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Year-end ’20 reading list

15 December 2020

Covid-19 continues to keep everyone on the edge. Most of us may not be able to enjoy precious time with our loved ones during this holiday season.

Our suggested year-end reading list is not meant to make up for the lack of human interaction. Rather, it is aimed at making the best of the cards we’ve been dealt.

The team at Tramondo has again assembled a list of books that, we hope, will take your mind temporarily off the markets.

Our suggestions take us into an enlightening meta-coverage of the origins of behavioural economics, the peaceful landscapes of Okinawa, Japan, catapult us into the darkest corners of science fiction, only to return us to the creators of today’s magic.

Keeping true to our tradition, we could not resist adding one book that covers the markets. It is considered by many no less than the Bible of trader psychology.

The Undoing Project

Michael Lewis

Called a compelling history of the birth of behavioral economics by a reviewer of Bloomberg Businessweek, this book by renowned author Michael Lewis can also be seen as his testament to the power of collaboration.

Lewis wrote a highly catchy story about legendary psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky and how their studies completely changed our assumptions about how we make decisions when faced with uncertainty. In the process, they created behavioural economics, revolutionised evidence-based medicine, and made much of what the author covered in his previous work possible.

What makes the book particularly appealing is the fact that it is viewed through the prism of two completely different individuals who in other circumstances may have been neither friends nor colleagues yet changed the way we look at our own minds.

Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

Héctor García and Francesc Miralles

What is your reason to jump out of bed in the morning?

Ikigai aims to reveal nothing less but the secrets to longevity and happiness. Garcia and Miralles do this is a lovely manner, through short and easy to read chapters that are both chock full of information, practical tools while being thought-provoking at the same time.

To unearth those secrets, the authors interviewed the residents of a Japanese village in the province of Okinawa with the highest percentage of 100-year-olds. They tracked their personal and social habits to uncover ikigai – what brings satisfaction to their lives, and hopefully ours.

Darth Plagueis: Star Wars

James Luceno

You read it right. We seriously suggest you read the most iconic Star Wars novel. It is about negotiation tactics, psychology, politics, leadership, and life’s small and big ironies. Some see in it elements of Macchiavelli’s The Prince. It has even become something of an insider tip among people in leadership positions. And a New York Times bestseller.

Oh, and for those of us who actually know something about the Star Wars saga, this is a complex tale of ambition and desire that reveals the story of the mysterious Sith Lord Darth Plagueis and his apprentice, Darth Sidious.

The Ride of a Lifetime

Robert Iger

One of Time’s most influential people of 2019, Bob Iger is the executive chairman of The Walt Disney Company and directs the company’s creative endeavors. He served as CEO from 2005 to 2020. In times when traditional corporate executives and other persons in leadership positions tend to resemble movie villains, Bob Iger continues to be widely admired and respected.

Iger became CEO during a difficult time. The competition was more intense than ever and technology was changing faster than at any time in the company’s history. His vision involved recommiting to the concept of quality, embracing technology instead of fighting it, and thinking globally. Today, Disney is the largest, most admired media company in the world, and its value is nearly five times what it was when Iger took over.

In The Ride of a Lifetime the author explains why optimism is a trait for leaders, how courage can be a driver for creativity, decisiveness can not only drive success but also boost morale, and what role fairness played in his career.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has the book on his reading list. Why not give it a try as well?

Trading in the Zone: Master the Market with Confidence, Discipline, and a Winning Attitude

Mark Douglas

Some call this book the Bible of trader psychology. The author’s first book landed on trader’s shelves in 1990 (The Disciplined Trader™: Developing Winning Attitudes) and is considered an industry classic

After introducing the investment industry to the concept of trading psychology Douglas now explains how traders can attain consistency and overcome the ingrained mental habits that cost them money. He exposes one market myth after the other, and in the process leads the reader to look beyond random outcomes, look differently at risk, and to embrace the concept of probability.

Here are a few nuggets of wisdom courtesy of Mark Douglas while you wait for your copy to arrive:

“If your goal is to trade like a professional and be a consistent winner, then you must start from the premise that the solutions are in your mind and not in the market.”

“An edge is nothing more than an indication of a higher probability of one thing happening over another.”

“Anything can happen.”

Trade accordingly.

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