Endowus 2022 book recommendations
Endowus Insights

Leap into prosperity this CNY 💰     Get an $88 head start to growing your wealth.

Leap into prosperity this CNY 💰Get a $88 head start to growing your wealth.

Endowus 2022 book recommendations

Feb 2023
Dec 2022
Christmas, year-end book recommendations by members of the Endowus Investment Office and Client Advisory team

Congratulations, you’re about to make it through 2022! It’s been a whirlwind of a year and a difficult period for investors as the markets were continually tested. This holiday season of celebrations, rest, and travel with friends and family is certainly well-deserved.

As we unwind, this is also a good time to reflect on the challenges, lessons, and opportunities we’ve encountered as well as what the new year might bring. Reading a good book is one of the best ways to drive that introspection and cap off the eventful year.

We’re happy to share some book recommendations that have not only inspired but also helped our team shape their perspectives in life. When preparing this list, we asked members of the Endowus Investment Office and the Client Advisory team: What was a book and a quote from it that fundamentally changed the way you thought about your life and/or your personal finances?

If you’re looking for a worthwhile read this festive season, check out these recommended books:


The Unrules: Man, Machines and the Quest to Master Markets

By Igor Tulchinsky

The Unrules by Igor Tulchinsky - recommended by Brandon Lee, Endowus Senior Client Advisor

Brandon’s key takeaways: 

I really love this quote especially because it comes from one of the giants in the world of quantitative finance — Igor Tulchinsky, the trader behind global quantitative asset management firm WorldQuant — who, as you would imagine, uses numbers as a way to guide many big decisions in life.

Similarly, in our daily lives, we often prioritise and chase the quantitative aspects — the highest investment returns, the highest deposit interest rates, the lowest dividend withholding taxes, the best-paying jobs, the highest sales volumes. In turn, we may lose sight of the qualitative aspects in life such as interpersonal relationships, our health, or lending others a helping hand. It’s always about “me, me, me” — “What’s in it for me?”

My favourite quote from Tulchinsky’s book also brings to mind this Chinese proverb: 

If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody else.

The takeaway for me is really about how happiness comes from helping others at home and on a personal level by being responsible parents, children, spouses, and members of society. And on the professional front — it’s about helping our clients and colleagues in our work.

Applying it to my work at Endowus, this happens through numerous ways, such as when I’m able to help clients save money, avoid getting ripped off elsewhere, choose the appropriate solutions so that they can retire better, support their families better, or maybe even leave a legacy through charitable giving.

Having lost my father in the formative years of my life also gave me an additional perspective. While taking care of him, I noticed that on his deathbed, he never regretted not having a larger bank balance or not having a bigger title at work — instead, he expressed appreciation for having been a beneficiary of someone’s graciousness, and having cherished memories with the family.

- Brandon Lee, Senior Client Advisor, Endowus


The Lord of the Rings

By J.R.R. Tolkien

Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien - recommended by Ian Kwan, Endowus Client Experience Analyst

Ian’s key takeaways:

While the Shakespearean aphorism — “All that glitters is not gold” — serves as a warning to not judge a book by its cover, Tolkien’s playful inversion — “All that is gold does not glitter” — reminds us that in life, a lot of the things that are the dearest or the most right for us are often not things that are fancy, lustrous, or attention-grabbing. 

Very often, it's the small, everyday things or seemingly mundane actions that bring the most joy or are the most meaningful — think your favourite wanton mee, time spent daily with your spouse, or an exercise routine.

This principle translates very well into finance, where there is definitely a lot of “glitter”. Yet it is perhaps a consistent and disciplined approach to a globally diversified portfolio that best serves as an individual’s investment foundation, even if it may hardly look glittery on the outside.

- Ian Kwan, Client Experience Analyst, Endowus


Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

By Sheryl Sandberg

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg - recommended by Sheryl Choong, Endowus Senior Client Advisor

Sheryl’s key takeaways:

Having mentors is important in one’s career, but finding the suitable one needs to happen organically. Continuously challenge yourself and step outside of your boundaries — only then will you be able to grow.

