Retire Inspired PDF Summary

Retire Inspired PDFIt’s Not an Age; It’s a Financial Number

When are you planning to retire?

At the age of 66, of course – that’s what the law says!

Well, Chris Hogan says something else:

Retire Inspired” – when you like.

Who Should Read “Retire Inspired”? And Why?

If you want to retire earlier and you want to retire with more money – you need to have a proper plan.

In that case, Chris Hogan’s book is just the right one for you: it is certainly one of the best on the topic, if not the very best.

As Hogan says: “You are the CEO of your own retirement.”

And this book will tell you how to execute the hell out of it!

Chris HoganAbout Chris Hogan

Chris Hogan is a former All-American football player, a popular motivational speaker, a best-selling author and, quite probably, “America’s leading voice on retirement.”

Published in 2016, Hogan’s “Retire Inspired” instantly rose to the top of many bestseller lists, and his eponymous podcast has millions of downloads.

Hogan is a regular contributor to the EntreLeadership podcast and constantly works with numerous leaders, athletes, and entertainers.

Find out more at https://www.chrishogan360.com/

“Retire Inspired PDF Summary”

Let’s start our summary with the subtitle of Chris Hogan’s book.

Spoiler alert: we’ll end it with its title!

So, according to Chris Hogan, retirement is not an age, but a financial number.

But, of course it is an age, you say, since lawfully I can’t really retire before the age of 62 even if I want an early pension plan.

And the last time I read the normal retirement age in the United States was 66 – and should be 67 by 2027!

And that’s where it already gets suspicious!

Namely, just like our 8-hour workday or our 5-day work week, these numbers are merely provisional and, what’s more, are a remnant of an age past which shouldn’t concern you!

In the United States (and, more or less, the world) pension laws are merely a century old, going back to the Sherwood Act of 1912 when the Government decided that all veterans of the U.S.-Mexican War and Union veterans of the Civil War are entitled to a pension once they reach the age of 62.

Two decades later, and the Social Security Act of 1935 established (among other things) a system of old-age benefits for workers, which stated that anyone over the age of 65 is entitled to a pension from the state.

But, why 65?

Well, to understand this we must go back a bit and cross over the Atlantic.

Namely, in the second half of the 19th century, Communists were threatening to take control of Germany, so, in an attempt to outwit them and stifle their pleas for the workers, the German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck practically invented retirement, announcing that he will pay a pension to any nonworking German over the age of 65.

However, there was a catch!

And what a catch, Mr. Otto!

You see, before people invented penicillin and stuff, not many people made it to 65!

And even after that, when Roosevelt staked his reputation on the Social Security Act of 1935, the average life expectancy in the U.S. was no more than 60!

So, in other words, it was no problem for Social Security to satisfy the needs of the retired population, for the simple reason that there was barely any!

Fast forward eighty years and the world’s average life expectancy is above 70 and America’s almost 80!

So, now you see the problem!

And you can understand why many people – including us – are afraid that Social Security won’t be around for them when they retire.

Not that it makes much of a difference that it is there now!

Namely, since the sheer number of people who retire is way bigger than before, and since most of them take pensions for a lot longer than ever expected, the amount they take gets smaller and smaller by the year.

Two frightening statistics:

The average payment for social security is $1,194 a month!

One in three Americans relies solely on it!

Hence the 401(k) and your duty to save yourself enough money for your old age.

And hence the subtitle of Hogan’s book: retire not when the law says you should depending on the age, but when you calculate that you’ve saved enough money so that you can see Social Security as nothing more but an icing on the cake:

It is time that we started reclaiming the idea of retirement. Retirement is not the finish line; it is the new beginning. Retirement is not your last paragraph; it is the long, rich, rewarding final chapters of your own book—as many pages as you can dream up. Retirement is not the end of your life; it is the beginning of the best years of your life!

Be aware that you’ll face four obstacles along the way. Hopefully, we’ve already helped you to conquer the first two: misunderstanding what “retirement” means and depending on Social Security alone.

The other two are people’s tendency to act like sheep and their lack of planning capabilities.

This book helps to overcome both with a ton of good advices.

So that you can finally – retire inspired.

Key Lessons from “Retire Inspired”

1.      The Invention of Retirement
2.      The Four Obstacles to Retiring Inspired
3.      The Five Fundamentals of Inspired Retirement

The Invention of Retirement

Retirement is not an old phenomenon.

In fact, it was first introduced by German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck in 1883 in an attempt to thwart Communist efforts to take control of the Government.

And when he proclaimed that he would pay money to every nonworking individual over 65, Bismarck had a somewhat sinister plan.

Because, you see, the average life expectancy at the time in Germany was below 60!

Today, it’s way over 70 when the whole world is taken into account!

And it’s almost 80 in the United States.

So, you really think that Social Security can keep up the pace?

The Four Obstacles to Retiring Inspired

Retiring at the age of 65 – or 62, or 67 – is a social construct, one that has nothing to do with reality for decades.

The point:

Retire when you earn enough money to retire, not when you get to a certain age.

However, you need to overcome the four obstacles to retiring inspired:

Obstacle #1: Misunderstanding “Retirement”
Obstacle #2: Depending on Social Security
Obstacle #3: Acting Like Sheep
Obstacle #4: Not Having a Plan

The Five Fundamentals of Inspired Retirement

Chris Hogan’s retirement plan is based on five fundamental premises.

First of all, dreaming – but in a specific, detailed way which will motivate you and help you commit to a long-term plan.

Of course, you need to execute that plan and never back away from it for a second, which means that you should need to be vigilant all the time.

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“Retire Inspired Quotes”

For I know the plans I have for you… plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) Click To Tweet

In my opinion, Chris Hogan is the voice of retirement in America today. (Via Dave Ramsey) Click To Tweet

We need to start by getting rid of all the negative feelings and assumptions we have attached to the word ‘retirement’: ‘dried up,’ ‘end of life,’ ‘insecure,’ ‘winding down,’ ‘broke,’ ‘disengaged,’ ‘worst years of my life,’ ‘afraid.’ Click To Tweet

It’s hard to live your dream in your golden years when you’re trying to make it on an income that’s actually below the poverty line. Click To Tweet

Studies have shown that half of 401(k) participants have less than $10,000 saved for retirement – and those are the people who are actually doing something! Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Chris Hogan is a protegee of Dave Ramsey, and we don’t need to tell you who Dave Ramsey is.

But, basically, when it comes to money, if Dave Ramsey approves of a book, you’re going to need a lot of arguments to say otherwise.

And we have none.

Because, even though it’s true that many books may improve your life, this one can do that literally.

And, what’s more, dramatically.

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Angel PDF Summary – Jason Calacanis

Angel PDFHow to Invest in Technology Startups

Do you have any doubts regarding the procedure to invest in a technological start-up?

Perhaps it’s time to remove the reluctance on the ground that you can’t cope with the financial weight.  

We encapsulate Jason’s fundamental beliefs and concepts, in which he presents his position.

Who Should Read “Angel”? And Why?

This book is best-equipped for those, who believe that they are destined to be a failure, underachievers, mediocre employees and so forth.

Angel will remove your self-imposed boundaries and put you in a better mood. Another key point worth mentioning is Jason’s controversial and yet practical approach.

On the negative side is his overly expressed “combativeness” and on the positive side is that fighting spirit that he nurtures.

About Jason Calacanis

Jason CalacanisJason Calacanis is lauded as one of America greatest Internet entrepreneurs, born on November 28, 1970. Before creating Weblogs and selling it to AOL, he was the CEO of Rising Tide Studios.

His ventures in the dot-com era made him the person he is today, an individual who possesses the skills to capitalize on any business adequately.

“Angel PDF Summary”

We can’t do anything else but endorse the fact that Jason Calacanis didn’t receive enough credit for his actions and achievements. On top of that, his practices also were the subject of many ongoing debates. Even so, he summoned up the courage to dove into the world of angel investing.

Indeed, Calacanis don’t have “noble” origins, instead, he grew up in a middle-class family. What comes as a surprise to anyone, is the ability to develop into a real “medalist” who beat the odds and set new boundaries.

During his college years, he went from underdog to superdog; a student who broke the ice with a rocket ship.

In the internet era, he grabbed success by the scruff of its neck. As the founder of Weblogs, he managed to launch a series of operations, which eventually increased the value of the firm.

Only 18 months later, AOL purchased the company, leaving Jason exposed to angel investing – and that’s what he did.

Angel – investing accentuating the whole broader look of how to allocate your capital. This book doesn’t put a strain on the process and invites you to indulge in risky moves and adventures. Your background or current position doesn’t serve as an excuse to go into hiding.

Calacanis’ framework of success, includes the ability to gauge the competitiveness, evaluate the intensity of deals, and to provide a backup solution. In essence, Jason advocates for finding ways to optimize the ROI, and thus reach a higher value.

Let’s say that you are not comfortable with the idea of making big decisions. Angel, understands your perspective and presents many ways to overcome that investing hesitance and awkwardness.

