If anything runs through this year’s list of late summer reads, it may be the idea that actions have consequences. But whether it’s building a bigger nest egg or building a more sustainable world to live in, it is also intimated throughout most of these stories that our future – and how it unfolds – is largely up to us.
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
This retelling of our history has achieved a sort of cult status since its first publication in 2014 and is stuffed with insights based on the following provocation: “Homo sapiens rules the world because it is the only animal that can believe in things that exist purely in its own imagination, such as gods, states, money and human rights.”
Kevin McCreadie, CEO and Chief Investment Officer, AGF Management Limited
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
This well-researched yet sobering narrative explores the idea that a sixth era of mass extinction began thousands of years ago and could result in as much as half of Earth’s species being wiped out by the end of this century if current trends continue. The cause of this destruction? We may only have ourselves to blame, writes Kolbert, but it’s also up to us to preserve what wildlife there is left to save.
David Stonehouse, Senior Vice-President and Head of North American and Specialty Investments, AGF Investments Inc.
Wilful Blindness: How A Network of Narcos, Tycoons and CCP Agents Infiltrated The West by Sam Cooper
Canada’s housing market is highly scrutinized these days, almost to the point of being a national pastime, but this book may be like no other in laying bare alleged ties that bind British Columbia real estate to the nefarious activities of organized crime syndicates and agents of the Chinese Communist Party.
Andy Kochar, Vice-President, Portfolio Manager and Head of Global Credit, AGF Investments Inc.
The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Happiness and Greed by Morgan Housel
In each of these 19 short stories covering the basics of money, savings and wealth creation, Housel highlights how much behaviour and other influences can determine long-term success and why the avoidance of simple, egotistical mistakes can be the key to achieving financial independence and the freedom to live life as we choose. An excellent read for all ages and occupations.
Mike Archibald, Vice-President and Portfolio Manager, AGF Investments Inc.
Capital in the Twenty First Century by Thomas Piketty
Given its soft-cover length (753 pages not including appendix), this may be a late summer read that extends through the fall and even winter months, but Piketty’s influential analysis on income inequality and what to do about it is well worth the time – especially now that policymakers around the world seem more intent on tackling the issue than at any time in the near past.
David Pett, Editor of AGF Perspectives.
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This post was first published at the AGF Perspectives Blog.