Investments and Investing
 
 
 
Against The Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk by Peter Bernstein  Why do we bet money on the stock market, a game of roulette, or other risky undertakings? Bernstein writes about the history of man's efforts to understand risk and probability, from ancient gamblers in Greece to the modern chaos theory.  Interesting and well written.
 
 
 
 
 
The Bond Bible by Marilyn Cohen  This book takes the mystery out of bonds and explains them in simple terms - especially why you need them. What makes this book a great read is Cohen's anecdotes about her own experiences in the bond world.
 
 
 
 
Investment Policy – Winning the Loser's Game by Charles Ellis  The premise of the Ellis' best selling text is that individual investors can achieve far greater success working with financial markets rather than against them - an idea that has grown more popular in today's hard-to-predict markets. The latest edition of this comprehensive classic offers updated strategies to leverage the power of time and compounding, protect against down cycles, and more. The book is written so that someone who has recently begun investing can pick up the majority of the concepts, while not boring the more seasoned investor.
 
 
Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits by Philip Fisher
Like Graham, Philip Fisher had a tremendous influence on Buffett.  But Fisher emphasizes quality, not quantity.  He argues that a highly focused, non-diversified portfolio is the way to succeed.  “Great stocks,” he said, “are extremely hard to find.  If they weren’t then everyone would own them.”  When an adviser finds these gems, Fisher said, he or she should load up.
 
 

The Essays of Warren Buffett:  Lessons for Corporate America by Warren Buffett  A thematically organized collection of Warren Buffett’s letters to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, selected, arranged and introduced by Professor Lawrence Cunningham.
 
 
 
 
 
The Wall Street Journal Guide to Understanding Personal Finance by Kenneth M. Morris, Alan M. Siegel (Contributor) "When you think about handling your personal finances, among the things that may come to mind are paying your bills, saving money to pay for the things you want and maybe arranging for a mortgage to pay for a home or a loan to buy a new car.  In each case, there’s probably a bank involved in your plans."
 
 
 
 
Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings by Philip A. Fisher  Fisher is widely acknowledged as one of the pioneers of modern investment theory, and his  philosophies continue to be regarded as gospel by today’s investors.  This classic investment book, first published in 1958, fascinates investors because it enables them to discern the origins of some of today’s most popular investment philosophies.
 
 
 
 
The Wall Street Guide to Understanding Money & Investing by Kenneth M. Morris, et al.  The Wall Street Journal Guide to Understanding Money & Investing initiates you into the mysteries of the financial pages – buying stocks, bonds, mutual funds, futures and options, spotting trends and evaluating companies.  For those who are curious but intimidated by everyday financial jargon, this guide offers a literate, forthright and lively alternative.
 
 
 
 

Making of an American Capitalist by Roger Lowenstein  This illuminating biography reveals a man whose conscientiousness, integrity, and good humor exist alongside an odd emotional isolation. Buffett also masterfully traces his life: his enormously successful partnership; his early, inspired investments in American Express and Geico; his companionship and investment with Katharine Graham of the Washington Post; his role in the Capital Cities purchase of ABC; his unique relationship with his wife and mistress; and his rescue of the scandal-ridden Salomon Brothers.

 
 
 
The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham  The Intelligent Investor is a must-read and the recent edition edited by Jason Zweig has copious – and excellent – footnotes that bring Graham’s classic ideas into the modern age.
 
 
 
 
 

 
You Can Be a Stock Market Genius   by Joel Greenblatt  The stock-market profits that investment pro Greenblatt is chasing are found in some areas not usually considered by the average investor: spin-offs, mergers, risk arbitrage, restructurings, rights offerings, bankruptcies, liquidations, and asset sales. Greenblatt acknowledges that pursuing them will require some time, effort, patience, and experience. But he argues that because these areas are not overstudied by the analysts, possible market inefficiencies can be exploited. He explains each area with case studies from his own experience.  None of this should be beyond the experienced investor (Greenblatt himself says he doesn't "like to work too hard to understand an investment"), but it is probably beyond the neophyte.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Simple Asset Allocation Strategies by Roger Gibson and Randal Moore  Asset allocation plays a key role in the money management process. Now, internationally acclaimed authority Roger Gibson focuses on two crucial factors for evaluating the right asset allocation mix ... *Assessing the time horizon and *Determining the correct portfolio balance within a specified time horizon.  Both are essential for portfolios that perform to the needs of your clients. Gibson also explains how to involve clients in the decision making process, so their expectations are realistic and their commitment to the investment strategies more dedicated.  With a new foreword by Randal J. Moore and an introduction by the renowned Sir John Templeton, here's a great "refresher" course and useful checklist for practicing professionals, as well as an easy-reading reference for clients who want a better understanding of the investment process and your role in it.
 
