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This morning I am re-skimming one of my favorite books, John Train’s wisdom-packed The Money Masters.

Now 85, Train is a serious man: he was co-founder and former editor of The Paris Review, founder of two investment firms, member of the Council of Foreign Relations, fluent in six languages, and quotes Horace, according to a People profile from 1980.

But Train also has a whimsical side, which is revealed in a pair of books, Remarkable Names of Real People and Even More Remarkable Names. Train began tracking odd names and events as a Harvard undergrad after reading about a Mr. Katz Meow in a magazine. Later, Train discovered Drs. Fealy and Zoltan Ovary (gynecologists), I.M. Zamost (lawyer), Wong Bong Fong of Hong Kong, Zilpher Spittle, T. Hee, Iva Odor and Ure A. Pigg (restaurateur). At the Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics he found twins named A.C. and D.C, Bigamy and Larceny, Curly and Early, and Pete and Repeat.

Another slim volume, True Remarkable Occurrences, introduces us to Moses Alexander, 93, who married Frances Tompkins, 105, on June 11, 1831. The next morning the newlyweds were found in bed, both expired.

And then there is Vera Czermak of Prague, who jumped out of her third-story window after learning that her husband was cheating on her. But the despondent woman survived, landing on a passerby who she flattened and killed.

That unlucky pedestrian was...Mr. Czermak!


A new title that arrived yesterday via Amazon (AMZN) that you'll also enjoy is Ravee Mehta's The Emotionally Intelligent Investor. Mehta, the eldest son of immigrant parents, graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with degrees from the Wharton School of Business and also School of Engineering, and later worked for George Soros and Karsch Capital before retiring at a young age to travel the world, teach, and study philosophy at Oxford. Now Mehta manages his own funds and enjoys the freedom of working for himself.

While not having a boss is liberating, I suspect Mehta realizes that he needs a certain amount of structure (as we all do), so he can stay independent and not have to get a job with another financial services firm. In this paperback, whose title is a nod to Ben Graham's landmark The Intelligent Investor, Mehta tells us what he learned from his search for an investing framework, including the behavioral errors that separate us from our money.

"After writing this book, I have developed daily and weekly routines to understand myself and others better, deal with my particular vulnerabilities, prioritize my to-do list, evaluate investment opportunities, empathize with other market participants, monitor my portfolio, learn from prior decisions, leverage the intuition of others and anticipate danger with individual investments and more overall portfolio's construction. I also make sure that my investment approach fits with my personality and motivations.

Mehta's The Emotionally Intelligent Investor, like Train's The Money Masters, is loaded with useful tips. Despite just 200 pages in length, this is a "big" book.
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