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Salute to summer: What executives are reading

The summer may be coming to a close but it’s never too late to add a few more titles to your vacation reading lists before fall rolls around.

Financial Planning asked wealth management executives to recommend tomes that made a positive impact on them — or equipped them with tools to succeed in their roles.

Before getting bogged down by new responsibilities and commitments, shorter days and colder weather, invest a little time in yourself by picking up a book or two while you still have time.

Click through the list to learn more.

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Moneyball by Michael Lewis
Recommended by Matt Wilson, president of E*TRADE Advisor Services

“Moneyball is one of my top reads for the summer. Not only can I identify with the content and the message, but it also has shaped how I view work challenges. With fall fast approaching, there’s no better time to start the season with a fresh mindset.

The way GM Billy Beane embraced his team’s underdog status and channeled that energy to discover untapped resources is an attitude that can benefit all leaders in business. Beane challenged the status quo by taking an objective look at the standard benchmarks for success, ultimately leading to his team’s reinvention. While applying unconventional methods can be a challenge, I was inspired by Beane’s unwavering conviction in his values.”
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Scary Business: Investing the Sudden Large Lump Sum by William S. Young
Recommended by Joseph Conroy, CFP at Synergy Financial Group

“The book goes through the nuances of financial planning after receiving a large lump sum. It is written for the non-financial expert. It is rare that a personal finance book can explain things that everyone can relate to and benefit from. My favorite part about it is that its interpretation of a “large lump sum” ranges from $5,000 to $5 million, so it offers great advice for folks of any means.”
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The Score Takes Care of Itself by Bill Walsh
Recommended by Aaron Klein, CEO at Riskalyze

“This is a fascinating leadership book written by the famed head coach that took the San Francisco 49ers from worst team in the NFL to winning the Super Bowl in just 24 months. Most people focus on their objectives and then think of ways to reach them. Walsh believed that by perfecting the fundamental execution of each part of the organization — from quarterback to receptionist — the score would take care of itself.

His story reminds me of some of the best advisory firms we’ve worked with. They work to achieve exacting perfection in all of their client activities — by quantifying alignment between the client and their portfolio and helping their clients visualize and actually understand the things they’ve been telling them for years. Because of this precision, the score — AUM — takes care of itself!”
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How to Buy Stocks by Louis Engel
Recommended by Andrew Crowell, vice chairman of wealth management at D.A. Davidson

“This is a fun and instructive book that takes the reader on a fictional journey through the capitalist system. First published in 1957, this timeless classic has been updated to explain and incorporate everything an investor would need to know today to get started. Engel demystifies the complex lexicon of Wall Street by using concrete examples and weaving them into an engaging narrative that reads much more like a novel than a textbook.

Engel’s work erects an understandable framework for why markets exist and how (and why) investors should consider participating in them for their long-term saving and investing goals. How to Buy Stocks is an excellent primer for all who want to begin investing or simply want to have a better understanding of how the system works.”
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Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality by Anthony de Mello
Recommended by Joe Duran, founder and ex-CEO of United Capital

"Reading 'Awareness' was the starting point of genuinely deep levels of personal growth. The idea of this book is that if you cannot manage yourself, you cannot manage anything around you. It also helps ensure we are not living our lives unconsciously and making choices that harm us."
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The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America by Warren Buffett
Recommended by Rich Guerrini, CEO of PNC Investments

“The mark of a great book for me is one that becomes a resource over time, one that I refer back to as a reference or to remind me about quality fundamentals. This book is applicable for first-time investors and recent college graduates entering the workforce, as well as a senior executive needing sound advice and motivation. Mr. Buffet's words are clear and basic and the fundamental practices referenced in the book will never go out of style.”
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William Wilberforce: A Hero for Humanity by Kevin Belmonte
Recommended by Sean Williams, wealth advisor at Sojourn Wealth Advisory

“William Wilberforce’s life inspires me. Through his conviction, influence, and friendships, Wilberforce was able to initiate the abolition of the slave trade in Britain as well as create a host of philanthropic and public welfare organizations.

I’ve already read a handful of biographies on him, but I thoroughly enjoy reading Kevin Belmonte’s work. It provides a tremendous picture of what one is able to accomplish with extraordinary perseverance and tremendous friendships.”
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Unscaled: How AI and a New Generation of Upstarts Are Creating the Economy of the Future by Hemant Taneja
Recommended by Anton Honikman, CEO of MyVest

"Unscaled is a wake-up call for incumbents in many industries, including financial services. It illustrates how traditional economies of scale — the predominant driver of business success in the 20th century — are in fact becoming an impediment to success in the digital economy.

Innovators can shift the focus from mass production to hyper-personalized solutions for consumers, by renting access to capital intensive resources (like computing and storage) and leveraging mobile and social platforms that dramatically reduce customer acquisition costs. Large incumbents are constrained by legacy technology and bureaucracy. "
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Uncensored: My Life and Uncomfortable Conversations at the Intersection of Black and White America by Zachary Wood
Recommended by Marguerita Cheng, CEO at Blue Ocean Global Wealth

“My daughter and I have set a goal to read books from diverse writers who address institutional racism and other societal challenges. Zachary's memoir is as inspiring as it is candid. His message is timely because he encourages us to treat others with dignity and respect. Zachary has overcome many challenges in his life. Understanding his story can provide courage to discuss difficult issues and advocate for societal change.”
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The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels by Jon Meacham
Recommended by James Poer, chief executive officer of Kestra Financial

"Using some of the most relevant struggles in our country’s history, this book helps put our current political climate in perspective. In a time of increasing tribalism, the narrative delivers a broader historical perspective that helps frame how our country can emerge stronger than before."
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Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
Recommended by Frank Story, managing director and tri-state market manager at Wedbush Securities

“I am an avid horse fan and I love a heroic underdog story of an unlikely hero with a big heart rising to the top. On top of that, this book is set during the Great Depression and Seabiscuit’s success captured Americans hearts and represented hope.”
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Mom and Dad, We Need to Talk: How to Have Essential Conversations with Your Parents About Their Finances by Cameron Huddleston
Recommended by Marguerita Cheng, CEO at Blue Ocean Global Wealth

“The title says it all.This is an excellent resource for advisors and their clients. This is a difficult topic that no one wants to discuss and Cameron shares her personal experience. It's practical and helpful. It is the book we all wish we had to share with a friend, neighbor, co-worker or client.”
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The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz, Ph.D.
Recommended by Sean Williams, wealth advisor at Sojourn Wealth Advisor

“This is a great mental refresher on healthy and productive thinking. I picked up this book to challenge me on thinking bigger. Too often, our thinking can lack creativity or be constrained by present circumstances. Schwartz warns of the damage negative or status quo thinking can do and provides steps to think on a greater plane.”
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Marshmallow Test by Walter Mischel
Recommended by Luis Rosa, founder of Build a Better Financial Future

“Great insights regarding instant versus postponed gratification. This can have a great impact on the way we use money and can be applied to financial planning regarding future goals.”
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Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
Recommended by John Taft, vice chairman of Baird

“An entertaining presentation of one of the most extraordinary intelligences in human history. Da Vinci’s insatiable curiosity, powers of observation and willingness to experiment are inspiring, as are his insights into the fact that reality is nuanced, complex, and interrelated — not about hard edges and straight lines."