Book Giveaway – Giving Away Another $100 Of Books For Free

Book Giveaway – Giving Away Another $100 Of Books For Free

When I started learning about value investing I had no one to turn to for help or guidance except the infinite internet.  I sifted through thousands of articles, websites, books, videos, and other etc. information to get to where I am today.

Now that I have a solid knowledge base built I’m helping other value investors so they don’t have to struggle as much as I did when starting.

One of the ways I help is by giving away valuable books free to subscribers.  And I detail these book worth more than $100 below.

I’m a huge believe in Charlie Munger’s Mental Models and Worldy Wisdom philosophies that the more we read the more we can know.  And the more we know the closer we are to reaching our goals, making a ton of money, and changing the world.

These books represent knowledge, power, goal and wealth attainment, and much more.  True knowledge is one of the most powerful forces in the world.  But few hold this power…

My goal is to help spread this power to as many as possible.  And next week a lucky subscriber is getting a step closer to their goals by winning the following 10 books valued at more than $100.

Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson

Now on the Recommended Reading and Viewing Page in the Financial History/Regular History section.  I’d give it a 4/5.

This book offered some new things – especially when it came to some of the back room diplomacy Franklin was involved in – that were interesting but not enough to make it a great read.  If I hadn’t studied this time period and Franklin so much this would have gotten a higher rating from me.

Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon

I’ve not read this book yet.  It’s been in my ever-growing to read pile for a while now though as I’ve heard nothing but great things about the book.

When I came across a cheap copy of the hardcover I had to buy it to give away.

Below is the description of the book from Amazon.

The New York Times’s Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist reveals how the financial meltdown emerged from the toxic interplay of Washington, Wall Street, and corrupt mortgage lenders.

In Reckless Endangerment, Gretchen Morgenson, the star business columnist of The New York Times, exposes how the watchdogs who were supposed to protect the country from financial harm were actually complicit in the actions that finally blew up the American economy.

Drawing on previously untapped sources and building on original research from coauthor Joshua Rosner—who himself raised early warnings with the public and investors, and kept detailed records—Morgenson connects the dots that led to this fiasco.

Morgenson and Rosner draw back the curtain on Fannie Mae, the mortgage-finance giant that grew, with the support of the Clinton administration, through the 1990s, becoming a major opponent of government oversight even as it was benefiting from public subsidies. They expose the role played not only by Fannie Mae executives but also by enablers at Countrywide Financial, Goldman Sachs, the Federal Reserve, HUD, Congress, the FDIC, and the biggest players on Wall Street, to show how greed, aggression, and fear led countless officials to ignore warning signs of an imminent disaster.

Character-rich and definitive in its analysis, this is the one account of the financial crisis you must read.

Profit from the Core: A Return to Growth in Turbulent Times

A great book that talks about competitive advantages.  How to gain them, how to cultivate them, and how not to lose focus on growing them.  This book is on the Recommended Reading and Viewing page in the Competitive Advantage/Competitive Strategy section.  I’d give the book a 5/5.

Messi

This is a great book even if you’re not a soccer or Lionel Messi fan.  The lessons I took from this book were what it takes to become great.  What it takes to stay great.  And the trials you’ll face on your way to greatness.

Now on the Recommended Reading and Viewing page designated as a MUST READ!!! in the Learning/Self-Improvement/Productivity section.  I’d give the book a 5/5.

The Black Swan

I’ve not read this book yet either like some mentioned here.  But I came across a copy of the paperback and had to get it to give away.  Heard nothing but great things about this book as well.

Below is the description of the book from Amazon.

A black swan is an event, positive or negative, that is deemed improbable yet causes massive consequences.

In this groundbreaking and prophetic book, Taleb shows in a playful way that Black Swan events explain almost everything about our world, and yet we—especially the experts—are blind to them. In this second edition, Taleb has added a new essay, On Robustness and Fragility, which offers tools to navigate and exploit a Black Swan world.

Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters

Another great book talking about competitive strategy and competitive advantages.  This book is in the Recommended Reading and Viewing page marked as a MUST READ!!! in the Competitive Advantage/Competitive Strategy section.

The first 1/4 of this book is bland generalities and theory about strategy.  But the last 3/4 of the book are great once it gets to the real world and business case studies.

I give the book a 5/5.

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

I’ve not read this book yet either like some mentioned here.  But I came across a copy of the paperback and had to get it to give away.  Heard nothing but great things about this book as well.

Below is the description of the book from Amazon.

Winner of the Lincoln Prize

Acclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin illuminates Lincoln’s political genius in this highly original work, as the one-term congressman and prairie lawyer rises from obscurity to prevail over three gifted rivals of national reputation to become president.

On May 18, 1860, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates, and Abraham Lincoln waited in their hometowns for the results from the Republican National Convention in Chicago. When Lincoln emerged as the victor, his rivals were dismayed and angry.

Throughout the turbulent 1850s, each had energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery was leading inexorably to secession and civil war. That Lincoln succeeded, Goodwin demonstrates, was the result of a character that had been forged by experiences that raised him above his more privileged and accomplished rivals. He won because he possessed an extraordinary ability to put himself in the place of other men, to experience what they were feeling, to understand their motives and desires.

It was this capacity that enabled Lincoln as president to bring his disgruntled opponents together, create the most unusual cabinet in history, and marshal their talents to the task of preserving the Union and winning the war.

We view the long, horrifying struggle from the vantage of the White House as Lincoln copes with incompetent generals, hostile congressmen, and his raucous cabinet. He overcomes these obstacles by winning the respect of his former competitors, and in the case of Seward, finds a loyal and crucial friend to see him through.

This brilliant multiple biography is centered on Lincoln’s mastery of men and how it shaped the most significant presidency in the nation’s history.

Only The Paranoid Survive

This book is on the Recommended Reading and Viewing page in the Competitive Advantage/Competitive Strategy section.  I give the book a 4/5.

Below is a mini review I wrote of this book in January 2014.

I read Only The Paranoid Survive after it was recommended by Charlie Munger in Poor Charlie’s Almanack and I am glad that I did.

This book is mainly about the decisions Mr. Grove (Former COO, CEO, and chairman of Intel) made, and helped make, to completely reform Intel from a memory company that was suffering a slow death against Japanese competitors to helping it become the worlds biggest semiconductor company.

He walks you step by step on how and why the decisions were made within Intel which in and of itself is fascinating to me.  He also goes through some case studies on decisions that other companies made (and still make) that lead to companies losing market share or possibly even dying altogether.

The case studies and examples specifically from Intel do a great job of showing you examples of how you can spot these trends or potential trends in companies that you are managing or looking to invest in.

Is it as good as Competition Demystified?  In my opinion no, but it is not specifically a book about strategy like CD is.  It is one mans advice, stories, and case studies about decisions he made and helped make that helped start to turn Intel into the powerhouse it is today.  Along with Mr. Munger, I also highly recommend reading this book.

Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)

I’ve not read this book yet either like some mentioned here.  But I came across a copy of the paperback and had to get it to give away.  Heard nothing but great things about this book as well.

Below is the description of the book from Amazon.

Would you be surprised that road rage can be good for society? Or that most crashes happen on sunny, dry days? That our minds can trick us into thinking the next lane is moving faster? Or that you can gauge a nation’s driving behavior by its levels of corruption? These are only a few of the remarkable dynamics that Tom Vanderbilt explores in this fascinating tour through the mysteries of the road.

Based on exhaustive research and interviews with driving experts and traffic officials around the globe,Traffic gets under the hood of the everyday activity of driving to uncover the surprisingly complex web of physical, psychological, and technical factors that explain how traffic works, why we drive the way we do, and what our driving says about us.  Vanderbilt examines the perceptual limits and cognitive underpinnings that make us worse drivers than we think we are. He demonstrates why plans to protect pedestrians from cars often lead to more accidents. He shows how roundabouts, which can feel dangerous and chaotic, actually make roads safer—and reduce traffic in the bargain. He uncovers who is more likely to honk at whom, and why. He explains why traffic jams form, outlines the unintended consequences of our quest for safety, and even identifies the most common mistake drivers make in parking lots.

