Should you continue to do your own homework? Absolutely! Here are some favorite resources I’ve found.
My perspective, as a regular person who broke into the financial industry, is that many books & articles dive too deep. It’s as if they’re saying “Look at how many big words I’m using! And in conjunction with each other!” Like a sick compulsion to make sure you know that “I know what the hell I’m talking about!” Because, of course. You used complicated language.
As long as I was working at a financial firm, the people getting the benefit of my knowledge – while they could use it – already had lots of knowledge themselves. Their knowledge was because they were interested. Interested enough to engage in financial conversations, read research reports, and educate themselves. Disengaging from the conversation will get you nowhere.
This does not mean becoming a DIY investor or your own day trader…. No! It simply means, you can’t rely on a Facebook group to tell you where is ‘the best place to open an investment account.’
Why Wall Street Matters by Willam Cohan
If you raise a skeptical eye at Wall Street, or found yourself protesting, this will help you understand the foundation of the stock market. In it’s pure form, the stock market is a good thing. Cohan’s storytelling of meaningful & historical events on Wall Street really drive that home. He writes for an intellectual crowd (IMO – his resume is quite impressive), so have Google at the ready.
Confessions of a Street Addict by Jim Cramer
This is a humorous and interesting read once you understand the markets. Jim Cramer is now a huge media personality, widely known among CNBC watchers. This book is written of the days before he became famous. It’s about his time as a hedge fund manager with – get this – his wife at the time, who was a ‘Trading Goddess.’ (Love that!) It’s a very raw look at high stakes investing done by ultra wealthy people, but it also gives you a sense of the magnitude of trades by institutional investors. Their world is completely different than the rest of America. Cramer tells many personal stories to keep you reading, and I found myself laughing out loud a number of times.
Wall Street related: Own It: The Power of Women at Work by Sallie Krawcheck
This book isn’t going to expand on investment strategies, but it will expand on strategies for women in the workplace. Down to the temperature of the office, she digs into the ways women are marginalized in office settings. More importantly, she offers advice and resources for rising above it and succeeding in your career. Krawcheck herself has dealt with everything from being a mom, wife, and Wall Street woman. This is a solid read if you’re looking for inspiration. Bonus, you won’t feel lost if you need to leave off & pick it up later.
The Big Short
I’ve referenced this one a number of times. With an impressive cast, this fast-paced ride leading up to the Great Recession is hard to deny. I haven’t read the book, which usually happens when you watch the movie first. But the movie paints a broad enough picture that many people take away this main point: Wall Street is full of greedy people, who created ultra complicated investments that no one actually understood. Or just overlooked the fact that these were shit investments. They did this to get rich, and in the process screwed over most of America because we’re too stupid to see that the homes we bought were way too expensive. Plus, you get to see Margot Robbie in the bathtub.
Money For Nothing
[Nerd alert: I saw this in theaters.] This isn’t a Wall Street expose. It’s an inside look at the Federal Reserve [The Fed]. The Fed is our central banking system, which is heavily tied to Wall Street. How exactly? Interest Rates. Lending Money. Making money more or less available to regular banks for loans, mortgages & the like. Those are all things The Fed does.
Interesting interviews happen with former Fed Chairmen about their time at the helm, which didn’t come without protests and public discontent. For example, the early 1980s recession was partially created by The Fed and their policies during that era. Interest rates were as high as 20%, and it’s completely fascinating how they got there… very cause & effect, with unforeseen problems along the way, obviously. This documentary is well researched and interviews people who break it down in an easy to digest manner.
Read, learn, grow. Uplevel your net worth!
* This page in consistently updated as I find new things to read, watch or listen to. Check back for more, or to leave your thoughts on anything mentioned here!