 
 
 
Contrarian Investment Strategies:  The Next Generation  by David N. Dreman  Contrarian Investment Strategies: The Next Generation is full of practical and provocative advice, but some of its most interesting passages delve into the abstruse findings of cognitive psychology. This research has proven that we are woefully inadequate as intuitive statisticians. Interpreting data to make predictions about the probability of future events, we consistently make the same mistakes. For example, we exaggerate the likelihood that current trends will continue, even when they are historically exceptional. This fallacy explains why most Wall Street insiders were gloomiest about stocks in 1981, after six years of falling prices, just before the beginning of the greatest bull market ever. Is today's widespread optimism among investors a reason for caution?  Dreman thinks so.
 
 
Buffett:  The Making of An American Capitalist by Roger Lowenstein  This illuminating biography reveals a man whose conscientiousness, integrity, and good humor exist alongside an odd emotional isolation. Buffett also masterfully traces his life: his enormously successful partnership; his early, inspired investments in American Express and Geico; his companionship  and investment with Katharine Graham of the Washington Post; his role in the Capital Cities purchase of ABC; his unique relationship with his wife and mistress; and his rescue of the scandal-ridden Salomon Brothers.
 
 
 
The Warren Buffet Portfolio by Robert Hagstrom  In a straightforward follow-up to his bestseller, The Warren Buffett Way, Hagstrom shows how to put Buffett's ideas into practice. Buffett, universally described as one of the world's greatest investors, has made a fortune with a number of extremely large bets on a relatively small number of companies.  By doing so, Hagstrom, who runs a mutual fund for the Legg Mason investment house, correctly points out that Buffett flies in the face of orthodox notions of portfolio diversity.  Buffett's approach, which Hagstrom calls "focus investing," limits his investments to an extremely small number of stocks, A10 or 15A, that he thinks have the greatest long-term potential.  In The Warren Buffett Way, Hagstrom identified how Buffett chooses those stocks.  And here, in his straightforward follow-up, he shows the benefits of this approach:  if you pick right, returns will be far greater than the market as a whole.
 
 
How to Pick Stocks Like Warren Buffett by Timothy Vick  A $10,000 investment in Warren Buffett's original 1956 portfolio would today be worth a staggering $250 million ... after taxes! What are his investing secrets? How to Pick Stocks Like Warren Buffett contains the answers and shows, step-by-profitable-step, how any investor can follow Buffett's path to consistently find bargains in all markets: up, down, or sideways.  How to Pick Stocks Like Warren Buffett sticks to the basics: how Buffett continually finds bargain stocks passed over by others. Written by an actual financial analyst who uses Buffett's strategies professionally, this tactical how-to book includes:  Comprehensive financial tools and information, Strategy-packed "Buffett in action" boxes, Buffett's own stock portfolio­­ continually updated on the author's website!
 
 
 
The Warren Buffett CEO:  Secrets from the Berkshire Hathaway Managers by Robert Miles  The first book to reveal the investment and management strategies of the Berkshire Hathaway all-star management team. Much has been written about Warren Buffett and his investment philosophy; little has been made public about the inside management of Berkshire Hathaway. With a market cap exceeding 100 billion , Berkshire Hathaway has a market value surpassing many icons of American business such as Dell, AT&T, Disney, Ford, Gillette, American Express, and GM. Drawing on his personal experiences as well as those of Berkshire's chief executives, officers, and directors interviewed for this book, Berkshire insider Robert P. Miles provides a unique look at the Berkshire Hathaway culture and its management principles.
 
 
 
 
Markets and the Economy
 
 
The Art of Speculation by Philip L. Carret  In addition to founding and managing Fidelity Investment Trust in the 1920s with $25,000 of his own money – which grew to $2 billion in assets as the Pioneer Fund – Philip Carret was a bond salesman, financial journalist and intensely curious generalist.  Born in 1896, he made it to 100 and saw it all.  Here, in a slender, well-written book, is the wisdom of his many years.  In a fascinating way, Carret explains bear and bull markets, how to trade in unlisted securities, how to read a balance statement and other financial subjects.
 
