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Here are the 32 books our 2020 rising stars of Wall Street think everyone should read

We asked our Rising Stars of Wall Street to recommend a book to our readers and their selections range from investing "how-to" classics to a timely retelling of the Spanish Flu Pandemic, from "Margaritaville" singer Jimmy Buffett's autobiography to a 368-page work on why we sleep. 

The full selection of 32 books, and the stars' comments about them, are below.

Read our full list of the rising stars of Wall Street shaking up investing, trading, and dealmaking.

"A Little Life" by Hanya Yanagihara

Rising star: Alexander Tingle, director of technology, media, and telecom investment banking, UBS Investment Banking

Tingle's partner, who is also a banker, once recommended he read "A Little Life," the haunting, critically acclaimed novel by Hanya Yanagihara that was published in 2015 and centers on ambitious young men who move to New York City.

"I loved it," Tingle said, admitting with a laugh that he's not the most avid reader, but "A Little Life" has stuck with him — and not only because it's set in New York, where he's now building his career.

One of the central characters, a successful go-getter, is struggling with his mental health throughout the story. For Tingle, he was inspired by that character's portrayal and brought to mind mental health-related stigmas that persist in some workplaces, especially for people in cutthroat positions.

"How to Lead: Wisdom from the World's Greatest CEOs, Founders, and Game Changers" by David Rubenstein

Rising star: Will Boeckman, head of US electronic sales, Citadel Securities

Will Boeckman, Citadel Securities' head of electronic trading for fixed income, currencies, and commodities, named Carlyle Group founder David Rubenstein's recently-released book "How to Lead: Wisdom from the World's Greatest CEOs, Founders, and Game Changers" as his go-to pick.

"It's kind of an anthology of various industries," Boeckman said of the book, which aggregates highlights from Rubenstein's interviews with noteworthy individuals like Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, and former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, whom he spoke with on his eponymous show on Bloomberg TV.

"A key takeaway from these stories is the importance of finding your passion. I'm obviously very passionate about finance," Boeckman said, "and it's something that was mentioned by a few of the people" that Rubenstein interviewed.

"Give and Take" by Adam Grant

Rising stars: Rachel Murray, vice president at Moelis, and Lacey Vigmostad Giliberto, vice president at Credit Suisse 

Lacey Vigmostad Giliberto, a vice president in syndicated loans sales at Credit Suisse, named "Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success" by Adam Grant, a legendary Wharton professor, as among her favorites. "It's about striving to be somebody who gives to others and then expects nothing in return," she said, "and how ironically fruitful that can be for your own life and career."

Moelis's Rachel Murray, a restructuring banker told Business Insider: "It shows that it's not just about you. In the grand scheme of things, it's how you help others along the way. How you can grow the pie for everyone.'

"Open" by Andre Agassi

Rising star: Daniel Costanza, chief data scientist, Citigroup

Citigroup's Daniel Costanza recommends "Open" by tennis champ Andre Agassi, which he called "a really wonderful book about his experience in tennis where he didn't really like tennis in the moment," but eventually came to embrace it, he said.

"I think his experience of learning how to love the day to day and love the moment is really powerful," Costanza explained. 

 

 

 

"Young Money" by Kevin Roose

Rising star: Daniel Costanza, chief data scientist, Citigroup

For those flirting with the idea of a finance career who have yet to take the plunge, Daniel Costanza recommended "Young Money," a collection of stories by author Kevin Roose about the trials and tribulations of young financiers. 

The book holds insights into "all the wrong reasons why you can go into finance," Costanza said, making it a cautionary tale for those who aren't sure if the intense pace of life on Wall Street is right for them.

 

 

"Dare to Lead" by Brené Brown

Rising star: Alexis Rosenblum, chief corporate sustainability officer, BlackRock

Throughout the pandemic, Rosenblum has switched to audiobooks — "I'm not sure why, but I think that's the only time I get out of the house: when I take a walk in the afternoon, put my headphones in, and listen to something" — and recently listened to"Dare to Lead", a book by Brené Brown.

It resonated with Rosenblum, who said that she's always been drawn to learning about the field of psychology, and Brown explores human themes like empathy, courage, and shame.

