Russell Investments' top ten summer reads for Financial Advisers

With summer reading season upon us, Russell Investments’ Nick French and Mark Hayhoe share their top ten books to add to your reading list.


1. Creativity Inc by Ed Catmull

The first of two books recommended by both Nick and Mark, they say:

“This is my favourite ever business book. Many business books have a central premise and the following chapters offer various further proof points. This is most definitely not the case with this book. Each chapter has fantastic insight and the points are emphasised by using examples of how Pixar created the best children’s films. It is also fascinating to see how Ed Catmull evolved his own goals, after Toy Story was made, and what happened after Disney bought Pixar – with him becoming CEO of both.” — Nick French

“I’m fascinated by how Ed Catmull built such a creative organisation and his insights into creativity within a studio that consistently produced hit animation films.” — Mark Hayhoe

2.The First 90 Days by Michael D Watkins

Another book that comes highly recommended from both Nick and Mark with them both saying:

“This is a book I wish I had read every time I have started a new job or new role. It provides numerous ideas and structures to help make the right decisions quickly and decisively. The best bit is, you can always look at your own business with a fresh pair of eyes and build your own 90-day plan to change today.” — Nick French

“After recently joining Russell Investments, this book was easy to read, which is always good when you don’t have a lot of time after starting a new job! Watkins helped me think through and plan my transition into Russell Investments with lots of tools as well as thought provoking examples.” — Mark Hayhoe

3. Great by Choice by Jim Collins

“One of the classics from a great author. This book focuses on those firms that have beaten their industry indexes by 10x and analysing how they were able to do so. As usual, Jim Collins uses a data driven approach to discover interesting characteristics of these successful firms, stating that including the facts that the best leaders of firms were ‘more disciplined, more empirical and more paranoid!" — Nick French

4. Life and Limb by Jamie Andrews

“Although not a business book, it is one of the most inspiring books I have ever read. Jamie suffered incredible torment and agony but has turned his life around to achieve things that most of us could only dream of doing. You won’t complain about having a bad day after reading this!” — Nick French

5. The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday

“This book probably describes my own personal life philosophy. The principle is not a new one, turning adversity into a positive. This book discusses ways to achieve a different perspective and provides examples of great people from ancient history right through to the modern day.” — Nick French

6. To Sell is Human by Daniel H Pink

"This book gives a new perspective to the process of selling and its wider perception. Pink shows that the sales process isn't what it used to be and then provides a set of tools, tips, and exercises for succeeding in our this new world. This is increasingly more important with his research showing that an incredible 40% of our time is spent in non-sales selling!” — Nick French

7. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

“It is hard for words to do justice about this terrific book. This has been much copied and Gladwell’s principles are timeless. Success is not random luck but about hard work and practice. If you have not read about the 10,000 hours research or just want an interesting and insightful read – choose this book.” — Nick French

8. Small Giants by Bo Burlingham

“An unusual book that investigates very successful small firms and the decisions they have made to stay relatively small, despite all having opportunities to multiply the size and scale, instead they chose to be great companies. The examples vary but it is enlightening to read about the principles some inspiring leaders and the impact they have had on the people around them.” — Nick French

9. Pre- Suasion by Robert Cialdini

“Following his 30-year classic Influence, Cialdini discusses the fact ‘when it comes to persuasion, success begins before you say a word’. Cialdini uses examples of language that you can use, and demonstrates how extremely successful people discuss the failures and challenges they faced before they talk about the good! Contrary to common perception, talking about your flaws first, will enhance your powers of persuasion.” — Nick French

10. Big Short by Michael Lewis

“Although this book focuses on the events of the financial crisis in 2008, I believe it is important reading for us all. It is a well written, easy to read and was even made into a film in 2015. Crucially, Lewis provides a reminder that 'if it is too good to be true then it probably is' and highlights the importance of sticking to your principles.” — Nick French

Are there any must-reads that we missed? Have you read any of our recommendations? We’d love to hear from you, please contact us.

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