Even if all these big financial terms seem vague; Angel is not an ambiguous book, and its strategy is designed in compliance with the needs of ordinary people.

Jason “floods” the market with an abundance of metrics and tips on how to make trade-offs between risk and success. This prompts you to take a closer look at Angel’s paradigms, and as a “rookie” in the realm of investments, you need a guiding hand to help you get to the top.  

The primary emphasis falls on reaching deals, and the prowess on the investment arena. If you think you’ve got what it takes to set a new mentality in motion, this book comes as a blessing to you.

Then again, it’s not about being mistakeless, but about having and finding that adventurousness to cope with big challenges.

When it comes to the end goal – Jason Calacanis makes it crystal clear that without criteria and metrics, it’s literally impossible to evaluate or measure the successiveness of your endeavors.

Calacanis once again places in the spotlight the smaller players and jumps on the bandwagon himself. He campaigns for granting access to investors in terms of deals and data so that they too can fully exploit the investment capabilities on the market today.

In addition, the author puts an accent on diversification, as the most critical tool for avoiding financial breakdown.

Calacanis is not the type of guy that is likable by the vast majority of people. His aggressiveness on the “field” makes him a marksman, who is launching the arrow to hit the target. He allows the arrow to slip through his fingers gently.

The idea is don’t be too weak because you’ll never reach the desired destination, nor too strong, that way you’ll break the arrow.

Whether you like him or not, he has got a point. We, on the other hand, close your eyes to the window of endless opportunities, due to fear, superstition, regret, etc.

Key Lessons from “Angel”

1.      Accept change as an integral part of the growth
2.      Design a blueprint and don’t deviate from it
3.      Read and learn

Accept change as an integral part of the growth

The progressive society is prone to change, and doing something other than embracing that inconsistency, is a one-way ticket to imminent disaster.

Your job would be to find that aggression that can only be matched by a dose of superiority! Be flexible about the methods and embroil in rivalries.

Design a blueprint and don’t deviate from it

What generally matters is the skill to identify which securities are worth investing in. Do you have any plan, if you don’t why is that? You determine your status; don’t take no for an answer!

Understanding how the market works is a long and exhausting process, which can only be achieved through practice and experience.

Read and learn

If at some point, you think that you know it all, be prepared for an instant crash.

You have to be eager to expand your horizons, to broaden your understanding, and to embark on new missions to find hidden gems of knowledge.

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“Angel Quotes”

Airbnb is a much more effective protest than shutting down the Brooklyn Bridge. Click To Tweet These days, headlines are trying to get you to click. Click To Tweet Near-death experiences give you balance. You become worldlier. Your ideas become bigger. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

The book is filled with insights and tips, that can convert any knowledgeable person into an all-around decision-maker.

As such, Jason makes sure that all pieces of advice are applicable and most importantly effective.

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The Essays of Warren Buffett PDF Summary

The Essays of Warren Buffett PDFLessons for Corporate America

Are you an investor or a manager?

Want some tips on how to get rich?

Here they are, as simple as they get, and straight from the horse’s mouth!

We present to you the best of “The Essays of Warren Buffett.”

Who Should Read “The Essays of Warren Buffett”? And Why?

If you are an investor or a manager – or have any interest in Wall Street whatsoever, Warren Buffett is probably to you the same Jehovah is to the Jews: a God.

So far, we’ve introduced you to his ways via a proxy.

And it’s not that Robert P. Miles’ “The Warren Buffett CEO,” Alice Schroeder’s “The Snowball,” or Robert Hagstrom’s “The Warren Buffett Way” are not exceptional books, or that these essays offer an earth-shatteringly different Buffett from the one you can infer from those three books.

But it’s a bit different when you hear it from the man himself.

Warren BuffettAbout Warren Buffett

Warren Edward Buffett is an American investor, business magnate, and philanthropist, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and the third richest person in the world.

Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Buffett graduated from Columbia Business School, where, influenced by the philosophy of his mentor, Benjamin Graham, he first became interested in value investing.

Soon he teamed up with Charlie Munger and, after they acquired the textile manufacturing firm, Berkshire Hathaway, they started trading on Wall Street.

The rest, as they say, is history, that can be neatly summed up in the monikers Buffett has earned due to his financial successes: “The Wizard,” “The Oracle,” “The Sage.”

Having pledged to give all but 1% of his fortune to charitable causes, by sheer numbers, Buffett is quite probably the greatest philanthropist in the history of humanity.

“The Essays of Warren Buffett PDF Summary”

About a decade ago, an article in “USA Today” noted a staggering fact: that there are 47 books in print that have Buffett’s name in the title, and that “no other living person, aside from U.S. presidents or other major world political figures, is named in so many titles, except the Dalai Lama.”

Even so, “The Essays of Warren Buffett” is, basically, the only one Buffett’s name is also listed under the author.

Needless to add, it’s also Buffett’s favorite one.

Described by the Wizard himself as “a coherent rearrangement of ideas from my annual report letters,” “The Essays of Warren Buffett” is actually a carefully edited and organized selection of Buffett’s letters to the shareholders of Berkshire.

In the words of the editor – the American scholar Lawrence Cunningham –

The letters distill in plain words all the basic principles of sound business practices. On selecting managers and investments, valuing businesses, and using financial information profitably, the writings are broad in scope, and long on wisdom.

The central point of Buffett is always the same: investors should ignore the market, focusing all of their energy on identifying good businesses and buying them at a good price.

Time will do the rest.

Why shouldn’t it?

If it doesn’t, then the basic premise of capitalism – Adam Smith’s “invisible hand of the market” – is, more or less, wrong.

To sum this up in a more memorable way: market prices don’t express business values but should eventually. Mr. Market is a volatile, manic-depressive fellow and you can’t trust him in the short run. In the long run, he will come to his senses – if you don’t lose yours in the meantime.

Good investors are those who can isolate themselves from the fluctuations of the market and assess businesses based on their inherent value:

So smile when you read a headline that says ‘Investors lose as market falls.’ Edit it in your mind to ‘Disinvestors lose as market falls—but investors gain.’ Though writers often forget this truism, there is a buyer for every seller and what hurts one necessarily helps the other. (As they say in golf matches: ‘Every putt makes someone happy.’)

Buffett was never interested in running businesses: he made his fortune by purchasing promising businesses and assigning talented managers to operate them.

Even so, he was only buying all – or significant portions – of businesses he understood, continuously emphasizing that, essentially, there’s no difference between buying a business and investing in one.

Diversification is pointless: you should only focus on investing in businesses you actually understand.

During the 1980s – Buffett points out – it’s exactly because of the fact that people ignored this advice that Wall Street got both its junk bond kings and paupers.

Don’t doubt for a second that you’ll probably end up being a part of the latter group since when there are manias, the ratio between success and failure stories tends to rise exponentially to the detriment of the majority.

And you, unfortunately, are usually the rule – not the exception.

Key Lessons from “The Essays of Warren Buffett”

1.      Investors Rarely Lose When Market Fails
2.      There’s No Difference Between Investing and Buying
3.      Like Investor Like Manager

Investors Rarely Lose When Market Fails

Markets fail.

Everybody knows that.

If you try to answer yourself the questions “why” and “how” you’ll probably end up with an investment strategy very similar to the one Warren Buffett strictly adheres to for decades.

Namely, markets fail because, at a certain point, the discrepancy between the inherent value of a company and its stock prices is just too enormous to hold up.

You can try to be a maverick and base your investment strategy on profiting from these discrepancies in the short run, but, as history has taught us, you’re bound to make a mistake or two eventually – some of which may be very costly.

Warren Buffett’s commonsense strategy is much safer: only buy shares in companies which have an inherent value and expect returns in the long run.

Mr. Market is a manic-depressive guy, but, he eventually comes to his senses.

Don’t lose yours by trying to understand him.

There’s No Difference Between Investing and Buying

In essence, Warren Buffett says, there’s no difference between buying a stock in a company and buying the company itself.

In other words – you will certainly hesitate a lot before buying a company you know nothing about, based on its market value alone.

Then, why would you invest in one?

Aren’t you merely trying your luck?

Like Investor Like Manager

Buffett’s investment strategies are deeply rooted within a personalized philosophy of honesty.

Well, so are his managerial advices.

In his opinion, Berkshire’s shares must maintain a close relationship with the company’s intrinsic value, so that shareholders receive real profits which represent the company’s results over the period of the shareholders’ holdings.

Unfortunately, the pressures to report a profit and the focus of companies on their stock prices have resulted in numerous accounting manipulations, which, in Buffett’s opinion, are everything that’s wrong with society.

Honesty has always been the best politics in both investing and business, says Buffett.

And we must try – for the sake of humanity – to keep this truism alive.