The car has long been a central part of American life; whether we see it as a symbol of freedom or a symptom of sprawl, we define ourselves by what and how we drive. As Vanderbilt shows, driving is a provocatively revealing prism for examining how our minds work and the ways in which we interact with one another. Ultimately, Traffic is about more than driving: it’s about human nature. This book will change the way we see ourselves and the world around us. And who knows? It may even make us better drivers.

The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More

This book is on the Recommended Reading and Viewing page in the Competitive Advantage/Competitive Strategy section.  I give the book a 4.5/5.

I read this book so long ago that I don’t remember a lot of the specifics about it.  But the lessons I do remember – the powerful economics of the long tail as one example – stick with me to this day years later.  It’s a powerful book that I recommend.

Since its been so long since I read the book I’ll let the Amazon description tell you more about it.

What happens when the bottlenecks that stand between supply and demand in our culture go away and everything becomes available to everyone?

“The Long Tail” is a powerful new force in our economy: the rise of the niche. As the cost of reaching consumers drops dramatically, our markets are shifting from a one-size-fits-all model of mass appeal to one of unlimited variety for unique tastes. From supermarket shelves to advertising agencies, the ability to offer vast choice is changing everything, and causing us to rethink where our markets lie and how to get to them. Unlimited selection is revealing truths about what consumers want and how they want to get it, from DVDs at Netflix to songs on iTunes to advertising on Google.

However, this is not just a virtue of online marketplaces; it is an example of an entirely new economic model for business, one that is just beginning to show its power. After a century of obsessing over the few products at the head of the demand curve, the new economics of distribution allow us to turn our focus to the many more products in the tail, which collectively can create a new market as big as the one we already know.

The Long Tail is really about the economics of abundance. New efficiencies in distribution, manufacturing, and marketing are essentially resetting the definition of what’s commercially viable across the board. If the 20th century was about hits, the 21st will be equally about niches.

A lucky subscriber will win these 10 books – valued at more than $100 – free next week.  And I will even ship the books at my cost to anyone anywhere in the world.

All you have to do to have a chance to win is subscribe to Value Investing Journey for free.  Or be a Press On Research paid subscriber.  And this isn’t all you’ll get when you subscribe either.

You also gain access to three gifts.  And a 50% discount on a year-long Press On Research subscription.  Where my exclusive stock picks are evaluated and have crushed the market over the last four years.

And you can subscribe to Press On Research for only $49 if you’re a free Value Investing Journey subscriber.

If you have further questions about Press On Research go to its FAQ linked in this sentence or email me at jasonrivera@valueinvestingjourney.com

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My new investment holding company Rivera Holdings is now open to investors.  There is no minimum required investment.  And you DO NOT have to be an accredited investor to invest.

For more information please go to the Rivera Holdings link above or email me at JasonRivera@valueinvestingjourney.com.

Book Giveaway Update

Book Giveaway Update

Well that didn’t go as planned…

In the post at the end of March The Winner of The Book Giveaway Is… I announced a subscriber as the winner of more than $300 worth of books.  The books were supposed to go to David at my cost.  Key word being supposed.

At this point I’ve tried multiple times to get a hold of David with no response so another subscriber is getting these books sent to them at my cost anywhere in the world.

I’m a huge believe in Charlie Munger’s Mental Models and Worldy Wisdom philosophies that the more we read about a wide range of things the more we can know.  And the more we know the closer we are to reaching our goals, making a ton of money, and changing the world.

These books represent knowledge, power, goal and wealth attainment, and much more.  True knowledge is one of the most powerful forces in the world.  But few hold this power…

My goal is to help spread this power to as many as possible.  And today a lucky subscriber is getting a step closer to their goals by winning the following 20 books valued at more than $300.

