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A solid and well-written overview of how to invest effectively.

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A longtime financial executive explains investing to novices.

In this debut business book, Geddes examines the basic principles of investing, how human psychology is often at odds with sound practices, and how individuals can choose to manage their own assets or hire a financial professional. And even though he has made his career managing the investments of others, the author tells readers that in most cases, they can get the best returns by doing it themselves and pursuing a passive strategy that requires little more than annual maintenance. The volume encourages readers to put their money in index funds rather than trying to pick high-performing stocks or attempting to profit from the rises and falls of the markets, arguing—with supporting evidence—that it is the method that provides the most reliable returns. Geddes recommends concentrating on improving returns by minimizing fees and taxes, showing that these are the ways investors are most able to improve their outcomes. The work also offers guidance for readers who would prefer to hire a professional, with advice on assessing potential advisers and working effectively with them. The author is a strong writer who does an excellent job of stripping away the bluster and complexity that often surround financial advice to focus instead on the fundamentals. The book’s grounding in psychology gives Geddes a theme to return to as he reminds readers throughout the text that although it may feel appropriate to buy and sell in response to changes in the market, resisting the urge will deliver the best long-term results. The balance between details and minutiae is well managed, with plenty of actionable information presented in a comprehensible format. Readers who are already aware of the basics of investing will find the volume an effective refresher and a useful reminder of the value of passive strategies while those without substantial knowledge of the subject will be able to use the work as an effective and engaging introduction.

A solid and well-written overview of how to invest effectively.

Pub Date: Jan. 25, 2022

ISBN: 979-8985006414

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: Feb. 7, 2022

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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These are not hard and fast rules, but Meyer delivers important reading for those engaged in international business.

A helpful guide to working effectively with people from other cultures.

“The sad truth is that the vast majority of managers who conduct business internationally have little understanding about how culture is impacting their work,” writes Meyer, a professor at INSEAD, an international business school. Yet they face a wider array of work styles than ever before in dealing with clients, suppliers and colleagues from around the world. When is it best to speak or stay quiet? What is the role of the leader in the room? When working with foreign business people, failing to take cultural differences into account can lead to frustration, misunderstanding or worse. Based on research and her experiences teaching cross-cultural behaviors to executive students, the author examines a handful of key areas. Among others, they include communicating (Anglo-Saxons are explicit; Asians communicate implicitly, requiring listeners to read between the lines), developing a sense of trust (Brazilians do it over long lunches), and decision-making (Germans rely on consensus, Americans on one decider). In each area, the author provides a “culture map scale” that positions behaviors in more than 20 countries along a continuum, allowing readers to anticipate the preferences of individuals from a particular country: Do they like direct or indirect negative feedback? Are they rigid or flexible regarding deadlines? Do they favor verbal or written commitments? And so on. Meyer discusses managers who have faced perplexing situations, such as knowledgeable team members who fail to speak up in meetings or Indians who offer a puzzling half-shake, half-nod of the head. Cultural differences—not personality quirks—are the motivating factors behind many behavioral styles. Depending on our cultures, we understand the world in a particular way, find certain arguments persuasive or lacking merit, and consider some ways of making decisions or measuring time natural and others quite strange.

These are not hard and fast rules, but Meyer delivers important reading for those engaged in international business.

Pub Date: May 27, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61039-250-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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