Archive for the ‘Books’ Category


August 4, 2008

I’ve discovered LibraryThing today. It’s a website where you display the books you’re reading and you can see who else is reading the same thing and what else they’re reading. It’s a good idea for discovering new books to read. Similar in a way to Amazon’s recommendations. I’ve only used it for 30 mins, so I haven’t got yet the ‘feel’ of it.


August 1, 2008

A while ago I finished reading The Bond King: Investment Secrets from PIMCO’s Bill Gross. I didn’t find the book too exciting. It’s written in a bombastic style I thought, which I should have expected from the title. It’s still interesting to find out about Bill Gross and some of his investment strategies. But at points, I thought the book is hard selling some of the funds that PIMCO manages. Perhaps more useful is PIMCO’s website where they have some fixed income tutorials. I read one or two and they are very good.

After that, I offered myself a break, switched my brain off and read one of Michael Connelly’s novel called Black Ice. It’s a story about a police detective tracking down several murders related to a new drug called Black Ice. It took me 2 days to read. Brain gargle.

And now, I moved on to an older book Microsoft Secrets: How the World’s Most Powerful Company Creates Technology, Shapes Markets and Manages People by Michael A. Cusamano. It’s an old book that documents Microsoft’s practices, development methods culture from the ’80s until 1995 when the book was published. So it doesn’t include recent developments.
I read it because:
1. It’s still a good lesson in company organisation – the good, the bad and the ugly, learning from mistakes and avoid repeating history
2. I’m particularly interested in their product lifecycle – identifying good ideas, implementing them, selling them – I’m interested in that entrepreneurial spirit
3. It’s interesting reading about how they discovered some of the established best practices in software engineering. Today we perhaps take them for granted, but it’s good to learn/remember why they are best practices in the first place.
4. It’s a good history lesson

Yesterday, I’ve ordered The Accidental Investment Banker on Amazon so I guess that will show up on my list soon. Although Microsoft Secrets is a thick book that will keep me busy for a while.

July 15, 2008

I have just finished reading Harris’ “Trading and exchanges“, after more than 4 months of carrying it back and forth on my way to work. It’s a very accessible read and it’s written in an academic style. So in the end I was studying it rather than reading it. That explains why it took me 4 months to go through. However it’s a great book about trading, exchanges, regulation and a very good introduction for everyone working in the financial sector. Highly recommended.
Some knowledge about how markets work is required, but the book talks about markets in general without focusing in particular on equities or bond markets, while citing examples from different markets. Next, I’m reading about the life and career of Bill Gross, the Warren Buffet of fixed income and PIMCO’s chieftain.