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“The Essays of Warren Buffett Quotes”

A horse that can count to ten is a remarkable horse—not a remarkable mathematician. Click To Tweet

As happens in Wall Street all too often, what the wise do in the beginning, fools do in the end. Click To Tweet

Having first-rate people on the team is more important than designing hierarchies and clarifying who reports to whom. Click To Tweet

I will tell you how to become rich. Close the doors. Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful. Click To Tweet

The requisites for board membership should be business savvy, interest in the job, and owner-orientation. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“The Essays of Warren Buffett” is described, in the blurb of its fourth edition, as “the gold standard of its genre.”

And when we included in our list of “Top Finance and Investing Books” in history, we noted that this is Buffett’s most autographed book.

So, in other words, he approves its message.

We’ll be mad not to.

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One Up on Wall Street PDF Summary

One Up on Wall Street PDFHow to Use What You Already Know to Make Money in the Market

“Leave it to the pros” is the one advice Peter Lynch will never give you when it comes to investing.

In his dictionary, “professional investor” is an oxymoron.

And a well-prepared amateur investor is next decade’s millionaire.

So, what are you waiting for?

This book’s stocks are rising by the minute.

Learn immediately how to always be “One Up on Wall Street.”

Who Should Read “One Up on Wall Street”? And Why?

Peter Lynch, Warren Buffett, and Charlie Munger are widely revered as possibly the best investors in history, nothing short of titans in the field, wizards with investment records which comfortably put them in a league of their own.

And it’s no coincidence that all three of them are proponents of the same philosophy.

Namely, Benjamin Graham’s value investing, which is based on the premise that your only interest should be undervalued companies with inherent worth, which, in turn, you can only know if you research them well.

In other words – as the subtitle of this book says – use what you already know to make money in the market, not the market fluctuations.

This book should be all but a gospel for those who want to learn how.

Peter LynchAbout Peter Lynch

Peter Lynch is an American mutual fund manager, investor, and philanthropist.

He graduated from Boston College and earned an MBA from Wharton. In the meantime, Lynch got a job as an intern with Fidelity Investments, mainly because he was caddying for D. George Sullivan, Fidelity’s President.

In 1977, he was named the head of the Magellan Fund which was worth $18 million in assets. During his 13-year tenure, Lynch consistently more than doubled the S&P 500 market index, averaging almost 30% annual return.

By the time he resigned in 1990, Magellan Fund had grown to more than $14 billion in assets, becoming perhaps the world’s best-known actively managed mutual fund.

Lynch has so far published three books, all co-written with the freelance financial writer, John Rothchild: “One Up on Wall Street,” “Beating the Street,” and “Learn to Earn.”

“One Up on Wall Street PDF Summary”

Whether it’s a 508-point day or a 108-point day,” writes Peter Lynch in the “Prologue” to “One Up on Wall Street,” in the end, superior companies will succeed, and mediocre companies will fail, and investors in each will be rewarded accordingly.

The point being:

The manic-depressive Mr. Market isn’t your friend and trying to earn your money by attempting to predict his behavior is one of the worst things you can do.

But, wait a second, you say! If so, what about all those people working on Wall Street whose job is basically that: predicting the market?

What about Lynch himself and all the other MBAs from Wharton?

Is Lynch seriously saying that their degrees and the millions of dollars they are currently earning are just a fluff and a façade?

If you are expecting some twist at this point, you’re about to be disappointed.

Lynch’s answer to your question is a resounding “yes”:

Stop listening to professionals! Twenty years in this business convinces me that any normal person using the customary three percent of the brain can pick stocks just as well, if not better, than the average Wall Street expert.

“Nothing has occurred to shake my conviction that the typical amateur has advantages over the typical professional fund jockey” – he adds in the introduction to the millennium edition.

In fact, in Lynch’s opinion, “professional investing” is an oxymoron on par with phrases such as “deafening silence” and “military intelligence.”

In other words – there’s no such thing.

So, when E.F. Hutton talks, contrary to the popular dictum, everybody is not supposed to be listening, but, instead, everybody ought to be trying to fall asleep:

When it comes to predicting the market, the important skill here is not listening, it’s snoring. The trick is not to learn to trust your gut feelings, but rather to discipline yourself to ignore them.

What does this mean in practice?

Well, it means that you should never invest in any company before you’ve done your homework on the said company.

This means: research its earnings prospects, find out everything you can about its financial condition and competitive position, spend some time studying its vision and plans for expansion, and so on and so forth.

Because only by doing this you can be sure that you’re not buying a lottery ticket, but a company.

As Warren Buffett says, in essence, buying a stock is not much different from buying a whole company, and we’re pretty sure that you would think twice before buying a company judging solely on the current market trends.

Speaking of which –

In Peter Lynch’s typology, there are six different types of companies – learn to differentiate them, so that you should know when and how much to invest, in addition to what kind of return you can expect and in how many years you should expect it.

Slow growers are usually “large and aging companies” which “are expected to grow slightly faster than the gross national product.”

Stalwarts grow a bit faster, but, even so, you can’t expect them to be agile. Since, after all, these are the heavyweights such as “Coca-Cola, Bristol-Myers, Procter and Gamble, the Bell telephone sisters, Hershey’s, Ralston Purina, and Colgate-Palmolive.”

The fast growers are “small, aggressive new enterprises that grow at 20 to 25 percent a year.” Obviously, these are among Lynch’s favorite investments. “If you choose wisely,” writes Lynch, “this is the land of the 10-to 40-baggers, and even the 200-baggers.”

Cyclicals usually follow a rise-fall-rise pattern, rising and falling in a more predictable manner than the rest of the companies. “The autos and the airlines, the tire companies, steel companies, and chemical companies are all cyclicals.”

Turnarounds are “no growers” which, from time to time, are capable of rebounding. Since they are all but Chapter 11 signoffs before that, turnarounds are some of the most exciting companies to look out for. Lynch made a lot of money from Chrysler.

Asset plays are companies which have been overlooked by Wall Street – Lynch says that Wall Street overlooks asset plays constantly – even though they sit on assets you know have some inherent value.

This categorization is not final, notes Lynch. Companies constantly switch between categories, and your job is to research when and how.

So that you know how much to invest.

Key Lessons from “One Up on Wall Street”

1.      Determining the Company You’ll Invest In: The 6 Types of Companies
2.      The 13 Traits of a Company Which Make It an Attractive Investment
3.      Signals to Tell You Which Companies to Shun

Determining the Company You’ll Invest In: The 6 Types of Companies

Before investing in a company, be sure to discover its why and its story.

Afterward, determine its category.

It can belong to one of these six: slow growers, fast growers, stalwarts, cyclicals, turnarounds, and asset plays.

Turnarounds and fast growers offer the best opportunities but be wary of miscuing your investment on the cyclicals.

The 13 Traits of a Company Which Make It an Attractive Investment

Once you realize a company has a product which guarantees it’s going to be a success even if an idiot runs it, then you’ve found your investment.

However, there are 13 additional traits which may further direct your decision.

These are all good signs:

#1. It sounds dull – or, even better, ridiculous.
#2. It does something dull.
#3. It does something disagreeable.
#4. It’s a spinoff.
#5. The institutions don’t own it, and the analysts don’t follow it.
#6. There’s something depressing about it.
#7. The rumors abound: it’s involved with toxic waste and/or the Mafia.
#8. It’s a no-growth industry.
#9. It’s got a niche.
#10. People have to keep buying it.
#11. It’s a user of technology.
#12. The insiders are buyers.
#13. The company is buying back shares.

Signals to Tell You Which Companies to Shun

Just as there are signals to tell you which companies are good investments, there are signals which may suggest the opposite.

For example, it’s never a good idea to buy “the next big something” or to invest money in “the stock with the exciting name.”

In addition, don’t buy stocks which people lower their voices to share with you. These are “the whisper stocks,” “the whiz-bang stories,” the long shots.

Beware middleman companies as well, i.e., companies which cell 25 to 50 percent of its products to a single customer.

Finally, avoid diworseifications, which is a too good a word to require further explanation.

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“One Up on Wall Street Quotes”

The odds against making a living in the day-trading business are about the same as the odds against making a living at racetracks, blackjack tables or video poker. In fact, I think of day trading as at-home casino care. Click To Tweet

The basic story remains simple and never-ending. Stocks aren’t lottery tickets. There’s a company attached to every share. Click To Tweet

It’s impossible to distinguish cod from shrimp when your mutual fund has lost the equivalent of the GNP of a small, seagoing nation. Click To Tweet

But rule number one, in my book, is: Stop listening to professionals. Click To Tweet

Success is one thing, but it’s more important not to look bad if you fail. There’s an unwritten rule on Wall Street: ’You’ll never lose your job losing your client’s money on IBM.’ Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

When we were making our picks for our “Top Finance and Investing Books” list some time ago, one of the first things we decided upon was the inclusion of both “One Up on Wall Street” and “Beating the Street.”

Not only because of the fact that reading Peter Lynch is extremely fun and enjoyable. But because following his advices may make you rich.

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Beating the Street PDF Summary – Peter Lynch

Beating the Street PDFAs the manager of the Magellan Fund, he averaged 29.2% annual return during a period of thirteen years.

No wonder they call him a legend.

