Check out 23 books for 2023 by wealth advisors and financial executives, from American history to wealth planning and lifestyle.
It’s that time of year again: spending sprees, holiday feasts, white elephant gifts, retrospection on what, exactly, happened in 2022; the anticipation for new beginnings in 2023—and book lists. We’ve culled a list of books spanning a vast range of topics from Mercer Advisors executives and financial professionals.
Whether you’re an executive looking to strengthen leadership skills, curious about life as a Mormon survivalist, fascinated by billionaires, interested in wealth planning, or curious about animal senses—read on to discover our favorite 23 books for ‘23.
by Tara Westover
I love this book because… Westover’s memoir about her Mormon survivalist family is written with such descriptive language that you will be ensnared, even if you can’t fathom being raised in a religiously extremist family. Her sheer grit and love of education—both of which helped her extricate herself from an insane situation—is inspirational. Educated aligns with my favorite American theme of using education to transform life.
Karen Lee – Chief Business Solutions Officer
The Myth of the Nice Girl
by Fran Hauser
I love this book because… it empowered me to feel confident in being kind and staying true to myself. It’s an inspiring read for up-and-coming (and experienced) leaders as they advance in their career.
Jigi Dahagam – Vice President of People & Culture
by Brad Klontz, MD, Edward Horwitz, MD, and Ted Klontz, MD
I love this book because… it helps explain our complex relationship and behavior around finances. It’s an easy and enjoyable read—not to mention wonderful financial literacy work.
David Haman, CFP® – Sr. Wealth Advisor
The Algebra of Happiness
by Scott Galloway
I love this book because… it is a great read for anyone between the ages of 20 to 45. Scott does a great job of talking about how finances play a role in happiness, investing in meaningful relationships, and decision-making. You can also listen to a similar podcast here.
Chris Blackmon, CPA, CFP® – Sr. Wealth Advisor
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
by Yuval Noah Harari
I love this book because… Professor Harari’s book is a sweeping, provocative exploration of major trends that have shaped human evolution and society over the past 70,000 years through today. Sapiens provides a better contextual understanding of the most pressing and existential questions confronting humanity in the 21st century.
Don Calcagni, MBA, MST, CFP®, AIF® – Chief Investment Officer
Stillness is the Key
by Ryan Holiday
I love this book because… it prompted me to step back and try to objectively understand myself and others. While Holiday has published many great books, in Stillness is the Key he discusses the attributes of people that remain calm when surrounded by chaos: operating from the calm center in the eye of the hurricane. We tend to think that our hectic lives are a product of the times in which we live, and we are not alone in that struggle. To identify areas that hinder one’s ability to operate from a place of strength, the author provides examples of leaders operating from a place of calm; and conversely, those that may not. I found this book thought-provoking and often refer to it when I see myself failing to operate from that calm center of strength.
Kim Lorenz – Chief Compliance Officer
The Billionaire Who Wasn’t
by Conor O’Clery
I love this book because… it is the story of duty-free shop founder O’Clery, how he built his business, and more importantly—how he gave away most of what he earned.
Paul Seidman, CFP®, CRPC® – Senior Vice President, Institutional Sales
The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons
by Morgan Housel
I love this book because… Housel writes about a multitude of money topics that aren’t typically covered, such as the fact that many people feel as if they will never have enough money. There are billionaires who are unsatisfied with their wealth, while others may have less and feel fulfilled. He also talks about the “seduction of pessimism”—one can always sell more while writing about or talking about negativity because fear is the primary driver of human behavior. It’s fascinating that humans are hard-wired to be provoked by fear as a part of our survival instinct, and optimistic mindsets are often dismissed as unrealistic.
Nicholas Campbell, CFP®, CPA/PFS, M.Tx. – Wealth Advisor
Family: The Compact Among Generations
by James E. Hughes Jr.
I love this book because… it drives home the psychological and emotional dynamics families face as they deal with multi-generational wealth. There are stories of family success, failure, and compromise. This book goes beyond investment philosophy and analyzes family governance, affinity, leadership, values, and solving for generation gaps. This is must-read for anyone intending to leave a legacy or for those with strong philanthropic desires.
Corey Bird, CFP® – Regional Vice President
Shadow of the Wind
by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
I love this book because… it is beautifully written, weaving together a captivating and thrilling story with an artistic and poetic style of writing. I marked up my book with many of my favorite quotes.
Nicole Miller, CFP®, CFDA® – Sr. Wealth Advisor, Director
The Price of Time
by Edward Chancellor
I love this book because… investing can take place at the intersection of risk, reward, and time; and the thread connecting them is interest rates. Rates were recently at their lowest levels in five millennia, creating multiple asset bubbles, zombies, unicorns, NFTs, wild speculation, lengthened supply chains, worsened inequality, and misallocation of capital. Chancellor, also the author of the classic Devil Take the Hindmost, cogently explains our path to the current economy and financial markets.
