Total Return S&P 500 CrystalBull
YTD (Dec 8th) YTD +20.55% +15.21%
1 yr. (2016) 2016 +11.80% +7.67%
1 yr. (2015) 2015 +1.31% +14.98%
1 cycle (2007-2016) 2007-16 +73.30% +940.87%
2 cycles (2000-2016) 2000-16 +100.03% +6188.78%
*hypothetical results based on current model
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Book Recommendations for Investing, the Stock Market, and Life

Here are some great books that we have read, enjoyed, and benefitted from.  Too much screen time?  Try the audio versions from Audible.com, and listen to the books while out walking or exercising!  Makes your workouts more enjoyable, and will make you want to exercise longer.  Time, health, knowledge, and wealth: all precious assets.

BOOKS & AUDIOBOOKS
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Fooled by Randomness:  The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets
Nassim Nicholas Taleb.  Fooled by Randomness is a standalone book in Taleb’s landmark Incerto series, an investigation of opacity, luck, uncertainty, probability, human error, risk, and decision-making in a world we don’t understand.  The other books in the series are The Black Swan, Antifragile, and The Bed of Procrustes.
The Black Swan:  The Impact of the Highly Improbable
Nassim Nicholas Taleb.  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.
Free to Choose:  A Personal Statement
Milton and Rose Friedman.  The international bestseller on the extent to which personal freedom has been eroded by government regulations and agencies while personal prosperity has been undermined by government spending and economic controls.  New Foreword by the Authors.  A treasure!
There's No Such Thing as a Free Lunch:  Essays On Public Policy
Milton Friedman.  A series of essays by Friedman from the 1970's, including his renown Playboy interview, which helped shape economic understanding for many Americans.  That interview alone is worth the price of the book.
Economics in One Lesson:  The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics
Henry Hazlitt.  A classic economic primer for all ages.  Hazlitt’s focus on non-governmental solutions, anti-deficit position, and general emphasis on free markets, economic liberty of individuals, and the dangers of government intervention make Economics in One Lesson, every bit as relevant and valuable today as it has been since publication.  A perfect gift for all ages!
Where Are the Customers' Yachts:  A Good Hard Look at Wall Street
Fred Schwed exposes the folly and hypocrisy of Wall Street. The title refers to a story about a visitor to New York who admired the yachts of the bankers and brokers.  Naively, he asked where all the customers' yachts were?  Of course, none of the customers could afford yachts, even though they dutifully followed the advice of their bankers and brokers.  Full of wise contrarian advice, in a world where brokers get rich while their customers go broke, this book continues to open the eyes of investors to the reality of Wall Street.
What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars
Jim Paul and Brendan Moynihan's cautionary tale includes strategies for avoiding loss within the dangers of investing, trading, and speculating. Describes the circumstances and psychology leading up to Paul's $1.6 million loss and the essential lessons he learned from it―primarily that, although there are as many ways to make money in the markets as there are people participating in them, all losses come from the same few sources.
The Price of Everything:  A Parable of Possibility and Prosperity
Russell Roberts.  This novel gives a new appreciation for how our economy works and the wondrous role that the price of everything plays in everyday life.  The Price of Everything is a captivating story about economic growth and the unseen forces that create and sustain economic harmony all around us.  Great gift for youth.
The Big Short:  Inside the Doomsday Machine
Michael Lewis.  The real story of the 2008 crash began in bizarre feeder markets where the sun doesn't shine and the SEC doesn't dare, or bother, to tread: the bond and real estate derivative markets.  The smart people who understood what was or might be happening were paralyzed by hope and fear; in any case, they weren't talking.
Flash Boys:  A Wall Street Revolt
Michael Lewis.  A small group of Wall Street iconoclasts realize that the U.S. stock market has been rigged for the benefit of insiders.  They band together―some of them walking away from seven-figure salaries―to investigate, expose, and reform the insidious new ways that Wall Street generates profits.  If you have any contact with the market, even a retirement account, this story is happening to you.
Liar's Poker
Michael Lewis classic.  The time was the 1980s.  The place was Wall Street.  The game was called Liar’s Poker.  Here is Michael Lewis’s knowing and hilarious insider’s account of an unprecedented era of greed, gluttony, and outrageous fortune on Wall Street.
Trading in the Zone:  Master the Market with Confidence, Discipline and a Winning Attitude
Mark Douglas uncovers the underlying reasons for lack of consistency and helps traders overcome the ingrained mental habits that cost them money.  He takes on the myths of the market and exposes them one by one teaching traders to look beyond random outcomes, to understand the true realities of risk, and to be comfortable with the "probabilities" of market movement that governs all market speculation.
The Myth of the Rational Market:  A History of Risk, Reward, and Delusion on Wall Street
Justin Fox.  A lively history of ideas, describes with insight and wit the rise and fall of the world’s most influential investing idea: the efficient markets theory.  Carries readers from the earliest days of Wall Street to the current financial crisis, debunking the long-held myth that the stock market is always right in the process while intelligently exploring the replacement theory of behavioral economics.
