Book Review: Three Books About Money

July 23rd, 2015

Money: It is the root of all evil but it also makes the world go round. People with a lot of money are uncomfortable talking about it, but those who have inherited it understand that having money without some purpose is soul sapping. Three new books in the Ford Library show how money changes ourselves and our world.

book cover imageSullivan, Paul. The thin green line : the money secrets of the super wealthy. Simon & Schuster, 2015.

According to business journalist Paul Sullivan, the thin green line is the difference between being rich (having a large income) and being wealthy (having more money than you need to live as you wish). He explains that someone who earns a high salary but spends it all in an extravagant lifestyle is not as well off as someone who lives in financial comfort and security, regardless of income. His book advises people on how to weigh the options in spending, saving, investing, paying taxes and giving money away (to children and to charities) — making financial choices that help people feel wealthy and secure.

This book is also available as an audiobook on Overdrive.

book cover imageVigna, Paul and Michael J. Casey. The age of cryptocurrency : how Bitcoin and digital money are challenging the global economic order. St. Martin’s Press, 2015.

Two Wall Street Journalists explain cryptocurrency as an open-source computer protocol, a new digital foundation for conducting business. Best known is six year old bitcoin, which has the potential to radically change the banking sector, allowing users to bypass traditional institutions, with their high fees, powerful elites and political corruption. Bitcoin eliminates the financial middleman in business transactions, reduces costs and increases transparency. Bitcoin also allows people without access to banks at all – women in developing countries, for example — to engage in commerce to improve their standard of living. While unlikely to replace traditional banking entirely, an unregulated and decentralized financial system is destined to be another option in the world’s payment infrastructure.

This book is also available as an eBook on OverDrive and as an audiobook on OverDrive.

book cover imageSehgal, Kabir. Coined : the rich life of money and how its history has shaped us. Grand Central Publishing, 2015.

In 2008 author Kabir Sehgal worked on J.P.Morgan’s emerging markets desk in New York when the global financial crisis hit. As a personal project, he decided to learn about the root causes of the financial crisis, which led him to the work of well-known behavioral economists to help explain why money makes us act in bizarre and irrational ways. Sehgal’s research resulted in a new book, where he explains why we use money as a form of exchange; what physical forms money has taken through the ages; and how we use money as a symbol of value. The chapter on religion and money is especially enlightening.

This book is also available as an eBook on OverDrive and as an audiobook on OverDrive.

© Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

New Movies for July

July 21st, 2015

Our latest DVD titles added this month:

Kingsman: the Secret Service
Survivortimelapse
Timbuktu
Time Lapse
Unfinished Business
5 Flights Up
’71
Belle and Sebastian
Chappie
Danny Collins
The Duff
Get Hard
Last Knights
Playing It Cool
Run All Night
Wild Tales
Woman in Gold

You may browse the entire DVD collection via the library catalog.

Book Review: The Education of a Value Investor

July 13th, 2015

book cover imageSpier, Guy. The Education of a value investor : my transformative quest for wealth, wisdom, and enlightenment. Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

Aquamarine Fund founder Guy Spier wants university educators to search their souls for the role they play in the greed, superficiality and bad judgment among the bankers, brokers and capitalists on Wall Street. In his new book, The Education of a Value Investor, Spier writes that his own privileged education (Oxford and Harvard Business School) trained him to respond to other people’s approval rather than to an internal moral compass. Spier’s book is about his own personal journey to wisdom and maturity.

Spier begins his story as a newly minted MBA, who accepts a position as vice president at a shady brokerage house, D.H. Blair, where Spier’s Ivy League credentials dress up sketchy deals to sell to investors. The competitive environment at the firm motivates employees to push the legal and ethical boundaries to be successful. Even at the elite firms like Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan, bankers distort the truth to further their own self-interest. From this experience, Spier learns that a person’s environment causes one to slowly change over time.

After Spier leaves D.H.Blair, he finds it difficult to find another position in the financial sector. He reeducates himself by reading classic business books and by modeling Warren Buffett’s investment and life choices. He asks himself, “What would Warren Buffett do?” Then one day his father and a small circle of friends and business associates give him $15 million to manage. Spier founds the Aquamarine Fund and manages his fund as Warren Buffett would do, finding “companies that are cheap, have an expanding ‘moat’ around them, and that are awash in cash.” A charity lunch with Warren Buffett becomes the turning point in his life.

The Education of a Value Investor is an engrossing book. Guy Spier tells his story openly, in an easy conversational style. He writes about attention deficit disorder and the non-rational part of his brain that lead him to make bad decisions. He speaks frankly about his own flaws, including arrogance, pride and envy. He discusses the behavioral changes that he makes in his life to compensate for his emotional challenges, including relocating away from the temptations of New York and London. He shares his strategies for managing his personal vulnerabilities as well as his investments. In the end, he concludes that nothing matters as much as bringing the right people into your life.

This story of personal growth is recommended for most readers. However, Spier seems reluctant to take responsibility for his early career choice and casts the blame on his elite education. As an MBA student at Harvard, he attends Buffett’s presentation to students but barely hears the man who would later become his mentor, because he is distracted by a woman in the audience. And while it is true that some graduates of prestigious universities end up on Wall Street, compromising their ethics, not all do. Some students read their own moral compasses long before they graduate.

© Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

Book Reviews: July 4th Weekend Reads

June 26th, 2015

The 4th of July is often the hottest period of the summer. This year it is bound to be a roaster. Over this holiday week, Fuqua staff traditionally borrow multitudinous movies on DVD/BluRay to watch comfortably indoors in air conditioning while the food sweats on the grill outside. Movies are great, but readers, the library has more to offer than that. Remember books? Here are 3 unusual titles to add a little fireworks to the holiday.

book cover imageAriely, Dan. Irrationally yours : on missing socks, pick-up lines and other existential puzzles. HarperCollins, 2015.