Brown builds the book around the famous "arena" quote from Theodore Roosevelt, about credit belonging "to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood." It inspired Rosenblum, who took away lessons about being a leader.

"Leaders are in the arena, and there are lots of people in the stands who are there just to criticize or comment on what you're doing. But being in the arena takes courage. It gives you a lot of advice around, how do you think about having that courage?" she said.

"Active Portfolio Management: A Quantitative Approach for Producing Superior Returns and Selecting Superior Returns and Controlling Risk" by Richard Grinold and Ronald Kahn

Rising star: Robert Lam, co-head of credit, Man Group's Man Numeric 

Man Group's Robert Lam recommended "Active Portfolio Management: A Quantitative Approach for Producing Superior Returns and Selecting Superior Returns and Controlling Risk" by Richard Grinold and Ronald Kahn.

"It's pretty technical, but a must-read for any quant," he said. 

"The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace" by Jeff Hobbs

Rising star: Mir Subjally, credit trader, Deutsche Bank

"It was a really interesting dichotomy. It's about a young African-American man who grew up in a rougher neighborhood in Newark but went to Yale and ended up being really successful in his academic work. But he struggled at times to mesh the two worlds together," Mir Subjally, a credit trader, told BI about "The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace" by Jeff Hobbs. 

"It shows that the path to equality isn't always as easy and seamless. Going to Yale on a scholarship, it can still be really hard for people. People often don't get that."

"Start With Why" by Simon Sinek

Rising star: Doug Scott, CEO, Ethic

In Ethic's early days, CEO Doug Scott said he and his team gave investors and employees the business and leadership-focused book "Start With Why," written by the author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek. It was inspirational for the co-founder, and integral for starting Ethic and making a transition from traditional financial services.

It tries to get across that the "core of everything is: why this, why are we actually focusing on this? Why are you building this business? Why are you in this career? 'Why' — that was the core tenet," he said.

"The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration" by Isabel Wilkerson

Rising star: Danielle Cooper, director, Annaly Capital Management

"The Warmth of Other Suns" by Isabel Wilkerson is an analysis of the 70-year Great Migration of Black people in America from the rural south to the urban north after the end of reconstruction and the beginning of Jim Crow segregation.

The book is very narrative, following the lives of multiple migrants, and inspired Danielle Cooper, who is Black, to talk more with her family about their history of migration.

"The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Plague in History" by John M. Barry

Rising star: Danielle Cooper, director, Annaly Capital Management

Danielle Cooper also recommended an exceedingly timely read: "The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Plague in History" by John M. Barry.

While Cooper said she usually reads fiction, she read this book as part of a series of firm-wide virtual book clubs since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

"The Great Influenza," is an in-depth retelling of the Spanish Flu Pandemic, the last global pandemic, and Cooper said the similarities between this pandemic and the last one show how much we still have to figure out.

"Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming" edited by Paul Hawken

Rising star: Jay Lipman, co-founder and president, Ethic

Jay Lipman pointed to a book that Ethic has given to people close to the company, called "Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming," edited by Paul Hawken and produced by the non-profit organization Project Drawdown.

"For me, it's a game plan of how to actually seek solutions to the biggest existential threat that we actually face as a species and as a planet," Lipman said. "Whenever I introduce people to the book, you see people get obsessed with the kinds of things that we can be doing, whether that's regenerative agriculture, renewable energy, or reducing food waste."

 

"Beating the Street" by Peter Magellan

Rising star: Jennifer Fo Cardillo, portfolio manager, Fideltiy

"Being a Fidelity person, I had to pick a Peter Lynch book," said Jennifer Fo Cardillo, a small-cap portfolio manager at the firm, referring to the famed money manager and longtime Fidelity investor.

Lynch ran the firm's Magellan Fund from 1977 to 1990.

"'Beating the Street has been one of my favorites, such a classic. It's about how Peter ran Magellan day-to-day. And so I've just found it to be an excellent guide to investment processes for new fund managers," she said.

