Interesting and informative investment books are hard to find. More often than not we are disappointed with the investment books we read – even those that come with positive reviews. We recently came across reviews of a couple of books which we will pick up with some measure of optimism.
Burton G. Malkiel, author of a "Random Walk Down Wall Street" reviews in the Wall Street Journal a book by Michael Maouboussin entitled, "More Than You Know." Having read his research for some time the book sounds like it is worth a shot. According to Malkiel:
The thesis of the book is that an understanding of many disciplines — including physics, psychology, biology and behavioral economics — can shed light on the movement of stock prices and perhaps even protect investors from systematic error. The goal is to make the reader a better investor — and, even more broadly, a better thinker and decision-maker.
Sounds good to us. Malkiel despite some quibbles gives the book his endorsement. To get a feel for Maouboussin's work you can access his essays at the Legg Mason web site.
Mark Gilbert at Bloomberg.com reviews "Inside the House of Money" by Steve Drobny. In it Drobny conducts interviews with fourteen noted investors on their experiences and techniques. We are somewhat wary of the Q&A format, but Gilbert writes:
It's a fantastic book, both in content and execution. Drobny's question-and-answer presentation, with detailed charts analyzing the key market anecdotes and stand-alone boxes to explain some of the more esoteric terms, melds philosophical musings on the meaning of money with tales of trades gone good and bad. His subjects are disarmingly candid.
Apparently one of Drobny's subjects has had the same experience as we have had with investment books:
He's less than complimentary about books on trading. “They're all obvious rubbish, full of stupid things that probably don't work anymore.'' Thankfully, Drobny's idea-packed tome is a shining exception to that rule.
If we had to choose we would probably check out the Maouboussin book first. There is always hope that this time it really is different.
Update: Barry Ritholtz has started reading "More Than You Know."