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Power Through Presentations: Tips and Tricks to Build a Better Slide Deck
Power Through Presentations: Tips and Tricks to Build a Better Slide Deck
by Andy Balser
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.96
55 used & new from $3.15

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Very helpful indeed for all non professional powerpoint producers, March 27, 2014
I love those free templates. Excellent! It did and will save me much time and trouble, yet with superb results that impress even the most demanding audience. A must own! Highly recommended!

Trend Commandments: Trading for Exceptional Returns
Trend Commandments: Trading for Exceptional Returns
by Michael Covel
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.87
52 used & new from $6.62

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly philosophical! For advanced traders who already master the tools but themselves, March 24, 2014
"The Trend Following Bible by Andrew Abraham", one which I recently rated a five star on Amazon, mentioned this book several times positively. So, I tried and love it. Without a single chart or TA tool at all, this book reminded me, a trend follower under a losing streak, of what wrongs I had made and what rules I had not followed. In case you want a great book about trend following philosophy/psychology, you will be greatly satisfied. Yet, if you want to learn TA techniques to read the trend, please look for some books else.

p.s. Below please find some of my favorite passages for your reference.
Do not strive for things occurring to occur as you wish, but wish the things occurring as they occur, and you will flow well. - Epictetus pg2
Trend following starts with knowing when to do nothing. The market is screaming like a spoiled brat? Step to the side. That's your first play. Pg7
If you must play, decide upon three things at the start: the rules of the game, the stakes, and quitting time. - Chinese Proverb pg8
Panics do not destroy capital - they merely reveal the extent to which it has previously been destroyed by its betrayal in hopelessly unproductive works. - John Mills
There cannot be a suggestion that the attempt of describing, explaining, predicting, and controlling is wrong, no matter how foolish it may appear. Let men be fools because that is part of their nature. - Kent Thune Pg9
Consider timeless qualities to speculation: Self-reliance, Judgment, Courage, Prudence, Pliability. Pg30
Trend following works because you don't outthink it. You are a follower, not a predictor. - Daniel P. Collins pg42
The market is not the economy and the market has no sympathy for you, your family, or your emotions. It might not be fair, it might not be right, but it is what it is. - Cullen Roche pg42
Don't guess how far a trend will go. You cannot. Price makes the news, not the other way around. A market is going to go where a market is going to go. Pg51
Price is a fact; all else conjecture. Pg52
No one can predict the future. If you can take the would be, could be, should be out of life and look at what actually is, you have a big advantage over most human beings. What matters can be measured, so keep refining your measurements. Losses are a part of life. There is only now. - Charles Faulkner Pg59
You really have no control over the results; you have control over the action. If facing in the right direction, all you have to do is keep on walking. Pg73
If trend trader Amos Hostetter of Commodities Corporation lost 25%, he'd exit: "Never mind the cheese. Let me out of the trap." Pg74
The time to think most clearly about when you will exit is before you ever get in. pg75
You cant win if you are not willing to lose. It's like breathing in, but not breathing out. - Ed Seykota pg76
Trading is a waiting game. You sit, you wait, and you make a lot of money all at once. Profits come in bunches. The trick when going sideways between home runs is not to lose too much in between. - Greg Burns Pg78
Nobody can demonstrate that a complex mathematical equation can answer the simple question: Is the market moving up, down or sideways? pg85
Buying high and selling low, over the long run, keeps you opposite hedgers who eventually pay for the privilege of transferring their risk to the market....Someone's gotta lose for you to win. - Dave Druz pg88
If you don't know who you are, the markets are an expensive place to find out. Pg102
When you believe trading is simply a probability game, concepts like right and wrong or win and lose no longer have the same significance. - Mark Douglas pg130
Buffett's reality is that he is the greatest PR person of recent times. And he has managed to achieve a snow job that has conned virtually everyone in the press to my knowledge...and it is remarkable that he continues to do it. - Michael Steinhardt pg158
The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn. - Alvin Toffler pg164
In chat rooms, anonymity fuels a liar's sense of invincibility, and his statements are often so bold and outrageous it's amazing anyone takes it seriously. Yet there is no shortage of individuals ready to look for new confidants among the shadowy charlatans of the internet. - David Silverman pg170
The Internet is arbitraging away everything. Man's greatest invention is eliminating the need for people. How will you adjust? Pg185
If trend following works so well, why aren't more people doing it? Acknowledging complete ignorance about the future is tough to accept, admit, and act on, but that is what trend following requires you to do. Pg185
This is a game of misses. The guy who misses the best is going to win. - Ben Hogan pg187
When you walk into the room, if you don't know who the mark is - you are the mark. Pg205
Not clever or gifted, just curious. Pg207
No one is going to know or care about your failures. All you have to do is learn from them because all that matters is that you get it right once. Then everyone can tell you how lucky you were. - Mark Cuban Pg209
You have a real life if and only if you do not compete with anyone in any of your pursuits. - Nassim Nicholas Taleb pg212
You cant change the direction of the wind, but you can adjust your sails. Pg220
It's quite true what philosophy says, that life must be understood backwards. But one then forgets the other principle, that it must be lived forwards. A principle which, the more one thinks it through, precisely leads to the conclusion that life in time can never be properly understood, just because no moment can acquire the complete stillness needed to orient oneself backward. Pg232

