More often than not, when I go to the bookstore I leave disappointed. That is usually because I either see my own two books languishing on the bookshelves (or not, in which case I have to beg the bookstore to restock) or because everything is of the ilk, "How to make $1 million overnight in real estate" or "my daddy's neighbor's cousin is the millionaire next door."Surprisingly, a number of good books have come out about investing in the past few weeks. Here's what's out there worth reading:
The Future for Investors by Jeremy Siegel. This is Siegel's follow-up to Stocks for the Long Run. The book describes a phenomenon that I've written about many times on the site: Don't believe the "passive" index managers. Often, the deletions from indices outperform the stocks being added to the different indices. When a stock joins an index, that's usually when it's riding high, showing great returns and growth, and is popular with the media. This is exactly the time one shouldn't be buying. And Siegel has the stats to prove it. Similar to Swensen, there's also a discussion of mutual funds, but this is less interesting to me.
The Search by John Battelle. It's been a while since there's been a good book about Internet technology and business ( The Nudist on the Late Shift, by Po Bronson? The Internet Bubble, by Tony Perkins?). Search gets into the history of all the search engines, from Lycos, Excite and Alta Vista, to Yahoo! and Google. He also goes into the history of the different ways these companies developed their business models and how ultimately Bill Gross at Idealab (think " Overture") and the Google guys came up with the right model. Battelle gets access to all the founders of these companies, gets into the technology without being boring about it, and gets excited enough about his topic that we get a sense that this is only the beginning. The battle for search dominance and its uses in our life is only just beginning. I highly recommend this one for anyone investing in the space.