The holidays are about to kick off and it’s time for lazy afternoons in the sun, sprawled out with a good book in one hand and a glass of something cold in the other. To give you something to work with when you head into your local bookshop/library/literary website, here are Australian Broker’s top picks on what to read if…
…You’re in the mood for drama, big money and excessive hedonism: The Wolf of Wall Street (Jordan Belfort, 2007)
In the 1990s Jordan Belfort, former kingpin of the notorious investment firm Stratton Oakmont, became one of the most infamous names in American finance: a brilliant, conniving stock-chopper who led his merry mob on a wild ride out of the canyons of Wall Street and into a massive office on Long Island. But an insatiable appetite for debauchery, questionable tactics, and a fateful partnership with a breakout shoe designer named Steve Madden would land Belfort on both sides of the law and into a harrowing darkness all his own - told in his own (hilarious and downright disturbing) words.
…You liked Freakonomics and want to understand why you do the things you do: Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness (Richard Thaler & Cass Sunstein, 2009)
Drawing on decades of research in the fields of behavioural science and economics, authors Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein offer a new perspective on preventing the countless mistakes we make—ill-advised personal investments, consumption of unhealthy foods, neglect of our natural resources—and show us how sensible “choice architecture” can successfully nudge people toward the best decisions.
…You want to start thinking outside the square: Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets: Surviving the Public Spectacle in Finance and Politics (Will Bonner & Lila Rajiva, 2009)
Collectively, people think and act in ways that are different from how they think and act as individuals. Understanding these differences, says William (Bill) Bonner, a long time maverick observer of the financial world, is vital to preserving your wealth and personal dignity. From the witch-hunts of the early modern world to the war on terror, from dot-com mania to the real estate bubble, people have always been caught up in frauds, conceits, and wild guesses-often with devastating results. Bonner and co-author Lila Rajiva show groupthink at work in an improbable array of instances throughout history and reveal why swimming against the current pays.
…You’re feeling a little voyeuristic: The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy (Thomas Stanley & William Danko, 2010)
The bestselling The Millionaire Next Door identifies seven common traits that show up again and again among those who have accumulated wealth. Most of the truly wealthy in this country don't live in Beverly Hills or on Park Avenue-they live next door.
…You just can’t seem to relax: How to be Idle (Tom Hodgkinson, 2005)
From Tom Hodgkinson, editor of the Idler, comes How to be Idle, an antidote to the work-obsessed culture which puts so many obstacles between ourselves and our dreams. Hodgkinson presents us with a laid-back argument for a new contract between routine and chaos, an argument for experiencing life to the full and living in the moment. Ranging across a host of issues that may affect the modern idler sleep, the world of work, pleasure and hedonism, relationships, bohemian living, revolution he draws on the writings of such well-known apologists for idleness as Dr Johnson, Oscar Wilde, Robert Louis Stevenson and Nietzsche. His message is clear: take control of your life and reclaim your right to be idle.
...You have need to manipulate, er, persuade someone: Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Robert Cialdini, 2006)
Influence explains the psychology of why people say "yes"—and how to apply these understandings. Dr Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. His thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behaviour has resulted in this highly acclaimed book.
…You’re into oddball biographies: Collateral Damage: Life as a Mortgage Broker (Ralph Migliozzi, 2011)
This comical/tragic account explains the whole amazing subprime catastrophe through the story of one man. Mortgage brokers dominated the US lending industry for 25 years before succumbing to the lure of ever riskier products that relentlessly blurred their moral principles. In the end, common sense was compromised by fear of losing to the competition. Here are the outrageous, and sometimes hilarious, stories of the sale's antics of all the players of the subprime crisis.
…You want to predict the future: The Signal and the Noise: Why Most Predictions Fail but Some Don't (Nate Silver, 2012)
Most predictions fail, often at great cost to society, because most of us have a poor understanding of probability and uncertainty. Both experts and laypeople mistake more confident predictions for more accurate ones. But overconfidence is often the reason for failure. If our appreciation of uncertainty improves, our predictions can get better too. This is the “prediction paradox”: The more humility we have about our ability to make predictions, the more successful we can be in planning for the future.
In keeping with his own aim to seek truth from data, Silver visits the most successful forecasters in a range of areas, from hurricanes to baseball, from the poker table to the stock market, from Capitol Hill to the NBA. He explores unanticipated commonalities and exposes unexpected juxtapositions. And sometimes, it is not so much how good a prediction is in an absolute sense that matters but how good it is relative to the competition. In other cases, prediction is still a very rudimentary—and dangerous—science.
…You want to branch out: Commercial Real Estate - Brokers Who Dominate (Rod Santomassimo, 2011)
In Brokers Who Dominate you will learn the strategies and tactics, marketing approaches, prospecting platforms, and support structures of some of the most successful commercial real estate brokers in North America
…You want to read local: The Loan Arranger Guide (Andrew Brien, 2012)
This is a no-nonsense guide to understanding the lending process, products and features, written by Australian Andrew Brien. It’s a bit basic, in that it’s intended for the consumer, but it’s nice to see a bit of local input in amongst all the stuff coming out of North America.
P.S. If your favourite isn't on the list, recommend it in the comment box below.