Ladies and gentlemen, let us introduce to you Peter Lynch, explaining the art of “Beating the Street.”

Who Should Read “Beating the Street”? And Why?

If we’re asked to compare them, we’ll probably have to say that as much as “One Up on Wall Street” serves as Peter Lynch’s investing theoretical framework, “Beating the Street” demonstrates this theory in practice.

If you have the time and you’re serious about investing, then read them both.

If not – then we guess it’s sounder that you start with “One Up on Wall Street,” and then move on to “Beating the Street.”

However, if you are younger, you have an even better option than the two: buy Lynch’s “Learn to Earn,” appropriately titled “A Beginner’s Guide to the Basics of Investing and Business.”

Peter LynchAbout Peter Lynch

Peter Lynch is an American investor and mutual fund manager, who currently spends a great deal of his time mentoring young analysts and giving away some of his money to charity.

After graduating from Boston College and earning an MBA from the Wharton School, Lynch got a job with Fidelity Investments.

In 1977, he was named the head of the then-obscure $18 million worth Magellan Fund. When Lynch resigned from his position thirteen years later, the fund was worth more than $14 billion in assets.

In fact, during his tenure, the Magellan Fund averaged a 29.2% return, the best in the world and in history – to this day.

Lynch has co-written few books – including this one – with John Rothchild, a freelance writer who has authored few financial books on his own as well, such as “A Fool and His Money” and “Going for Broke.”

“Beating the Street PDF Summary”

Let us start our summary the way Peter Lynch starts his book – with a tale.

Back in 1990, Joan Morrissey, a teacher at St. Agnes School (a Boston area parochial school), was inspired to test the theory that you don’t need a Wharton or a Quotron MBA to excel in equities with her seventh-graders.

So, she tasked them with making mock investments.

The only rules of the game: they have to research their choices and explain to their classmates the reasons behind their investments.

The result?

The seventh-graders beat the S&P 500 index by a significant margin, their portfolio returning 69.6 as opposed to the S&P 500 total return performance of 26.08 for the period between January 1, 1990, to December 31, 1991.

The lesson?

Know your investments and try not getting too fancy: the stock-picking methods of the successful investors are usually “much simpler and generally more rewarding than many of the more baroque techniques used by highly paid fund managers.”

Speaking of stocks – Lynch is very adamant that bonds and certificates of deposit are never the right way to go, since carefully chosen stocks with dividends pay returns and, over a lengthy period, will almost certainly increase substantially.

Chapter 3 – titled “A Tour of the Fund House” – is the one many may be tempted to read first, since in it Lynch explains, for the first time, how to devise a mutual fund strategy, comprehensively and in detail.

The next three chapters are, as Lynch says, a “three-part retrospective: how I managed Magellan during 13 years and 9 major corrections.”

In them, Lynch analyzes the factors which ultimately contributed to his successes, concentrating on the methodology behind his decisions, and steering away from “idle reminiscence.”

Lynch explains why he chose certain stocks – Philip Morris, GM, Ford, Chrysler, Volvo, General Electric, and Fannie Mae – and how the investments paid off, transforming the small, closed Magellan fund from a $100 million obscure fund to a $10 billion giant.

Most of the book – from Chapter 7 to Chapter 20 – chronicles Peter Lynch’s way of choosing the 21 stocks he recommended in the 1992 Barron’s.

Now, you know that if you had bought many of these 21 stocks, you would have probably been a millionaire.

If you didn’t do that – or haven’t had a chance to – these chapters demonstrate how thoroughly you should research something before finally making a buy.

After all, the length of this section proves this.

For Lynch, the most natural place to start is to look for stocks in the retail sector, since people will always eat and, consequently, shop there.

Next, you should conduct a research on the depressed industries, since there you’ll find the most undervalued stocks on the market.

Lynch proves this by showing how digging deeper into the problems of the real estate market of the early 1990s revealed that there was no problem at all and that it was a minor hiccup: the inherent value of some companies promised big in the long run.

A well-run company in a depressed industry may emerge stronger and victorious in more than one sense, using the circumstances to swallow some of its competitors.

When the economy is stagnating, Lynch goes on, “the professional money manager begins to think about investing in the cyclicals.”

Some industries – “aluminums, steels, paper producers, auto manufacturers, chemicals, and airlines” – are always stuck in cycles, following a pattern of boom and recession and then boom again.

These are called cyclicals, and Lynch explains how you can profit from this, concluding his book with a recommendation that you need to do a reevaluation of your investment strategies every six months – since a healthy portfolio – just like a healthy man – requires a regular checkup.

Key Lessons from “Beating the Street”

1.      Know What You Buy: There’s No Other Formula
2.      Peter’s 21 Principles
3.      Peter’s 25 Golden Rules

Know What You Buy: There’s No Other Formula

I have no pat formulas to offer,” writes Peter Lynch at the end of the “introduction” to “Beating the Street.”

So, why should you bother reading this book?

Well, because the best way to learn where and how to invest is by reading.

And because even though “there are no bells that ring when you’ve bought the right stock, and no matter how much you know about a company you can never be certain that it will reward you for investing in it,” you can improve your odds if you know the factors that make a bank or a retailer or an automaker profitable or unprofitable.

“Beating the Street” certainly lays out these factors.

Peter’s 21 Principles

Throughout this book, at various places, Peter Lynch presents his 21 principles (both funny and enlightening) – things he learned from his experience, which, as he says is always the most expensive teacher.

So, you owe him.

And because we’ve handpicked the best of them – you owe us also, by proxy:

#2. Gentlemen who prefer bonds don’t know what they’re missing.
#6. As long as you’re picking a fund, you might as well pick a good one.
#8. When yields on long-term government bonds exceed the dividend yield of the S&P 500 by 6 percent or more, sell your stocks and buy bonds.
#11. The best stock to buy may be the one you already own.
#14. If you like the store, chances are you’ll love the stock.
#15. When insiders are buying, it’s a good sign—unless they happen to be New England bankers.
#16. In business, competition is never as healthy as total domination.
#17. All else being equal, invest in the company with the fewest color photographs in the annual report.
#18. When even the analysts are bored, it’s time to start buying.
#19. Unless you’re a short seller or a poet looking for a wealthy spouse, it never pays to be pessimistic.

Peter’s 25 Golden Rules (Or 8, If You’d Like)

The last chapter of “Beating the Street” is titled 25 Golden Rules – and it summarizes the most important lessons Peter Lynch has learned during his illustrious career.

In a checklist he distributes to young investors, Lynch has further trimmed these 25 golden rules to eight.

And here they are:

#1. Know what you own.
#2. It’s futile to predict the economy and interest rates.
#3. You have plenty of time to identify and recognize exceptional companies.
#4. Avoid long shots.
#5. Good management is very important – buy good businesses.
#6. Be flexible and humble, and learn from mistakes.
#7. Before you make a purchase, you should be able to explain why you’re buying.
#8. There’s always something to worry about.

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“Beating the Street Quotes”

This is one of the keys to successful investing: focus on the companies, not on the stocks. Click To Tweet

The popular theory that small growth stocks were the major factor in Magellan’s success falls wide of the mark. Click To Tweet

Corporations, like people, change their names for one of two reasons: either they’ve gotten married, or they’ve been involved in some fiasco that they hope the public will forget. Click To Tweet

The extravagance of any corporate office is directly proportional to management’s reluctance to reward the shareholders. Click To Tweet

In business, competition is never as healthy as total domination. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

In our opinion, “Beating the Street” is one of the “Top Finance and Investing Books” ever written. Which, in other words, means that you can’t afford not to read it – especially not if you are planning to become a successful investor.

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When Genius Failed PDF Summary

When Genius Failed PDFThe Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management

Long-Term Capital Management (LTCM), founded in 1993, was a hedge fund management firm which commanded more than $100 billion in assets at the height of its existence, making it the world’s largest (ever!) investment fund.

And then, in August 1998, LTCM collapsed – just as spectacularly and rapidly as it rose.

In “When Genius Failed,” Roger Lowenstein draws on numerous interviews and discussions with everyone involved in the story to see what went wrong – after going so right so long.

Who Should Read “When Genius Failed”? And Why?

If you have some money set aside, and you are thinking about investing in a hedge fund – or even if you have a lot of money set aside, and you are thinking about investing in a hedge fund of funds – “When Genius Failed” may help you separate the facts from the fiction better than any other theoretical work.

After all, this happened – and even some of the smartest guys in the world couldn’t stop it from happening.

Which immediately calls to mind Nassim Nicholas Taleb and his ideas and contemplations about things such as randomness, fragility, and risk calculation.

In other words, here’s another book which proves them.

Roger LowensteinAbout Roger Lowenstein

Roger Lowenstein is an American writer and financial journalist.

Born in 1954 to famous lawyer Louis Lowenstein, Roger graduated from Cornell University and then spend more than ten years writing for “The Wall Street Journal.”

In 1996 he published his first book, “Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist,” four years after which “When Genius Failed” followed. In 2004, Lowenstein published “Origins of the Crash,” which was described as “a crucial account of an era of excess and folly.”

