The dog days of summer are here, meaning it’s officially summer reading season. Looking for some good reads that might help you become a better investor, or gain insight into current events? Here’s some help.
My BlackRock Investment Institute colleagues and I recently discussed the top books on our summer reading lists. Here are seven of BlackRock strategists’ and executives’ picks, in alphabetical order.
Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought by Andrew W. Lo. The author provides a framework, the Adaptive Markets Hypothesis, that encompasses the findings from efficient market theory and behavioral finance. “Every now and then, there is a book that completely changes your perspective. This is one of those,” BlackRock Chief Risk Officer Ben Golub told me. So this book is top of my list.
Berlin Rules: Europe and the German Way by Paul Lever. A helpful summary of what might drive Germany’s negotiations with the UK over Brexit and the future of the European Union, notes recommender Sriram Reddy, an investment strategist within the Global Fixed Income Group and the BlackRock Investment Institute.
Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald. This book by two psychology professors explores the hidden biases we all carry from a lifetime of exposure to cultural attitudes about age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, social class, sexuality, disability status and nationality. “Funny, eye opening, and very compelling,” says Isabelle Mateos y Lago, who recommends this one.
The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu: The Quest for this Storied City and the Race to Save Its Treasures by Charlie English. Ewen Cameron Watt recommends this narrative chronicling the conflict on the front line with al-Qaeda and the race to preserve an ancient culture.
The Man Who Created the Middle East by Christopher Simon Sykes. This read, also an Ewen pick, is the story of the eponymous British diplomat behind the treaty that carved up the Ottoman Empire in 1919 and led to much of the territorial conflict that afflicts us still today.
Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson III by Robert A. Caro. The author’s epic third volume of five details the rise of Lyndon Johnson to Senate majority leader and the political maneuverings he used to achieve the passage of the first Civil Rights bill since Reconstruction. It provides a glimpse of what legislative success takes. “At 1,232 pages, this may be the only book you need to fill your summer reading,” says Jeffrey Rosenberg, who recommends this one.
On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder. This read is short, accessible, and highly relevant in an era of rising economic nationalism. It gives practical advice for how to nurture democracy and offers historical examples of when democracy broke down, notes recommender Kurt Reiman.
Listen to Richard Turnill and Jeff Rosenberg talk about our midyear investment outlook on the inaugural episode of our podcast, The Bid.