William Berg, CFA®, CFP® – Sr. Wealth Advisor
The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream
by Paulo Coehlo
I love this book because… it encourages one to be open-minded and introspective about their deepest desires and galvanizes the need to choose our individual paths. This is a great book for people who may want to explore possibilities of adventure and creative freedom as it relates to values.
Henry Lao, CFA® – Vice President of Investments
An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us
by Ed Yong
I love this book because… it adds to a growing volume of popular literature summarizing cutting-edge research in anthropology and biology. It makes the case for the possibility of breaking free from an anthropocentric and largely Western view of science and history.
Nick Hendricks – Performance Marketing Manager
by Tony Robbins, Peter Diamandis MD, and Robert Hariri, MD-PhD
I love this book because… the authors discuss medical innovations that may enhance human life expectancy, energy, and strength based on the latest research and technology. This is a long read, so a great audio book to play while commuting or otherwise engaged. Also, you can order a summary of the chapters to keep track of all the resources and content too.
Kathleen Miller, CFP®, CFDA® – Wealth Advisor
Into the Wild
by Jon Krakauer
I love this book because… it’s an interesting look into the life of Emory University graduate Christopher McCandless, who left behind an affluent family when he hitchhiked to Alaska to live off the land in an abandoned school bus.
Andrew Shannon, CFP® – Wealth Advisor
Excellence Wins: A No-Nonsense Guide to Becoming the Best in a World of Compromise
by Horst Schulze
I love this book because… it’s a great reminder to those in customer or client service that many of the smallest things we do can have a meaningful impact.
Laura Combs, CFP® – Managing Director
It Ends with Us
by Colleen Hoover
I love this book because… it was a nice escape from the current New York Times Top 10 Fiction List. With many steamy scenes, I wondered what I had purchased—until it really made me think about my perception of the type of woman that gets into a spousal abuse situation. I admit that I initially thought a woman must be weak to “let” that happen, but the book revealed complexities as to how the situations can occur even to the strongest of women. It is very seldom that a book changes my perspective—and to do it through a work of fiction was a plus!
Susan Travis, CFP®, AEP®, CTFA – Managing Director
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable
by Patrick Lencioni
I love this book because… it is one of the best tomes I’ve read on teams and leadership. Lencioni uses a short story to explain the dos and don’ts of a successful team.
Christine Cataldo, CFP®, CRPS® – Chief Technology & Digital Officer
Why We Sleep
by Dr. Matthew Walker, PhD
I love this book because… as a longtime sleep enthusiast, I have always prioritized rest—with plenty of flak from friends in my younger years. Despite my fervor, I did not have any insight into the benefits of sleep, other than how it made me feel. Why We Sleep has given me a deeper understanding of how to use sleep effectively, and how important it is to our wellbeing. Now, my infamous reputation as a lover of sleep with friends is backed by important research.
Alexander Cote, MBA – Portfolio Manager
The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds
by Michael Lewis
I love this book because… it provides an entertaining peek into why our brains are not built for modern-day finance. The story follows a friendship between Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman. Lewis delves into the research of emotional and cognitive biases in both an informative and creative manner.
Bryan Strike, MS, MTx, CFP®, CFA®, CPA/PFS, CIPM, RICP® – Lead Senior Wealth Strategist
by David McCullough
I love this book because… it puts into perspective how close we were to not gaining independence as a country and provides firsthand accounts from many involved. Today, most of us have many comforts, but we lost many soldiers to disease and cold exposure. We started the war vastly outnumbered, so the losses were a great burden. The book also explains how Washington had many doubts despite coming across as confident. Some lost confidence in Washington, while others lost hope of being paid for their service. Even though the outcome is known, 1776 is a great story of trials and tribulations.
Christopher Varney, JD – Estate Planning Attorney
Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyous Life
by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans
I love this book because… it addresses how to create a life plan by design and how to make changes using fun worksheets. One of my personal favorites was the Odyssey Plan exercise, where you create three different scenarios for your next five years. The first plan follows your current path; the second is realistic contingency plan or option B, and the third is a hypothetical plan for when money and image are not objectives. Also, there is a neat Energy Engagement Map which reveals whether you have patterns of participating in energy-draining activities, and highlights opportunities to focus on energy-replenishing activities.
Nikki McNary – Mergers & Acquisitions Marketing Manager
The Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant
by Ulysses S. Grant
I love this book because… it is an interesting read with extraordinary writing. I’m a huge fan of American history, and this provides great insights into one of the most underrated presidents. He was so popular after the Civil War that he could have easily won a third term. He wrote the entire memoir while dying of throat cancer at age 63. He had been swindled out of his money, so wrote the book to ensure his family was not left destitute.
Alan McKnight, DBA, CFP® – Sr. Wealth Advisor
From stocks to leadership, money mammoths, and alchemy, we hope to help you start your year off right with our list of 23 books for ’23. Have you read one of these books? Which are you most curious about?
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All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author as of the date of publication and are subject to change.
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