Breakthrough Problem Solving with Action Learning: Concepts and Cases
Breakthrough Problem Solving with Action Learning: Concepts and Cases
by Michael J. Marquardt
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $31.50
34 used & new from $21.84

2.0 out of 5 stars A propaganda for the "Action Learning" process, concept, course or whatsoever. Not helpful at all, March 19, 2014
As the sole reviewer who did not rate this book a five stars as of today, rather than criticising the highly academic writing style and lack of practical advice, I would like to take the privilege to invite potential readers to think about two questions:-

First, the possibility that the authors, who stated on page 201, "presented 31 stories detailing how organisation around the world have successfully used action learning to achieve breakthrough strategies when confronting the difficult and compelx problems of the 21st century."

Second, the difference between action learning and other management techniques, considering its "ten critical principles for breakthrough problem solving with action learning", which includes:-
1. Select a problem that is urgent and complex
2. Use questions and reflections
3. Foster a receptive mindset and attitude among action learning team members
4. Use skilled coaching/facilitation of the action learning team
5. Integrate learning into the action learning proejcts
6. Establish clear norms and enforce them
7. Formulate explicit timelines and expectations for the action learning team
8. Allocate power and responsibility to the action learning teams
9. Ensure membership diversity within the action learning teams
10. Enlist the committment and support of top leadership

In short, not recommended!

Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative
Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative
by Austin Kleon
Edition: Paperback
Price: $6.46
173 used & new from $6.25

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Readable, but plenty of better alternatives out there, March 12, 2014
I finished this book in half an hour. Dont know whether the book title and the many five star reviews had set too high an expectation or I had been very lucky to come across many better books before, I would have rated it a two stars if it were not for those many interesting illustrations. As a pragmatic guy, I would strongly recommend to potential readers who are serious to make a change the following:- "Make Your Brain Smarter: Increase Your Brain's Creativity, Energy, and Focus by Sandra Bond Chapman", "Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries by Peter Sims", "The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work by Shawn Achor", and "The Medici Effect: What Elephants and Epidemics Can Teach Us About Innovation Paperback by Frans Johansson".

Spectrums: Our Mind-boggling Universe from Infinitesimal to Infinity
Spectrums: Our Mind-boggling Universe from Infinitesimal to Infinity
by David Blatner
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.32
40 used & new from $3.46

5.0 out of 5 stars Mind blogging!, March 11, 2014
On page9, the author quoted from Pascal, "Man is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed." Thanks to his excellent presentation in wise words, shrewd figures, smart charts and interesting pictures, my fair share of the aforesaid incapabilities as a human had been lessened, at least a little bit. In short, highly recommended! A great gift from parents to children indeed!

p.s. Below please find some of my favorite passages for your reference.
Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac? - George Carlin pg5
Information is a difference that makes a difference. - Gregory Bateson pg7
Distance lends enchantment to the view. - Mark Twain pg29
You can visualize a package of light leaving the surface of the sun at the stroke of 12:00a.m.. At just after 12:08, it would reach Earth (1AU away). By 1:00p.m. the light would have traveled past Jupiter....It wouldn't reach the outer edge of our solar system until 20 months after it left the sun. pg39
As far as astronomers can tell, our universe likely has a radius of about 46 billion light years. This is far, far larger than it should be if the universe is - as astrophysicists also believe - only 13.7 billion years old. Pg45
The only animal that can see both infrared and ultraviolet light is the goldfish. Pg75
Speed of sound in different material (m/sec): CO2 259; Air 20*C 343, Distilled water 1497, Gold 3240, Pyrex Glass 5640, Steel 5790 pg87
Arthropods such as spiders and cockroaches have special hairs on their legs that can sense sound. The antennae of mosquitoes and many other insects can sense minute variations in air pressure. Pg102
Absolute hot (Planck Temperature) 1.42 x 10*32K, Sun's core 15 million*C, Center of Earth 6650*C, Filament inside light bulb 2500*C, Alcohol freezes -114*C, Gasoline freezes -150*C pg121