 
 
Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds by Charles MacKay, Andrew Tobias  A complete repackaging of the classic work about grand-scale madness, major schemes, and bamboozlement – and the universal human susceptibility to all three.  This informative, funny collection encompasses a broad range of manias and deceptions, from witch burnings to the Great Crusades to the prophecies of Nostradamus.
 
 
 
Unexpected Returns by Ed Easterling  This investment book uses extensive full-color graphics to explain the fundamentals of the markets-an essential resource before reading how-to books or engaging investment advice. It is a unique combination of investment art and investment science that enables the reader to differentiate between irrational hope and a rational view of current market conditions.
 
 
 
 
 
Financial Statement Analysis
 
 
 
Analysis for Financial Management by Robert Higgins  is one of the best (read: least painful) introductions to accounting that I’ve found, and you simply have to be able to understand how cash flows through a company if you plan on picking stocks.  Accounting isn’t exciting, but it is the language of business, and investors need to talk the talk before walking the walk.
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Earnings by Thornton L. O’Glove  O'Glove is a former securities analyst who started the Quality of Earnings Report , used by many investment firms. With business historian Sobel, O'Glove details a methodology to help the investor understand the role of the corporate annual report, cash flow and debt analysis, accounts receivable and inventories, the differences between shareholder reports and tax reports, and other documentation submitted to shareholders and potential investors. He advises investors to look carefully at all of the above, and he explains how to do research for more information. The book has a style suited to the investor with some experience and is technical. But it offers a great deal of substantive information that may be useful to those who use business libraries and collections.
 
 
Financial Fine Print by Michelle Leder  Thirty-five million individual investors jumped into the stock market for the first time during the late 1990s without asking questions about the stocks they were buying. When the bubble burst and the large number of accounting scandals began to grow, most investors didn’t know where to turn or whom to trust. Now it has become more important than ever for investors to take matters into their own hands.
 
 
 
 
Financial Shenanigans:  How to Detect Accounting Gimmicks and Fraud in Financial Report 2nd Edition by Howard Schilit  Inflated profits … questionable write-offs … hidden expenses … These and other dubious financial maneuvers have become more widespread and harder to detect, as companies pull out the stops to satisfy Wall Street.   Financial Shenanigans, 2nd Edition describes how investors and analysts can use today’s state-of-the-art tools and tactics to decipher convoluted financial reports – and identify early warning signs that a company is in trouble.
 
 
 
 
Creative Cash Flow Reporting: Uncovering Sustainable Financial Performance by Charles W. Milford and Eugene E. Comisky  Successful methodology for identifying earnings-related reporting indiscretions, Creative Cash Flow Reporting and Analysis capitalizes on current concerns with misleading financial reporting on misleading financial reporting. It identifies the common steps used to yield misleading cash flow amounts, demonstrates how to adjust the cash flow statement for more effective analysis, and how to use adjusted operating cash flow to uncover earnings that have been misreported using aggressive or fraudulent accounting practices.
 
 
 
 
 
Small Business Owner
 
 
The E-Myth Manager:  Why Management Doesn’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber  More than ten years after his first bestselling book, The E–Myth, changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of small-business owners, Michael Gerber – entrepreneur,  author and speaker extraordinaire – fires the next salvo in his highly successful E-Myth Revolution.  Drawing on lessons learned from working with more than 15,000 small, medium-size and very large organizations, Gerber has discovered the truth behind why management doesn’t work – and what to do about it.
 
 
 
The E-Myth Revisited:  Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber  In his first and totally revised edition of the over one million copy underground bestseller, The E-Myth, Michael Gerber dispels the myths surrounding starting your  own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of running a business.  Next, he walks you through the steps in the life of a business – from entrepreneurial infancy, through adolescent growing pains, to the mature entrepreneurial perspective, the guiding light of all businesses that succeed – and shows how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business, whether or not it is a franchise.  Finally, Gerber draws the final, often overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in your business. 
 
 
 
 
The First 90 Days:  Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels by Michael  Watkins  This earnest guide to career transition periods-when a new job or promotion puts an employee in an unfamiliar role-asserts, reassuringly, that navigating the all-important first 90 days is a "teachable skill." Business professor Watkins lays out a "standard framework" for leadership transitions, based on "five fundamental propositions," "ten key challenges," and a four-fold typology of situations that new managers find themselves in.
 