Since then, he has published three more books: “While America Aged,” “The End of Wall Street” and “America’s Bank.”

Lowenstein is also the director of Sequoia Fund. Since 2016, he is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Lesley University.

“When Genius Failed PDF Summary”

In 1977, John William Meriwether – now considered a pioneer of fixed income arbitrage – formed the arbitrage group at Salomon Brothers.

A firm believer in mathematical market models, Meriwether hired the very best minds he could find, who basically used the arbitrage group to test their theoretical models.

In time, their confidence rose so high that they essentially started employing the martingale betting strategy: they doubled their bets every time a trade went against them.

They couldn’t be wrong – the trade going against their models was just such an improbable event that – most surely – it wouldn’t happen again.

However, improbable things happen all the time, and it was certainly difficult for Meriwether to predict that in 1991, a scandal (which he had little or nothing to do about) would force him out of Salomon Brothers.

So, three years later, Meriwether founded his own hedge fund, the Long-Term Capital Management.

Once again, he rummaged the academia and got the very best minds in the world on the Board of LTCM.

And when we say “the very best minds” – we really think that: Robert C. Merton and Myron Scholes.

These two will share the 1997 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for developing a new method to determine the value of derivatives” which is now known as the Black-Scholes-Merton formula, but which was colloquially known back then as “The Midas formula”

You get the reference, right?

According to Greek mythology, Midas was the guy who could turn anything he touched into gold.

Well, supposedly, so could Merton and Scholes’ formula!

Simply put, one could use it to hedge against losing a bet on the market, since the formula was able to work out how to place another bet in the opposite direction.

Essentially, this meant taking the risk out of trading, which essentially meant that banks were fighting each other on who is going to lend LTCM more money.

Hell, even St. John’s University put in $10 million dollars!

And the more money LTCM had, the more money it could make for its investors.

As expected, the initial success of LTCM dwarfed its competitors: it had annualized return of 21% in the first year of its existence, 43% in the second, and 41% in the third.

Just for comparison, what this means in real-world terms: during the mid-1990s, LTCM was twice bigger than the second largest mutual fund in the world, and a staggering four times as large as its closest hedge fund rival!

And then – it all went downhill!

The 1997 Asian crisis and the 1998 Russian default caught Merton and Scholes – and LTCM – by surprise. And the losses LTCM experienced were totally unexpected!

How unexpected?

Well, let’s just say that, according to the mathematical models (and, as you know, math is always right), there was only one in septillion chances that LTCM could lose everything in a single year.

And yet – that’s exactly what happened!

The calculations said that there was no way that LTCM could lose more than $35 in a single day.

During 1998, it started losing millions on a daily basis!

The lesson:

If Wall Street is to learn just one lesson from the Long-Term debacle, it should be that the next time a Merton proposes an elegant model to manage risks and foretell odds, the next time a computer with a perfect memory of the past is said to quantify risks in the future, investors should run—and quickly—the other way.

Key Lessons from”When Genius Failed”

1.      Long-Term Capital Management Was a Hedge Fund with a Lot of Hubris
2.      Apparently, There Is No Such Thing as a Midas Formula
3.      Humans Are Irrational – and, Consequently, So Is the Market

Long-Term Capital Management Was a Hedge Fund with a Lot of Hubris

Founded in 1994 by John W. Meriwether, Long-Term Capital Management (LTCM) described itself as “the financial technology company.”

For a reason – to them, as opposed to everyone else, trading wasn’t an art, but a science.

Meriwether hired the very best financial minds in the world at the moment – Myron S. Scholes and Robert C. Merton (who shared the Nobel Prize in Economic Studies in 1997) – and acted like it.

Scholes and Merton had devised a formula – colloquially known as the Midas formula – which should have essentially eliminated risk from trading.

Everybody was using it, but, obviously, no one better than its inventors.

The result?

LTCM had annualized returns of over 40% in its second and third year, and banks were fighting to lend it money.

Some people at Wall Street tried to raise some red flags, but LTCM saw pink: they believed they were smarter than everybody and that they were the first ones to break the system.

Apparently, There Is No Such Thing as a Midas Formula

However, two crises – the 1997 Asian financial crisis and the 1998 Russian default – resulted in the swift collapse of LTCM barely five years after it was founded.

Apparently, just like Midas’ touch, the Midas formula had one essential flaw: it couldn’t take into consideration the extent of the irrationality of the market and its speed (calculations were sometimes out-of-date few moments before they were even made).

In other words – it worked fine until it worked.

And then – it didn’t work at all.

Humans Are Irrational – and, Consequently, So Is the Market

The reason why both Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger claim that Benjamin Graham’s “The Intelligent Investor” is the essential book for traders is fairly simple.

Because the book is down-to-earth and instead of postulating some kind of a Midas formula, it promotes common-sense deeply rooted within the anecdote of Mr. Market as the wildly emotional guy you wouldn’t want to have as your partner.

Even though Merton disparaged the idea that investors could turn collectively irrational at some point, it seems that Mr. Market had the last laugh.

Because it can happen.

In fact, everything can.

The fact that you haven’t seen a black swan doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.

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“When Genius Failed Quotes”

Wall Street never polices itself in good times. Click To Tweet

To John Meriwether and his traders, money management was less an 'art' requiring a series of judgments than it was a 'science' that could be precisely quantified. Click To Tweet

The professors spoke of opportunities as inefficiencies; in a perfectly efficient market, in which all prices were correct, no one would have anything to trade. Click To Tweet

Long-Term fooled itself into thinking it had diversified in substance when, in fact, it had done so only in form. Click To Tweet

Long-Term was developing a sense of proportion all its own; like a man who pays for dinner with $100 bills and never asks for change, it had lost the habit of moderation. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“When Genius Failed” doesn’t say anything new – the market is volatile, and there are no mathematical models which can circumvent this – but it relays this by means of the emblematic didactic story and in such a compelling manner that this book reads more like a thriller than a financial analysis.

Pick it up – and you will not be able to put it down until you reach the last page.

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Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds PDF Summary

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds PDFCharles Mackay’s 1841 classic, “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” is just two decades shy of being two centuries old and it still reads as if it has been just published.

Once you finish reading it, you’ll realize that there’s actually neither anything extraordinary in any of the numerous popular delusions (yes, even tide pod eating) nor something other than madness in a crowd.

Which is not merely a testimony to the greatness of this book, but also an incredible indictment of humanity as well: have we learned nothing?

Who Should Read “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds”? And Why?

Sooner or later – regardless of whether you want to or not – you’ll certainly come across a guy offering you a surefire way strategy to beat the market; or, at least, some innovative investment plan that all but guarantees to make you rich.

It will be your mistake – and, believe us, it can be a big one – if you believed that guy.

Because, as history has proven to us as many times as we have tried testing it, there are no such things as financial panaceas or supernatural solutions to real-world problems.

What there is, instead, are numerous manias and fads deluding the crowds for some time and bursting like bubbles the second another craze commences.

Charles Mackay’s book is a collection of such stories, containing everything from investment frenzies and eschatological predictions through witch mania and the Crusades to alchemy and fortune telling.

Its main lesson?

Learn to discern them and stay away from them!

Because whole nations have fallen victims recovering their senses only after they had “shed rivers of blood and sowed a harvest of groans and tears, to be reaped by [their] posterity.”

Charles MackayAbout Charles Mackay

Charles Mackay was a Scottish poet, songwriter, novelist, anthologist, journalist, and “etymological monomaniac.”

A son of a mother who died shortly after his birth and a father with a military background (a bombardier in the Royal Artillery who was once imprisoned for four years in France), Mackay was educated in the Royal Caledonians school for Scottish orphans, before his father placed him at a school in Brussels, where h.

In 1832, he came back to London and soon enough became a revered songwriter and journalist. Decade and a half later, he received a Doctorate of Literature from Glasgow University and his song “The Good Time Coming” sold over 400,000 copies.

A member of influential circles – he was a friend of both Charles Dickens and Henry Russell – Mackay spend the last years of his life preparing fanciful dictionaries which, rightfully, were never taken seriously.

“Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds PDF Summary”

In “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds,” Charles Mackay set himself the object to – in the words of his “Preface”

Collect the most remarkable instances of those moral epidemics which have been excited, sometimes by one cause and sometimes by another, and to show how easily the masses have been led astray, and how imitative and gregarious men are, even in their infatuations and crimes.

What he eventually ended up with (the interest of the public drove him to extend the first one-volume edition) is a gigantic three-volume study which covers so many topics that it is all but impossible to summarize it in less than 1,000 words.

The first volume – titled “National Delusions” – is the most eclectic one, but also far more important than the other two: “Peculiar Follies” (covering the Crusades, witch trials and haunted houses) and “Philosophical Delusions” (alchemy, fortune tellers, and mesmerists).

In fact, in his “Foreword” to the 1980 edition, Andrew Tobias wrote assuredly: “If you read no more of this book than the first hundred pages – on money mania – it will be worth many times its purchase.”