No god but God: The Origins and Evolution of Islam
No god but God: The Origins and Evolution of Islam
by Reza Aslan
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.99
69 used & new from $4.82

4.0 out of 5 stars A well researched, organized and intriguingly written history book, March 10, 2014
Only after I started writing this review, I realized that this version had been intended for teens. Well, a pleasant surprise coz I still believe this book is good for people of all ages and all religions, although it will satisfy especially those non Muslims like me who want to understand the history of Islam, the difference of Christianity and Islam, the real life of Muhammad the Prophet, the meaning of Jihad, the identity/role of women and so on. In short, recommended!

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
by Malcolm Gladwell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $26.10
182 used & new from $13.67

2.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointed! I miss "Outliers", March 6, 2014
In short, I dont recommend this book at all though I know fans of Gladwell like me cant help but.....

My disappointment had deprived me of the confidence to write a review against the positive majority so I had invited a friend of mine, Ms. Ruby Lam, to grant me her comment. The following is the whole I copied from her email:-

* The book does not live up to expectation.
* Gladwell tried very hard (almost too hard) to establish connection across `outlier' cases identified.
* The key message is not coming through .. is it about the inverted U shape curve, gap in conventional perception/ assumptions, or how underdogs fight giants (in the eyes or others, not the underdogs though).

The Trend Following Bible: How Professional Traders Compound Wealth and Manage Risk
The Trend Following Bible: How Professional Traders Compound Wealth and Manage Risk
by Andrew Abraham
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $47.19
40 used & new from $29.97

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for all traders and investors!, March 6, 2014
I have a losing streak for a long while. Lucky that I came across this book, read it and realized what wrongs I, as a trend follower, had made and what rules I had not followed. I am sure that this book can be helpful to all traders no matter what style they use. In short, a must read. Highly recommended!

p.s. Below please find some of my favorite passages for your reference.

Here are some sample questions and reminders to address in your journal.
Did you follow the exact plan?
Did you overtrade this week?
Did you put too large a position because you thought the trade would work?
Did you put too small a position due to fear?
Did you let your emotions get the better of you?
Did you let fear or greed overcome you?
What about ego? Did you have to be right on a trade?
If you made mistakes - do not beat yourself up.
Look out the front window, not the back window!
Admit a mistake, learn from it, and move on.
Be committed. Pg34

The key to success or compounding money over time is the ability to stay focused, stay disciplined, follow the plan and have patience. This is the holy grail! pg36

Set parameters for entries that are robust, clear and repetitive; follow the signal with the proper risk and money; and let the possibilities work over time. This gives you the potential for success over time. In conjunction with the entry signals you have to have realistic expectations. Too often traders over exaggerate what they expect. They set themselves up for severe disappointment. Pg38

Athletes do not become Olympic athletes overnight. They train and go through much pain until they reach their goa. In today's society people want instant gratification. Compounding money is not easy to do in our society that is solely focused on instant gratification. The trend follower's ability to delay gratification and inevitable losses give him or her the potential to succeed over time. Have the deep desire to be long term consistent and successful via trend following if you want to succeed! pg38

Nobody has ever been able to demonstrate that a complex mathematical equation can answer the question: Is the market moving in an uptrend, downtrend, or simply just sideways? - Richard Donchian pg45

Systems don't need to be changed. The trick is for a trader to develop a system with which he is compatible. - Ed Seykota pg46

I was an observer of my actions. I was not a participant in my emotions. I added several risk filters after losses such as sector maximum risk and total open trade risk only after analyzing my errors.....accept the risk of trading and that you can lose money. Pg47

The reality is that trading is inherently risky. If you were to engage in any highly risky activity other than trading, you would clearly spend some time considering how to protect yourself. It can be as mundane as riding a bicycle and wearing a helmet. I would assume before someone jumped out of a plane they would check their parachute. They probably have a backup parachute. In my trading I trade with a backup stop similar to a backup parachute. Pg77

The only way to approach it has to be quantitative. There has to be no guessing or interpreting. Pg91

Having a trading strategy is probably the single most important thing you can do in order to succeed with trading. It means having a predefined set of rules that you have developed or accepted for your trading. It means knowing what you are doing instead of just gambling. If you cant follow the plan, I strongly suggest you do not start trading. Pg95

