Books I’ve liked: Personal Finance, Investing, Photography, Inspirational & entrepreneurship

Well, there are few books I have read and many which I want to read. I thought I will note it down here as well.

I like reading books mostly related to personal finance, investing, photography, history and entrepreneurship. I hardly find myself reading fiction books, except story books that I read in my childhood days.
I must also admit that I am guilty of finding some sort of magic wands in books, which can help me change the things drastically. However, the reality is that there is no magic wand in books. Books don’t solve problems or make you rich or turns the things in favor drastically. At the best, they guide you. They teach you things. It is upto individual as to what takeaways he drive from reading.
Nevertheless, they are good teacher and great advisor.

A. Personal finance, investing and business

1. Intelligent investor by Benjamin Graham
This books is a huge help on anything finance. Truly bible of investing.
2. Monkey business by John Rolfe and Peter Troob
This book takes a lighter note rather funnier note on the investing business. Certain very harsh truth in very subtle manner.
3. Gandhi CEO by Alan Axelrod
A very interesting book. This books drew its inspiration from teachings of father of nation and applies them in corporate world. Gandhi is relevant here as well.
4. Corporate Chankya by Radhakrishnan Pillai
Interesting to see 1000 years old economic fundamentals are still relevant, very relevant…

5. Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis

The time was the 1980s. The place was Wall Street. The game was called Liar’s Poker. Liar’s Poker is a funny look at life on Wall Street; especially the life of lower-level employees getting their start in the financial world. The author tells some funny stories and gives the reader an interesting, inside look at the fast-paced life on Wall Street.  I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know what a trader’s life is like inside a major Wall Street firm

B. Entrepreneurship

1. Stay Hungry, stay foolish by Rashmi Bansal
The title of book is inspired from famous stanford university speech of Steve Jobs. A inspiring compilation of some common people, who re-written the rules of market and created there space from nowhere, but with just there passion, commitment, perseverance and hard work.
2. Connect the Dots by Rashmi Bansal
This book is second in series of previous title. A very inspiring stories of entrepreneurs without an MBA.
3. Knack by Norm Brodsky
Fantastic advice for small business, by someone who has done it himself. 6 times!
4. Founders at work by Jessica Livingston
A collection of interviews of many successful 90’s and 2000’s Internet companies.

C. Photography

1. Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson
A very fantastic books for beginners. Author has used plain language to explain the elements of good exposure and camera dynamics. I find Brian’s techniques very helpful and reading this book freed me to experiment a lot more.

2. Within the Frame by David duChemin

In the words of author it is about “chasing your vision and telling your stories as clearly and passionately as possible with compelling photography.” and thats what this book succeeds in doing..

 

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Stock Selection.. Warren Buffett way… Part 1

 

Lehman Brothers Rockefeller centre

Lehman Brothers Rockefeller centre (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

There is much written and spoken about Warren Buffett and his success as an investor. No doubt Buffett is most successful, respected and worlds greatest investor in today’s time.

 

Whenever I look at successful people, I feel curious about what is that these people do, which others (majority) didn’t. Though there are many other successful investors in world, but the elements of Buffett’s philosophy is something which has always inspired me. If you study Buffett’s stock selection philosophy you find a sense of simplicity, lot of patience and discipline in them. I believe this sense of simplicity, patience and discipline is the only thing which makes him different from others.

 

I will summarize some of the elements of his philosophy and try to emulate this for stock selection in Indian Market. I am not sure how many stocks would be shortlisted by this process, but I will try to select at least 10 stocks derived from Buffet’s philosophy. Once identified, I will create a dummy Portfolio in Moneycontrol site and track them for their performance. ( I wish I had enough money to actually Invest some in this portfolio).

 

Warren Buffett follows a value investing strategy that is an adaptation of Benjamin Graham’s approach. Buffett seeks to acquire great companies trading at a discount to their intrinsic value, and to hold them for a long time. Buffett has always insisted on understanding the business and margin of safety. He says, that if you do not understand the business, do not take a position in the stock. Buffett stated “We want businesses to be one (a) that we can understand; (b) with favorable long-term prospects; (c) operated by honest and competent people; and (d) available at a very attractive price.”

 

Let us try to explore this more by seeing what he has done and what he has not done.

 

1. He prefers to invest in businesses, which manufacture products that people can’t or don’t want to live without, such as toothpaste, soaps, soft drinks, cars and computers.

 

2. The companies that are given to speculation or hype are often disregarded.

 

3. Buffett’s primary concerns includes –

 

3.1 a company’s financial stability, quality of management and simplicity of business.

 

3.2 Ability of company to pass on its cost to customers. He believes that a company should be able to adjust its prices to inflation because it enables it to make profits in varying economic climates.

 

3.3 The enduring moat – USP of company, i.e, one critical quality that its competitors can’t overtake, regardless of money they are willing to spend.

 

3.4 Save Cash , be liquid – Buffett says that he has learned habit of saving from his grandfather and states”Cash cushions you in bad times and gives you chance to buy aggressively when others are down”. Buffett and his company follow this message religiously. He either keeps cash or buys US Treasury Bills. This helped his firm after Lehman Brothers collapsed.

 

To be Continued..

 


 

Disclaimer: This post is inspired from various news items published in financial daily The Economic Times, online portal Rediff Business and also inspired from the book titled The Guru Investor by John P. Reese, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Author suggest the reader to do their own due-diligence before they apply any of the methods presented here in investing. This article is only for educational purpose and does not endorse the suggested methodology as the only and most appropriate way of investing.

 

 

 

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