Jim Rogers’ A Gift to My Children: A Father’s Lessons for Life and Investing

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2011 at 5:04 pm

via Amazon

When reading non-fiction, I tend to gravitate towards those smaller and thinner like Jim Rogers’ A Gift to My Children: A Father’s Lessons for Life and Investing. After all, it’s not how big a book is that matters but how much you can actually get out of it. Thankfully, Rogers’ 2009 release is  filled with little nuggets of wisdom that will come in handy whether you are a private banker or a just a plain old private citizen. The book is two years old to date but as Rogers, using Mark Twain’s words, says, History “rhymes.” It may not repeat itself but it does have the tendency of falling back into old habits.

In the book, Rogers often addresses his daughters (Happy and Baby Bee) when he speaks of life lessons. Luckily, this writer is a girl and can easily absorb the famous investor and author’s words without missing a beat. Still, anyone can overlook being called Rogers’ daughter (even if one is defiantly male) once he gets to the point.

One of his first lessons is about independence. Never let anybody else swim your races for you, Rogers states. Advice, when asked for or even given freely, often does more harm than good. Recalling his first forays into Wall Street, Rogers shares the story of how he sought the advice of several senior investors on which stocks to pursue. It was logical, he had thought, to ask the advice of those he deemed wiser about such matters. Ironically, each of those stocks he had been recommended to go for, failed. From then on, Rogers made sure to do his own research and trust in his own instincts rather than rely on what others have to say. In fact, he even tells readers not to take his word for it when he championed Brazil and China as bull markets and shared his skepticism about India’s economy.

He goes on to show that he isn’t afraid of being laughed at and tells readers that if someone laughs at their idea, they should probably go ahead and pursue it (and yes, he does have a concrete example of an investment decision he had made a lot of money out of despite a colleague’s ribbing).

Not everything about this book is on investment. He did mean to dedicate his findings to his daughters and having traveled around the world twice, Rogers has seen and experienced quite a lot in his lifetime. He has learned never to trust politicians, learned to separate himself from the mob hysteria and learned to prepare a grocery shopping list before going to the supermarket among others. From someone who had made enough money to retire by his thirties, I say we all better get started on that grocery list!


Book I Want: Mad Men: The Illustrated World (Repost)

In Uncategorized on October 29, 2010 at 3:09 pm

via Amazon

I know it’s been a while since I last posted but not a lot of books (good or otherwise) have crossed my path for a while. I’ve also been more preoccupied with a new career so my free time has been severely, and I repeat, severely, diminished. However, today I stopped by one of my favorite bookstores and chanced upon Mad Men: An Illustrated World by Dyna Moe (Yes, I wonder about that name myself. Apparently, only the show’s creator, Matthew Weiner, knows his/her true persona). I have a love-hate relationship with Mad Men but this book can do no wrong. Granted, I’ve only browsed a few pages’ worth but from what I saw, Dyna Moe’s book will definitely be in this year’s Christmas stocking.

Basically, it’s a lifestyle guide with sections like “Things Every Secretary Should Know” and “Dealing with Difficult Clients.” It has make-up tips and cooking recipes. It has marketing strategies and fashion advice.

Below are a few pages from Amazon that might amuse you as it did me.

via Amazon

I know it looks like all the sections are for women but it’s not. I’ve seen articles for men as well. Of course, this isn’t a book to be taken seriously. For people who love Mad Men and for those who don’t take life too seriously, this is probably a great book to buy. When I get a hold of a copy (translate: when I have enough money to spare), I’ll let you guys know whether it’s Mad Men gold or not.

Journalism on a Whim

In Uncategorized on September 22, 2010 at 9:25 am

Yesterday, I joined my serious journalist friend Ja on a trip to Quezon City where she interviewed residents who face the threat of demolition by the National Housing Authority. I acted as her official photographer (hehehe) as she scribbled furiously in her large notebook. What I learned there was mind boggling. The residents are being forced to move to Montalban where new homes await them. It shouldn’t be such a bad deal except that:

a. Montalban is too far away from the residents’ workplaces and schools.
b. The houses in Montalban are all made of cheap materials. One strong push can send the walls a-falling.
c. Montalban is notorious for crime.
d. Montalban is near a river with a flimsy dam (that was apparently destroyed recently).


e. Montalban is located right above the Marikina fault line which, according to the DOST, will break open in five to ten years.

Hello! No wonder the locals call it Mentalban. Who wouldn’t go crazy living there?

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