And, in the “Real Price of Everything,” Michael Lewis listed these hundred pages among the six classics of economics, alongside such landmarks as Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations” and John Maynard Keynes’ “General Theory of Employment.”

And what are these three chapters about?

The Mississippi Scheme, the South Sea Bubble, and the Tulipomania – three economic bubbles which describe the essence of all economic bubbles everywhere to this day.

The Mississippi Scheme was engineered by a Scottish adventurer named John Law who, a financial wizard and a friend of the Regent, Phillippe II, the Duke of Orléans.

In 1716, after convincing the Duke of Orléans to replace France’s metal money with unbacked paper currency, Law established the Banque Générale which had an authority to issue notes.

A year later he also established the Company of the West which completely monopolized France’s foreign trade by 1719 when it was renamed as Company of the Indies.

Obviously, this meant an extremely high public demand for its shares whose price rose by staggering 36,000% to 18,000 livres!

To catch up with – Law started issuing notes, which led to the French parliament mandating “that no money should be received in payment but that of the old standard.”  However, the Duke of Orléans arrested the president of the parliament, and, soon enough, France was gripped in money mania.

By 1720, there was twice more money in France than gold and silver, a ratio exacerbated by the fact that some people started smuggling the precious metals over the border.

The government began arresting, panic spread, and before you know it, Law, just a year before “the most important personage of the state,” was now forced to flee it to save his head.

That very same year, another Bubble burst on the other side of the Canal, the South Seas Bubble. This one began inflating in 1711 when the Earl of Oxford authorized the creation of the South Sea Company, which promised to lower the national debt in exchange for a monopoly over the trade with South America.

The latter had no value, since Spain controlled the Pacific Ocean at the time, and the South Sea Company didn’t organize a single voyage until 1717.

Even so, their shares boomed and speculation in them became a lucrative occupation in itself. This resulted in a host of similar schemes – nicknamed “Bubbles” – which earned tons of money to the schemers from people who believed their fraudulent claims about bizarre overseas schemes.

The investment frenzy led to numerous companies going public in 1720, among them one which famously advertised itself as “a company for carrying out an undertaking of great advantage, but nobody to know what it is.”

The bubble popped in September 1720, prompting Sir Isaac Newton to supposedly say “I can calculate the movement of the stars, but not the madness of men.”

Speaking of madness –

During the Tulipomania in the Dutch Golden Age, you could buy 12 acres of land for a single Semper Augustus bulb, i.e., more than ten times the annual salary of a craftworker.

Obviously, this didn’t keep up too long and in February 1637, the prices dramatically collapsed, leading to many people losing substantial amounts of money.

However, the Dutch haven’t stopped liking tulips to this very day.

Key Lessons from “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds”

1.      Men Go Madi Herds
2.      How to Cheat a Man: Three Ways
3.      The Three Earliest Economic Bubbles

Men Go Mad in Herds

In “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds,” Charles Mackay shows that there is no wisdom in crowds – only madness and fads.

So, the next time the crowd likes something, ask yourself whether it is because of its inherent value, or because the majority of people have gone mad.

How to Cheat a Man: Three Ways

Three causes,” writes Charles Mackay, “especially have excited the discontent of mankind; and, by impelling us to seek remedies for the irremediable, have bewildered us in a maze of madness and error. These are death, toil, and the ignorance of the future.

So, if you want to cheat someone out of money, tickle his fancy that you have a solution to one of these three problems.

The Three Earliest Economic Bubbles

The first three chapters of the first volume of “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.”

They concern the three earliest economic bubbles: the Tulip craze in Netherlands, the South Sea Bubble in England and the Mississippi Scheme in France.

There’s a lesson in all of them: stay away from the crowd.

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“Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds Quotes”

Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one. Click To Tweet

Many persons grow insensibly attached to that which gives them a great deal of trouble, as a mother often loves her sick and ever-ailing child better than her more healthy offspring. Click To Tweet

Nations, like individuals, cannot become desperate gamblers with impunity. Punishment is sure to overtake them sooner or later. Click To Tweet

How flattering to the pride of man to think that the stars on their courses watch over him, and typify, by their movements and aspects, the joys or the sorrows that await him. Click To Tweet

Of all the offspring of Time, Error is the most ancient, and is so old and familiar an acquaintance, that Truth, when discovered, comes upon most of us like an intruder, and meets the intruder's welcome. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

It is extraordinary how accurate and straight-to-the-point are Charles Mackay’s analyses and how many people have profited from learning its lessons many years after the book was first published.

Case in point:

American financier Bernard Baruch sold his stocks ahead of the financial crash of 1929 and, when asked why he did it, he said that it was because of what he had learned from Mackay’s classic.

Consequently, we didn’t hesitate to include the book in our list of top marketing books in history, but we could have included it in our selection of economics books as well, or even among the best books on human behavior ever written.

Because “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crows” is all of that – and more!

Archaic language aside, it’s also exceptionally well written and abounds in witticisms and deep – as well as comical – insights.

In a word: a must-read!

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Titan PDF Summary – Ron Chernow

Titan PDF Ron ChernowThe Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

In many languages, the surname “Rockefeller” has basically become synonymous with the phrase “fabulously rich.”

The man responsible for that?

John D. Rockefeller, Sr., quite possibly the richest person in modern history and most certainly the wealthiest American of all time.

And Ron Chernow’s “Titan” is the essential 800-page-long biography of this extraordinary man, rightly called “the Jekyll-and-Hyde of American capitalism.”

Who Should Read “Titan”? And Why?

Just like most biographies of great men, “Titan” is a fascinating and endlessly enthralling read, which should certainly get the attention of most people.

The fact that the great man this biography is about is such a controversial figure makes “Titan” an even more alluring book since it should appeal to both the advocates and the detractors of capitalism.

It’s also a book from which entrepreneurs can find some inspiration, and in which social critics who don’t believe the world needs people like John D. Rockefeller, Sr. will find enough arguments in their favor.

A treat for all!

Ron ChernowAbout Ron Chernow

Ron Chernow is an American historian and biographer, author of numerous bestselling and award-winning books on the life and times of important historical figures.

In 1990, he published his debut book, “The House of Morgan” which traced four generations of the J. P. Morgan empire and which was honored with the National Book Award for Nonfiction. He followed this up with “The Warburgs” which won him the 1993 George S. Eccles Prize for Excellence in Economic Writing.

The critically acclaimed “Titan” was published in 1998 and was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, just like his 2004 biography of Alexander Hamilton, which was subsequently turned into the highly successful Lin-Manuel Miranda rap-musical from 2015, “Hamilton.”

In 2011, Chernow won both the American History Book Prize and the Pulitzer Prize for Biography for “Washington: A Life.”

His last book, the 2017 “Grant,” is a 1,000-page biography of Ulysses S. Grant, America’s 18th President, and was once again met with overwhelmingly positive reviews.

“Titan PDF Summary”

John D. Rockefeller was born on July 8, 1839, in Richford, New York, as the second of six children and the eldest son of William Avery “Bill” Rockefeller and Eliza Davison.

His father was a con artist, a traveling salesman and a “botanic physician” who practiced bigamy and ended up living a double life under an alias.

His mother, on the other hand, was a devout Baptist who put up with her husband’s promiscuity and taught John the value of saving money.

When JDR was ten years old, his father – who, by that time, had managed to father two children with his housekeeper Nancy Brown as well – was indicted for a rape which supposedly occurred at gunpoint and which drove William to sell the Rockefeller’s house and move the family to Oswego, New York, in a potential attempt to avoid trial.

He was never convicted for the rape, but soon enough he left his family for good, assuming the identity Dr. William Levingston and marrying a certain Margaret Allen in Ontario, Canada (even though he was still legally married to Eliza as well).

Before that, Bill moved the Rockefellers once again close to Cleveland, Ohio, where John attended the Cleveland’s Central High School, one of the first free public high schools in the United States.

Even though John was a good student – excelling especially in math and oratory – he couldn’t afford to go to college, especially since he was burdened with the self-assigned role of a surrogate father.

So, instead, he enrolled in a business school and got a job as an assistant bookkeeper.

It was here that he got his “first look at a banknote of any size”:

I was clerking at the time down on the Flats here. One day my employer received a note from a down-State bank for $4,000. He showed it to me in the course of the day’s business, and then put it in the safe. As soon as he was gone, I unlocked the safe, and taking out that note, stared at it with open eyes and mouth, and then replaced it and double-locked the safe. It seemed like an awfully large sum to me, an unheard-of amount, and many times during the day did I open that safe to gaze longingly at the note.

In 1859, JDR teamed up with his partner Maurice B. Clark – with whom he also shares a rags-to-riches story – and, at the tender age of 20, opened his first business.

It will grow in the largest modern history had seen by pure accident.

Namely, “Clark and Rockefeller” was a buying-and-selling venture which provided both friends a good income for some time, before they were convinced by Samuel Andrews, a chemist and a friend of Clark’s, into becoming stockholders in his new enterprise.

