Archive for famous investment authors

Do Money and Inspiration Go Hand in Hand?

“Global Dexterity” by Andy Molinski – A Harvard Book Review

When you work in an international environment, it is very easy to forget how complicated is to deal with different cultures. “Global Dexterity – How To Adapt Your Behavior Without Loosing Yourself in the Process” comes to correct this forgetting – before you can do some irreversible damage to your cross-cultural relationships.

As usually, a Harvard Business Review Press book comes with two main strong points:

–          A highly knowledgeable expert author  –  in this case Andy Molinski, a professor specialized in cross-cultural communication and

–          Lots of practical study cases which should illustrate powerfully each demonstrated point.

“Global Dexterity”does not simply state some facts and then demonstrates them – it actually assumes that managing  cross-cultures is a skill which can be taught and developed into a concept of … global dexterity. As such, it offers a meta-framework – namely a conceptual framework which can be applied various cultures and help you adapt quicker and better to the new environment. This is what I actually liked about “Global Dexterity” – you can take it as a light case-study handbook or you can advance and practice the mastery of the new method to new levels. Continue reading ““Global Dexterity” by Andy Molinski – A Harvard Book Review” »

“Playing to Win” by A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin – a Book Review

 Strategy books are so many this year, that you could literally by a dozen by the 10 dollar bill from Amazon. I would go so far as even to say that there are too many. So many strategy tomes are written, that the authors are no longer named “authors”, but “thinkers”, as a new job description… And classified accordingly. (top 50 thinkers, year by year).
“Playing to Win – How Strategy Really Works” (to give the book’s complete name) is actually a very different book in this respect. First of all, “Playing to Win” is written from a practitioner’s perspective. Both authors (A.G. Lafley – by the way, you should buy the book at least for the nice haircut of this gentleman  – and Roger Martin) have created this strategic decision making system during their working life. Actually the system described here was literally applied and developed within Procter & gamble, a fairly successful company overall and a very successful one if e take out the tech sector in the last decade :). Continue reading ““Playing to Win” by A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin – a Book Review” »

Why I Left Goldman Sachs: A Wall Street Story by Greg Smith – A Book Review

A search on Google for Goldman Sachs returns 328 million results. Created in 1869, Goldman Sachs rose quickly to be a favorite banks in the US for IPO’s and later for investment banking. Its history was always tied to acquisitions of trading funds and various financial instruments. And of course, during the sub-prime crisis in 2007, Goldman Sachs became even more famous for short-selling mortgage backed securities right before the market for those instruments collapsed. A close competitor of Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs allegedly partly maneuvered its sibling into bankruptcy, thus securing an even better position in the investment banking industry. With $29 billion in assets and a surprising repurchase of the government injection of cash into its share, Goldman Sachs remains one of the most mysterious investment banks on Earth.

No wonder that Greg Smith’s financial book (“Why I Left Goldman Sachs: A Wall Street Story”) was expected with so much interest. As an ex-employee of the bank’s New York HQ, Smith was always critical of Goldman Sachs failing its own standards and the bank’s reference of customers such as “muppets” – after he left the bank in 2006. Thus, it comes as no surprise that this account of an investment banker’s life in Sachs is … well… critical of it. It is also not surprising that the book made the no.1 spot for most book retailers, including Amazon. Continue reading “Why I Left Goldman Sachs: A Wall Street Story by Greg Smith – A Book Review” »

Business Book Review – “Handbook of Corporate Performance Management” – by Mike and Pippa Bourne

Measuring corporate performance has become a hot topics for the boardrooms lately. There is a strange opinion stream that underlines that the correct management tools can actually add value – as opposed to the strategy purists which think that only the 5 P’s of marketing can add value to a company. I myself am often confused, even in practice, since the proofs for each side of the argument are plenty. After all, what is the purpose of a complex management structure beyond controlling and optimizing the business? Is it also to create value by designing, implementing and monitoring a chosen strategy? Continue reading “Business Book Review – “Handbook of Corporate Performance Management” – by Mike and Pippa Bourne” »

“Fundamentals of Investment Management” (by Geoffrey Hirt and Stanley Block) – a Financial Book Review

Sometimes you can observe that what you are doing is not really working. Sometimes you think – “what if I would change my methods? What if I would go back to the basics?”. In my opinion, the investments management is not different – no matter how many new investing techniques you learn, no matter how many investment blogs you are reading, you still have to go back to the fundamental theory and revisit it. It is useful to do it at least each couple of years, since the human mind has the nasty habit to forget essential principles. Take a quick test – what do you remember from the high-school mechanics of physics? (please do not do it if you are a physicist :)) ).

McGraw Hill’s handbook called “Fundamentals of Investment Management” is one of those books which make your bookshelf bend, but still you will never ever give up to it, since it is packed with useful references. It takes you from the very basics of the securities and the financial markets, feeding you with lots of definitions and context cases. Nothing really new for McGraw Hill Professional, which stands above other publishing houses for its teaching orientation. What is interesting is its relative completeness – takes you from the tyoes of investments to alternative methods of investing. Continue reading ““Fundamentals of Investment Management” (by Geoffrey Hirt and Stanley Block) – a Financial Book Review” »

2010 Nobel Prize in Economics vs Ig-Nobel Prize…On Economics Too, of Course

Everybody’s obsessed with finance and the flow of money these days. No wonder that we at go for the same theme and now wonder that the Nobel committees are looking at the same stuff.
This year the Nobel prize for economics was shared by three gentlemen. The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2010 was awarded jointly to Peter A. Diamond, Dale T. Mortensen and Christopher A. Pissarides “for their analysis of markets with search frictions”. The guys looked actually at the imperfections of the markets – why are they not frictionless but full of hidden costs? Continue reading “2010 Nobel Prize in Economics vs Ig-Nobel Prize…On Economics Too, of Course” »