Book to read for an overview of the stock market: five non-financial books every investor is likely to enjoy

Over the past month my friend Anupam Gupta and I have spoken in several webinars about our new book
The Victory project: six steps to reach maximum potential. During these interactions, the question we were asked the most often is “Which books made you write your last book?” “.

After having had a month to think about it, I realized that the books that led to my last book are the ones that changed the way I think about the world.

Specifically, these books have:


  • Helped me understand a discipline or subject that I know little about;
  • Helped me come up with new ideas that could in turn help me become a better investor; and

Based on these criteria, I have listed below the five non-financial books that have taught me a lot and fueled many concepts, which have helped me.
The victory project become a bestseller.

Range: How GPs triumph in a specialist world by David Epsetein (2019): Malcolm Gladwell’s bestseller
Outliers (2008) popularized the concept that with 10,000 hours of “deliberate” practice under the guidance of an expert / trainer, anyone can become a world champion in anything. In a book just as well written
VaryDavid Epstein says that the “10,000 hours of practice” theory is not only wrong, it could also be damaging. Epstein argues that specialists thrive in “nice” learning environments (such as golf, classical music, technological innovation, chess), where patterns reproduce, and feedback is quick and accurate. In contrast, GPs thrive in ‘nasty’ learning environments (business, politics, fund management, medicine, everyday life), where patterns are harder to discern and feedback is delayed and / or inaccurate. .

Why is that ? Epstein’s book presents a neat model for understanding this aspect of skill development and we drew on it in our latest book.

Daily rituals: how artists workby Mason Currey (2013): VS Pritchett said in 1941: “Sooner or later great men all look alike. They never stop working. They never waste a minute. It is very depressing. So other than working nonstop, what exactly do the legends that root their greatness do? In 2013, American journalist Mason Currey summarized the work habits of nearly 200 great minds in an interesting and entertaining book called
Daily rituals. Currey’s book (which itself draws from over 400 sources) and our reading of biographies of other great minds give us a pretty good idea of ​​the life it would take to have a high probability of doing original work. and innovative. Chapter 6 of
The victory project gives you a list of activities that can help you reach a peak of creativity.

The mind is flat by Nick Chater (2018): Psychologists and cognitive scientists such as Nick Chater tell us that we suffer from the following three “illusions”. The first is the illusion of knowledge, we think we know how complex operations – like an iPhone or like

– work when in fact we don’t even know how well common things like a zipper or a toilet flush work. The second illusion is that we can multitask when in fact we cannot. Third, there is the visual illusion: you think you can see every word on the page of a book when in fact eye tracking software has shown that our eyes only focus on 12 to 14 letters. at a time. As if all this weren’t enough, research tells us that our memories are fallible. So how can we succeed in our daily lives despite these limitations? We explain how we use heuristics to survive in a competitive world and how the same heuristics can get us into trouble.

I also had a dream by Verghese Kurien (2005): the last book by Simon Sinek
The infinite game (2019) should be celebrated as a breath of fresh air in the discourse on the legitimate purpose of capitalism. In this context, one of India’s greatest sons – the late Verghese Kurien, the man who made Amul a powerhouse – deserves to be hailed as the greatest player of the “infinite game”.

Kurien and the cooperative he led, the Gujarat Milk Marketing Cooperative Federation, have successfully co-opted almost every politician in independent India to help them advance the cause of Gujarati farmers. As shown in the autobiography of Kurien, Sardar Patel, Tribhuvandas Patel, JL Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Morarji Desai, TT Krishnamachari, YB Chavan, Indira Gandhi – basically anyone who mattered in New Delhi or in West Indian politics were brought to Anand, awed by the scale of Anand’s miracle and converted to the cause of his promotion. The book is a masterclass in the art of fostering collaboration on an epic scale.

Firearms, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond (1998):
Sapiens: a brief history of humanity (2015) made Yuval Noah Harari a literary superstar but an even better read is the book that inspired Sapiens,
Firearms, Germs and Steel. Jared Diamond starts from the basic premise that all humans are born with roughly the same abilities. He then argues in logical steps that the world around him is unequal, that is, not everyone is born in a productive and fertile region. This mismatch – between capabilities and the environment – produces remarkable results.

In the ancient world, inequalities began with the development of agriculture in the Fertile Crescent (now Iran and Iraq). “Agriculture stimulates the increase in population density, that is to say the disease, that is to say the acquired immunity.

Civilization requires the food surplus that only agriculture can provide, but it also imposes a need for specialization, technology, ingenuity. Competing civilizations… cause an arms race.

Diamond is at his best when he explains why civilization as we know it originated in the Fertile Crescent, but his book also shows that “other places weren’t so lucky. The whole African continent produced a few scattered plants – coffee, millet, sorghum, groundnuts and yams – but these species did not share the same climate and therefore could not all be grown in the same place. And not a single large African mammal has ever been satisfactorily domesticated, even now. Meanwhile, the Fertile Crescent numbered four at the end of the last ice age … ”

The fact that these inequalities have persisted for thousands of years should make the rest of us think, consider our gifts and endowments, and make the most of them during our time at bat.


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