It is not about being smart or trying to prove something to anyone. There will be no need to try to pick tops and bottoms. Accept the truth when the trade did not work and there is no need to hold on. Do not allow yourself to get caught up in positive or negative emotions. Understand the psychology behind trading and not just know that no trade is guaranteed but also internalize the fact. Work on your mental state. Pg139

Your money will be made over a series of many trades. No single trade means anything. No month or any year means anything.....when beginners make money on a trade, they feel like a genius and invincible. Then they can take wild risks and lose everything. Pg141

Too often an intelligent person wants to know why a market did whatever it did. There are always a myriad of possible reasons but the simple answer is that it does not matter WHY. The market moved, that is it, and we have a choice to figure out why or try to ride the trend and hopefully make some money. Intelligent people try to analyze things much more than the general populace. I have a colleague who has a sign on his door, Don't think, it will cost you MONEY! .....One needs to react and follow one's plan/ this is what makes trading so hard. This is a dichotomy from our human existence. We are taught not e be rash or too quick to make decision. In trading we have to be as we are in the thick of it and postponing a decision such as an entry or exit can be costly. Reacting in trading means following your plan explicitly. Pg143

One can rationalize or try to find the reasons why the market sold off. Intelligent people live for reasons. If they cannot find a reason, they invest a great deal of emotional energy in analyzing. There is no reason to analyze. Market do whatever they want. Our job is to follow without wasting time looking for reasons. Pg143

One of the tactics in the Marine Corps officer's manual is either go forward or backward. Don't just sit there if you are getting the hell beat out of you. Even retreating is offensive, because you are still doing something. It is the same thing in the market. The most important thing is to keep enough powder to make your come back. Let Marty Schwartz's experience serve as a lesson on how to be trader. No opinion, follow the plan, cut loss immediately, and realize that if you run out of money, you cannot keep on trading. Pg144

When I put on a trade I ask myself how much this is going to cost me to see if it works. Losses do not cause me any anguish or emotional discomfort. The markets will at times inflict pain or cause frustration. This is the reality of trading. The only way to avoid this pain or frustration is not trade Our job as traders is to take both the pain and frustration in stride. The markets do not care about you or me. The markets are going to do whatever they will do. You cannot avoid losses or avoid the pain. You need to accept it as a reality of trading. What you need to do is control how you react to the situation. The situation is just the event. Our reactions are what are detrimental to our psyche. When you have a well thought out plan that you follow exactly, you build to some degree immunity to your personal reactions. We have accepted the risks that are inherent in the market. There is no fear, greed, or ego that inhibits us. Pg144-5

There are only four possibilities. A big loss. A small loss. A big profit. A small profit. Pg145

The market is never wrong. Do you want to be right or do you want to make money over time? Trend following success is more dependent on discipline than any pure academic achievement....Losses are simply the cost of doing business or the amount of money I need to make myself available for eventual big wining trades....There is no being right or trying to avoid a loss. Basically they are not trying to prove anything other than to make themselves available for potential profitable trades and compound money over time. Pg148

Basically the only certainty in trading is uncertainty. You define any risk in advance because you know there will be uncertain situations and things can go to extremes. One thing that helped me to eliminate the emotional baggage was to mitigate my expectations. I have no expectation that any trade will work. I mitigate my expectations of profits. Pg150

Successful trend followers know that they do not know what will happen. They think in terms of probabilities and possibilities. Once one thinks in terms of probabilities one becomes more confident, less stressed and less fearful. pg153

There is no fear, greed, bordom, or even having fun. Trend followers with a plan Just Do It, trend followers focus on execution. They are consistent. Pg155

Advertising Creative: Strategy, Copy, and Design
Advertising Creative: Strategy, Copy, and Design
by Tom Altstiel
Edition: Paperback
Price: $67.76
99 used & new from $55.03

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! A great crash course on advertising, March 5, 2014
My appreciation is beyond words. It is so well organised and written with plenty of wise sayings, interesting cases and charming pictures. I am obliged to recommend this to all marketers though this is in fact an advertisng textbook. In short, a must read. Highly recommended!

p.s. Below please find some of my favorite sayings and passages for your reference.