The enterprise was a small Cleveland oil refinery.

The result?

Instant success – thanks especially to Andrews’ “mechanical genius” (as Ida M. Tarbell had described it) and his pioneering work with fractional distillation.

However, success also means jealously and soured bonds, so it’s no surprise that by 1865, the relationship between Rockefeller and Clark (as well as Clark’s two brothers who also owned parts of the joint ventured) deteriorated to the point of no return.

The partners auctioned the business between themselves and, in the end, JDR bought the Clarks’ shares for $72,500 (about $1 million in today’s money).

Speaking to William O. Inglis, Rockefeller later noted:

It was the day that determined my career. I felt the bigness of it, but I was as calm as I am talking to you now.

At 25, JDR became the owner of one of the world’s largest oil facilities. The very same year he married his high-school sweetheart, Laura Spelman Rockefeller.

The couple will end up having four children, only one of them a boy, JDR’s namesake, John D. Rockefeller Jr.

It was all uphill from here!

In 1870, JDR abolished his partnership with Andrews, and in less than four months in 1872 – in what would later be known as “The Cleveland Massacre” – his new-formed “Standard Oil” 22 of its 26 Cleveland competitors.

Titan Summary Ron ChernowThis will inspire some admiration and a ton of hate, resulting in cartoons such as “The Anaconda” seen here on the left, parodying JDR as a snake swallowing its Cleveland competitors.

In 1874, “Standard Oil” will buy 27 more refineries – this time major and nationwide.

Still in his 30s, JDR “became the sole master of American oil refining,” controlling almost 90% of all oil in the United States.

By this time, he was also deeply convinced in his messiah-like role, believing that God gave him so much money so that he could help the world and provide cheap kerosene and light to the poor people of the world.

Even though he did do that, not many bought his side of the story, so Rockefeller was forced by the U.S. Supreme Court to dismantle Standard Oil into 34 “Baby Standards,” some of which you know by the names of ExxonMobil, Chevron, etc.

The end result?

JDR was even richer than before, owning a fortune worth nearly 2% of the nation’s GDP, or $400 billion in today’s money.

Fortunately, he spent a large – or small, depends on who you ask – part of it to basically create modern philanthropy.

Key Lessons from “Titan”

1.      The Growth of a Large Business Is Merely a Survival of the Fittest
2.      All the Fortune That I Have Made Has Not Served to Compensate Me for the Anxiety of That Period
3.      Gain All You Can, Save All You Can, And Give All You Can

The Growth of a Large Business Is Merely a Survival of the Fittest

The story of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. is an almost novel-like rags-to-riches story: he was the son of a con artist who, as a teenager, begged the principal of his free, public school to find a home for his family, but will be remembered as modern history’s richest men.

How he did it?

Mainly – because he never backed down and decided to survive through it all.

All the Fortune That I Have Made Has Not Served to Compensate Me for the Anxiety of That Period

As JDR was earning money and swallowing his opponents one by one, he was becoming so influential that newspapers started claiming that it was he who was actually running the country.

Even though he was rich and could afford everything, he was actually deeply depressed and couldn’t even fall asleep for most of the nights.

Gain All You Can, Save All You Can, And Give All You Can

The dictum from this title was originally John Wesley’s but became JDR’s.

It sums up his life in a sentence and easily shows why he was both so admired and so hated by the public.

JDR, the real Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of American capitalism.

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“Titan Quotes”

From the outset JDR’s plans had a wide streak of megalomania. Click To Tweet

No threat to his empire was too small for Rockefeller to overlook. Click To Tweet

JDR retained his mystic faith that God had given him money for mankind’s benefit. Click To Tweet

JDR was convinced that the Almighty had buried the oil in the earth for a purpose. Click To Tweet

The impression was gaining ground with me that it was a good thing to let the money be my slave and not make myself a slave to money. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Basically, each of the books Ron Chernow has so far authored have received acclaim of the sort few books ever do.

“Titan” is no exception: it was listed as one of 1998’s ten best books by both “The New York Times” and “Time,” the latter of which described it as one of the great American biographies.

Even before we had the time to write its summary, we didn’t hesitate for a moment to include it in our list of the 15 best business books in history.

Balanced and neutral, revelatory and beautifully written, “Titan” is certainly a titan of a book!

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The Great Inflation Mystery PDF Summary

The Great Inflation Mystery PDFDo you know what is inflation?

Before you say “a sustained increase in price level of goods and services in an economy over a period of time” – allow us to interrupt you:

Just like that definition, everything you know about inflation is mere theory.

It’s different in practice.

And this is what Peter Coy tries to demonstrate in his widely read article for Bloomberg, “The Great Mystery Inflation.”

Who Should Read “The Great Inflation Mystery”? And Why?

If you are a student in economics and you want to learn something more about inflation – this article may not help you.

Since it basically claims that we know nothing about inflation.

But that’s exactly why you should read it.

Peter CoyAbout Peter Coy

Peter Coy is a senior writer and the economics editor for Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

After receiving a BA in history from Cornell, Coy started his journalistic career in 1980 at the “Associated Press” as an editor in the Albany bureau.

After that, he worked for some time as a correspondent at the AP Rochester bureau. In 1985, he was transferred to New York, where he worked as a business writer for the next seven years.

In 1989, Coy went to Bloomberg BusinessWeek and worked as telecommunications editor before becoming a technology editor three years later.

He has appeared on numerous TV shows on – among others – CNN, MSNBC, and the Fox News Channel.

“The Great Inflation Mystery PDF Summary”

Quick:

What’s the one thing the Antikythera mechanism and inflation have in common?

Ready?

No one knows how they work.

Really!

Last year, Daniel Tarullo, who was a member of the Board of Governors of the United States Federal Reserve Board between January 2009 and his resignation in April 2017, in a tell-all address at the Brookings Institution, said:

We do not, at present, have a theory of inflation dynamics that works sufficiently well to be of use for the business of real-time monetary policymaking.

Now, that’s not something you don’t ever like to hear!

Especially if, just half a year later, the Fed decides to increase the federal funds rate target from 1.5% to 1.75% in anticipation of inflation!

Wait a minute, you say!

Someone on the inside says that basically no one can predict the causes of inflation and its effects and that not a single person knows how to move it up or down or how low (or high) it should be – and, yet, the Fed is trying to sustain it!

But, how?

You can’t fight an enemy you don’t know!

That’s the first rule of war.

Well, apparently you can if you are the Federal Reserve and if you ignore history.

Because it – the history – apparently shows that five out of seven times since the 1970s, the Fed went too far in raising interest rates, which resulted in “choked growth and ended in recession.”

They may be doing the same now – or they may be doing just the right thing.

Who knows?

As Coy says, “without understanding more about inflation, it’s hard to know if the Fed is tightening too quickly, not quickly enough, or at about the right pace.”

There’s one serious problem with inflation: “the prices don’t rise or fall in unison.”

In the original article, Peter Coy includes a graphic from which one can see that while the prices of financial services and insurance rose by an average of 4.4% per year between 2009 and 2017, those of gasoline and other energy goods rose by a bit more than half, i.e., 2.6%.

On the other side of the spectrum, the prices for furnishings and appliances fell by as much (2.6%), and the prices of recreational goods and vehicles fell by twice as much: 5.4%.

It’s only normal that there are discrepancies of this sort, since these prices “change for a variety of reasons, including technology, consumer preferences, and the cost of imports.”

To make matters even more complicated, inflation doesn’t hit everybody the same: the large families, the old, and the poor are usually hit hardest.

In addition, between 2014 and 2017, inflation grew differently for products bought online as compared to the same products bought at B&M stores: the inflation of the former ran 1.3% lower.

Another variance exists between the increases in prices for services versus the prices for goods.

The change in the price index for personal consumption expenditures” is, according to Peter Coy, “the Fed’s favorite measure of inflation.

Well, since the end of the last recession, it has averaged 1.5%.

However, when broken into the above mentioned two categories (goods vs. services), it shows a significant discrepancy.

Namely, while services inflation clocked in at 2.2%, goods inflation has come in at merely 0.3%.

“The average of landing at two airports is called a crash,” not-so-jokingly comments Brian Barnier, head of analytics at ValueBridge Advisors LLC in New York.

However, Peter Coy notes, that

The Fed’s challenge with inflation isn’t just a lack of knowledge; it’s also a lack of power.

In other words, Milton Friedman was probably very wrong when in 1963 he claimed that “inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon,” or, in other words, that the Federal Government can easily contain inflation by adjusting the supply of base money.

But, Friedman’s simple equation – no additional money = no price rises – has been proven wrong by practice, because the opportunity for inflation seems to increase even if the Fed does nothing, but banks start making more loans and money starts circulating faster.

Matt Busigin, a software engineer, and a portfolio manager, goes a step further.

After running tests on “20 years’ worth of data,” he found out that there’s, in fact, a negative correlation between future inflation and the increases in the Fed’s base money.

