Financial Modeling in Excel for Dummies (Wiley, 2017)

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book to review.
This book is a great introduction to Financial Modeling.
The content is easy to follow and gets you started on the right foot with lots of best practice advice.
The only downside of the book is the screen shots tend to include the whole screen rather than zoom in on the important part of the screen – many images are hard to read.
The book is a great primer for Danielle’s first book which allows you to learn even more about financial modeling.

The Happiest Refugee

Highly recommend.

This book has it all, humour, drama, intrigue, family secrets and running jokes throughout.

Plus its all true. Anh is a nice guy and a great comedian and he writes well. I didn’t realise he had done so some many things, and done them successfully. It shows the impact of a new country on refugees. A great read!

I heard it might be made into a movie – look forward to it.

Sapiens

A must read.

It will get you thinking about how we have progressed and whether it has been progress or regress. Have the lives of sapiens improved over the thousands of years?

What about the planet and the other animals on the planet, (the ones we haven’t killed off any way) are they better off?

Tools of Titans (2016)

I am over half way through the book and it has lots of great ideas, concepts, tricks and tips. Highly recommend.

Tim is famous for the 4 hour work week book, but more recently his podcasts have become legendary.

The book is based on the people Tim has interviewed and had on the Podcast (not all the podcasts are interviews). I am a big fan of the podcast and the book delivers.

Great to have so much information in one book.

In the introduction Tim says to skip stuff that doesn’t interest you. I have skipped over a lot of the “supplement” chapters as it isn’t my thing.

But there are still lot of gems in this book no matter what your stage in life.

The kindle version has lots of internal links within the book.

Definitely worth your money, time and effort.

Rework

A short book with short chapters meant to get you thinking differently about work.

Much of what the book covers goes against the “common” advice out there.

It gets you thinking (sometimes differently) and that’s one thing a good book is all about.

David Heinemeir Hansson has recently been featured on two Tim Ferris podcasts – two excellent episodes.

 

The Checklist Manifesto (2011)

It is amazing that a such a simple concept can be so effective.

Easy to implement and adapt to different situations.

Good insights into what makes an effective checklist.

It works in aviation and medicine.

Most accountants have a month-end checklist. Can you apply it to other areas?

I use a checklist for all my webinars.

Worth a read.

 

M is for (Data) Monkey (Holy Macro! Books, 2015)

Don’t be put off by the title, this book is full of gold. It is chock full of tips, tricks and traps.

Power Query allows you to automate data cleansing operations on all sorts of Excel data – both internal and external.

Power Query can replace copying and pasting. No need for formulas and macros to get the data right.

Well worth purchasing – it will save you hours of work.

 

10% Happier (2014)

Audio Bbok review.

Narrated by the author – a TV anchor from the US.

Interesting perspectives. Takes a bit to get going as he goes through his back story. Some parts are a bit long winded, but over all, worth a listen.

Meditation is the answer to the question, how can I be 10% happier?

The Martian (2014)

This is the first fiction book I have included on my website. Whilst Science Fiction, the story is based on accurate scientific knowledge.

The author self-published and was “discovered” after the book went viral.

This is one of the best audio books I have ever listened to.

Narrator was brilliant.

The story was terrific, lots of high and lows and great humor.

Highly recommend, even if you don’t normally read Sci-Fi.

Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time (2014)

I listened to the Audio book read by the author.

A great book that’s filled with lots of real word examples to get its many practical point across.

An real eye opener for project managers.Some good ideas on planning how long a task will take – and it doesn’t use hours!

The practices have been around for over 20 years, but haven’t been widely known outside software development.

Highly recommended.

The Last Lecture (2008)

An excellent book. It details one man’s struggle with terminal cancer. But its less of a struggle and more of a journey. Having seen a relative go through the same journey it can help to understand what goes through the minds of all concerned. Highly recommend.

Youtube of the lecture is below.

Great By Choice (2011)

Great book that extends the previous research and looks at what is needed to thrive in a constantly changing world. Examples from different areas of life are used as well as business examples. Some interesting insights – some are counter intuitive. Highly recommend. I listened to the audio book.

Creativity Inc (Random House, 2014)

A brilliant book. Very accessible. It covers many aspects of encouraging and maintaining creativity in an organisation and it uses Pixar movies as an example.

It was amazing to hear how some of the Pixar movies changed as they were developed.

I listened to the audio book which was narrated by the author which always adds to the experience.

Ed Catmull worked closely with Steve Jobs and the book finishes with Ed’s thoughts on Steve.

Highly recommend, 10 / 10.

Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA (Wiley)

This is the third version of this book that I have bought. I own XL 2000, XL 2007 and now this one. It’s worth updating as new features are added in each Excel version.

I highly recommend this book if you have been using macros for a while and want to take them to another level. It is not a step by step instruction guide you need to read and absorb.

It demonstrates and explains many best-practice techniques but it can take time to digest the ideas. It has a companion website with the examples from the book.

(John Walkenbach is my favorite Excel author and I was honoured that he wrote a recommendation that appears on the back of my own book)

Using Excel For Business Analysis (Wiley)

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book to review.

If you’re after an introduction to using Excel for Financial Modelling, this is a good place to start. Danielle has even included shortcuts and explanations for the Mac version of Excel. For the beginner there are lots of good habits that you can learn. For the more experienced users there are explanations of how common bad habits can impact your models.

Just following her recommendations and using her tips could save you hours of work and also the frustration of “learning the hard way”.

Added June 2017 – You might want to check out Danielle’s latest book Financial Modeling in Excel For Dummies.

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard (Random House Business Book)

A good book. I preferred Made to Stick. Switch contains great examples. Made to Stick was more prescriptive and easier to apply. Switch requires a bit more lateral thinking but it does point out that change problems aren’t always people problems – they can be situational.

Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition (New Riders Publishing)

A must-have book for computer interface designers – its a quick and funny read and it is well laid out – as you’d expect.

Its full colour with many before and after pics demonstrating the ideas. He also has a great usability book out as well.

It might be getting a little dated theses days, but I think the ideas stand the test of time.