Market Mad House

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

Market Wisdom

Some Great Books to Help Investors Understand the Modern Economy

The modern economy can be a confusing and frightening place even for seasoned investors. The rest of us can easily and quickly get both lost and confused in today’s ever-changing financial and economic landscape.

Fortunately there are more than a few good books out there that can help you understand today’s economy and give us a glimpse of what the future might hold. A few really good books that have helped increase my understanding of the present-day economic situation include:

  1. Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and the Blockchain Are Challenging the Global Economic Order by Michael J. Casey and Paul Vigna. This tour de force by two veteran financial journalists is still the best introduction to altcoins and their potential impact around. Written in 2015 it is already a little dated but it does a great job of laying out the concept and its implications. Hopefully Vigna and Casey will update it at some point.


  1. The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and the Blockchain Are Challenging the Global Economic Order by Michael J. Casey and Paul Vigna. Another version of the same book.


  1. The Curse of Cash: How Large-Denomination Bills Aid Crime and Tax Evasion and Constrain Monetary Policy by Kenneth S. Rogoff. A good explanation of next generation monetary policy that shows you how major economists think. If you want to understand why Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi declared large denomination bills worthless read this book. A real eye opener that might inspire you to run out and buy some ethereum.


  1. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone. If you want to understand the origins of the retail apocalypse; and the rise of Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), read this book. Does a good job of explaining who Jeff Bezos is and exposing his thought processes.


  1. Capital in the Twenty First Century by Thomas Piketty. The book that got everybody thinking about inequality, somewhat flawed but still a great introduction to the problem. If you want to know why the wealthy will be paying a 50% to 75% income tax in a few years – read this book.


  1. The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel by Benjamin Graham. Still the best introduction to value investing around updated for today’s readers.


  1. Warren Buffett’s 3 Favorite Books: A guide to The Intelligent Investor, Security Analysis, and The Wealth of Nations. If you want to know how Uncle Warren thinks this is a good start.


  1. Gems from Warren Buffett: Wit and Wisdom from 34 Years of Letters to Shareholders by Warren Buffett. These provide a good overview of Buffett; and Charley Munger’s, thought processes.


  1. Berkshire Hathaway Letters to Shareholders Buffett’s thoughts on the economy and much more.


  1. The Demographic Cliff: How to Survive and Prosper During the Great Deflation of 2014-2019 by Harry Dent. A surprisingly accurate forecast of modern economic trends; that shows you why you should be scared to death of aging Baby Boomers’ effects on the economy.


Sometimes a great library is the most potent tool an investor can have. Simply reading can help you make money and have fun in the markets.