And the new winner of more than $300 worth of books is now Andrealiz.  Your email starts with reyesa.  I will get a hold of you today to get your contact information so I can send you more than $300 worth of books at my cost.

The Winner Of The Book Giveaway Is…

The Winner Of The Book Giveaway Is…

Announcing The Winner of $300+ of Books

When I started learning about value investing I had no one to turn to for help or guidance except the infinite internet.  I sifted through thousands of articles, websites, books, videos, and other etc. information to get to where I am today.

Now that I have a solid knowledge base built I’m helping other value investors so they don’t have to struggle as much as I did when starting.

One of the ways I help is by giving away valuable books for free to subscribers.  And today more than $300 worth of books are going to a lucky subscriber.

I’m a huge believe in Charlie Munger’s Mental Models and Worldy Wisdom philosophies that the more we read the more we can know.  And the more we know the closer we are to reaching our goals, making a ton of money, and changing the world.

These books represent knowledge, power, goal and wealth attainment, and much more.  True knowledge is one of the most powerful forces in the world.  But few hold this power…

My goal is to help spread this power to as many as possible.  And today a lucky subscriber is getting a step closer to their goals by winning the following 20 books valued at more than $300.

The winner of the above $300 worth of knowledge for free is David.  Your email address starts with dzdown.  I’ll reach out to you soon to get your full name and mailing address.

Hopefully these books will help you get closer to whatever goals you have.

Thank you to all subscribers of both Value Investing Journey and Press On Research.  There will be more giveaways so if you haven’t won one of the three up to this point  make sure to stay subscribed.

I’ll leave you with an amazing quote I found from Helen Keller as I wrote this post..

Remember if you want access to my exclusive notes, preliminary analysis, a chance to win future giveaways, and access to all posts as they come out you need to subscribe for free to Value Investing Journey.  And this isn’t all you’ll get when you subscribe either.

You also gain access to three gifts.  And a 50% discount on a year-long Press On Research subscription.  Where my exclusive stock picks are evaluated and have crushed the market over the last four years.

And you can subscribe to Press On Research for only $49 if you’re a free Value Investing Journey subscriber.

If you have further questions about Press On Research go to its FAQ linked in this sentence.  Or email me at jasonrivera@valueinvestingjourney.com

Giving Away $300 Worth Of Books Next Week

Giving Away $300 Worth Of Books Next Week

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this… September 22nd 2015 to be exact or almost five months ago as of this writing.

Between the move from South Dakota to Tampa Florida.  Getting behind on work.  And then catching up on everything – finally – I’m reading again more.  And remembered I was giving away books to subscribers last year.

To say sorry for this delay I’m giving away $300 of books next week.  Even if we’re not at 500 total subscribers between Press On Research and Value Investing Journey combined.

This was the original cut off to give away more books but I feel bad for neglecting the giving away of valuable knowledge for so many months.

What do you have to do to have a chance to win these books?

If you’re already subscribed to either of the above services you don’t have to do anything.  But if you’re not subscribed to either you’ll need to by March 25th to be entered to win.

And if you’re chosen as the winner you’ll get the books for free.

I will mail all the books to you at my cost.  All you have to do is supply me your name and address and you’ll get all the books for free.

But this still isn’t all…

When we left off last September there were 14 books worth more than $250 dollars in the prize pool already.  These books are below.

If you want my reviews and thoughts on the books go to these links as well.

Since then I’ve found/read another six great books to giveaway bringing the total prize pool over $300.  The new books are below.

Andrew Carnegie by David Nasaw

I’ve not read this book yet.  It’s been in my ever growing to read pile for a while now though as I’ve heard nothing but great things about the book.

But I came across a cheap copy of the hardcover and had to buy it to give away.

Below is the description of the book from Amazon.

Celebrated historian David Nasaw, whom “The New York Times Book Review” has called “a meticulous researcher and a cool analyst”, brings new life to the story of one of America’s most famous and successful businessmen and philanthropists – in what will prove to be the biography of the season.

