Books - Hidden Gems

As the author of a lesser known Wall Street fiction book, I've been wondering if there are other authors under the radar in the finance / Wall Street genre worth checking out. On WSO, there are about a dozen threads on great book recommendations, but essentially it's the same stuff over and over again: Liar's Poker, Monkey Business, Discussion Materials, Barbarians at the Gate, etc. All great books and good places to start, but once you've read those, what's left worth reading in this very small genre. Any hidden gems or books off the beaten track?

Here are a few that I have discovered but have not read yet:

The Vulture Fund, The Day Trader, The Insider and others by Stephen Frey

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=stephen+w.+frey&crid=Sโ€ฆ

Bully Market: My Story of Money and Misogyny at Goldman Sachs by Jamie Fiore Higgins

https://www.amazon.com/Bully-Market-Story-Misogynโ€ฆ

Breathe in, Cash Out: A Novel by Madeleine Henry

https://www.amazon.com/Breathe-Cash-Out-Madeleineโ€ฆ

Comments (44)

2mo
IBWriterMachine, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Just remembered another one. Actually bought a copy and it's waiting on my shelf.

Waffle Street: The Confession and Rehabilitation of a Financier by James Adams

There's also a B-movie of this available on Amazon. Not an amazing movie but if you're not doing anything in particular it's worth a watch. In short, it's a true story about a guy who used to sell mortgage-backed securities and became the manager of a Waffle House. I like finance and the Waffle House so kind of a natural fit for my interests.

And of course, there's my own book in case you like John Grisham-style Wall Street thrillers:

The Pitchbook: A Banking Analyst's Tale of Markets, Millions, and Mayhem by Vedran Vuk

2mo
Isaiah_53_5 ๐Ÿ’Ž๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ’Ž๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ’Ž, what's your opinion? Comment below:
IBWriterMachine

As the author of a lesser known Wall Street fiction book

How many have you sold?

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

2mo
IBWriterMachine, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Almost 200 hundred books with virtually no marketing. I published right as my firstborn was coming so managed to wrap up the book but not roll out the full marketing campaign originally intended. While its not flying off the shelves, it has taken a life of its own and sells a copy a week. No idea on who is buying. Of the Amazon reviews only three or so are people I know, so great to get really amazing feedback from anonymous readers. Would love to have you read it Isaiah - always enjoy your commentary and stories on here. First few chapter preview is free on Amazon in case you want to check it out.

2mo
Isaiah_53_5 ๐Ÿ’Ž๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ’Ž๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ’Ž, what's your opinion? Comment below:
IBWriterMachine

Almost 200 hundred books with virtually no marketing. I published right as my firstborn was coming so managed to wrap up the book but not roll out the full marketing campaign originally intended. While its not flying off the shelves, it has taken a life of its own and sells a copy a week. No idea on who is buying. Of the Amazon reviews only three or so are people I know, so great to get really amazing feedback from anonymous readers. Would love to have you read it Isaiah - always enjoy your commentary and stories on here. First few chapter preview is free on Amazon in case you want to check it out.

Oh ok nice yeah I'd love to check it out! Do you have the link to the first chapter?

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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2mo
WolfofWSO, what's your opinion? Comment below:

How much of the book is your real experience crafted for the fictional work?

Did any of your peers say, "you're writing a book, add me as a character!"

Array

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2mo
equityanarchist, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm a decent history buff and a book that really goes through the timeline of hedge funds and some of the biggest trades of the last 75 years was Sebastian Mallaby's "More Money Than God". Definitely more descriptive and narrative in nature but I've really enjoyed it.

Not meant to hijack the thread but if anyone has a monthly/quarterly blog that they really enjoy would be interested in that as well.

2mo
IBWriterMachine, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Awesome, good to get another vote for More Money than God. I see that one recommended every once in a while but you're right that it doesn't get the same attention as a Monkey Business for example. Will have to add it to the reading pile.....I guess the great thing and bad thing about this genre is that your reading pile is something like 20 books max - hence the inspiration for the post to find more gems.

Most Helpful
2mo
Deal Team Six, what's your opinion? Comment below:

For the Love of Money by Sam Polk is a fantastic read, very relatable for the underdogs out here with a chip on their shoulder trying to make it to the top.

Red Notice by Bill Browder is equally if not moreso impressive. A must read for anyone who started off on the wrong foot but then worked to get their life together / is interested in Russia, especially as the economy moved from socialism to capitalism. Very interesting transition that was poorly executed from an equities perspective.ย 

Boomerang by Michael Lewis. Best explanation of the world economy and the impact globalization has had on a range of nations, varying from the US to Iceland to Greece. Best macroeconomic analysis of the 07 financial crisis Ive ever read through and Lewis's best book in my opinion.

