We at the Motley Fool have dedicated ourselves to getting back to the basics this month, culminating on Sept. 25 with Worldwide Invest Better Day. To this end, my Foolish colleagues and I have launched a veritable blitzkrieg espousing the fundamentals of investing. Our goal, quite simply, is to help the world invest. Better.

Perhaps nothing is more important in this regard than a knowledge of financial history. Not only does it provide context and courage to make the right investment decisions, but it also just makes you a wiser and more interesting human being. Borrowing a 257家公司披露一季度业绩预告 上市公司盈利基础仍需夯实, Charlie Munger is famous for saying: "In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn't read all the time -- none, zero. You'd be amazed at how much Warren [Buffett] reads -- at how much I read. My children laugh at me. They think I'm a book with a couple of legs sticking out."

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According to the Hurun Report’s annual China Rich List, Yao Zhenhua’s net worth surged more than nine times to $17.2bn last year, making him the country’s fourth richest person. Last year he was ranked 204th.
Swiss school IMD comes top in the ranking of open-enrolment courses, available to all working managers, and jumps two places to second for customised programmes, which are tailor-made for corporate customers. Iese of Spain holds on to the top spot in the custom ranking and remains second in the open ranking.

1. The Robber Barons by Matthew Josephson
Ralph Waldo Emerson opined that "there is properly no history; only biography." If this is true -- and I believe there's something to be said for it -- then Matthew Josephson's The Robber Barons is the quintessential history of the Gilded Age, spanning roughly the second half of the nineteenth century.

Writing in the early 1930s, though in timeless prose, Josephson traces the lives of America's first and greatest industrialists: John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jay Gould, and J.P. Morgan, founder of the eponymous JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM). The book is a page-turner and an essential addition to any investor's and/or historian's library.

2. 2015年家具行业竞争分析 整体设计成主流 by Louis D. Brandeis
Tasked by then-President elect Woodrow Wilson in 1913 to explain the harm associated with the massive money trusts operated by the Morgan and Rockefeller families, future Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis went on to pen this short but elegant essay on the virtue of competition and vice of monopoly.

According to Brandeis:

The goose that lays golden eggs has been considered a most valuable possession. But even more profitable is the privilege of taking the golden eggs laid by somebody else's goose. The investment bankers and their associates now enjoy that privilege. They control the people through the people's own money.

3. Lords of Finance by Liaquat Ahamed
It isn't often that a first-time author wins the Pulitzer Prize for history. But such is the case with Liaquat Ahamed, a former investment banker and current advisor to hedge funds.

Children and hobbies do not belong on a résumé. And never, ever say, "Now that my kids are in college, I'm ready to get back in the workforce."
Fewer women than men have worked abroad for at least six months (42 per cent and 52 per cent respectively) but they share exactly the same motivations — to develop management skills, build their network and increase their earnings.

4. The Great Crash 1929 by John Kenneth Galbraith
Among American economists, John Kenneth Galbraith is considered a giant among men. In this short and highly readable history of the stock market crash that preceded the Great Depression, Galbraith retraces both the causes and immediate consequences of the debacle.


[N]ow, as throughout history, financial capacity and political perspicacity are inversely correlated. Long-run salvation by men of business has never been highly regarded if it means disturbance of orderly life and convenience in the present. So inaction will be advocated in the present even though it means deep trouble in the future. Here, at least equally with communism, lies the threat to capitalism. It is what causes men who know that things are going quite wrong to say that things are fundamentally sound.

5. The Go-Go Years by John Brooks
The Go-Go Years is the only book of the bunch I haven't read. I nevertheless included it for two reasons. First, because it covers an important decade, the so-called go-go years of the 1960s, which, like the roaring '20s, exemplifies the euphoria that invariably precedes a crash and is purportedly only obvious in hindsight. For instance, when the inevitable crash occurred, Brooks tells how the then-newly-rich Ross Perot lost $450 million in a single day, an amount reputed to be more than J. P. Morgan was worth at the time of his death in 1913.


The Go-Go Years is not to be read in the usual manner of Wall Street classics. You do not read this book to see our present situations reenacted in the past, with only the names changed. You read it because it is a wonderful description of the way things were in a different time and place.
Books stacked next to an open laptop.

Image source: Getty Images.