Born of modest origins in Scotland in 1835, Andrew Carnegie is best known as the founder of Carnegie Steel. His rags to riches story has never been told as dramatically and vividly as in Nasaw’s new biography.

Carnegie, the son of an impoverished linen weaver, moved to Pittsburgh at the age of thirteen. The embodiment of the American dream, he pulled himself up from bobbin boy in a cotton factory to become the richest man in the world. He spent the rest of his life giving away the fortune he had accumulated and crusading for international peace.

For all that he accomplished and came to represent to the American public – a wildly successful businessman and capitalist, a self-educated writer, peace activist, philanthropist, man of letters, lover of culture, and unabashed enthusiast for American democracy and capitalism – Carnegie has remained, to this day, an enigma.

Nasaw explains how Carnegie made his early fortune and what prompted him to give it all away, how he was drawn into the campaign first against American involvement in the Spanish-American War and then for international peace, and how he used his friendships with presidents and prime ministers to try to pull the world back from the brink of disaster.

With a trove of new material – unpublished chapters of Carnegie’s Autobiography; personal letters between Carnegie and his future wife, Louise, and other family members; his prenuptial agreement; diaries of family and close friends; his applications for citizenship; his extensive correspondence with Henry Clay Frick; and, dozens of private letters to and from presidents Grant, Cleveland, McKinley, Roosevelt, and British prime ministers Gladstone and Balfour, as well as friends Herbert Spencer, Matthew Arnold, and Mark Twain – Nasaw brilliantly plumbs the core of this fascinating and complex man, deftly placing his life in cultural and political context as only a master storyteller can.

Playing For Keeps

Michael Jordan and the World He Made

This is a fantastic book detailing the rise of Michael Jordan from being cut by his high school basketball team.  To becoming the greatest basketball player ever.

The book also details a lot of the behind the scenes stories of how he negotiated his contracts and endorsement deals.  The infighting that led to the dismantling of one of the best NBA teams ever.  His decision to retire from basketball to play baseball after his father’s death and much more.

While none of this book is directly related to investing many of the lessons on Michael Jordan’s drive, determination to be the best, persistence, and passion are things we all need to learn from as we aspire and work toward our greatness.

And as you know I’ve written a lot about failure and greatness here.

I give this book a 5/5.

Diplomacy By Henry Kissinger

I’ve not read this book yet either.  But as with Andrew Carnegie above came across a copy of the hardcover and had to buy it to give away as I’ve heard it’s great.

Below is the description of the book from Amazon.

A brilliant, sweeping history of diplomacy that includes personal stories from the noted former Secretary of State, including his stunning reopening of relations with China.

The seminal work on foreign policy and the art of diplomacy.

Moving from a sweeping overview of history to blow-by-blow accounts of his negotiations with world leaders, Henry Kissinger describes how the art of diplomacy has created the world in which we live, and how America’s approach to foreign affairs has always differed vastly from that of other nations.

Brilliant, controversial, and profoundly incisive, Diplomacy stands as the culmination of a lifetime of diplomatic service and scholarship. It is vital reading for anyone concerned with the forces that have shaped our world today and will impact upon it tomorrow.

The Partnership

The Making of Goldman Sachs Updated and Revised Edition

This is an amazingly in-depth look at the rise of Goldman Sachs.

It details many of the most important decisions made – and the process behind those decisions – that led Goldman Sachs from a small shop to becoming the world power it is in finance.

It talks about many of the most important people throughout Goldman’s history.  And it’s failures and triumphs.  This is one of the best company history books I’ve ever read.

I give this book a 5/5 and have added it to the Recommended Reading and Viewing page as a MUST READ!!!

The Black Swan

I’ve not read this book yet either yet like the couple mentioned above.  But I came across a copy of the paperback and had to get it to give away.  Heard nothing but great things about this book as well.

Below is the description of the book from Amazon.

A black swan is an event, positive or negative, that is deemed improbable yet causes massive consequences.

In this groundbreaking and prophetic book, Taleb shows in a playful way that Black Swan events explain almost everything about our world, and yet we—especially the experts—are blind to them. In this second edition, Taleb has added a new essay, On Robustness and Fragility, which offers tools to navigate and exploit a Black Swan world.