 
 
 
 
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team:  A Leadership Fable by Patrick M. Lencioni  In keeping with the parable style, Lencioni (The Five Temptations of a CEO) begins by telling the fable of a woman who, as CEO of a struggling Silicon Valley firm, took control of a dysfunctional executive committee and helped its members succeed as a team. Story time over, Lencioni offers explicit instructions for overcoming the human behavioral tendencies that he says corrupt teams (absence of trust, fear of conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability and inattention to results). Succinct yet sympathetic, this guide will be a boon for those struggling with the inherent difficulties of leading a group. 100,000 first printing.
 
 
 
The Five Temptations of a CEO by Patrick M. Lencioni  Designed to be read in a single sitting, this book uses the unexpected meeting between troubled high-tech honcho Andrew O'Brien and a mysterious old man named Charlie to explore a series of common traps that can unwittingly ensnare any hard-driven executive. Lencioni hones in on the five "temptations" of the workplace: desires to jealously guard career status, consistently remain popular with subordinates, unfailingly make correct decisions, constantly strive for an atmosphere of total harmony, and always appear invulnerable. A discussion of the story's events and their real-world implications follows, as Lencioni shifts from screenwriter mode to business coach to help answer some of the questions he raises.
 
 
 
Profitable Growth Is Everyone’s Business:  Ten Tools You Can Use Monday Morning  by Ram Charan  The coauthor of the international bestseller Execution has created the how-to guide for solving today’s toughest business challenge: creating profitable growth that is organic, differentiated, and sustainable.  In this trailblazing book, Ram Charan provides the building blocks and tools that can put a business on the path to sustained, profitable growth.  For more than twenty-five years, Ram Charan has been working day in and day out with companies around the world. The ideas he has developed for solving the profitable revenue growth dilemma facing many businesses are based on personally seeing what works in real time.  These are ideas that have been tested across industries and that deliver results, and they can be put to use starting Monday morning.
 
 
 
Execution:  The Discipline of Getting Things Done by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan  Disciplines like strategy, leadership development, and innovation are the sexier aspects of being at the helm of a successful business; actually getting things done never seems quite as glamorous.  But as Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan demonstrate in Execution, the ultimate difference between a company and its competitor is, in fact, the ability to execute.  Execution is "the missing link between aspirations and results," and as such, making it happen is the business leader's most important job. While failure in today's business environment is often attributed to other causes, Bossidy and Charan argue that the biggest obstacle to success is the absence of execution.  Developing the discipline of execution isn't made out to be simple, nor is this book a quick, easy read. Bossidy and Charan do, however, offer good advice on a neglected topic, making Execution a smart business leader's guide to enacting success rather than permitting demise.
 
 
Thoughts of Chairman Buffett by Siimon Reynolds  He's an American icon, the world's most famous and most successful investor every financial move is widely reported and copied, his every utterance scanned for meaning. The secret of his success? Let Buffett tell you. He has a few thoughts on the matter.  Thoughts of Chairman Buffett is pure, unadulterated Buffett: a collection of his wittiest, wisest, and most quotable quotes. Compiled by Siimon Reynolds from decades of Buffett’s speeches, writings, and interviews, they include gems on such subjects as . . . hiring and how to get wealthy.
 
 
 
Built to Last by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras  What makes a visionary company? This book, written by a team from Stanford's Graduate School of Business, compares what the authors have identified as "visionary" companies with selected companies in the same industry. The authors juxtapose Disney and Columbia Pictures, Ford and General Motors, Motorola and Zenith, and Hewlett-Packard and Texas Instruments, to name a few. The visionary companies, the authors found out, had a number of common characteristics; for instance, almost all had some type of core ideology that guided the company in times of upheaval and served as a constant bench mark. Not all the visionary companies were founded by visionary leaders, however. On the whole, this is an intriguing book that occasionally provides rare and interesting glimpses into the inner workings and philosophical foundations of successful businesses. Recommended for all libraries.
 
 
 
 
 
Good to Great by Jim Collins  Five years ago, Jim Collins asked the question, "Can a good company become a great company and if so, how?" In Good to Great Collins, the author of Built to Last, concludes that it is possible, but finds there are no silver bullets. Collins and his team of researchers began their quest by sorting through a list of 1,435 companies, looking for those that made substantial improvements in their performance over time. They finally settled on 11--including Fannie Mae, Gillette, Walgreens, and Wells Fargo--and discovered common traits that challenged many of the conventional notions of corporate success. Making the transition from good to great doesn't require a high-profile CEO, the latest technology, innovative change management, or even a fine-tuned business strategy. At the heart of those rare and truly great companies was a corporate culture that rigorously found and promoted disciplined people to think and act in a disciplined manner. Peppered with dozens of stories and examples from the great and not so great, the book offers a well-reasoned road map to excellence that any organization would do well to consider. Like Built to Last, Good to Great is one of those books that managers and CEOs will be reading and rereading for years to come.
 
