EPB Macro Research | Eric's Reading List

Investment-Related Books
Mindful Books

What Is Eric Reading?

One of the most common questions I receive outside of the normal course of business is "what books do you recommend?" or "what books do you read?" I am an avid reader and spend at least a couple of hours per day reading books and furthering my understanding of the world around us.

Generally, I read two types of books. I read books that are related to business, finance, asset management, retirement strategy, and of course, economics. I also am a big reader of what I would call "mindful" books or books that help with the emotional side of life and investing. "Mindful" books, such as Stoic philosophy, may sound like it has nothing to do with economics or investing, but if you cannot steady your emotions, the game of investing becomes quite challenging.

Therefore, I will break my reading list into two sections. A section for all books in the field of business, finance, asset management, retirement strategy, and economics. I will call this section "Investment-Related Books." The second section will be titled "Mindful Books." This later section will host many books on Stoic philosophy and other books that have helped with the emotional side of the markets. Often times the emotional side of the game is the most difficult part. 

Clearly, I don't endorse every single word from every single book. Generally, if a book gives me just one lasting idea or one thought that is impactful, I find value in sharing the title. 

Below you will find a list of books that have given me at least one valuable thought to incorporate into my research/investment process, or, in the case of the "Mindful Books," one valuable strategy to combat the natural urges and temptations that arise when markets become chaotic. 

If there is a book that you think I should read, please drop me a note by filling out the form on the Contact Page

If any of these books have had a positive impact on you, drop me a line on the Contact Page. I'd love to hear your story!

Investment-Related Books

 

Manias, Panics, and Crashes

Originally written by Charles Kindleberger, Manias, Panics, and Crashes is a critical book for investors and thinkers looking to understand the history of financial crises. Readers will learn the anatomy of a typical crisis from start to finish, as well as a roadmap to identity bubbles and manias in real-time. This book contains lessons that transcend time and should be on the reading list of every investor interested in how bubbles form and end. 

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The Rise And Fall Of American Growth

The CPI understates the true rate of inflation, right? Well, in The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Robert Gordon offers a different perspective on the changing conditions in the standard of living in the United States and how we may, in fact, overstate the rate of inflation in some cases. Innovation and the standard of living increased rapidly from the late 1800s through the 1970s. Over the last 40 years, economic progress and productivity have slowed, leading to enormous frustration as we look for answers to this dilemma. Gordon suggests that based on the nature of current innovation, we are unlikely to replicate the high growth period from 1870-1970 and the future may hold a continuous pattern of slower economic progress. 

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Beating The Business Cycle

Beating The Business Cycle is a fascinating book that helps to explain the economic sequence behind what we call a "virtuous economic cycle" and a "vicious economic cycle." Written by the Co-Founders of ECRI, this book outlines how leading economic indicators can help forecast business cycle turning points. Anyone looking for a secret formula or access to the perfect, fool-proof indicator will be disappointed in this book. There is no magic formula outlined, just very solid explanations of how the economic cycle sequence works. If you are looking to understand how the sequence of economic events unfolds and how to spot the early movers in this sequence, Beating The Business Cycle is a fantastic (and quick) read. 

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The Next Perfect Trade

Alex Gurevich is a successful hedge fund manager and the CIO and founder of HonTe Investments. In his book, The Next Perfect Trade, Alex outlines various criteria he looks for when thinking through a trade. Is this the most superior trade? Can I express this view in a more optimal way? This book was a fantastic guide to stress test ideas, looking for the most optimal or most superior way to express a view of the world. I took a lot of helpful tips from this book and I think every investor should consider some of the ideas and tactics that Alex presents. 

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Your Complete Guide To A Successful & Secure Retirement

This is your one-stop-shop for thinking about your personal money management strategy. This book is definitely the broadest and most all-encompassing text I have come across with sections covering asset allocation, IRAs, health savings accounts, spend down strategies, social security, medicare, estate planning, trusts, reverse mortgages, and more. Of course, you can find more detailed information on any of the sections in this book and talk with your personal wealth strategist, but as far as covering all the bases and getting you to think about every single aspect of your financial planning life, this book is without question at the top of the pack. 

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The Ascent Of Money

Harvard Professor Niall Ferguson breaks down the financial history of the world in his book The Ascent of Money. If you are looking for a text to explain the evolution of money over time, there is no better book. Critical concepts are explored that are more relevant today than ever before in the world of extreme central bank policy. For example, the value of money comes from the trust we place in it. Ferguson also suggests the financial system is irrational and unequal, but that access to credit is an efficient path out of poverty. This book answers all the common questions about money throughout time, inflation and so much more. 

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Fortune's Formula

A fascinating book with roots in gambling and card counting, author William Poundstone emphasizes the Kelly Formula, an optimized betting technique based on your edge and odds. While the book is grounded in gambling, the betting strategy or the managing of a "bankroll" has been applied to financial markets with much success. Learning how to manage a gambling bankroll has great carry over into the world of managing a pool of capital. I highly recommend this book.

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A Man For All Markets

By many accounts, Ed Thorp's brilliance is unmatched and his ability to use his mathematical skills in the casino and on Wall Street led to one of the greatest track records in the investment industry. In A Man For All Markets, Thorp provides practical advice for the common investor coming from one of the most brilliant people of ever step into the investment community. Reading and learning about Ed Throp is highly recommended. 

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Mindful Books

 

Meditations

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is, in my opinion, one of the greatest texts ever written. There are countless life lessons and perspectives that help manage emotions and stresses in life and those that arise during chaotic periods in financial markets. This is a book that cannot possibly be read enough times. 

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The Daily Stoic

The Daily Stoic provides a powerful quote from a Stoic philosopher each day with a brief story or context around the quote. Each day, before sitting down at my computer, I grab The Daily Stoic and flip to today's date to read the quote and story of the day. This 2-3 minute exercise helps frame my mind, manage perceptions and avoid emotional decisions. 

Buy On Amazon

Stillness Is The Key

When the world is chaotic, markets are volatile, and emotions are running high, how do we find the stillness to react with the four stoic virtues: Courage, Wisdom, Temperance, Justice. We must be able to achieve stillness and call upon it at any moment to avoid making poor decisions from a mental state that rivals stillness: emotion. Stillness Is The Key provides a roadmap for achieving stillness in our daily lives with countless real-life stories and examples. 

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Ego Is The Enemy

Ego leads to some of the worst decisions we can make in life, and in markets. Your investment strategy isn't working in the short-term and something and your ego tells you that you are wrong, that you should be embarrassed by the fact that you are wrong and everyone else is right, and so on. How do we beat back the ego to make sure we are only making decisions about our investments from a place of logic and rationality, not from an emotional standpoint with the goal of satisfying the ego. Ego Is The Enemy is a powerful book that will help you understand when you have the impulse to make a decision and to understand whether that decision is based on emotion (ego) or based on logic and truth. 

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Let's Connect!

If any of these books have had a positive impact on you, drop me a line on the Contact Page. I'd love to hear your story!

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