Book Bits For Saturday: 9.3.2011

The Arrogance Cycle: Think You Can’t Lose, Think Again
By Michael K. Farr and Edward Claflin
Summary via publisher, Lyons Press
What is the arrogance cycle? We’ve just lived through it. As market bubbles build, our confidence level rises (dis)proportionately. Everyone wants in on the action. We want to believe Wall Street, and once we do, the inevitable happens. The only problem was that it was all artificial. In The Arrogance Cycle, Farr examines the forces at work on individuals and markets and explains in clear, concise layman terms how we got to where we are.

Buy and Hedge: The 5 Iron Rules for Investing Over the Long Term
By Jay Pestrichelli, Wayne Ferbert
Summary via publisher, FT Press
If you’re trying to build wealth, sharp market downturns are your worst enemy. And nowadays, they’re happening far more often: in the last 18 years, the S&P 500 has experienced sixteen violent declines. Institutions and professional investors have mastered powerful hedging techniques for dramatically reducing the risks of market volatility. Now, you can do it, too–and you can’t afford not to. In Buy and Hedge, two leading investment experts show how to apply hedging as part of a long-term program for growing and preserving your assets. CNBC Fast Money guest Jay Pestrichelli and seasoned financial industry veteran Wayne Ferbert show how to systematically protect yourself against violent downward moves while giving your portfolio maximum room to run in upward markets.
The Smartest Portfolio You’ll Ever Own: A Do-It-Yourself Breakthrough Strategy
By Dan Solin
Summary via publisher, Perigree|Penguin
Bestselling author and financial blogger, Dan Solin, provides real do-it-yourself investors the means to create a dynamic-and safe- portfolio that mimics those constructed for some of the major institutional and trust investors in the country. Readers can maintain complete control over their money-and not sacrifice precious points to an advisor or broker. Using a strategy that minimizes volatility and maximizes returns, Solin makes investing according to the principles of the most sophisticated financial models accessible to individuals in a way that has never been possible before.
Drinking from the Fire Hose: Making Smarter Decisions Without Drowning in Information
Review via Brain Drain
What Frank and Magnone offer in Drinking from the Fire Hose is a straightforward framework for making sense of data. It begins by asking what is the most important thing you need to know in order to move forward. the rest flows from there: finding out what really matters to your customers, putting short-term data into context, asking why data reveals the results it reveals, zeroing in on the most relevant data and what that tells us about our business, and identifying who the silent majority are that we can convert into loyal customers. Or in short: Get the data, sift through what’s relevant, and take action.
Erotic Capital: The Power of Attraction in the Boardroom and the Bedroom
By Catherine Hakim
Excerpt via The Wall Street Journal
Beauty is not limited to supermodels and A-list celebrities. It can be achieved by wearing flattering styles, getting in shape, improving posture and putting some effort into choosing clothing and hairstyles.
And erotic capital is not just about physical attractiveness. It also encompasses personality, charm, liveliness, social energy and the ability to make people feel at ease and want to know you. It is not about flaunting your sexuality at the office by showing more cleavage and wearing tight pants.
Researchers have consistently found that attractive people of both sexes are perceived to be more competent and intelligent. Attractive adults are noticed more and treated more favorably, and they are more often welcomed into social networks, where they receive more cooperation and help from others. They are more persuasive and sell ideas and products more successfully.
Erotic capital also translates into income. A number of studies show that, in the U.S. and Britain, there is a 10% to 20% “beauty premium” in earnings across the workforce. In jobs that involve contact with customers or clients, the returns can be even greater, adding up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional income over the course of a career. Fifteen years after graduating from a prestigious law school, an attractive lawyer in private practice, for instance, earns over $20,000 per year more than an unattractive lawyer, holding other relevant factors constant.
Portfolio Decision Analysis: Improved Methods for Resource Allocation
Summary via publisher, Springer
Portfolio Decision Analysis: Improved Methods for Resource Allocation provides an extensive, up-to-date coverage of decision analytic methods which help firms and public organizations allocate resources to ‘lumpy’ investment opportunities while explicitly recognizing relevant financial and non-financial evaluation criteria and the presence of alternative investment opportunities. In particular, it discusses the evolution of these methods, presents new methodological advances and illustrates their use across several application domains.