Mawer’s top book recommendations for 2016

January 27, 2016 | Kara Lilly Print

Every year, our team pulls together a list of books that influenced our thinking in the previous year. Not all of the recommendations are new books or relate directly to investing, but each one provided the reader with valuable insight. We hope they may provide you with the same.


The Story of Philosophy
Author: Will Durrant
Recommended by: John Wilson, Equity Analyst

The Story of Philosophy provides a complete overview of the major philosophical ideas over the last 4,000 years. Durrant focuses on the “big” ideas and the links between them while managing to avoid the often esoteric realm of Metaphysics. A good introduction into some very old and important ideas.


Legacy: 15 Lessons on Leadership
Author: James Kerr
Recommended by: Vijay Viswanathan, Director of Research

Legacy provides a glimpse into the world’s most successful sports franchise, the New Zealand All Blacks. The book is a great account of organizational change and the importance of being driven by values. Valuable reading for anyone trying to build a world-class team/business.


Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics
Author: Richard H Thaler
Recommended by: Cameron Webster, Institutional Portfolio Manager

Misbehaving—a book about economics with actual personality—is part autobiography and part textbook. It’s often humourous first-person narrative illustrates the connection between human behaviour and the economy.


The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat
Author: Oliver Sacks
Recommended by: Paul Moroz. Deputy Chief Investment Officer

This 1985 classic by neurologist Oliver Sacks consists of twenty-four essays told through the case histories of some of Sacks’ patients that deal with different aspects of brain function. A timely read in lieu of Sacks’ recent passing.



Family Wealth: Keeping it in the Family
Author: James Hugh
Recommended by: Paul Moroz, Deputy Chief Investment Officer

Another classic, Family Wealth is a practical exploration on how families can think about their heritage, wealth and legacy.

We think the amazon description sells its virtues well:

“Every family, looking at the next generation, hopes to confer advantages that are more than just material and financial--to inculcate character and leadership, to inspire creativity and enterprise, to help all family members find and follow their individual callings, and to avoid the financial dependency and loss of initiative that can all too often be an unwanted consequence of financial success. Yet many families never succeed in realizing that vision, much less sustaining it for three, four, or five generations and beyond.”


Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces
Author: Radly Balko
Recommended by: Paul Wheaton, Investment Counsellor

In the aftermath of the Ferguson riots, Rise of the Warrior Cop provides a fascinating overview of the circumstances behind and contributing to the tanks and soldiers infiltrating the streets of Missouri.


The Most Important Thing illuminated: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor
Author: Howard Marks
Recommended by: Brett Taylor, Associate, Investment Counselling

Known for his clarity of thinking, Marks’ The Most Important Thing is a classic in any investor’s education. Marks describes complex financial concepts in an easy to understand way, while doing a commendable job explaining risk and how it differs from price volatility. If you are looking for one book in 2016 that can give you a better investment foundation, this would be a good bet.


In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works and Shapes our Lives
Author: Steven Levy
Recommended by: Peter Lampert, Portfolio Manager

An engaging exploration of one of the most influential businesses of our time, In the Plex looks at many of the nuances that make Google unique. Clients may also find it fascinating to learn more about one of the holdings in a number of our funds.




  • Sean Clark 27/01/2016 1:10pm (4 years ago)

    I just ordered, 'Family Wealth: Keeping it in the Family' and I hope that it is a great read. Thanks for the suggestions!

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