The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver Review

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail — but Some Don’t by Nate Silver (FiveThirtyEight.com) is an incredibly fascinating look at modern and historical predictions delving into why some fail and others don’t. My favorite chapters explain how weather predictions are made and even compares the accuracy of predictions made by different weather groups (Accuweather vs NOAA vs Local Weather). Spoiler Alert: NOAA is the most accurate. He has many other fascinating chapters involving how he accurately predicted the last two presidential elections as well as explains how the attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise but shouldn’t have been. This book is for more than just math nerds and stat geeks. I recommend this book for everyone.

Tim Ferro

Free Advice (And Worth Every Penny) by Todd Klindt

Free Advice (And Worth Every Penny) If you haven’t read this book and you are installing SharePoint 2010, you’re doing it wrong! There I said it.

Todd Klindt is a recognized authority on SharePoint installation and administration and a Microsoft MVP. This book is a collection of his SharePoint 2010 blog posts, laid our in order to help everyone install and configure everything correctly. It is basically a step-by-step how-to guide for installing and setting up SharePoint 2010 by the #1 expert in the field. He has made a few updates and includes the blog comments as well. It is a quick read and now that it’s free, it is a MUST READ for all SharePoint professionals!

Tim Ferro

Carte Blanche (007) is a Fantastic Modern Bond

Carte BlancheThis is not your parents’ James Bond. Jeffery Deaver brings 007 into modern times in Carte Blanche! Re-imagined as a 30 something veteran of the Afghan war, James Bond is a member of a new organization protecting a post 9/11 world.

Once I started reading I could not put this book down. The book read like a modern Bond movie with cool technology, exotic locales, interesting women, and fast cars. It is action packed and it shares my title of “Favorite Book of the Year” (an award I just made up) with Chronic City.

I am now going to have a hard time reading 007 novels that aren’t set in modern times. Side Note: The next book coming out, Solo, is set back in 1969. So if you like the recent James Bond movies you will love this book (which will hopefully be made into a movie).

Tim Ferro

Ghost in the Wires by Kevin Mitnick is Fascinating

Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted HackerTo all my friends in the technology field, this book is a must read. It was incredibly fascinating and I couldn’t stop reading (actually I listened to the audio book in my car but you get the idea)! My description of this book would not do it justice so here is the Amazon.com Book Description.

Kevin Mitnick was the most elusive computer break-in artist in history. He accessed computers and networks at the world’s biggest companies–and however fast the authorities were, Mitnick was faster, sprinting through phone switches, computer systems, and cellular networks. He spent years skipping through cyberspace, always three steps ahead and labeled unstoppable. But for Kevin, hacking wasn’t just about technological feats-it was an old fashioned confidence game that required guile and deception to trick the unwitting out of valuable information.

Driven by a powerful urge to accomplish the impossible, Mitnick bypassed security systems and blazed into major organizations including Motorola, Sun Microsystems, and Pacific Bell. But as the FBI’s net began to tighten, Kevin went on the run, engaging in an increasingly sophisticated cat and mouse game that led through false identities, a host of cities, plenty of close shaves, and an ultimate showdown with the Feds, who would stop at nothing to bring him down.

Ghost in the Wires is a thrilling true story of intrigue, suspense, and unbelievable escape, and a portrait of a visionary whose creativity, skills, and persistence forced the authorities to rethink the way they pursued him, inspiring ripples that brought permanent changes in the way people and companies protect their most sensitive information. Amazon.com

Tim Ferro

The First Time Manager by Belker and Topchik Review

The First-Time ManagerListen up Gen-Y, if you aren’t already a manager at this point you will be someday soon. Those of us that either are or will be managers NEED to read this book. Do what I did, get the audio book and listen while commuting to and from work. It’s only 4 CDs which are those things we listened to before MP3s were invented. This book was recommended to me while I was attending a 2-day management class from my employer and I highly recommend it. Consider this one of those fundamental management books that everyone has on their shelf. It’s really all great advice and all management 101 foundation information. It’s a quick read at only 240 pages and well worth it.

Tim Ferro

If I’m So Smart Where Did All My Money Go Review

If I'm So Smart Where Did All My Money Go by Doug WarshauerI think a lot of people will like reading this book because it is told as a story and not like a traditional finance book. It had a good and logical flow to the information with real world application. It also provided the reader with ways to figure out the math easily for each individual. I recommend that everyone read this book, but I don’t recommend all of the advice the author gives so take it for what it’s worth.

Doug Warshauer gives plenty of solid financial advice like paying off debt and saving for cars but some of his advice is really out there. His math seems solid but I simply cannot get on board with not saving for retirement until I am in my 50s. Also I don’t agree in using all my savings to pay off all debts right away. In these troubled economic times, one cannot afford to have no savings in case of job loss.

The information is worth reading and the worksheets and statistics are great to do and understand. I recommend reading this book but take it with a grain of salt.

Tim Ferro

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Audio Book)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I realize I am way late to this party but I finally got around to reading (actually listening to) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. By now most people are already aware of the plot due to the book’s success and the release of a movie staring now Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence. I will say that I really enjoyed the book and will most likely listen to the following two books in the series. In case you have no idea what it is about, here is the description from Amazon.com:

“In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, “The Hunger Games,” a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed.” – Amazon.com

Tim Ferro

Chronic City by Jonathan Lethem

I don’t even know where to begin when describing this book. It is captivating, infinitely complex, and interesting. When I was reading it, it was completely absorbing; and when I finished, everything I thought I understood changed.

Chronic City by Jonathan Lethem is a fantastic piece of pure fiction. From Amazon.com: “Chase Insteadman, former child television star, has a new role in life—permanent guest on the Upper East Side dinner party circuit, where he is consigned to talk about his astronaut fiancée, Janice Trumbull, who is trapped on a circling Space Station. A chance encounter collides Chase with Perkus Tooth, a wily pop culture guru with a vicious conspiratorial streak and the best marijuana in town. Despite their disparate backgrounds and trajectories Chase and Perkus discover they have a lot in common, including a cast of friends from all walks of life in Manhattan.  Together and separately they attempt to define the indefinable, and enter into a quest for the most elusive of things: truth and authenticity in a city where everything has a price.

Tim Ferro

Absolute Monarchs by John Julius Norwich (Audio Book)

Absolute Monarchs by John Julius Norwich is a fascinating book about the history and intrigue of the Catholic papacy. From the beginning until current day, this book chronicles and highlights all notable, famous, and infamous popes. This book sheds a new light on the history of Europe and the evolution of Catholicism. Though incredibly interesting, I can imagine that reading this book would not be as enjoyable as listening to the self-narrated audio book. It is simply massive and not casual reading friendly. As an audio book; however, it was well paced and well read. I recommend this book for Catholics and history buffs.

Tim Ferro

All Investors Must Read The Shadow Market

With the now astounding amount of wealth possessed by sovereign wealth funds, as well as the amount of debt issued and owned by countries worldwide, it was only a matter of time before those nations became world economic powers. The deals they make and investments they hold are not regulated by any agency yet they move markets all over the world. While the United States uses its capital to encourage business and further democracy, many foreign countries use their immense resources and funds to further their country’s power and political agenda as a whole. This radical and fundamental difference between nations has lead to the ever increasing threat of economic warfare as a means to level the international playing field.

If you are an active investor or just a hobbyist, this book is a must read. Eric Weiner’s The Shadow Market explains how the current state of global economics and finance. To get a firm handle on today’s investing environment, first read Jim Cramer’s Getting Back To Even, then this book.

Tim Ferro