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An agreeably told but unoriginal entry in the field of financial self-improvement.

A business guru’s guide to personal finance.

A serial entrepreneur called a “progressive Jordan Peterson” by Fast Company, NYU professor Galloway, host of the Pivot podcast and author of Adrift and Post Corona, presents his “best practices for succeeding” in the “rapacious beast” of capitalism. His advice, he notes, is not for those with mountains of debt, but rather for readers “who have their act together and want to ensure they make the best of their blessings.” The “algebra” of the book’s title is broken down into four components. The first part covers Stoicism, and the author examines a list of ways in which readers can develop a “strong character” that helps their journey to wealth. It’s a salad of suggestions that include exercising, working hard, and marrying “someone who is better at money than you.” The second section, “Focus,” features Galloway’s extensive career advice. “Don’t follow your passion,” writes the author, explaining that most people can’t articulate a passion and that “passion careers suck.” For example, “only 2% of professional actors make a living from their craft.” Galloway then moves on to “Time,” which covers spending, budgeting, and saving for the future. The last section, “Diversification,” is the most technical, with Galloway “coaching” readers through “strategies for investing [their] capital.” Throughout the book, the author includes the type of anecdotes that readers have come to expect in this genre of personality-driven finance book: Galloway writes frankly about his childhood growing up “without much money,” how everything changed when his first child was born, and his divorce. The author references many of the current hot ideas in the modern self-help landscape: grit, the flow state, growth mindset, Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours, and black swan theory.

An agreeably told but unoriginal entry in the field of financial self-improvement.

Pub Date: April 30, 2024

ISBN: 9780593714027

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Portfolio

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2024

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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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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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