Properly practiced creativity can make one ad do the work of ten. - Bill Bernbach
Our best work always began with a marketing solution, not a creative solution. The ads flowed from the strategy, not the strategy from the ads. - Jay Chiat
The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. -Apple's Think Different Campaign
Creativity without strategy is art. Creativity with strategy is advertising. - Jef Richards
Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page. - Steve Jobs
A core belief is that if you want to create anything new, you must always look outside your own work or industry for inspiration. - Simon Mainwaring
Marketing executives rely too much on research, and they use it as a drunkard uses a lamp post for support, rather than for illumination. - David Ogilvy
Tiffany's blue box is a slogan without words. - Seth Godin
Rather than focus on being creative, I focus on challenging assumptions and asking the right questions. - Glenn Cole
The other thing is we don't believe in digital marketing. We believe in marketing in a digital world. - Clive Sirkin
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a metaphor is worth a thousand pictures. - Daniel Pink
There is no such thing as long copy. There is only too long copy. And that can be two words if they are not the right two words. - Jim Durfee
You have to tell a story, not give a lecture. You have to hint at facts, not announce them. - Seth Godin
Social media is about sociology and psychology more than technology. - Brian Solis
If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends. - Jeff Bezos
Social media is not media. The key is to listen, engage, and build relationships. - David Alston
At the end of presentation, it's not your brilliant strategy or clever ideas that win the business. It really depends on whether the client thinks you're the kind of people they want to hang around with. - John Melamed
Don't give a speech. Put on a show. - Paul Arden
The secret is to keep listening to what wee, small voice - and don't ever be afraid of getting your hands dirty. - Leo Burnett
Find things that are just not done in your industry, and do them. - Seth Godin
The irony is that while there have never been more ways to reach consumers, it's never been harder to connect with consumers. - Brad Jakeman
The headline is the most important element of an ad. It must offer a promise to the reader of a believable benefit. And it must be phrased in a way to give it memory value.
Type, photography, and illustration are tools. You need to know how they work....if you can't use the tools, you really can't make a good idea work. - Helmut Krone
First the news business, then the music business, then advertising. Is there any industry I get involved in that doesn't get destroyed by digital technology. - Andy Nibley
Marketing in the future is like sex. Only the losers will have to pay for it. - Jon Bond

The French anti-AIDS organization AIDES created a series of ads showing superheroes such as Superman and Wonder Woman infected with HIV/AIDS. When translated, the French version reads, "We should all be worried about AIDS." The English version says, "AIDS makes us equal." Which headline do you think is more powerful? Pg2

The list below should help you develop some basic information about the product and potential customers:-
Who is the prospect?
What does she do, and what does she want?
Where does she live?
When does she buy?
Why would she be interested?
How does she want to buy? Pg31

What does the feature do for the consumer? Keep asking "So what?" until you get to the benefit that satisfies a basic want or need. Think about the questions you would ask if you were buying something. You may not always get something you would include in the body copy, but if you keep probing, you might get an idea for a whole campaign. For e.g., Dove soap is one quarter cleansing cream. So what? It's creamier, less harsh to the skin. So what? Your skin looks younger, less dry. So what? You feel better about yourself. Pg33

A brand is a promise. It's shorthand for all the product's attributes, good and bad. A brand makes the promise personal by conveying the product's personality, which reflects on the people who buy the product. It's really all about relationships. Pg36

According to Meghan Casserly at, here are the world's happiest brands and our take on why:
Apple - I belong to a special group of creative nonconformists.
Campbell's Soup - it brings back warm feelings after coming in on a cold day.
Coca-Cola - I remember all the good times when a Coke was the ultimate refreshment.
Facebook - I'm in control of my own brand story. Pg44
Showing the alternative: "if you don't have time to get a mammogram, how will you fit six months of chemotherapy into your schedule?" This simple question clearly outlines the choices a woman can make. Pg114

If you can't solve problem, it's because you're playing by the rules. Pg122

A brief checklist of design tips and techniques.
Does your design convey the big idea?
Did you design with your audience in mind?
Did you prioritize elements? (The most important should be the most prominent)
Do your visuals and headline work together?
Overall, does your design catch the reader's eye?
Did you keep it simple? (Less is more)
If you remember nothing else, remember this: Keep it simple. If you emphasize everything, you emphasize nothing. Pg151

Don't repeat the same idea in every part of the campaign - repeat the creative strategy with different executions. Pg157

After Earth
After Earth
Price: $9.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for teens and self help book lovers. Disappointing for sci-fi fans!, March 4, 2014
This review is from: After Earth (Amazon Instant Video)
The key concept of killing an alien monster with metallic weaponry rather than laser gun or light sabre doomed the movie. The acting of Jaden Smith only added salt to wounds. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed the few moments when Will Smith talked, with his voice of wisdom, like a guru of self improvement reading his book to me, that:-

"Fear is not not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. And do not misunderstand me. Danger, is very real. But fear is a choice. We are all telling ourselves a story. And when will mine change?"
"Root yourself in this present moment, now. Sight, sound, smell. What do you feel?"

In short, good rental choice in a calm starry night for a little contemplation. For excitement, please give this a pass.

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