 

"Faith of My Fathers" by John McCain

Rising star: Victor Perez, vice president in credit derivative trading, Wells Fargo

For Victor Perez, a Naval veteran and vice president in credit derivative trading at Wells Fargo, the late John McCain's "Faith of My Fathers,"a 1999 autobiography and memoir, is a must-read.

The late Arizona senator and Naval officer "was a role model for us going through the Naval academy," Perez said. The book looks back on McCain's pedigree, his father and grandfather both being esteemed four-star Naval admirals, and McCain having survived imprisonment and torture in Vietnam starting from when he was shot down while flying over Hanoi in 1967.

 

"A Pirates Look at Fifty" by Jimmy Buffet

Rising star: Victor Perez, vice president in credit derivative trading, Wells Fargo

Another book Victor Perez recommended, albeit with a much different tone, is Jimmy Buffett's "A Pirate Looks at Fifty," in which the musician takes readers on a journey through the Caribbean, and shares stories from his life. The book centers on Buffett's experiences surrounding his fiftieth birthday.

"The guy is just so chill, so cool," Perez said, adding, "I'm like, man, that's that's what I want to do when I'm older."

"Just Kids" by Patti Smith

Lauren Goodwin, economist and multi-asset portfolio strategist, New York Life Investments

"It's a story about friendship and finding beauty in New York City when times are hard both for yourself and for the city, and the drivers of the creative process," New York Life Investments's Lauren Goodwin said about Patti Smith's popular "Just Kids". "I am trained in music and language, and so these processes and styles are really near and dear to my heart."

"But Patti Smith is just a generous and lyrical narrator, and she shares glimpses of the fabulous yet grungy 70s, music scene, while really anchoring in the humanity of her experience and that time."

"Security Analysis" by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd

Rising star: Paul Kamenski, co-head of credit, Man Group's Man Numeric 

If you're looking to read about value investing, Man Group's Paul Kamenski suggests not worrying about getting your hands on billionaire hedge funder Seth Klarman's out-of-print book, "Margin of Safety".

"Much has been said about 'Margin of Safety' over the years, but in my opinion nothing quite compares to the original "Security Analysis" by Benjamin Graham and David L. Dodd. They epitomized the concept through their careful approach, still relevant to this day," said Kamenski.

 

"Contrarian Investment Strategy: The Psychology of Stock Market Success" by David Dreman

Rising star: Paul Kamenski, co-head of credit, Man Group's Man Numeric 

Paul Kamenski also put forward David Dreman's "Contrarian Investment Strategy: The Psychology of Stock Market Success"  as a must-read as they served as his first entrance into the world of systematic, quantitative investing.

"Compared with what has now often become fairly complex and evolved, his works as an early adopter of the approach were simple, intuitive, and persuasive, establishing clear roots for what it means to use a systematic approach," added Kamenski. 

"Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott

Rising star: Kelly Winnop, principal, Blackstone

Louise May Alcott's literary classic "Little Women" is Kelly Winnop of Blackstone's top pick.

"I was just drawn to Jo's independence, and I enjoyed that it was a book about family," she said.

"Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less" by Greg McKeown

Rising star: Lacey Vigmostad Giliberto, vice president, Credit Suisse 

Lacey Vigmostad Giliberto's reading list comprises titles that can help make all of our lives a bit better.

"Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less," by author Greg McKeown, is a book that can help people who "feel pulled in multiple directions and can get overwhelmed," Vigmostad Giliberto said, and it helped her to "consolidate and prioritize the activities in my life, and more importantly, the thoughts in my head."

 

"Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams" by Matthew Walker

Rising star: Lacey Vigmostad Giliberto, vice president, Credit Suisse

For those struggling to get in some much-needed rest, Lacey Vigmostad Giliberto recommended "Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams" by Matthew Walker. "This book explores sleep's impact on your body and mind," she explained.

"Before the coronavirus pandemic, I was a daily 4:30 A.M. workout warrior and advocate for holistic nutrition, but I certainly was not prioritizing sleep in my health equation."
"This was an eye-opening and convincing read," she added," that has helped me to get significantly more shut-eye."

