Tag: Book Review
Not an official book club book, but various members of the HIG team are listening to the audiobook of The Man Who Solved the Market, by Gregory Zuckerman. We’re not hedge fund fans due to costs, complexity, lock-up periods, and so on, but Renaissance Technologies has a peculiar story that has piqued the interest of many in our industry.
We’re unsure as to whether we recommend the book, but this we know: Jim Simons and Renaissance have had spectacular success and we feel compelled to better understand their story. In the end, we agree with the author, who in one of his final reflections states “For all the unique data, computer firepower, special talent, and trading and risk-management expertise Renaissance has gathered, the firm only profits on barely more than 50 percent of its trades, a sign of how challenging it is to try to beat the market — and how foolish it is for most investors to try.” Put differently, take the long view®.
Not a minute goes by without a notification, a phone call, or a person asking for “ a quick second” vying for your attention. At times, life can feel like a treadmill that moves faster and faster— sometimes making you wonder how much of that movement equates to real forward motion.
It should come as no surprise that the distracted, divided life can put a strain on our relationships. Not just at the office, but with our loved ones. When we feel compelled to micro-manage the details, it’s impossible to devote sustained attention to any one important task or person.
What can possibly be done?
The answer may lie in The Power of Full Engagement, a book written nearly two decades ago by a performance psychologist and a renowned business consultant. If you give it a read, you’ll realize how seamlessly the lessons apply to cultivating healthy relationships, as well as a healthy work life.
Here are our top three takeaways from the book:
- Energy is often more valuable than time.
Time management is certainly important for any sustainable relationship or career. But as authors Loehr and Schwartz note, understanding how to effectively channel the energy you have during your waking hours, as well as your time, can transform every aspect of your life.
“The number of hours in a day is fixed, but the quantity and quality of energy available to us is not,” say the authors. “It is our most precious resource. The more we take responsibility for the energy we bring to the world, the more empowered and productive we become.”
- It’s OK to disengage
Most of us would like to live our lives fully engaged from dawn to dusk and put forth 100% effort at every waking moment. But truthfully, that’s not sustainable. We need to practice disengaging: from work, from the glow of the screen, and yes, even from loved ones.
Taking a true break might feel uncomfortable at first, but it’s the key to restoring balance in all aspects of life. Take a walk. Read a book. Watch the sunset. We predict the important people in your world will be able to tell the difference.
- Treat rest with the same respect as action
The average human has a “high performance mode” of about 90 minutes. In this window, we can remain alert, creative, and resilient. And then there’s a wall. Motivational speakers might tell you to push through the fatigue, but science begs to differ.
After 90 minutes of intense activity (this can range from holding a conversation to hiking a mountain) the brain and body need a rest period of about 20 minutes. This quick recovery maintains your ultradian rhythm (the ebb and flow of energy).
At Hill Investment Group, we call this “Tea Time,” which one of our other favorite authors Laura Vanderkam referenced in her podcast a few months ago.
One of the main points in the book is gaining energy from regularly identifying and revisiting your core values. We have found this to be a powerful energy source.
We hope you find The Power of Full Engagement as valuable as our team has. Got a favorite book of your own? Shoot us a note – we are always looking for recommendations!
Now, close your browser and open a book.
If you’re acquainted with our offices, you’ve likely noticed the rows of books lining the walls of our lobby. Some businesses adorn their offices with books to manufacture an aura of thoughtfulness or sagacity. But at Hill Investment Group, our book collection goes beyond optics.
For the past 14 years, continued education has been a pillar of our firm. By exposing our minds to a wide swath of insights and information, we’re equipped to deliver better experiences—and ultimately better outcomes—for our clients.
We encourage new employees and clients alike to dig into the books that have shaped HIG’s philosophy. This month, we’re highlighting The Coffeehouse Investor: How to Build Wealth, Ignore Wall Street, and Get On with Your Life by Bill Schultheis.
Like countless other evidence-based investing advocates, Schultheis’ conversion was sparked by a disenchantment with the active, Wall Street-style approach to investing that characterized his early career.
13 years after Schultheis saw the light, he wrote a book with a simple premise: Simplifying your investment strategy produces more wealth and more leisure time. The book doesn’t divulge any secrets, hacks, or inside scoops. In other words, it’s anti-viral. And yet, The Seattle Times dubbed it “The best investment book you’ve never read.” Even John Bogle, the father of index investing, urged people to act on its message.
“Exhaustive studies have shown that it is difficult, if not impossible, to ‘beat the market’ over the long haul. And yet that is exactly what Wall Street encourages you to do,” says Schultheis. “For serious investors, the question is not, ‘Can I beat the market?’, but rather, ‘How can I limit if not totally eliminate ‘underperformance’ of the market?’”
Though we don’t agree with Shultheis on everything, we love the simplicity of his maxim “Ignore Wall Street and get on with your life”. If you’re ever overwhelmed by the flood of investment advice, The Coffeehouse Investor will bring you back down to earth.
Let us know what you think of The Coffeehouse Investor, and stay tuned for next month’s recommendation!