Very hot take: Barbarians at the Gate is largely uninteresting and dry, as it appears to over-pander to the finance community. I swear the people that hold this book in such high regard are equally as boring, but use it as their leading talking points during their semi-annual social events. I am fascinated by books that span all genres, and by most things in life. Reading Barbarians at the Gate was a fucking chore.ย 

2mo
IBWriterMachine, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Heard about Red Notice for the first time just last week from a friend. Definitely under the radar. I've had Boomerang on my shelf for a while after buying it at a used book store. Definitely the least talked about Michael Lewis book in his bibliography - will have to literally dust it off and give it a read.

  • 1
1mo
WolfofWSO, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Yea. Barbarians at the Gate was like reading the textbook from a newly minted PHD begging to show off. I didn't like the book that much. The movie wasn't great either.

Array

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1mo
Deal Team Six, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Barbarians at the Gate was like going to a cocktail hour with a 22 year old investment banker. They just wouldnt stop going into way too much detail about things I couldn't care less about. The level of granularity was frankly assaulting. The only interesting part of the entire book was the original CEO from Canada who essentially partied and brought his boys with him at every company he worked for, and continued to be kept around despite underperforming. I found that fairly amusing.ย 

1mo
thevillage, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I readย Red Noticeย a few months ago and really enjoyed it.ย 

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  • 1
1mo
Pierogi Equities, what's your opinion? Comment below:

it sounds pretty interesting, I'll have to see if the library has it.

Quant (หˆkwรคnt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

1mo
IBWriterMachine, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thank you for the read - very much appreciated! If you get a chance, give it a rating on Amazon!

I have another story outline completely ready for a second book, but I'm waiting to see how this one turns out. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I've sold almost 200 books so far. If I get to around ~500, I'll start the next book. The next one is going to to be about an investor relations team that convinces the Street that its hardy-partying CEO has become a born again Christian in order to save the stock price.ย 

1mo
WolfofWSO, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm a WSO nobody, but thanks. I do work on a deal team in a niche market. It's usually negotiating with sole proprietors directly. Periodically they have sell side representation whom we work with. Our process is pretty systematic and there is not a lot of haggling. We ask what they want, see if it fits our multiple, then take it from there. It honestly feels pretty cool and old school where someone's word and handshake still carry weight.

I'm sure I'll be baffled by some of the prestigious power broker stories from your time in M&A.

Array

  • 2
1mo
2rigged2fail, what's your opinion? Comment below:

'Young Money'ย 

'New Tycoons'

I just finished Guy Hands 'The Dealmaker'ย 

Next finance one for me is the 'Caesars palace coup'

1mo
WolfofWSO, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Read the book. I like it. Everyone reading this, buy the book and let your mind unwind with some good financial fiction.

Minor spoilers below.

The characters were well developed and conveyed clear detail. However, I did struggle understanding the protagonist and antagonist players. Not a huge deal, just didn't know who to root for vs despise.

The plot is plausible. I never thought of physical items being used in a scheme in this day and age of the internet. Very good! I will say a few aspects appeared far fetched. A certain call to a certain mentee just didn't flow in my opinion even it it was just hypothetical talk. Also, in the real world, I don't see counsel allowing a client speak so freely even if it is to just "get your side of the story." Perhaps I know too much with a friend who is a defective as well as attorneys I've paid way too much to save my behind. But certain privileges (5th and 6th amendment) are to be exercised should you be facing any question from authorities. As my criminal attorney says, "it's the cheapest ~$500/hr you'll ever spend." My detective friend has done investigations that involved interrogations of persons of interest. Most people don't know this, but detectives can lie. He had a ruse where during said interrogation, a runt would carry blank dvds marked "surveillance evidence" to get person of interest off their game. DVDs were blank, but you'd be surprised what a suspect would spill when asked, "any idea what we'll find on these when we play them?"

I know one individual who went from a middle market IB role to the state government. He makes six figures working 40 hours a week max, gets tons of PTO he's can use guilt free, generous benefits, and a pension guaranteeing 60% of his final income starting at age 60 or something. You hit the nail on the head in the book. Some jobs, while not prestigious at face value, give one a way to make the career they desire vs one they are indebted to.

I dig the various insights. Fiduciary vs suitability advisors, myth of a sell recommendation, bonus pool subsidizing those who are undeserving, rationalization of MDs to say things like great job, your group outperformed, but the overall business is struggling. We'll make it right next time.

Overall you did a great job and if gave me something to look forward to each evening that isn't a streaming service. I'll await the next book.

Array

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1mo
IBWriterMachine, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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