What the rich are reading

It’s never easy to figure out what makes wealthy entrepreneur tick, but a reading list created by the private banking division of US giant JP Morgan might just provide one way to get some insights into the big new ideas the rich are focussing on.

Every year for the past 11 years, JP Morgan Private Bank has produced a summer reading list (for the North American summer, of course) and the latest issue was released over the weekend.

By all reports, the list has taken on something of a life of its own in recent times and has become so popular that JP Morgan has tied the release of the list to a charity to encourage literacy for children. Over 450 JP Morgan Bankers submitted ideas for the list (it’s non-fiction only) which were then whittled down to 10 choices.

The list (you can see the whole thing here) covers the full spectrum of a wealthy entrepreneur’s life – there are tomes on art, food and, of course, wine.

But the business selections are particularly worth checking out. Here are five to get entrepreneurial minds ticking over:

1. The Facebook Effect

Billed as “the first inside story of Facebook”, this book has been written with the full cooperation of founder Mark Zuckerberg. Given the incredible growth and power of this company, it will be fascinating to see the strategies used by the company over the past five years. It will also be interesting to see where Zuckerberg sits in the tech world.

2. On the Brink

This account of the GFC is written by Hank Paulson, who was US Treasury Secretary at the time the financial world went into meltdown. The more we learn about what went wrong, the more likely we are not to repeat those mistakes again – that’s the theory, anyway.

3. Blackberry

Like the Facebook book, this tome promises to look at how Research In Motion grew from a start up to one of the world’s top consumer electronics brands. Will be particularly interesting to see whether the book explores the way RIM will fight back against the rise of Apple.

4. Written in Water

A big-picture work that looks at how to address the global challenge of water shortages. A big issue that could also influence business trends in the future.

5. Life is What You Make It

Written by Peter Buffett, son of legendary investor Warren Buffett. While the book promises to examine “Peter Buffett’s inspirational story of finding fulfilment in the world of music, and the decisions that allowed him to define his own path, independent of his father’s” most readers will be hoping for a few insights into life with the Oracle of Omaha.


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