Summer Reading for Fun and Profit

 | Jul 03, 2013 | 11:00 AM EDT
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As you pack your bags for a well-deserved getaway, or if you are simply looking to a long weekend to relax, consider some reading. This time I'm not giving you books, but some articles I've read over the past year that I think would enhance perspective on life and business.

"Big Med" was an intriguing article in The New Yorker about how the healthcare system can look to business and learn how to manage costs without sacrificing quality. Its author, the highly respected Atul Gawande, takes a closer look at the Cheesecake Factory (CAKE), a casual restaurant chain known for its extensive menu of over 300 items. Gawande focuses on how our healthcare system can look to CAKE for models.

Charlie Munger, the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (BKB.B) gave a talk several years ago, entitled, "Art of Stock Picking." It truly is a masterpiece of why a broad knowledge of other disciplines is important in the field of investing. Read it here. When you are finished, print it and read it every year. 

You don't have to read the book to capture what Warren Buffett has said were the two most valuable lessons he's learned as an investor. Those two lessons can be found in Chapter eight and Chapter 20 of "The Intelligent Investor" by Ben Graham. Chapter eight is about market fluctuations and how an investor should think about them while Chapter 20 is on the topic of a margin of safety. Even if you buy the book and read only those two chapters, it will be worth every penny and then some. I suspect a little googling may also produce those chapters online. 

I'll finish off with a book recommendation that was given to me by David, a loyal RealMoney reader. David recommends Peter Drucker's "Adventures of a Bystander." All I know is that Drucker is considered one of the authorities on management and leadership. I'm looking forward to reading this one. 

Have a happy and safe July 4th. Days and times like these crystallize why we are so fortunate to have the freedoms and opportunities that only this great country can offer us.

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