The holidays are upon us and if you have school-aged kids like us (except Euan who goes when it’s cheap) you will be travelling soon – at peak cost.  But this might cheer you up!

We know that you are all sustainable investing geeks like ourselves, so we have compiled a list of our favourite books from the last year together with a personally selected teaser quote (I know… we’re too good to you).

The first (discovered by Ryan) will get you back in touch with the world outside the office walls. The second (discovered by Jon) is a deep and fascinating history of environmentalism and how it intersects with economic growth. It features two profoundly important men that I had never heard of. The third is probably my personal favourite as it blends two of my main interests; disruptive innovation and sustainability (specifically economic development). The fourth is probably the best pure investing book I have read in the last five years (hopefully you view that as a good thing)! Lastly – and by no means least… well maybe actually least – but very close to our hearts, is a tour de force of sustainable investing philosophy and practice.

 

1) The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by Florence Williams
Quote: “Distilling what I learned, I came up with a kind of ultrasimple coda: Go outside, often, sometimes in wild places. Bring friends or not. Breathe.”

2) The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World by Charles Mann
Quote:“A prerequisite for a successful scientific career is an enthusiastic willingness to pore through the minutiae of subjects that 99.9 percent of Earth’s population find screamingly dull.”

3) The Prosperity Paradox: How Innovation Can Lift Nations Out of Poverty by Clayton M. Christensen, Efosa Ojomo, & Karen Dillon
Quote: “When innovators create a new market, targeted at a large population that has historically been unable to afford the product—non-consumers—the innovator must hire many more people not only to make the product or service, but also to get it to the new customers.”

4) 7 Powers: The Foundations of Business Strategy by Hamilton Helmer
Quote: “it crystal clear to me that the ascent of great companies is not linear but more a step function. There are critical moments when decisions are made that inexorably shape the company’s future trajectory. To get these crux moves right, you must flexibly adapt your strategy to emerging circumstances. The goal of this book is ambitious: to enable such flexibility by making the discipline of Strategy relevant to you in those high-flux formative moments.”

5) Kames Global Sustainable Equity Impact Report  by us.
Quote: “I believe we are at the intersection of two very powerful supply and demand curves.  Technology led deflation (supply) is converging with the greatest sustainability challenges the human race has ever faced (demand). Capital markets (particularly publically listed companies) can be the bridge between that supply and demand. The demand is unfortunately inevitable, but so is the supply. I am optimistic. It is evident to me that this intersection is driving a wave of positive change in global markets.”

 

Sorry I couldn’t resist the last one …. On the plus side, unlike the others it’s completely free and downloadable on your iPad. We’d be very interested in both your feedback on the books and / or any suggestions that you may have for us?

Have a great holiday when it comes.

About the author

Craig Bonthron is an investment manager in the Equities team, responsible for actively co-managing high conviction global equities portfolios. He focuses on analysing disruptive and sustainable investment trends within the technology, healthcare, industrial and consumer sectors in order to identify high conviction stock specific investment ideas.

He joined us in 2014 from SWIP, where he was an investment director in global equities. Prior to SWIP, he was a portfolio manager at Kleinwort Benson Investors. Craig has a 1st Class honours degree in Building Surveying and an MSc with Distinction in Business Information Technology Systems from Strathclyde Business School. He has 18 years’ industry experience (as at 30 April 2019).

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