The Art Of Profitability

I’ve not read this book yet either yet like the ones above.  But I came across a hardcover copy and had to get it to give away.  Heard nothing but great things about this book as well.

Below is the description of the book from Amazon.

Presented in 23 compact lessons, THE ART OF PROFITABILITY features an ongoing tutorial between two fictitious individuals: the old and wise teacher, David Shao, the business master, and his pupil, Steve Gardner, a young and ambitious manager.

Along the way, Zhao goes through a number of business models and pushes his student to examine how a variety of businesses go about making money. Through Zhao’s teachings, Steve begins to see how profits can be improved simply by taking a step back and gaining a new perspective.

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There are now more than $300 worth of book up for grabs and all you have to do to get a chance to win them all is subscribe to either Value Investing Journey for free.  Or subscribe to Press On Research.

Doing either of the above will enter you to win the above prizes but you’ll also get a lot more.

Remember if you want access to my exclusive notes, preliminary analysis, and access to all posts as they come out you need to subscribe for free to Value Investing Journey.  And this isn’t all you’ll get when you subscribe either.

You also gain access to three gifts.  And a 50% discount on a year-long Press On Research subscription.  Where my exclusive stock picks are evaluated and have crushed the market over the last four years.

And you can subscribe to Press On Research for only $49 if you’re a free Value Investing Journey subscriber.

If you have further questions about Press On Research go to its FAQ linked in this sentence.  Or email me at jasonrivera@valueinvestingjourney.com

Another Six Books Added To Next Prize Pool

Another Six Books Added To Next Prize Pool

I haven’t updated this list in a while but today I’m adding another six books to the next prize pool.  This brings the next prize pool up to 14 total books to giveaway so far when the blog reaches 500 subscribers.  Or more than $250 worth of books already.

First, I’ll tell you which books added today.  And then at the end of this I’ll list all the books in the next prize pool so far.

Steve Jobs By Walter Isaacson

Even though I haven’t read this book yet I’ve heard nothing but great things about it.  And I’ve already got a copy of this book so when I came across another like new hardcover copy of the book I had to get it to give away to subscribers.

Below is a description of the book from Amazon.

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.

At a time when America is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, and when societies around the world are trying to build digital-age economies, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination. He knew that the best way to create value in the twenty-first century was to connect creativity with technology. He built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering.

Although Jobs cooperated with this book, he asked for no control over what was written nor even the right to read it before it was published. He put nothing off-limits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted.

Driven by demons, Jobs could drive those around him to fury and despair. But his personality and products were interrelated, just as Apple’s hardware and software tended to be, as if part of an integrated system. His tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.

The House Of Gucci

I saw the subtitle above for the House of Gucci and thought it was hyperbole.  After all this isn’t a fiction book about the mafia. It’s a business book about how Gucci was started and built.

But the subtitle doesn’t go far enough.

The book starts off with the stunning assassination of Maurizio Gucci.  The third generation of the Gucci family to run the company.  And then falls back telling the story of how the company began.

From here for the rest of the book there are two stories within the book told at the same time.  How Gucci was built and run.  And the infighting within the Gucci family.

Including the assassination mentioned above.  Family members sending each other to jail. Alliances and then backstabbing between family members. Nephews and sons fighting uncles and fathers for control of the company and almost destroying the company in the process.

If this sounds a bit like Game of Thrones that’s because it is.

I won’t ruin any of the twists for you.  But this is a great business and family biography book.

I would give it a 4.5/5.

The Prize: The Epic Quest For Oil, Money, And Power

I’ve not read this book yet either.  But have heard great things about it too.  And since I’ve already got a copy I had to get this for you when I came across another like new copy of the book.

Below is a description of the book from Amazon.

Deemed “the best history of oil ever written” by Business Week and with more than 300,000 copies in print, Daniel Yergin’s Pulitzer Prize–winning account of the global pursuit of oil, money, and power has been extensively updated to address the current energy crisis.

