Skip to main content

Three Books I'm Reading

The Great Depression, Big Mistakes, and The Algebra of Happiness. I really enjoy reading and want to start sharing some of my favourites.

The Great Depression: A Diary By Benjamin Roth

Benjamin Roth was a lawyer who lived through the Great Depression. Everyday he would write an entry reflecting on the day's events. This is his diary. With each page you experience this generational event through his eyes.

We typically learn about the Depression from a macro lens. Roth's writing allows you to zoom in and get on the ground level. You'll experience the Depression from beginning to the end through the daily realities of a small town in Ohio.

A great read, with lessons on financial history, gratitude and resilience. Lessons especially relevant for times of uncertainty like today.

Big Mistakes by Michael Batnick 

Michael Batnick is the Director of Research at Ritholtz Wealth Management. In Big Mistakes he goes through the blooper reel of history's most famous and successful investors. From Benjamin Graham to Warren Buffet.

Each chapter shines the light on one of these titans and their costly missteps. Entertaining and humbling. Big Mistakes is a reminder of how difficult active investing is. Even the smartest, most accomplished and resource-heavy amongst us can still fail and fail big. 

The Algebra of Happiness by Scott Galloway 

Scott Galloway is a Professor for the NYU Stern School of Business. A podcaster and writer, Professor Galloway produces a lot of content focusing on tech and business. Him tackling the subject of happiness was a deviation from the norm.

The Algebra of Happiness is filled practical advice told through life stories. Raw and unfiltered, Galloway's honestly made this an incredibly engaging read. 

Filled with important lessons on wealth and living well. This is a book you can come back to, time and time again. 


Popular posts from this blog

The Art of Giving Feedback

Constructive feedback is an awkward affair. You don't want hurt feelings, but recognize the importance of honesty. You've tried the classic "hoping things will get better on its own" and unfortunately it hasn't played out. When giving feedback, here are a few things that I try to keep it mind. Start with empathy. Step into their shoes and understand their story. If you don't know, ask. Be genuinely curious. Feedback is a dynamic affair. Shared communication with a shared goal towards progress. Take the emotion out of it. Focus on the situation, not the person. Focusing on the person adds unnecessary weight to an already emotionally-bloated event.  Be specific. Give clear examples. Vague feedback equals dismissed feedback.  Doing above won't de-awkward things fully, but it will dampen it and increase the chance of better outcomes. 

Bias For Clarity

Bias for action. Gets things done. Go-getter. Traits companies big and small look for. And for good reason, you're being hired to do things! However, action is a secondary step that often overshadows the primary step, direction.   Clear direction is the foundation that enables our actions to takeoff. Without it, we're stuck in the mud.  Striving for clarity is an underrated skill. Having the courage to ask ( seemingly ) obvious questions, and to check in, making sure we're all on the same page. "O bvious " questions are a low risk, high reward way to add value. At worst, you'll add confidence to our actions. At best, you discover a misalignment that saves us from a dead-end.  The more people, the more clear we need to be. The bigger the initiative, the bigger the risk of reaching the finish line, only to realize expectations were off.  Success is always uncertain. But we can be certain about what we want and what everyone's job is. Things that can be clea

Negative Feedback, Positive Lessons

In the battle against plastic bags, a five-cent tax was shown to be much more successful at deterring usage than a five-cent credit for bringing your own bags. Carrots satisfy but sticks sting, and they sting hard. So we default to the less painful choice of avoiding loss. Loss aversion impacts the way we process information. A 2019 study  invited participants to learn through a series of multiple choice questions. Each question only had two options to choose from. Whether guessing correctly or not, they would still learn the right answer.  Despite the identical learning opportunity, participants were much more successful at recalling the answers they guessed correctly than those they got wrong.  "You're right!" feels good. We savour the moment, analyzing every detail.  "You're wrong!" stings. We want to quickly forget, dismiss, and move on.  When we succumb to loss aversion, we miss opportunities to learn. Failure is part of the process. We'll experie