- Sheryl Choong, Senior Client Advisor, Endowus


Leadership: Six Studies in World Strategy

By Henry Kissinger

Leadership by Henry Kissinger - recommended by Min Axthelm, Endowus Director of Investment Research

Min’s key takeaways:

Kissinger analyses six transformational leaders who shaped the future of their respective countries manifestly: Konrad Adenauer (Germany), Charles de Gaulle (France), Richard Nixon (USA), Anwar Sadat (Egypt), Lee Kuan Yew (Singapore), and Margaret Thatcher (UK). His account becomes authoritative, as he knew all of them personally and formed strong bonds of friendship with many.

- Min Axthelm, Director of Investment Research, Endowus


Thinking, Fast and Slow 

By Daniel Kahneman

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman - recommended by Jie Shun Yeow, Endowus Investment Analyst

Jie Shun’s key takeaways:

The book is filled with many notable quotes, but this particular quote resonates with me — as when we look back on our lives and the decisions that we have made, it’s easy to connect the dots and create rational explanations for why certain decisions were made or outcomes happened. But, often, these choices and events can be attributed to chance rather than a logical and predictable rational reason or pattern.


  • Do not be overconfident and overestimate ourselves. Know that our understanding and knowledge of things is never complete. Therefore, always be willing to learn new things.
  • Stay nimble and adaptable, because we will not be able to control the outcome completely given the possibility of chance.

- Jie Shun Yeow, Investment Analyst, Endowus


The New Long Life: A Framework for Flourishing in a Changing World

By Andrew J Scott and Lynda Gratton

The New Long Life: A Framework for Flourishing in a Changing World by Andrew J Scott and Lynda Gratton - recommended by Brandon Lee, Endowus Senior Client Advisor

Brandon’s key takeaways:

Whether we seize the advantages of the time ahead of us depends on how we conceive of, and reimagine, time. The book contrasts a hilltop perspective with a bird’s eye perspective. If you have a hilltop perspective on time, you can imagine standing on the peak of a hill with the future ahead and the past behind you. It basically means that you see the immediate present as larger and more prominent than any other moment in time. The further down the hill you look, the smaller and more remote a unit of time seems. The decisions you make about how to allocate time across your life are more focused on the payoffs and the events closest to the present time.

Now, let’s contrast this with the bird's eye perspective on time — the terrain below you appears flat, and every part of it looks equally important. This is akin to looking down on a calendar with the moments, days, and years laid out alongside each other. This perspective has the advantage of putting more emphasis on one’s future self, creating incentives to invest in future options, such as spending more time with our children and families, and contributing to charities. Putting it into practice means we have to be more patient and discount the future less.

The takeaway here is really about how, in the world of finance, we know that compound interest is one of the most powerful forces. However, in our own lives, we sometimes forget to think about the long term because the future may look murky and fuzzy from the hilltop perspective, and therefore we neglect making small investments in our relationships, health, and financial habits today that can compound tremendously into the future. 

- Brandon Lee, Senior Client Advisor, Endowus


The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness

By Morgan Housel

The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness by Morgan Housel - recommended by Nicolette Ong, Endowus Client Advisor

Nicolette's key takeaways:

It is difficult to predict what happens in life; situations can always change. While no one can determine with full certainty what your future would look like , it can be worthwhile to outline your thoughts and decisions with a set of principles you fundamentally align to. 

When it comes to your financial journey, for example, having a set of spending or investing guidelines to stick to can be a great way to avoid second thoughts. Furthermore, most achievements in life do not happen overnight. Your greatest successes will stem from incremental actions that you do every day, just like how compounding works.

- Nicolette Ong, Client Advisor, Endowus


This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered as an offer, solicitation or advice for the purchase or sale of any investment products. It is recommended that you seek financial advice as to the suitability of any investment. Whilst Endowus Singapore Pte. Ltd. (“Endowus”) has tried to provide accurate and timely information, there may be inadvertent delays, omissions, technical or factual inaccuracies or typographical errors.

Any opinion or estimate above is made on a general basis and none of Endowus, nor any of its affiliates, representatives or agents have given any consideration to nor have made any investigation of the objective, financial situation or particular need of any user, reader, any specific person or group of persons. Opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice.  

Investment involves risk. The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up, and you may not get the full amount you invested. Past performance is not an indicator nor a guarantee of future performance.

Please note that the above information does not purport to be all-inclusive or to contain all the information that you may need in order to make an informed decision. The information contained herein is not intended, and should not be construed, as legal, tax, regulatory, accounting or financial advice.

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Christmas, year-end book recommendations by members of the Endowus Investment Office and Client Advisory team

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