 

 

 

"The Art Spirit" by Robert Henri

Rising star: Alice Leng, vice president and quantitative finance analyst in the data & innovation group, Bank of America

An artist on the side who paints landscapes, Alice Leng recommended Robert Henri's "The Art Spirit" in part because it taught her to respect the flow of nature in her work. 

For Leng, a machine-learning expert in BofA's data and innovation group, favorite quotes include: "Art when really understood is the province of every human being," and "For an artist to be interesting to us he must have been interesting to himself."

"The Sparrow" by Mary Doria Russell

Rising star: Rayhaneh Sharif-Askary, director of investor relations and business development, Grayscale Investments

Rayhaneh Sharif-Askar of Grayscale Investments recommended Mary Doria Russell's "The Sparrow."

"It's this really unique narrative that transcends time and space and involves a story that has extraterrestrial life in it. And also touches on themes of art and spirituality and society and language," Sharif-Askary said.

"A Man for All Markets: From Las Vegas to Wall Street, How I Beat the Dealer and the Market" by Ed Thorp

Rising star: Philip Dobrin, senior portfolio strategist, Bridgewater Associates

Senior portfolio strategist Philip Dobrin suggested Ed Thorp's autobiography "A Man for All Markets: From Las Vegas to Wall Street, How I Beat the Dealer and the Market" and Bill Browder's "Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice".

"Reading the stories of great investors is both fun and informative," he said. "What's most interesting is the commonalities you see between the two investors despite radically different approaches and asset classes."

"Foundation" by Isaac Asimov

Rising star: Vlad Moshinsky, director, Miller Buckfire

"There's a lot of game theory involved, analyzing big data to predict outcomes," Vlad Moshinsky, a restructuring banker, told Business Insider about "Foundation" by Isaac Asimov.

"The concepts in that book and trilogy are very relevant today."

"Super Forecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction" by Dan Gardner and Philip E. Tetlock.

Rising star: Rachel Dwyer, principal, Apollo Global Management

Apollo's Rachel Dwyer put forward"Super Forecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction" by Dan Gardner and Philip E. Tetlock, which she read as part of her credit division's book club. 

"We have an Apollo book club. That is one of John Zito's (deputy CIO of Apollo Credit) brainchilds. Most of the people in the group participate in it. It's pretty interesting to read a book a month. We have Zoom get-togethers."

 

"When Breath Becomes Air" by Paul Kalanithi

Rising star: Shaan Tehal, vice president, Global Technology Investment Banking Group, Morgan Stanley

One of Shaan Tehal's favorite book picks is "When Breath Becomes Air," an autobiography written by Dr. Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon who died at age 37 from stage IV metastatic lung cancer in 2015.

The book was published by Random House after Kalanithi passed away.

Kalanithi wrote "so poignantly and beautifully about the hard questions we should ask about our life and how we live it," Tehal said. "It was a very well-written book around the deeper philosophical thoughts that you should have around life itself."

"Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World" by David Epstein

Rising star: Shaan Tehal, vice president, Global Technology Investment Banking Group, Morgan Stanley

Another of Shaan Tehal's suggestions is a book called "Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World" by journalist David Epstein; it was released last year.

The book, he said, "looks at the benefits of late specialization and a diversity of experience," and how knowledge in a variety of arenas can pay off "especially when solving complex problems that require creative solutions." 

"Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance" by Angela Duckworth

Rising star: Sharo Atmeh, equity analyst, Alyeska Investment Group

"Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance" by Angela Duckworth, was the pick Sharo Atmeh of Chicago-based hedge fund Alyeska Investment Group put forward.

He was impressed by how she could identify something as qualitative as "working hard" and dissect it.

 

"Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers" by Geoffrey A. Moore

Rising star: John Curtius, partner, Tiger Global

Tiger Global's John Curtius suggested "Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers" by Geoffrey A. Moore, which he calls a must-read for any aspiring tech investors

 

"Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger

Miles Tobin, principal, Carlyle Group

Miles Tobin, a principal at Carlyle, said he's become more of a listener of books than a reader and that the "Catcher in the Rye", by J.D. Salinger is "one of his older but all time favorite" reads.

Read our full list of the rising stars of Wall Street shaking up investing, trading, and dealmaking.

Or take a look at their best career advice here. 

 

 

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