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

I read this book years ago but came across another copy to give away.

Honestly I don’t remember much about the book other than the underlying premise that in most cases the first thought coming to your mind when making a decision is the correct one.

Below are more detailed reviews and descriptions from Amazon.

Blink is about the first two seconds of looking–the decisive glance that knows in an instant. Gladwell, the best-selling author of The Tipping Point, campaigns for snap judgments and mind reading with a gift for translating research into splendid storytelling. Building his case with scenes from a marriage, heart attack triage, speed dating, choking on the golf course, selling cars, and military maneuvers, he persuades readers to think small and focus on the meaning of “thin slices” of behavior. The key is to rely on our “adaptive unconscious”–a 24/7 mental valet–that provides us with instant and sophisticated information to warn of danger, read a stranger, or react to a new idea.

Gladwell includes caveats about leaping to conclusions: marketers can manipulate our first impressions, high arousal moments make us “mind blind,” focusing on the wrong cue leaves us vulnerable to “the Warren Harding Effect” (i.e., voting for a handsome but hapless president). In a provocative chapter that exposes the “dark side of blink,” he illuminates the failure of rapid cognition in the tragic stakeout and murder of Amadou Diallo in the Bronx. He underlines studies about autism, facial reading and cardio uptick to urge training that enhances high-stakes decision-making. In this brilliant, cage-rattling book, one can only wish for a thicker slice of Gladwell’s ideas about what Blink Camp might look like. –Barbara Mackoff –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Barbarians At The Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco

I’ve not read this book yet either.  But have heard great things about it as well.  And since I’ve already got a copy I had to get this for you when I came across another like new copy of the book.

Below are reviews and descriptions of the book from Amazon.

“One of the finest, most compelling accounts of what happened to corporate America and Wall Street in the 1980’s.”
New York Times Book Review

A #1 New York Times bestseller and arguably the best business narrative ever written, Barbarians at the Gate is the classic account of the fall of RJR Nabisco. An enduring masterpiece of investigative journalism by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar, it includes a new afterword by the authors that brings this remarkable story of greed and double-dealings up to date twenty years after the famed deal. The Los Angeles Times calls Barbarians at the Gate, “Superlative.” TheChicago Tribune raves, “It’s hard to imagine a better story…and it’s hard to imagine a better account.” And in an era of spectacular business crashes and federal bailouts, it still stands as a valuable cautionary tale that must be heeded.

The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science

I’ve talked about neuroplasticity several times on this blog so far.  But until reading this book most of the things I’ve read have been short articles.  Not entire books including real life stories and examples.

This is a fantastic book.  So great in fact that I’m working on a post specific about some of the stories and examples in this book of the amazing things we can do with our brains.

This book is a 5/5 and has been added to the Recommended Reading and Viewing Page as a MUST READ!!!  It’s so good that if I were to write another post about the things that changed my life.  This book would be on it.

More detailed review and information to come about this book soon.

Full list of books in the next prize pool given away when this blog reaches 500 subscribers.  As of now between Press On Research and Value Investing Journey we’re at 278 subscribers.

So far this makes 14 great books – worth more than $250 – in the next prize pool.  The winner will get all books and future books added to this prize pool sent to them.  Anywhere in the world at my cost.

All you have to do to get a chance to win all these great books is subscribe for free to the Value Investing Journey mailing list.  Or be a Press On Research subscriber.

But this isn’t all you’ll get with your free subscription.  You’ll also get three free gifts that will help you analyze companies faster.  Some of my exclusive notes.  And a 50% discount on a Press On Research subscription.

To get all these great subscription benefits subscribe here.

My Plan for Deliberate Practice, fixing a problem, and free books

I first mentioned a problem I have been having about how to budget my time in this post at the beginning of August.

I have been doing a lot of thinking and reading lately and I wanted to share my thoughts here to see if anyone has any input.

