Top Ten Must-Read Modern Finance Books of 2011

As another year draws to a close, we here at Modern Finance Report would like to share with you some of our favorite business books of the year. There were some excellent books published in 2011. Here are our ten favorites:

10) The Little Book of Big Profits from Small Stocks + Website: Why You’ll Never Buy a Stock Over $10 Again, by Hilary Kramer

Low-priced gems, or what author Hilary Kramer calls “breakout stocks” come in all kinds of shapes and sizes but they all have three things in common: (1) they are mostly under $10; (2) they are undervalued; and (3) they have specific catalysts in the near future that put them on the threshold of breaking out to much higher prices. In The Little Book of Big Profits from Small Stocks, small stock expert Hilary Kramer looks for stocks with fifty to two hundred percent upside potential!

9) Exile on Wall Street: One Analyst’s Fight to Save the Big Banks from Themselves, by Mike Mayo

An insider points out the holes that still exist on Wall Street and in the banking system.

Exile on Wall Street is a gripping read for anyone with an interest in business and finance, U.S. capitalism, the future of banking, and the root causes of the financial meltdown.

Award winning, veteran sell side Wall Street analyst Mike Mayo writes about one of the biggest financial and political issues of our time – the role of finance and banks in the US. He has worked at six Wall Street firms, analyzing banks and protesting against bad practices for two decades.

8 ) Red-Blooded Risk: The Secret History of Wall Street, by Aaron Brown

An innovative guide that identifies what distinguishes the best financial risk takers from the rest.

From 1987 to 1992, a small group of Wall Street quants invented an entirely new way of managing risk to maximize success: risk management for risk-takers. This is the secret that lets tiny quantitative edges create hedge fund billionaires, and defines the powerful modern global derivatives economy. The same practical techniques are still used today by risk-takers in finance as well as many other fields. Red-Blooded Risk examines this approach and offers valuable advice for the calculated risk-takers who need precise quantitative guidance that will help separate them from the rest of the pack.

7) Markets Never Forget (But People Do): How Your Memory Is Costing You Money- And Why This Time Isn’t Different, by Ken Fisher with Lara Hoffmans

Sir John Templeton, legendary investor, was famous for saying, “The four most dangerous words in investing are, ‘This time it’s different.'” He knew that though history doesn’t repeat, not exactly, history is an excellent guide for investors.

In Markets Never Forget But People Do: How Your Memory Is Costing You Money and Why This Time Isn’t Different, long-time Forbes columnist, CEO of Fisher Investments, and 4-time New York Times bestselling author Ken Fisher shows how and why investors’ memories fail them—and how costly that can be. More important, he shows steps investors can take to begin reducing errors they repeatedly make. The past is never indicative of the future, but history can be one powerful guide in shaping forward looking expectations. Readers can learn how to see the world more clearly—and learn to make fewer errors—by understanding just a bit of investing past.

6) Endgame: The End of the Debt Supercycle and How It Changes Everything, by John Mauldin

Greece isn’t the only country drowning in debt. The Debt Supercycle—when the easily managed, decades-long growth of debt results in a massive sovereign debt and credit crisis—is affecting developed countries around the world, including the United States. For these countries, there are only two options, and neither is good—restructure the debt or reduce it through austerity measures. Endgame details the Debt Supercycle and the sovereign debt crisis, and shows that, while there are no good choices, the worst choice would be to ignore the deleveraging resulting from the credit crisis.

5) Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril, by Margaret Heffernan

Margaret Heffernan argues that the biggest threats and dangers we face are the ones we don’t see–not because they’re secret or invisible, but because we’re willfully blind. A distinguished businesswoman and writer, she examines the phenomenon and traces its imprint in our private and working lives, and within governments and organizations, and asks: What makes us prefer ignorance? What are we so afraid of? Why do some people see more than others? And how can we change?

4) Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck – Why Some Thrive Despite Them All, by Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen

Ten years after the worldwide bestseller Good to Great, Jim Collins returns with another groundbreaking work, this time to ask: Why do some companies thrive in uncertainty, even chaos, and others do not? Based on nine years of research, buttressed by rigorous analysis and infused with engaging stories, Collins and his colleague, Morten Hansen, enumerate the principles for building a truly great enterprise in unpredictable, tumultuous, and fast-moving times.

3) The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses, by Eric Ries

Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable.  The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.

Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This is just as true for one person in a garage or a group of seasoned professionals in a Fortune 500 boardroom. What they have in common is a mission to penetrate that fog of uncertainty to discover a successful path to a sustainable business.

2) Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography, by Walter Isaacson

Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.

1) The Speed Traders: An Insider’s Look at the New High-Frequency Trading Phenomenon That is Transforming the Investing World, by Edgar Perez

High-frequency trading (HFT) is the most controversial form of investing today, and speed traders have generally flown under the radar. In the name of protecting the algorithms they have spent so much time perfecting, they almost never talk to the press and disclose as little as possible about how they operate—until now.

Bart Chilton, United States Commodity Futures Trading Commissioner says, “Edgar’s book is fantastic . . . I recommend it highly.”

The Speed Traders reveals how leading HFT players are succeeding in the global markets and driving the development of algorithmic trading at breakneck speeds.

3 responses to “Top Ten Must-Read Modern Finance Books of 2011

  1. Pingback: The Present and Future of High Frequency Trading at FEA USP Sao Paulo with Edgar Perez, The Speed Traders Workshop 2012 « The Speed Traders, The Newest High-Frequency Trading Book by Edgar Perez

  2. Pingback: ‘How Speed Traders Leverage Cutting-Edge Strategies in the Post-Flash Crash World’ at São Paulo School of Economics, Fundação Getulio Vargas, with Edgar Perez, The Speed Traders Workshop 2012 « The Speed Traders, The Newest High-Frequ

  3. Pingback: Hear What Scott Patterson, Reporter for The Wall Street Journal, Has to Say About the ‘Flash Crash’ in The Speed Traders | All About Ultra High-Frequency Trading: Algorithmic and High Frequency Trading Strategies Leveraging Computers Set at High Speed

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