What Do Finance Professor, Nobel Prize Laureate, British Economist and Billionaire Hedge Fund Manager Have In Common? They All Understand The Power Of Narratives

April 12, 2023

George Soros, one of the most successful investors and businessmen, called himself a failed philosopher. He wrote that because his ideas on markets, especially what he describes in his books as the reflexivity theory did not receive due attention and interest from market professionals or academia.

Despite his failure to become a philosopher, Soros has been very successful in business and investments. Especially during the financial crisis of 2008, his understanding of reflexivity enabled him to anticipate the crisis as well as explain and predict events better than others were able to.

I cannot say the same of myself. Few years after I published my book “Story Investing” (back in 2016), it is especially pleasing that certain ideas and direction in general was appreciated and picked up by many prominent and successful individuals – both in business and academia.

If you want to learn more about stories, narratives and narrative thinking and their role in our lives, investments, business in general, economy as well as risk management and decision-making under uncertainty, I recommend the following list of books (in chronological order):

Story Investing

by Alex Gavrish, May 2016

Investing is half science and half art. Everyone is focused on the science part. Research and analysis, data and information. Countless books have been written on how the valuation should be done. But how you can implement the art part of this equation in practice? How can you deal with ever-present uncertainty? Be creative in research and come up with great investment ideas? Story Investing provides a conceptual framework for dealing with the art part. With this book, you will appreciate the power of narrative thinking, learn about techniques of great writers and storytellers, and apply these insights to investing.

2. Narrative and Numbers: The Value of Stories in Business, by Aswath Damodaran, Jan 2017

3. Cents and Sensibility: What Economics Can Learn from the Humanities, by Gary Saul Morson and Morton Schapiro, May 2017

4. Principles: Life and Work (part one of the book is especially important), by Ray Dalio, Sep 2017

5. Narrative Economics: How Stories Go Viral and Drive Major Economic Events, by Robert J. Shiller, Sep 2019

6. Radical Uncertainty: Decision-making Beyond the Numbers, by Mervyn King and John Kay, Mar 2020