold. It is reassuring that we are able to make a number of mistakes and still build up a good investing track record.

The book itself is well written and worth purchasing. Roger Lowenstein has done a good job in telling the story of Warren Buffett. Recommended.

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Review: Errornomics: Why We Make Mistakes and What We Can Do To Avoid Them

Errornomics: Why We Make Mistakes and What We Can Do To Avoid Them
Errornomics: Why We Make Mistakes and What We Can Do To Avoid Them by Joseph T. Hallinan

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I didn't finish book. I read the first three chapters and then returned it for a refund from the Amazon kindle store. Maybe I have a thing against journalists writing books this-a-nomics etc (think Gladwell and the like) but I find these books lack substance. It could be personal preference but I believe there are better books written by people such Kahneman.

I would recommend saving your money and avoid this book.

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Review: Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the third Walter Isaacson book I have read and is my favourite. It is very well written. It is also not crammed with English professor language like his prior books I have read which is refreshing. My affection for the book should not be mistaken for admiration of Steve Jobs. I will be the first concede the man was something special. His genius and imaginative streak assisted him to achieve more than many other mortals could ever dream of achieving. However, in technical terms (as Isaacson puts it), he was an a$$hole. Some would call him a narcissist but in many ways I found him to be malicious and untrustworthy. Nevertheless, this is an excellent book which tells the tale of a very complex man. May he rest in peace.

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