CEO & Co-CIO
Dynex Capital, Inc.
Understanding certain periods in history—especially 1910-1950 and 1960-1980—is essential for investing in the evolving global environment. My favorite books explaining these complex times are: The Changing World Order by Ray Dalio; The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 by Christopher Clark; and Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed.
Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know, by Adam Grant, has been key for my team at Dynex Capital. We are constantly challenging ourselves to “think again” about how the future might evolve for our business.
Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants is inspiring for a smaller entrepreneurial company that has always viewed itself as the underdog. My personal journey as one of the few African-Americans building a career in finance and real estate has also allowed me to develop great skill at competing as the underdog.”
Extra Space Storage, Inc.
I highly recommend The Cause: The American Revolution and its Discontents, 1773-1783, by Joseph Ellis, to my fellow history nerds. It is an amazing discussion of the motives behind the struggle for independence and how the revolutionaries viewed their efforts, with short biographical sketches of lesser-known individuals. I was fascinated by the juxtaposition of the different paths to freedom of two men enslaved by George Washington: Billy Lee, who stayed at his side throughout the war; and Harry Washington, who escaped from Mount Vernon and fought with the British Army.
Sadly, the book also reinforced the vast differences in the great (although flawed) leaders of the time—their willingness to sacrifice, strive for great ideals, and peacefully relinquish power—with many of our current politicians. Yet our country survived great peril during the Revolution, and I am confident the institutions that the founders established will help us do so in our current volatile times.”
President & CEO
Regency Centers Corporation
One of my all-time favorites that I’ve read more than once is Jason Gay’s Little Victories: Perfect Rules for Imperfect Living . First published in 2015, it’s a quick read that touches on so many aspects of life with advice that is both practical and ridiculous. You will laugh. You may cry. And you will certainly take time for a little self-reflection.
A basic premise is that happiness is derived less from a significant single accomplishment than it is from a series of successful daily maneuvers. And that: “It is possible to find, at any age, a new appreciation for what you have—and what you don’t have—as well as for the people closest to you.”
I believe that we all should remember to take a step back and reflect on how fortunate we are and remember to not lose touch with what really fulfills us!