6. Secrets of the Temple by William Greider
If you have any interest in learning about how the Federal Reserve works and/or what motivates its leaders, then you should read this book. While Greider's account of the Fed's history extends to the bank's inception, it places particular emphasis on the late 1970s and early 1980s, when domestic inflation rivaled that of many Central and South American economies.

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Whether of left or right, they present themselves as representatives of the common people against elites and unworthy outsiders; make a visceral connection with followers as charismatic leaders; manipulate that connection for their own advancement, frequently by lying egregiously; and threaten established rules of conduct and constraining institutions as enemies of the popular will that they embody.

7. Liar's Poker by Michael Lewis
The 1980s represents to me the high-water mark for popular business writing. As a result, I struggled to choose only one book that best exemplified the decade. I settled on Michael Lewis' Liar's Poker not only because it's a great book, but also because it predated many others and blazed the trail for the now-familiar genre.

A New Year greeting to cheer you, my good friend.希望新年祝福给你带来欢乐,我的好朋友。
剧情类最佳剧集:《权力的游戏》(Game of Thrones, HBO)
Net interest margins — the difference between interest paid on deposits and interest gained from loans — suffered as China lifted its remaining controls on the interest rates paid on deposits. The average margin declined by about 46 basis points to 2.54 per cent in 2015.
5) I’ve Got Your Back: We’ve all made big mistakes. In those times, step in with a reassurance: “I’m not judging you. You’re going to get through this. You’re not alone. We’ll figure this out together. It’s going to be OK.”

If you then want to read more about this decade, two additional books that come to mind most immediately are Barbarians at the Gate by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar, which traces the now-infamous takeover battle for RJR Nabisco, and Den of Thieves by James Stewart, a thriller about the massive insider-trading scandal that brought down not only Michael Milken but also the fabled investment bank Drexel Burnham.

8. When Genius Failed by Roger Lowenstein
When Genius Failed is less a history of Wall Street than it is of Greenwich, Conn. In it, Lowenstein tells of the rise and devastating fall in 1998 of Long-Term Capital Management, an enormous Greenwich-based hedge fund founded by a former Salomon Brothers trader and staffed by some of the brightest financial minds from Wall Street and academia.

Although LTCM's reign will ultimately go down as a nonevent in the wider scheme of financial history, this highly entertaining book fills a pivotal void by introducing readers to the methods and madness of hedge funds. For a more thorough history of these now-commonplace investment vehicles, check out More Money Than God by Sebastian Mallaby, which traces the history of hedge funds from their modern founding through to the present day.

A stack of books with colorful covers, with one open on top.

Image source: Getty Images.

9. The Smartest Guys in the Room by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind
Bethany McLean is simply one of the finest business writers today. The Smartest Guys in the Room, McLean's first book, co-written with Peter Elkind, tells of the lies and obfuscations that built Enron and concomitantly brought it down.

On its face, Enron's story is that of a handful of bad apples such as Ken Lay, Andy Fastow, and Jeffrey Skilling. But on a deeper level, it explains the widespread culture of corporate deceit and self-enrichment that prevailed at the turn of the century and most certainly continues today. A laundry list of scandals followed in its wake, including WorldCom, Tyco, Qwest, Global Crossing, and Adelphia, to name only a few. Indeed, even seemingly upstanding companies like Halliburton (NYSE: HAL), Merck (NYSE: MRK), and Xerox (NYSE: XRX) weren't immune from the taint.

Besides exploring the overall ranking, prospective international students can narrow their search by browsing regional and country rankings. These rankings were determined solely by how schools performed in the overall list.

10. All the Devils Are Here by Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera
Last but not least, I'd be remiss to exclude a book on the most recent financial crisis. While there's already a large selection to choose from, many of which I've read and enjoyed, the one that shines through is All the Devils Are Here.

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来自荷兰的Anita Eerland和Rolf Zwaan,以及来自秘鲁的Tulio Guadalupe被授予心理学奖,其研究题目是《向左倚靠会让埃菲尔铁塔看上去更小一些》。
Losers: Kings
Be prepared to save his life on numerous occasions.

Foolish bottom line
Whether you read any or all of these books, you'll be better off for doing so. All of them are excellent and deserve a place in every investor's library. In addition, because there are many others that I didn't include, I encourage you to add any that you recommend below. Finally, and as I noted at the outset, I strongly encourage you to join us on our microsite for Worldwide Invest Better Day, where you'll find a collection of articles aimed at helping investors do just that.