Summarising Gibbon’s full, unabridged “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” is a little bit intimidating. Nearly as intimidating as the books themselves. It’s essential though. If I read a book but don’t reflect on it then I might as well have never opened the cover. Here’s my attempt at a summary, comparatively brief but longer than average, promoted to a blog post and comments welcome.
Nominally, “The Alchemy of Finance” is about understanding markets and making better investing decisions. If that is all one learned it would be a crying shame, because the book is actually about understanding reality and making better decisions. To restrict it to the markets is a serious mistake and not one Soros makes.
Daniel Kahneman is an interesting man. Born in 1934, he is a psychologist mostly concerned with prospect theory, decision making and the psychology of judgement. Incidentally and as a sideshow he also established the intellectual foundations of Behavioural Economics, for which he was awarded the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics. Unsurprisingly (or is it? he would ask), he also writes very interesting books.
Which line is longer?
Ostensibly, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” (RDPD) is a book about how to make money. In this respect Kiyosaki’s formula is blindingly simple, so much so that I think he makes a good point that most of us are blind to it. At a deeper level, this book is about what it means to be an adult. Let me explain both of these.
Tying together the latest neurology, psychology and neurology research, Charles Duhigg’s book The Power of Habit presents a compelling description of habits: how we get them, how we change them and their wider appearance in companies and entire societies. With the framework he builds it becomes possible to understand why I can’t resist sugar and why Rosa Parks (and no one else) truly set the Civil Rights movement in motion. What’s more, it becomes possible to change my sugar addiction and understand how BigRetailChain is pulling my psychological levers to make me buy more. Well written, interesting and enjoyable, I strongly recommend this book. Continue reading