June 7, 2006
Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects: More Than You Know
More Than You Know: Finding Financial Wisdom in Unconventional Places by Michael J. Mauboussin, Columbia University Press, 288 pages, $27.95 Hardcover, June 2006 ISBN 0231138709. For the past two years, I've said that the new business book explains big ideas; it shows us how to look at the world differently. The Tipping Point, Freakonomics, and The World Is Flat all fit that bill. What if one book could give you a flavor for all of them? More Than You Know comes pretty close. Author Michael Mauboussin, the chief investment strategist at Legg Mason, believes the investment community is overly influenced by its way of thinking. The book is a collection of 30 essays he wrote as a newsletter titled "The Consilient Observer". You won't find consilience in the dictionary; it means the "jumping together" of knowledge. Maubossin hoped to better understand various stock market phenomena by studying other disciplines for clues. Each essay starts with quotes from his sources. He then spends a few pages talking about key elements of the source. In one essay, he talks about ant colonies, in the next its world class chess, followed by the concept of "herding" for psychology. The chapters end with how each topic applies to investing. The strength of the book is its wide breadth of sources. The concepts of "affect", behavioral finance, and power law distributions, are some of the concepts for Blink, The Wisdom of Crowds, and The Long Tail. Because each idea is boiled down to its essence, you'll spend a little more time contemplating their broader applications. Check it out and find out how everyday life influences financial logic. ------ If you would like to receive the monthly Jack Covert Selects Newsletter, please visit the Newsletters area of our website. Then, sign in and check the boxes of the newsletters that interest you.