Book Bits | 21 May 2016

The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism
By Arun Sundararajan
Summary via publisher (MIT Press)
Sharing isn’t new. Giving someone a ride, having a guest in your spare room, running errands for someone, participating in a supper club—these are not revolutionary concepts. What is new, in the “sharing economy,” is that you are not helping a friend for free; you are providing these services to a stranger for money. In this book, Arun Sundararajan, an expert on the sharing economy, explains the transition to what he describes as “crowd-based capitalism”—a new way of organizing economic activity that may supplant the traditional corporate-centered model. As peer-to-peer commercial exchange blurs the lines between the personal and the professional, how will the economy, government regulation, what it means to have a job, and our social fabric be affected?

Multi-Asset Investing: A Practitioner’s Framework
By Pranay Gupta, et al.
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
Despite the accepted fact that a substantial part of the risk and return of any portfolio comes from asset allocation, we find today that the majority of investment professionals worldwide are focused on security selection. Multi-Asset Investing: A Practitioner’s Framework questions this basic structure of the investment process and investment industry. Having worked together for fifteen years, the authors’ present implementable solutions which have helped them successfully manage large asset pools.

The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks
By Joshua Cooper Ramo
Review via Foreign Affairs
Some thinkers see history as constant or cyclical; others see it as evolutionary or directional. Ramo is in the latter camp, and his bold new book is an attempt to sketch the contours of the new “age of networks” he sees aborning. A few centuries ago, in his telling, the Enlightenment and the scientific revolution gave birth to the modern world, with its capitalism, democracy, global trade, and industrial power. Today, the spread of networks and constant, ever-faster connections is creating a new kind of order with new sources of strength. Power is both more concentrated and more distributed than ever before, traditional assets become irrelevant almost overnight, and all that is solid melts into air—or, rather, into pulses of information.

The Essential Advisor: Building Value in the Investor-Advisor Relationship
By Bill Crager, et al.
Summary via publisher (Wiley)
The Essential Advisor presents an insightful handbook for advisors looking to navigate the changing face of financial services. The industry is evolving, consumers are evolving, and many advisors are being left behind as old methods become less and less relevant. This book shows you how to turn this shift into a positive, by positioning your firm to maximize these new opportunities, and deliver the results and experience increasingly expected of financial advisors.

The Disruption Dilemma
By Joshua Gans
Review via The Enlightened Economist
Joshua Gans’s new book The Disruption Dilemma is aimed at business readers. It takes the famous Clayton Christensen analysis The Innovator’s Dilemma – a change in the competitive landscape that even a well-managed business might not survive – and sets out the possible strategies the defensive firm might successfully deploy. In doing so, Gans argues that the original disruption story is too simplified, and there are different kinds of challenge, some more threatening to incumbent survival than others.