This engaging book looks at aspects of living large that are likely familiar to the wealthy, but it also offers a peek at...

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How to Live Rich!

A GUIDE TO A GREAT LIFESTYLE

A self-made multimillionaire shares advice for living in this debut guide.

Being rich and living rich are not necessarily the same thing, writes Bentley, who claims to have founded and sold an unnamed technology company for more than $20 million. This guide, however, may be just as practical for millionaires as it is for those who want to “think like a millionaire (even if you are not one yet).” For both groups, the book boasts common-sense advice about such financial vehicles as credit cards, mortgages, and life insurance. The author’s counsel is nothing if not blunt: “You need two credit cards, no more. One to use and one as a backup in case your first card is declined.” His words about friendship also ring true: “for every friend who is happy with your success, there may be another who is jealous and shows it.” Much of the advice he gives will be practical for anyone, regardless of income. But some chapters, such as “Why a Second Home is Almost Free,” “The Best Island Hotels,” and “Wheels Up! How to Charter a Jet,” are appropriate only for the very rich, as they assume an affluent lifestyle to which many can only aspire. (The chapter “Ten Good Things You Can Do With Your Money,” however, suggests that there are greater aspirations in life than spending a fortune all on oneself.) If the affluent are indeed the book’s primary audience, it’s hard to believe they wouldn’t already be aware of most of the content here. Still, readers who dream big may be interested to know what it’s like to charter a yacht or collect expensive cars. Although this book reveals no remarkable secrets, it’s still a breezy read, with short chapters written in clear language.

This engaging book looks at aspects of living large that are likely familiar to the wealthy, but it also offers a peek at the millionaire’s lifestyle for those with a vicarious interest.

Pub Date: Jan. 20, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5236-1925-2

Page Count: 140

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2016

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

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

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. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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Essential reading for citizens of the here and now. Other economists should marvel at how that plain language can be put to...

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CAPITAL IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

A French academic serves up a long, rigorous critique, dense with historical data, of American-style predatory capitalism—and offers remedies that Karl Marx might applaud.

Economist Piketty considers capital, in the monetary sense, from the vantage of what he considers the capital of the world, namely Paris; at times, his discussions of how capital works, and especially public capital, befit Locke-ian France and not Hobbesian America, a source of some controversy in the wide discussion surrounding his book. At heart, though, his argument turns on well-founded economic principles, notably r > g, meaning that the “rate of return on capital significantly exceeds the growth rate of the economy,” in Piketty’s gloss. It logically follows that when such conditions prevail, then wealth will accumulate in a few hands faster than it can be broadly distributed. By the author’s reckoning, the United States is one of the leading nations in the “high inequality” camp, though it was not always so. In the colonial era, Piketty likens the inequality quotient in New England to be about that of Scandinavia today, with few abject poor and few mega-rich. The difference is that the rich now—who are mostly the “supermanagers” of business rather than the “superstars” of sports and entertainment—have surrounded themselves with political shields that keep them safe from the specter of paying more in taxes and adding to the fund of public wealth. The author’s data is unassailable. His policy recommendations are considerably more controversial, including his call for a global tax on wealth. From start to finish, the discussion is written in plainspoken prose that, though punctuated by formulas, also draws on a wide range of cultural references.

Essential reading for citizens of the here and now. Other economists should marvel at how that plain language can be put to work explaining the most complex of ideas, foremost among them the fact that economic inequality is at an all-time high—and is only bound to grow worse.

Pub Date: March 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-674-43000-6

Page Count: 640

Publisher: Belknap/Harvard Univ.

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

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