The Ascent of Money:  A Financial History of the World
Niall Ferguson follows the money to tell the human story behind the evolution of our financial system, from its genesis in ancient Mesopotamia to the latest upheavals on what he calls Planet Finance.  Ferguson reveals financial history as the essential backstory behind all history, arguing that the evolution of credit and debt was as important as any technological innovation in the rise of civilization.
Against the Gods:  The Remarkable Story of Risk
Peter L. Bernstein.  In this unique exploration of the role of risk in our society, Peter Bernstein argues that the notion of bringing risk under control is one of the central ideas that distinguishes modern times from the distant past. Against the Gods chronicles the remarkable intellectual adventure that liberated humanity from oracles and soothsayers by means of the powerful tools of risk management that are available to us today.
Ahead of the Curve:  A Commonsense Guide to Forecasting Business and Market Cycles
Joseph H. Ellis argues that the problem with current forecasting models lies not in the data, but rather in the lack of a clear framework for putting the data in context and reading it correctly.  The book explains critical economic indicators in nontechnical language, identifies and documents the recurring cause-and-effect relationships that consistently predict turning points in the economy, and provides the tools managers and investors need to position themselves ahead of cyclical upturns and downturns.
Predictably Irrational:  The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions
Dan Ariely refutes the common assumption that we behave in fundamentally rational ways. From drinking coffee to losing weight, from buying a car to choosing a romantic partner, we consistently overpay, underestimate, and procrastinate. Yet these misguided behaviors are neither random nor senseless. They're systematic and predictable—making us predictably irrational.  Thoroughly enjoyable.
The Forgotten Man:  A New History of the Great Depression
Amity Shlaes offers a striking reinterpretation of the Great Depression.  Shlaes traces the mounting agony of the New Dealers and the moving stories of individual citizens who through their brave perseverance helped establish the steadfast character we recognize as American today.  May challenge what you think you know about the Depression, and its recovery.
Dead Wake:  The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
Erik Larson.  Brilliantly written (and brilliantly read in the audiobook).  It is a story that many of us think we know (but don’t) about the sinking of the Lusitania, and the US entry into WW1.  Gripping and important, Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster whose intimate details and true meaning have long been obscured by history.
Thinking, Fast and Slow
Daniel Kahneman.  Groundbreaking tour of the mind that explains the two systems that drive the way we think.  System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical.  The difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the effect of overconfidence and cognitive biases on everything from investing to planning ― each can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.
Why We Get Fat:  And What to Do About It
Gary Taubes reveals the bad nutritional science of the last century—none more damaging or misguided than the “calories-in, calories-out" model of why we get fat—and the good science that has been ignored. He also answers the most persistent questions: Why are some people thin and others fat? What roles do exercise and genetics play in our weight? What foods should we eat, and what foods should we avoid? Persuasive, straightforward, and practical, Why We Get Fat is an essential guide to nutrition and weight management.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things:  Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
Ben Horowitz.  While many people talk about how great it is to start a business, very few are honest about how difficult it is to run one.  Horowitz analyzes the problems that confront leaders every day, sharing the insights he’s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies.  Every manager or executive should read this.
Zero to One:  Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future
Peter Thiel.  The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create.  Zero to One presents at once an optimistic view of the future of progress in America and a new way of thinking about innovation: it starts by learning to ask the questions that lead you to find value in unexpected places.
NEXT ON OUR READING LIST:
The Midas Paradox:  Financial Markets, Govt Policy Shocks, & the Great Depression
Scott Sumner.  Drawing on financial market data and contemporaneous news stories, Sumner shows that the Great Depression is ultimately a story of incredibly bad policymaking—by central bankers, legislators, and two presidents—especially mistakes related to monetary policy and wage rates. He also shows that macroeconomic thought has long been captive to a false narrative that continues to misguide policymakers in their quixotic quest to promote robust, sustainable economic growth.
Sapiens:  A Brief History of Humankind
Yuval Noah Harari.  A groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be human.  We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves.  Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become?
Probable Outcomes:  Secular Stock Market Insights
Ed Easterling.  Probable Outcomes continues the Crestmont Research tradition of full-color charts and graphs that enable investors and advisors to differentiate between irrational hope and a rational view of the stock market. The unique combination of investment science and investment art explores the market from several perspectives, and addresses the implications for a broad range of investors.
Code Red:  How to Protect Your Savings From the Coming Crisis
John Mauldin & Jonathan Tepper spill the beans on the central banks in the US, UK, EU, and Japan and how they've rigged the game against the average saver and investor. More importantly, it shows you how to protect your hard-earned cash from the bankers' disastrous monetary policies and how to come out a winner in the irresponsible game of chicken they're playing with the global financial system.
Stocks for the Long Run:  The Def. Guide to Financial Market Returns & Long-Term Investment Strategies
Jeremy Siegel has updated his bestselling guide to stock market investing.  This new edition answers all the important questions of today:  How did the crisis alter the financial markets and the future of stock returns?  What are the sources of long-term economic growth?  How does the Fed really impact investing decisions?  Should you hedge against currency instability?
Note: CrystalBull is an Amazon associate, and earns a small commission on each sale originating from the links above.