Patrick Harker, a former engineer and the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, thinks this data-driven approach is the best way we can tackle the mystery of inflation, so he is keen on introducing machine learning into the art of macroeconomic predictions.

But until that time, the best thing we can do is just admit that there’s a problem and that we can’t predict inflation – instead of just pretending that we know everything about it.

Key Lessons from “The Great Inflation Mystery”

1.      We Know Nothing About Inflation
2.      Inflation Is a Complex Phenomenon – Not Just Monetary
3.      Data-Driven Approach to Understanding Inflation May Be Our Best Bet

We Know Nothing About Inflation

Even though the Fed is trying to contain inflation by raising interest rates, the fact is that, just like everybody, they are merely shooting in the dark.

No one knows anything about inflation, including “what causes it; what effects it has; what to count in measuring it (stock prices?); how low, or high, it should be; and how to move it up and down.”

Inflation Is a Complex Phenomenon – Not Just Monetary

In 1963, Milton Friedman claimed that “inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.”

In his opinion, in theory, the Fed should be able to exert near-total control over inflation, since prices shouldn’t rise unless the Fed prints more money.

However, in practice they sometimes do rise even if the Fed does nothing – and serious statistical studies show that, if anything, printing money may have a negative correlation to future inflations.

Why?

Simply put, because inflation is more than a monetary phenomenon.

It depends on just too many factors for us to understand it straightforwardly.

Data-Driven Approach to Understanding Inflation May Be Our Best Bet

In Peter Coy’s opinion, at the moment, the best thing we can do is simply admit that there’s a problem.

And try to find a solution for it.

Our best bet may be using data-driven approaches – as such studies done by Matt Busigin reach counter-intuitive conclusions.

Unsurprisingly, Patrick Harker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, plans to use machine learning to predict macroeconomic trends.

Who knows?

In the future, everybody may have to do it.

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“The Great Inflation Mystery Quotes”

As Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and his colleagues raise interest rates to keep the U.S. economy from overheating, there’s a lot they don’t know about the foe they’re trying to contain: inflation. Click To Tweet

Here are some of the things about inflation the Fed and other central banks are uncertain of: what causes it; what effects it has; what to count in measuring it (stock prices?); how low, or high, it should be; and how to move it up and… Click To Tweet

Prices change for a variety of reasons, including technology, consumer preferences, and the cost of imports. Click To Tweet

The Fed’s challenge with inflation isn’t just a lack of knowledge; it’s also a lack of power. Click To Tweet

Neo-Fisherian ideas may have an important impact on our thinking about monetary policy in the future. (via James Bullard) Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

The bottom line of “The Great Inflation Mystery” is fairly simple.

In Coy’s words: “The Fed has a preferred way of measuring inflation, but it’s an open question whether the institution has the right tools to act on prices—and hence growth.”

This is such an important claim that, whether you agree with it or not, it’s exceptionally important that you read this article.

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Trump: The Art of the Deal PDF Summary

Trump: The Art of the Deal PDFDonald Trump has always been both criticized and praised for his controversial approach.

His methods are hardly ever conventional, which indicates that he’s a person whose actions cannot be anticipated.

In the book summary below, we summarize the key elements in making a good deal.

Who Should Read “Trump: The Art of the Deal”? And Why?

Trump – The Real Estate Godfather, has really made a name for himself. To what does he owe his success? Unlike other people in business, Trump rarely takes “NO” for an answer.

Trump: The Art of the Deal” is an excellent business guidebook, that is suitable for all business people in all spheres of influence. Entrepreneurs and economy students will find it particularly informative and mind-blowing.

About Donald J. Trump

Donald J. TrumpDonald J. Trump had been given the honors to serve a four-year mandate as the 45th, U.S. president. In 1968, he started a business career, alongside his father. Since then, Donald Trump Organization has never stopped expanding.

He is the author of several books, including How to Get Rich.

“Trump: The Art of the Deal PDF Summary”

Briefly, here’s what you should take into consideration when making a deal:

Think big” – Well, how it’s even possible to get a firm grip on success, without broadening your perspectives and destroying your limitations.

According to various keynote speakers and motivators, the key to success is illustrated through the ability to fixate your attention on the most critical tasks during the day. That’s how Donald Trump managed to stay on top for so long.

Beware of hidden dangers and protect the downside” – In the capitalist era, it’s unlikely that you can beat the market unless you have a plan B. In other words, Trump emphasizes flexibility and despises gambling, which can be construed as an aversion, or inability for controlling the outcome.

When you are close to reaching an agreement with a third-party, never rely on only one main scenario.

Having a backup strategy in your pocket at all times can increasingly improve your chances of becoming a winner. As time goes by, and the bar is raised to a higher level, you wouldn’t want to be drained by the hostile environment.

Choose your words and actions carefully” – Things didn’t go as planned? – So, what? – There’s always a better alternative just around the corner, and that’s precisely why Mr. Trump keeps many options on the table because the deal-making process is too complex.

It’s been said that tough negotiators are those who are aware of their bargain capabilities. In order for their plans to come to fruition, they stand their ground and don’t back away from their demands.

Understand the core of the market” – It’s not about what you do, is how you do it. One thing is for sure; you cannot merely indicate that the market is overflooded with competition, and there’s no room for your ideas to kick in.

Trump doesn’t rely on consultant help and trusts his instinct but not to feed his vanity, but because it’s the right thing to do. Every baffling problem or enigma can be solved if you have that inner edge, to pull some maneuver and turn the situation to your advantage.

Find common ground, but not at the expense of your capital” – If you show signs of desperation when bargaining a better deal, or if you try to speed up the proceedings, the counterpart may use that against you. Put the accent on something; the other party can’t simply do without.

Play wisely, because after all, it’s just a game.

Make yourself visible” – People in a hurry, tend to make bad decisions. And in order to be seen, that are inclined to agree with almost any foolish deal.

Lay down your foundation on a location that serves a dual-purpose. After you make up your mind, spend a few extra dollars, to make that location look a bit trendier and classy.

Such action fueled by integrity will aid you in your endeavors to gain respect from the business community and strengthen your ties with other investors and businessmen.  

Promote your business” – Throughout the course of history, great conspirators were always on thin ice which could have collapsed at any moment. Their boldness as a way of handling things, grant them all-deserving praises and rewards.

When it comes to business, you might want to use the same strategy, and thus the press will safeguard your interests. Evidently, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, and being in the spotlight is all that matter.

Never back down” – Don’t be a pushover, because in life you’ll encounter various personalities who will try to bring you to your knees. When the word is spread out, that you crack under pressure, the competition will destroy you in a flash.

Leverage: don’t make deals without it. Enhance

Deliver superior quality” – If your products, services, or opinions don’t stand out, your project can never reach its peak. The most frightening thing in today’s market is that everyone is replaceable, and loyalty is long gone.

If you want to remain on the top, you have to deliver a product/service of unparalleled quality.

Reduce the costs” – No, you thought wrong, Donald Trump is not a spender, he is an investor. He advises that you should cut down some expenses that aren’t yielding any positive results.

If you purchase commodities that you don’t need, you’ll eventually end up selling the things you are in desperate need of.

Rejoice in life” – Money is just the name of the game, so don’t take it too seriously, have fun!

The most important thing in life is to love what you’re doing because that’s the only way you’ll ever be really good at it.

Key Lessons from “Trump: The Art of the Deal”

1.      The power of persuasion
2.      Take precautions, and don’t deviate from your plans
3.      Prepare yourself for what is to follow

The power of persuasion

If you don’t have what it takes to influence other people, perhaps the least you can do is not allowing other to do that to you.

Believe in your methods and gauge the competitive level.

Take precautions, and don’t deviate from your plans

Although staying flexible is key to success, sometimes it’s best if you don’t allow a single doubt to enter your mind.

Following your instinct can make a world of difference to you, and your project.

Prepare yourself for what is to follow

If you thought that this ride is going to be smooth, you are far away from reality.

Such attitude can backfire on you because you’ll not have all bases covered when things take an unexpected turn. The wind blows where it wishes, and you don’t have the power to stop it.

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“Trump: The Art of the Deal Quotes”

I've read hundreds of books about China over the decades. I know the Chinese. I've made a lot of money with the Chinese. I understand the Chinese mind. Click To Tweet I’ve always felt that a lot of modern art is a con and that the most successful painters are often better salesmen and promoters than they are artists. Click To Tweet I discovered, for the first time but not the last, that politicians don’t care too much what things cost. It’s not their money. Click To Tweet My people keep telling me I shouldn’t write letters like this to critics. The way I see it, critics get to say what they want to about my work, so why shouldn’t I be able to say what I want to about theirs? Click To Tweet I don’t hire a lot of number-crunchers, and I don’t trust fancy marketing surveys. I do my own surveys and draw my own conclusions. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Trump clearly knew what he was doing, and it’s in our interest to follow his example. If you are afraid of a little controversy and challenge, the business world is not for you.

Thriving on problems is the perfect mentality one can embrace. So, don’t hesitate to jump on the bandwagon and start your adventure.

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