2021 has been another trying year with Covid lockdowns and ongoing market uncertainty. However with the calendar year drawing to a close and summer upon us we’re hoping many of us are planning to take a break and engage in some summer holiday downtime. To help fill your period of relaxation the Elston Asset Management (EAM) team has compiled a list of their all-time favorite reads. The team are avid readers, and not just investment books, so hopefully our suggestions contain something of interest for everyone. Enjoy your summer, happy reading and we look forward to seeing everyone in the new year.

Our top suggestions for this summer’s reading list:

Atomic habits by James Clear

“Some great insights into habit formation, both good and bad, and some practical tips around behaviour and change, how the power of compounding interest works not just with investments but life in general. An interesting and thought provoking read.”

This suggestion comes from Mark Smith, Elston’s Head of Adviser Services. In this book, world-renowned habits expert James Clear, explores how real change comes from the compounding effect of hundreds of small decisions, atomic habits, rather than the really big changes. He also uncovers a handful of simple life hacks.

Factfulness by Hans Rosling

Factfulness: The stress-reducing habit of only carrying opinions for which you have strong supporting facts.

Factfulness was added to this year’s reading list by the team’s deep-thinking Portfolio Manager, Leon De Wet. In this book, Rosling offers a radical new explanation of why we systematically get the answers wrong when asked simple questions about global trends, revealing the ten instincts that distort our perspective. It turns out that the world, for all its imperfections, is in a much better state than we might think.

Fooled by randomness by Nassim Taleb

Nominated by Associate Portfolio Manager, Gary Merkel, as his top recommendation for the summer; “This book totally changed the way I view the world, how I assess success and my understanding of outcomes”. This book is a favorite with several of the team.

Fooled by randomness is an eye opening read which explores what causes some of us to be more successful than others. Is it skill and strategy or something altogether more unpredictable? The book delves into the role of chance, how we perceive luck and how we create rationales for outcomes where none exists.

One up on wall street by Peter Lynch

“Through One up on Wall Street, Lynch provides timeless insights to his commonsense approach to investing.”

Peter Lynch is an iconic investment legend and the author of this suggestion by Justin Woerner, Portfolio Manager. Lynch ran the Fidelity Magellan fund for 13 years from 1977 through to 1990. During this period, he averaged 29% annual returns, twice that achieved by the S&P500 index. The book discusses how to find ideas, research companies, and deal with short term volatility.

Sapiens: a brief history of humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

Sapiens is a multi-million copy bestseller which made our list courtesy of Joe McCarthy, Associate Portfolio Manager. It is another all-time favorite with many of the EAM team.

Earth is 4.5 billion years old however in just a fraction of time, one species has come to conquer it. Sapiens explores who we are, how we got here and where we’re going. This book is an interesting look at history and the future of our species which is likely to alter the way you look at the world.

Shoe Dog: a memoir by the creator of Nike by Phil Knight

“What it takes to build a business, the sacrifices, disappointments, and failures which ultimately shape a successful product/business/strategy.”  This recommendation comes from David Seager, Analyst.

Phil Knight founded Nike. This is his story, mapping out the lessons, risks, setbacks, and triumphs he encountered on his journey from founding 24-year-old start up founder revolutionary, globe-spanning icon, one of the most ubiquitous and recognisable symbols

The checklist manifesto: How To get things right by Atul Gawande

“After reading this book you’ll be discovering multiple uses for checklists throughout your personal and professional life.”

Senior Quantitative Analyst, Michael Wong, added this book to the recommendation list. A groundbreaking book which makes a clear and concise argument for the adoption of checklists to surmount failure. Gawande explains how the simplest of ideas can be utilised to break down complex, high pressure tasks into smaller steps, improving outcomes and creating consistency.  The author provides real world examples ranging from the aviation industry, through to investing and healthcare.

The education of a value investor by Guy Spier

EAM CEO, Nick Revis, recently read this one finding “It’s an easy read which contains many insights, lessons and learnings from throughout his journey.”

This book is the story of Guy Spier’s career from Harvard MBA to hedge fund manager and his journey from Gordon Gekko wannabe to being a real value investor. Throughout his transformation, Spiers touches on the critical role of mentors and partners, education, real learning, and being true to yourself.

The great demographic reversal by Charles Goodhart

“A very interesting read which goes to counter many leading economic hypotheses.”

Elston Founder and Portfolio Manager, Andrew McKie, is one of the team’s more macro minded members so it’s not surprising his suggestion, The Great Demographic Reversal, delves into the unwinding of one of the largest drivers of structural change over the last 30 years. Goodhart outlines why the underlying forces of demography and globalisation will reverse three multi-decade global trends – raising inflation and interest rates, but leading to a pullback in inequality.

The great leader by Jim Harrison

“Thoroughly enjoyable read. The novel follows a soon to be retired detective’s hunt for an elusive cult leader, dubbed “The Great Leader.” A great way to switch off over the holiday break.” Georgdie Asprey, Investment Specialist

The only fiction read to make the list. The great leader is the enthralling story of a detective’s bold pursuit of a sinister cult leader as he grapples with age, lost love, and his own darker nature.

The Intelligent Investor: the definitive book on value investing by Ben Graham

“A classic investment read which provides a very digestible & fairly detailed overview of value investing. Highly recommended.”

We couldn’t compile a list of favorite reads without including this classic bestseller, which has been put forward by Artem Zainitdinov, EAM’s Equities Dealer / Portfolio Analyst. The intelligent investor was originally published in 1949, written by Ben Graham, considered to be the God Father of value investing, the book’s timeless philosophy has provided insight and inspiration to thousands of readers.

Why we sleep by Matthew Walker

This highly acclaimed book was nominated by Bruce Williams, Portfolio Manager. “A fascinating look at the benefits of sleep and the health risks of not getting enough. This book made me reassess and quantity and quality of my sleep”.

Sleep is one of the most important aspects of life but also tends to be one of the most neglected within our modern society. In this book Professor Matthew Walker utilises research to explore why sleep matters, impacts of alcohol and caffeine, changing sleep patterns, and the links to many major diseases.