Mohnish Pabrai visited Talks at Google on June 5, 2017. At the end of this talk Mohnish recommended three books.
Invest for Kids 2016 - Sam Zell "Europe is for cheese, wine and museums... not for investing"
The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time, Jonathan Weiner
On a desert island in the heart of the Galapagos archipelago, where Darwin received his first inklings of the theory of evolution, two scientists, Peter and Rosemary Grant, have spent twenty years proving that Darwin did not know the strength of his own theory. For among the finches of Daphne Major, natural selection is neither rare nor slow: it is taking place by the hour, and we can watch.
In this dramatic story of groundbreaking scientific research, Jonathan Weiner follows these scientists as they watch Darwin's finches and come up with a new understanding of life itself. The Beak of the Finch is an elegantly written and compelling masterpiece of theory and explication in the tradition of Stephen Jay Gould.
With a new preface.
The traits that make Sam Zell one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs also make him one of the most surprising, enigmatic, and entertaining mavericks in American business.
Self-made billionaire Sam Zell consistently sees what others don’t. From finding a market for overpriced Playboy magazines among his junior high classmates, to buying real estate on the cheap after a market crash, to investing in often unglamorous industries with long-term value, Zell acts boldly on supply and demand trends to grab the first-mover advantage. And he can find opportunity virtually anywhere—from an arcane piece of legislation to a desert meeting in Abu Dhabi.
“If everyone is going left, look right,” Zell often says. To him, conventional wisdom is nothing but a reference point. Year after year, deal after deal, he shuts out the noise of the crowd, gathers as much information as possible, then trusts his own instincts. He credits much of his independent thinking to his parents, who were Jewish refugees from World War II.
Talk to any two people and you might get wild swings in their descriptions of Zell. A media firestorm ensued when the Tribune Company went into bankruptcy a year after he agreed to steward the enterprise. At the same time, his razor-sharp instincts are legendary on Wall Street, and he has sponsored over a dozen IPOs. He’s known as the Grave Dancer for his strategy of targeting troubled assets, yet he’s created thousands of jobs. Within his own organization, he has an inordinate number of employees at every level who are fiercely loyal and have worked for him for decades.
Zell’s got a big personality; he is often contrarian, blunt, and irreverent, and always curious and hardworking. This is the guy who started wearing jeans to work in the 1960s, when offices were a sea of gray suits. He’s the guy who told The Wall Street Journal in 1985, “If it ain’t fun, we don’t do it.” He rides motorcycles with his friends, the Zell’s Angels, around the world and he keeps ducks on the deck outside his office.
As he writes: “I simply don’t buy into many of the made-up rules of social convention. The bottom line is: If you’re really good at what you do, you have the freedom to be who you really are.”
Am I Being Too Subtle?—a reference to Zell’s favorite way to underscore a point—takes readers on a ride across his business terrain, sharing with honesty and humor stories of the times he got it right, when he didn’t, and most important, what he learned in the process.
This is an indispensable guide for the next generation of disrupters, entrepreneurs, and investors.
Praise for Damn Right!
From the author of the bestselling WARREN BUFFETT SPEAKS. . .
"Charlie Munger, whose reputation is deep and wide, based on an extraordinary record of brilliantly successful business strategies, sees things that others don't. There is a method to his mastery and, through this book, we get a chance to learn about this rare individual." -MICHAEL EISNER, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company
"Janet Lowe uncovers the iconoclastic genius and subtle charm behind Charlie Munger's curmudgeonly facade in this richly woven portrait of our era's heir to Ben Franklin. With a biographer's detachment, an historian's thoroughness, and a financial writer's common sense, Lowe produces a riveting account of the family, personal, and business life of the idiosyncratically complex and endlessly fascinating figure." -LAWRENCE CUNNINGHAM, Cardozo Law School, Author of The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America
"For years, Berkshire Hathaway shareholders and investors worldwide (me included) have struggled to learn more about Warren Buffett's cerebral sidekick. Now we can rest and enjoy reading Janet Lowe's book about this rare intellectual jewel called Charlie Munger." -ROBERT G. HAGSTROM, Author of The Warren Buffett Way
"Charlie has lived by the creed that one should live a life that doesn't need explaining. But his life should be explained. In a city where heroism is too often confused with celebrity, Charlie is a true hero and mentor. He lives the life lessons that he has studiously extracted from other true heroes and mentors, from Ben Franklin to Ben Graham. This book illuminates those life lessons." -RONALD L. OLSON, Munger, Tolles & Olson llp
"Janet Lowe's unprecedented access to Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett has resulted in a first-class book that investors, academics, and CEOs will find entertaining and highly useful."-TIMOTHY P. VICK, Money Manager and Author of How to Pick Stocks Like Warren Buffett
Article by Hurricane Capital