After my post on Aceto, which is now an article on Seeking Alpha for those who want to follow the discussion in the comments section, I went straight into evaluating another company.  It has been my first time in truly trying to evaluate a bank, and about half way through its annual report, I quickly realized that I did not know enough about banks or the banking industry to fully evaluate its prospects properly.

I finished up reading its most recent annual and quarterly reports, did a P/B valuation where I found the company to be fairly priced, and was going to do a full valuation and analysis write up like I have been doing. However, my evaluation up to this point is pretty poor, and I realized I need to learn more about banks and the banking industry before I do the write up.

I have been seeing a lot of sites lately talking about deliberate practice and how to constantly get better, and I have been trying to figure out how best to personally accomplish my goals, and here is what I have come up with so far.

My Plan For Deliberate Practice and How to Fix My Time Budgeting Problem

Here are my ideas so far.

  1. I look at multiple companies as potential investment ideas on a daily basis, but I am fully committing myself to completely evaluating at least one new company every two weeks.  By fully evaluating I mean researching the company and its competitors, valuing the companies, evaluating its investment potential at this time, and writing an article about the company.  I think this will help me become a better investor on several levels: Thinking about and bettering my investment process, becoming better at putting my ideas into writing, better and more thorough investment write ups, and this will enable me to learn more about new industries and companies. Originally I wanted to fully evaluate a new company every week but that left little time for learning new things, which gets me to my second idea.
  2. I have known for a while now that I have a lot to learn still but after my foray into the banking industry, I realized I needed to set up some more time where I would specifically be learning, instead of trying to write an article or research another company.  The remainder of the two week period after I have finished up my article(s), I will spend learning: New techniques, new industries, reading books, finding better ways to think, etc.
  3. While I am researching and learning, I will again be posting more links that I think we all could learn from.
  4. I would also really encourage you the readers to post some ideas on The Readers Investment Ideas and Analysis Page.  If you are not comfortable doing an entire write up, I would be fine with your stating which company you have researched and giving a few points on why they are a buy or sell at this time in your opinion.  Again, I do not care if you are a beginner or have advanced knowledge, all ideas are welcome.  Also the free book giveaway is still in tact so the first person to put an idea on the page will receive a free book from my collection, and I will also continue to give free books away to other investment ideas that are put on the page as well. That page is also for any questions anyone might have.  I want us to all learn from each other, and since I am relatively new to investing I hope some of the more experienced viewers give some of their advice.
  5. I am giving you my email here as well if you would like to contact me for any reason.  I would be extremely excited to meet new people and discuss ideas or address any questions you might have in the privacy of email if you are not comfortable posting them on the site.  JMRiv1986@gmail.com

So far these are my ideas and I would like to hear your feedback on them.  I will be adding to, and tweaking the list periodically when I come across something that I think will help this process.  I will stick to the time frame as best as I possibly can, but will allow for some flexibility if some kind of issue, good or bad arises.

I am excited to see what kind of feedback I get as lately I have felt that my investment process has been lacking something that I cannot quite put my finger on.  I do feel that I have been getting better with every article I write and I am hopeful that I will find whatever it is that I think I am missing though my version of deliberate practice.

In the meantime I cannot wait to hear from you and to discuss your ideas and thoughts.

Free Books, How to Absorb Knowledge, Future of Education, and a Microsoft Sony merger?

Free books

Here is a link for some more free books from Csinvesting.  Thanks again John and the anonymous contributor.

How to Absorb Knowledge

This article gives you a technique that a study shows, will help you remember what you have just learned.

Future of Education?

This is an amazing article that could help kids, especially from poor families, gain a proper education.  Rocketship Discovery Prep is a charter school who has been having some amazing results teaching kids so far how to become better in math and reading.

This is the kind of thing that we need more in this country.  We need school vouchers and school choice for families, especially if they live in terrible neighborhoods, and we need to worry less about the teachers unions and politicians that are controlling education now.

Microsoft Sony merger?

This article speculates that Sony and Microsoft could be working on some kind of collaboration for gaming in the future.  This is something I think could be beneficial for both of the companies in the upcoming console generation.  Too bad it is most likely not true.