Six books to read this holiday season



In today’s uncertain markets, investors need to be more active and more selective, which requires being more informed about the world around us. These books explore the shifting dynamics at work in the world today – and help us get more comfortable with uncertainty.

Neil's recommendations
  • "After Europe" by Ivan Krastev
  • "Has the West Lost It?: A Provocation" by Kishore Mahbubani
  • "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead" by Sheryl Sandberg
  • "Shackleton’s Boat Journey" by Frank Arthur Worsley
  • "Stand Out of Our Light: Freedom and Resistance in the Attention Economy" by James Williams
  • "Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts" by Annie Duke

After Europe by Ivan Krastev

After Europe
By Ivan Krastev

The European Union faces a range of challenges, including the rise of populism, thorny Brexit negotiations and unstable politics in member countries such as Italy. This makes Mr Krastev’s book a timely one – particularly with European Parliamentary elections on the cards in 2019. Can the EU emerge from its struggles as a stronger, more streamlined and more cohesive “United States of Europe”?

Has the West Lost It?: A Provocation By Kishore Mahbubani

Has the West Lost It?: A Provocation
By Kishore Mahbubani

The world may be undergoing a seismic shift as the balance of economic power moves away from developed nations in the West, and towards Asia and Latin America. Demographics, political upheaval and a potential “tech cold war” between China and the US are all playing a role. Mr Mahbubani argues that only by embracing change will the West continue to play a key role.

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead By Sheryl Sandberg

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead 
By Sheryl Sandberg

Although published several years ago, Ms Sandberg’s book is as timely as ever, underscoring the work still to be done on closing the gender pay gap and removing the “glass ceiling” for women. Asset managers have a role to play, both in helping women advance in the workplace and influencing the companies in which we invest so that they address these issues.

Shackletons Boat Journey By Frank Arthur Worsley

Shackleton’s Boat Journey 
By Frank Arthur Worsley

Sir Ernest Shackleton led the early 20th-century Antarctic expedition that turned into one of the greatest survival stories of all time. Mr Worsley brings this story vividly to life, pinpointing Shackleton’s dichotomous personality. As an explorer, he made many bad decisions, but as a leader, he had unparalleled skills that came through when most needed.

Stand Out of Our Light: Freedom and Resistance in the Attention Economy By James Williams

Stand Out of Our Light: Freedom and Resistance in the Attention Economy 
By James Williams

The rise of social media and smartphones has connected billions of people, transforming politics, entertainment, and the way we consume news and information But as our digital devices clamour for our attention, Mr Williams argues that they take a toll on our focus, create distrust and distract us from what is truly important.

Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts By Annie Duke

Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts 
By Annie Duke

A former World Series of Poker champion, Ms Duke raises interesting questions for investors, particularly in a world filled with unknown variables about business disruption, politics and monetary policy. Success may lie in making an accurate assessment of what you know and don’t know – and being comfortable with uncertainty.

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Brexit - going through the motions



On 15 January, UK prime minister Theresa May suffered a resounding parliamentary defeat on her EU withdrawal bill. An unsettled couple of weeks now lie ahead.