Good Reading -- November 2015

Facts and Figures

  • 334 companies in the S&P 500 reported non-GAAP earnings in 2014, up from 232 in 2009. The dollar amount of the costs removed from those adjusted profits totaled $132 billion, more than double the level of 2009. (Source: Jack Ciesielski of The Analyst's Accounting Observer)

  • More to that end from Footnoted

Books

  • The Devil's Financial Dictionary -- The big names keep coming. This is Jason Zweig's new book, and while it might make you chuckle the lessons behind the humor are serious. Beyond the expected laughs, there is a lot of genuinely interesting history in here too. This book makes an excellent holiday gift, especially for someone contemplating or just starting a career in the industry. A detractor might argue that the book is overloaded with snark, but in most cases I think it is warranted.

  • A review in Barron's

  • Startup Wealth: How the Best Angel Investors Make Money in Startups -- This book was written by loyal "Good Reading" reader Josh Maher. (Disclosure: he sent me a copy of the book.) I wasn't expecting to enjoy it just because I assumed it was out of my league. I'm not a tech/VC/angel investor by any stretch of the imagination, but I still found the book very interesting. It is organized as a series of interviews with successful angel investors (I would compare it to Jack Schwager's "Market Wizards" books.) The interviews are further segmented into Momentum Investors, Value Investors, and Alternative Investors, but there is a lot of overlap (e.g., the first interview in "Momentum" says, "As investors, our goal ought not to be 'How do I find the 100x opportunity?', because you don't. It's 'How do I not lose money?' My goal has always been to avoid value loss in the portfolio.") And surprisingly, there are several references to Warren Buffett throughout the book. Maher ties a bow on it by providing some of his own commentary and a lot of outside resources, including his website (startupwealth.com).

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