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Below is a list of our favourite books. If you are a client of Palmer Portfolios you can receive two free books from this list each year. Email your request to admin@palmerportfolios.com.au


 Economics in One Lesson, Henry Hazlitt

This book deciphers everything you need to know about economics. Easy to follow, easy to understand and every bit as  relevant and valuable today as it has been since publication.




Traders Guns & Money, Satyajit Das

A sensational and compelling insider’s view that lifts the lid on the fast-paced and dazzling world of derivatives. Traders Guns and Money is a wickedly comic expose of the culture, games and pure deceptions played out every day in trading rooms around the world. And played out with other people’s money. This book will introduce you to the players and the practices and reveals how the real money is made and lost.


BanquetA Banquet of Consequences, Satyajit Das

Essential reading for anyone interested in the future of the global economy and their own prospects, A Banquet of Consequences incisively explains the problems confronting us, how we’re making those problems worse, and what the real  solutions are.




 The Most Important Thing Illuminated: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor, Howard Marks (2013)

Howard Marks’s The Most Important Thing distilled the investing insight of his celebrated client memos into a single volume and, for the first time, made his time-tested philosophy available to general readers. In this edition, Marks’s wisdom is joined by the comments, insights, and counterpoints of four renowned investors and investment educators: Christopher C. Davis (Davis Funds), Joel Greenblatt (Gotham Capital), Paul Johnson (Nicusa Capital), and Seth A. Klarman                                     (Baupost Group).


The Intelligent Investor: The Classic Text on Value Investing, Benjamin Graham (2005)

The greatest investment advisor of the 20th century, Benjamin Graham taught and inspired people worldwide. His philosophy of “value investing” — which shields investors from substantial error and teaches them to develop long-term strategies — has made The Intelligent Investor the stock market “bible” ever since its original publication in 1949. Over the years, market developments have proven the wisdom of Graham’s strategies.  Warren Buffett, a well-known successful American Investor has also adopted Graham’s strategies in his investment.

Outsiders Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success, William N. Thorndike (2012)

Includes the stories of eight extraordinary CEOs, who ignored or defied the conventional wisdom of their time and applied a common set of principles to achieve remarkable and enduring success. In this book, you’ll learn the consistent and rational traits that helped these select leaders achieve that exceptional performance…

  The One Minute Manager, Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson (2009)

A concise, easy-to-read story that reveals three very practical secrets: One Minute Goals, One Minute Praisings, and One Minute Reprimands.  For more than 20 years, millions of managers in Fortune 500 companies and small businesses worldwide have benefitted from its techniques.

  The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, Michael Lewis (2011)

The real story of the crash began in bizarre feeder markets were down: the bond and real estate derivative markets where geeks invent impenetrable securities to profit from the misery of lower. The smart people who understood what was or might be happening were paralyzed by hope and fear; in any case, they weren’t talking. Michael Lewis creates a fresh, character-driven narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor…

 How Children Succeed, Paul Tough (2013)

This book introduces us to a new generation of researchers and educators who are using the tools of science to peel back the mysteries of character. Through their stories and the stories of the children they are trying to help, acclaimed journalist Paul Tough traces the links between childhood stress, childhood cosseting, and life success…

 Kingpin: How one Hacker took over the Billion Dollar Cyber Crime Underground, Kevin Poulsen (2011)

Through the story of Max Butler’ s remarkable rise, Kingpin lays bare the workings of a silent crime wave affecting millions worldwide. It exposes vast online-fraud supermarkets stocked with credit card numbers, counterfeit cheques, hacked bank accounts and fake passports.

  No Boundary: Eastern & Western Approaches to Personal Growth, Ken Wilber (2001)

A simple yet comprehensive guide to the types of psychologies and therapies available from Eastern and Western sources. Each chapter includes a specific exercise designed to  help the reader understand the nature and practice of the specific therapies. Wilber presents an easy-to-use map of human consciousness against which the various therapies are introduced and explained.

  Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart: 30 True Things You Need To Know,  MDG Livingstone (2008)

The gentle, even-keeled warmth of Livingstones prose distinguishes this slim book of 30 inspirational ‘truths’. A psychiatrist familiar with trauma from both his practice and his life (in one 13 month period, he lost one son to cancer and another to suicide), Livingstone offers the kind of wisdom that feels simultaneously commonsensical and revelatory. He intersperses counsel with personal experience, and tackles topics both joyful and deeply painful.

image001Madoff: The Man who Stole $65 billion, Erin Arvedlund (2009)

A fascinating insight into how some very famous people (Stephen Spielberg, actor Kevin Bacon, to name a couple) were duped into parting with their money. The story unravels the Madoff Ponzi scheme and highlights the glaring deficiencies of regulators who allowed this fraud to operate right under their noses for such a long period of time.



  The Wolf of Wall Street, Jordan Belfort (2007)

This book has it all; sex, drugs, money laundering, lavish spending, shipwrecks (Belforts own 167-foot yacht), car wrecks, live gold fish eating & more. This is the true story of one of the youngest people to ever run a Wall Street Broking Firm. I’m not sure how much is true, but its still a rip roaring read. Very entertaining (& disturbing)!

   The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell (2002)

The ‘Tipping Point’ is that magic moment when ideas, trends and social behaviour cross a threshold, “tip” and spread like wildfire. A wonderfully offbeat look at that little-understood phenomenon, the social epidemic.


When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management, Roger Lowenstein (2002)

They brought the banking world to its knees. A group of investors thought they could beat the market & create limitless wealth for themselves & their clients. They were wrong & created a trillion-dollar financial black hole. The true story of Long Term Capital Management.


Freakonomics, Steven D Levitt & Stephen J Dubner (2005)

This book is an easy, interesting book, even for people who do not usually like non-fiction or economics. Levitt addresses a number of questions and uses straight-forward analysis to turn conventional wisdom on its head. It will give you plenty to talk about, but it is not an in depth analysis of the issues presented.


Spiritual CapitalSpiritual Capital: Wealth We Can Live By, Danah Zohar & Ian Marshall (2004)

Spiritual Capital presents new vision of capitalist society that transcends the greed and materialism that is so rampant today. “Shareholder Value” would be replaced by “stakeholder value”, where stakeholders include the whole human race and the  planet itself!


The Wisdom of Crowds, James Surowiecki (2005)

A fascinating book… Surowiecki explores a seemingly counter-intuitive idea: that decisions taken by a large group, even if the inviduals within the group aren’t particuarly smart, are always better then decisions made by small numbers of  “experts”.


 The Richest Man in Babylon, George S Clason (1926)

A timeless classic that should be compulsory reading for every adolescent. The Richest Man in Babylon dispenses commonsense financial advice through a collection of parables set in ancient Babylon.


   Blink, Malcolm Gladwell (2005)

Blink is all about those moments when we “know” something without really knowing why and how. By blocking out what’s  irrelevant and focusing on narrow slices of experience, we can deal with a seemingly complex situation in the blink of an eye.


  In Praise of Slow, Carl Honore (2005)

Don’t hurry, be happy. Almost everyone complains about the hectic pace of their lives. These days, our culture teaches that faster is better. But in the face to keep up, everything suffers – our work, diet and health, our relationships and love lives. In this book, the author uncovers a movement that challenges the cult of speed.


Before babylon beyond bitcoinBefore  Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin: From Money That We Understand to Money That Understands Us

Money is changing, and this book looks at where the technology of money might be taking us in the future. Technology has moved our concept of money from physical things, to unseen bits of information. With the arrival of smart cards, mobile phones and Bitcoin, it has become easier than ever to create new forms of money. Crucially, money is also inextricably connected with our identities. Your card or phone can identify you for security – and also enable information about you to be associated with your money (think for example of store ‘points’ cards). To understand all of this and to see where we might be going, the author first of all looks back over the whole history of money, which spans thousands of years.