 
Other Recommended Reading
 
 
 
The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall  What would you do to inherit a billion dollars? Would you be willing to change your life? Jason Stevens is about to find out in Jim Stovall's The Ultimate Gift. Red Stevens has died, and the older members of his family receive their millions with greedy anticipation. But a different fate awaits young Jason, whom Stevens, his great-uncle, believes may be the last vestige of hope in the family. "Although to date your life seems to be a sorry excuse for anything I would call promising, there does seem to be a spark of something in you that I hope we can fan into a flame. For that reason, I am not making you an instant millionaire." What Stevens does give Jason leads to The Ultimate Gift. Young and old will take this timeless tale to heart.
 
 
The Millionaire Next Door – The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko  This is a new classic, whose subtitle just as easily could have been “wealth is not where you  think it is.”  Stanley, who runs an Atlanta-based institute that studies affluence, tells us where and how new American wealth is being generated.  His conclusions are as surprising as they are interesting.  This well- documented book will be used for many years by those who wish to sell to the affluent.
 
 
 
Damn Right! By Janet Lowe  Lowe spent three intensive years learning about Munger's life and work and had the full cooperation of her subject for this biography and access to his vast network of admiring and devoted business associates, his family and his lifelong friends.  She does a superb job of re-creating Munger's development from a respectable lawyer to a savvy investor, providing intricate details about the incisive thinking behind his business deals, which she weaves into a captivating narrative.  The droll, brilliant, focused and intensely private Munger conducts his business the way he lives his life:  he invests his time and his money in people of strong moral character and businesses that are intrinsically sound. He is not averse to risk, because he calculates it carefully, and, most crucially, when he makes a commitment, he does so for the long term.
 
 
Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes – and How to Correct Them by Gary Belsky and Thomas Gilovich  In Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes, Belsky and Gilovich update this pioneering work and show readers how to understand exactly why they invest, spend, and save as they do. More importantly, by using examples that everyone can identify with and language that anyone can understand, the authors offer dozens of workable suggestions that can help readers manage their money better. "We believe that by identifying the psychological causes behind many types of financial decisions," they write, "you can effectively change your behavior in ways that will ultimately put more money in your pocket and help you keep more of what you already have."
 
 
Poor Charlie’s Almanack The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger edited by Peter D. Kaufman  For the first time ever, the wit and wisdom of Charlie Munger is available in a single volume:  all his talks, lectures and public commentary.  And, it has been written and compiled with both Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett's encouragement and cooperation.  So pull up your favorite reading chair and enjoy the unique humor, wit and insight that Charlie Munger brings to the world of business, investing and life itself.
 
 
 
 
 
The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason   Beloved by millions, this timeless classic holds the key to all you desire and everything you wish to accomplish.  This is the book that reveals the secret to personal wealth.  Countless readers have been helped by the famous “Babylonian parables,” hailed as the greatest of all inspirational works on the subject of thrift, financial planning, and personal wealth.  In language as simple as that found in the Bible, these fascinating and informative stories set you on a sure path to prosperity and its accompanying joys.  Acclaimed as a modern-day classic, this celebrated bestseller offers an understanding of – and a solution to – your personal financial problems that will guide you through a lifetime.  This is the book that holds the secrets to acquiring money, keeping money and making money earn more money.
 
 
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill  Here are money-making secrets that can change your life. Inspired by Andrew Carnegie's magic formula for success, this book will teach you the secrets that will bring you a fortune. It will show you not only what to do but how to do it. Once you learn and apply the simple, basic techniques revealed here, you will have mastered the secret of true and lasting success. And you may have whatever you want in life.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The above recommended readings are based upon the opinions of FPC and not necessarily those of Raymond James.  Raymond James Financial Services is not responsible for the consequences of any particular transaction or investment decision based on the contents of these books.  All financial related planning should be individualized as each person's situation is unique. Links are being provided for information purposes only. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors. Raymond James is not responsible for the content of any website or the collection or use of information regarding any website's users and/or members.