Fuqua faculty member Dan Ariely writes a column “Ask Ariely” for the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal. Like any advice columnist, Ariely helps his readers solve personal problems and make good decisions. He analyzes his readers’ own puzzling behavior and the actions of co-workers, family and friends. In Irrationally Yours, Ariely expands his answers to questions published in the Journal since 2012, presenting issues such as why people complain; how to select the best stall in a public restroom; and whether it is worth the money to buy an expensive car.

book cover imageHeti, Sheila, Heidi Julavits & 639 others. Women in clothes. Blue Rider Press, 2014.

Months ago, I ordered the new book Women in Clothes by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, Leanne Shapton and 639 others, thinking it was a book about the fashion industry. It is not. Instead it is an accumulation of writing by women about their clothing choices and personal style. More than 600 women participated in this work, which describes how the clothes we wear express our values and reveal our inner selves. Hundreds of brief personal stories and photographs lend an authenticity to this delightful work.

book cover imageKuhn, Reed. Fightnomics : the hidden numbers and science in mixed martial arts… Graybeard Publishing, 2013.

Strategy consultant and Fuqua 2006 MBA alumnus Reed Kuhn specialized in strategy and decision sciences while at Duke. He has been hooked on professional mixed martial arts (MMA) since he began watching the Ultimate Fighter series on television as a teenager. He recently published a new book, FightNomics, which uses the tools of decision sciences to test common assumptions about the sport. Kuhn’s data analysis advances a deeper understanding of the sport, and can be used to develop fight strategies or to predict outcomes.

© Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

New Movies for June: Part 2

June 18th, 2015

Here are the rest of our new DVD titles for this month:

Still AlicePenny Dreadful DVD cover
Focus
Jupiter Ascending
McFarland, USA
Penny Dreadful, season 1

You may browse the entire DVD collection via the library catalog.

New Movies for June: Part 1

June 12th, 2015

Here are the first of our new DVD titles for the month:

Maya the Bee Orange DVD Cover
Orange is the New Black, season 2
American Sniper
Fifty Shades of Grey
Leviathan
Mortdecai
Seventh Son
Spare Parts

You may browse the entire DVD collection via the library catalog.

Fuqua Staff Book Recommendations

June 11th, 2015

mr. willie green photo
The Ford Library adds 100 books to the collection each month. It takes teamwork to build a library collection – specialists who select, purchase, catalog and process the materials. Sometimes Fuqua staff members from other departments help by recommending titles that our students want to read. Willie Green from the Admissions Office recommends more titles than any other staff member outside the library and he has great taste!

Here are some of the books that Willie has recommended in the last 60 days:

Strategy Rules: Five Timeless Lessons from Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs By David B. Yoffie

Print collection and OverDrive ebook

Yes, And: How Improvisation Reverses “No, But” Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration–Lessons from The Second City By Kelly Leonard

Print collection, OverDrive ebook, OverDrive audiobook

Money: Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom By Tony Robbins

Print collection and OverDrive audiobook

Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Laszlo Bock

Print collection, Audio CD, OverDrive audiobook, OverDrive ebook

Exist No More: The Art of Squeezing The Most Out of Life by Detavio Samuels

Print collection

Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler

Print collection, OverDrive audiobook

© Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business.
All rights reserved.

New Movies for May: Part 2

May 26th, 2015

Here are the remainder of this month’s new DVD titles:

Maps to the Stars Selma DVD cover
Mr. Turner
A Most Violent Year
Paddington
Selma
Supremacy
The Wedding Ringer
Winter Sleep
You’re Not You
Boy Meets Girl
The Last Five Years
Walter

You may browse the entire DVD collection via the library catalog.

New Movies for May: Part 1

May 20th, 2015

Here are the first of the new DVD titles for May:

50 to 1Babadook DVD cover
The Babadook
Big Eyes
Black or White
Black Sea
The Boy Next Door
Cake
The Immigrant
Kidnapping Mr. Heineken
Life Inside Out
Little Accidents
Living is Easy With Eyes Closed
Lost River

You may browse the entire DVD collection via the library catalog.

Movies You May Have Missed: The TV Edition

May 8th, 2015

We usually focus on movies for these posts, but TV shows have become just as popular so here are a few worth checking out. We have at least one season of all three.

  • Alpha House is a political comedy written by Gary Trudeau and released by Amazon. Four Republican senators rent a house in D.C. while Congress is in session, and their misadventures fuel seasons one and two. John Goodman plays the starring role as Senator Gil John Biggs from North Carolina, and the series features a slew of high profileLost Girl DVD cover
    guest stars like Wanda Sykes, Amy Sedaris and Stephen Cobert.
  • Lost Girl, one of our genre entries, is best described as fantasy/detective show about a succubus, Bo, and her human sidekick, Kenzi. Bo was raised as a human so she leaves a trail of dead lovers behind her until a random encounter leads her to discover her link to a supernatural race of beings call Fae. This Canadian series is great fun as Bo tries to uncover the secrets of her past.
  • Orphan Black is another Canadian genre show with a more sci-fi focus. As the show opens protaganist Sarah witnesses the suicide of a woman who looks just like her. On the run from a bad relationship, Sarah assumes the woman’s identity but soon learns she’s jumped from the frying pan into the fire. She and the dead woman are clones, they have several “sisters”, and someone is trying to kill them all off. SAG award-winning actress Tatiana Maslany plays all of the clones who look identical but act very differently.