BOOK REVIEWS


Vijay Joshi is emeritus fellow of the Merton College, Oxford. Unlike professors teaching and researching in foreign universities, Joshi has had ringside view of the Indian economy having held official positions like the special advisor to the governor of the Reserve Bank of India, director of...

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One of the perennial questions in the minds of investors is about the optimum size of a portfolio or how many stocks should one hold in one’s portfolio. Put another way, should you have a concentrated or a diversified portfolio? There are lots of arguments for and against each option. Too few...

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Ruchir Sharma is a head of emerging markets and chief global strategist of Morgan Stanley Investment Management. His previous book, Breakout Nations, appeared in 2010 (and was reviewed in Moneylife) to great critical acclaim. This book is even better. It is a kind of macro checklist of the...

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Medical malpractices are widespread. In fact, while we come across cases of financial mis-selling every day, we believe that these are mild, compared to the gross abuses by hospitals, doctors and pharmaceutical companies. Stories of pass-backs between physicians, pathologists and surgeons;...

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Ram Bhimani 27 May 2016
Books that give thumbnails of interesting characters are always interesting. Heroes and Villains of Finance does exactly that—provides sketches of the lives and ideas of the 50 chosen characters from the history of finance. While the stories of famous people in finance like Warren Buffett,...

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Moneylife Digital Team 13 May 2016
Technology has been a big boon to lawyers as well as litigants caught in the interminable and expensive legal system in India. The process of converting the mass of judgements across various levels of the judiciary into digital format began over 25 years ago and has struggled to keep pace...

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Moneylife Digital Team 13 May 2016
Every other engineer passing out of a top educational institution heads for a management degree and then gets hired by a financial organisation. However, the world is a better place not because of the finance guys but the engineers. Like Margaret Hutchinson, a chemical engineer, who developed...

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How to allocate assets, manage risk and select stocks   Wesley Gray is a new star in investment analysis with a very interesting background. He was raised on a cattle ranch in Colorado (USA) and graduated magna-cum-laude in economics from the Wharton School of the University of...

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Companies with high ‘clean surplus’ returns beat the market averages   Dr Joseph Belmonte was a marine engineer. One of his voyages was on a ship carrying grain from the US to the former Soviet Union. The ship had entered the Mediterranean Sea through the Strait of Gibraltar, when a...

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The outcome of our addiction to prediction need not be random   Making predictions is our second nature. Open any newspaper or television channel and you will find an endless stream of forecasts—whether the Reserve Bank of India will cut interest rates, whether the Sensex will scale...

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An endless catalogue of gloom & doom   Satyajit Das used to be a successful banker, trader and consultant. He has now morphed into an author and a thinker. His latest book The Age of Stagnation is based on his pet theme—that the world is in a crisis. If you are sucker for gloom &...

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Why business leaders can’t learn from behavioural research   Cognitive biases leading to human misjudgement and errors have emerged as a major area of study over the past decades. Behavioural research experiments, under which humans have been put through systematic analysis and...

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Ram Bhimani 23 January 2016
Insights into guiding principles of a true pioneer in index funds   John Bogle is an institution in the US financial market. He is a true pioneer, having created index funds (under the Vanguard label) and having led a lifelong battle for the small investor by advocating low-cost...

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Divya Malcolm 08 January 2016
Doctor-friend pens the story of India, not just of Jethmalani   “The story of Ram is the story of India.” Susan Adelman, thus, pens not only a biography of Ram Jethmalani, but that of India, in her book aptly titled The Rebel. Susan is a medical doctor by profession, a close friend of...

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One of the finest independent research houses shares its timing model   Ned Davis started his independent investment research firm, Ned Davis Research (NDR), from a residential apartment in Florida, far away from Wall Street, in 1980. Over the years, the firm has developed a...

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Keep things simple, avoid mistakes and invest for the long term   Ben Carlson has spent long years managing institutional portfolios for endowments, foundations and pension plans. He also runs the popular blog www.awealthofcommonsense.com. The blog is superb and this book has become a...

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The India story, retold   TN Ninan is among the pioneers of business journalism in India. He is also ethical, in a country where too many journalists have become rich while doing a second job as fixers and pimps for businessmen and politicians. Almost four decades of unbiased...

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The book, and the man it reveals so much about, is like dragon fruit: the thorns are superficial. The flesh is succulent and sweet   In popular imagination, creative life is often, inextricably tangled with eccentricity, excess and ego. Van Gogh cut off his own left ear. Keats was in...

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A good guide for beginners and intermediate investors     When it comes to investing, there are probably as many books on what not to do as there are on what to do. This is because the complexity induced by financial products—and the advice that comes while they are being...

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How To Simplify Things   Deborah Adler’s grandmother fell ill one day because it transpired that she had accidentally taken her husband’s prescription medicine instead of her own. She recovered. Adler wondered: How does such a mix-up happen? She took a peek into her grandparents’...

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