Michael Lewis is one of my favourite financial authors. He has a unique blend of on-the-ground experience (he was a bond trader on Wall Street before resigning to write Liar’s Poker), plus the talent and ability to turn a complex story into a compelling narrative.

His best work, in my opinion, was The Big Short, which explained why the U.S. housing market was propped up on bad loans and how Wall Street designed strange and complicated products to profit from its ultimate demise. The book has now been turned into movie with a star-studded cast:

I can’t wait!

Flash Boys

More recently, Lewis wrote Flash Boys, a book about a small group of Wall Street idealists who realize the stock market has been rigged for the benefit of insiders and high-frequency traders.

One of the traders, RBC’s Brad Katsuyama, tried to design a way to level the playing field and deny high-frequency traders the ability to game the system. He ended up leaving RBC to open his own stock exchange called Investors’ Exchange, or IEX, which last week applied to become a public stock exchange.

I’m about three-quarters of the way through reading Flash Boys and it’s a fascinating story. Once again, Lewis has managed to take a seemingly complex and boring subject and spin it into a page-turning thriller.

The book’s publisher, Norton, sent me an extra copy to give away on the blog. If you want a chance to win a copy of Flash Boys, just leave a comment below and I will draw one winner at random – to be announced in the next edition of Weekend Reading.

Good luck!

This week’s recap

On Monday I looked back at a hypothetical leveraged investment scenario and what might have happened if an investor borrowed to invest in Canadian Oil Sands last year.

On Wednesday Marie explored the real cost of getting married.

And on Friday I explained why I simplified my investment portfolio, switching from dividend stocks to a two-ETF solution.

Weekend reading:

Tim Cestnick continues to provide incredible insight in his column at The Globe and Mail. This article explains how to time the collection of CPP and OAS.

How much are you spending on the little things? Wealthing Like Rabbits author Robert Brown explains why it’s more than you think.

Garry Marr explains everything you need to know about the tax free savings account and the federal election.

Blogger Mark Seed says the TFSA should be one of these three personal finance issues in the election.

Michael James offers three counter-arguments to Mark’s proposed election issues.

Put your keys in the fridge so you don’t forget your groceries (or one weird trick to counter your cognitive biases).

One of the big “safety nets” to people who retire early is that they always have the option to re-enter the work force.

Believe it or not, insurance works, says this investment advisor, who sadly lost her husband at 35 and was left to raise their five-year-old child on her own.

Rob Carrick says it might be time for many Canadians to abandon the 20% down-payment rule.

The bizarre Volkswagon scandal, or diesel-dupe, explained.

In the market for a new car? Never say these five things to a car dealer.

Accountant Dan Wesley gives a useful explanation of how taxes work for severance pay.

Robin Powell explains why investors need to curb their competitive streak.

Finally, Nelson Smith, from Financial Uproar fame, lists 11 personal finance and investing blogs you should be reading.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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48 Comments

  1. Andrew on September 26, 2015 at 11:12 am

    I agree that The Big Short was a fascinating read – looking forward to the movie!

  2. Benjamin on September 26, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    Sounds like a great book!

  3. Dan @ Our Big Fat Wallet on September 26, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    Thanks for the mention Robb, that looks like an interesting book. Best of luck to your Browns tomorrow against the Raiders

  4. Baa on September 26, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    I regularly come for your weekend round-up. And the book sounds interesting.

  5. Laurie on September 27, 2015 at 4:25 am

    Congrats to Mr Lewis on his success as a writer and thanks to B&E for telling us about him.

  6. John on September 27, 2015 at 4:33 am

    This would certainly be both an interesting read and a real eye opener

  7. Jon King on September 27, 2015 at 5:25 am

    Definitely looking forward to The Big Short on the Big Screen. I also enjoyed your cautionary tale about leveraging to invest even in a sector that seems like a sure win.

  8. Mike on September 27, 2015 at 5:51 am

    Had some trouble loading fully your website with Firefox.
    Flash did load, so Safari it was.

    Great weekend list of articles to read.

    Thanks

  9. kim on September 27, 2015 at 5:55 am

    This sounds like a great book!

  10. Russ on September 27, 2015 at 6:08 am

    As someone who has worked as an “active trader” for a discount brokerage, Flash Boys occasionally came up in client conversations. I need to read it and would be pleased to win a copy. Thanks for your weekly recap as well, many of which I have yet to read.

  11. William Stewart on September 27, 2015 at 6:10 am

    Was not able to access the article on timing of CCP & OAS because of G & M limitations. Was for interest only as I have been receiving CCP for many years and OAS is clawed back.Since claw back of OAS is relatively new I’m surprised it has not been raised during the election.

    Would share the book if lucky enough to get it to read.

    Regards
    Brien

  12. Dennis Normandeau on September 27, 2015 at 6:14 am

    Looking forward to the film. It’s amazing the rigging tha occurs in many financial markets.

  13. John Ryan on September 27, 2015 at 7:05 am

    Thanks for the mention! I haven’t read any Michael Lewis, but it sounds like I should check him out.

    John

  14. Liz on September 27, 2015 at 7:09 am

    I would like to read Flash Boys!

  15. John Ryan on September 27, 2015 at 7:13 am

    Rob Carrick’s article has me scratching my head. Why doesn’t he even mention (or run the numbers) that prices may go down?

  16. AndrewG on September 27, 2015 at 7:17 am

    The book sounds intriguing. Put me in the draw for it. Lliking forward to the movie as well.
    Thanks
    Andrew G.

  17. Jasmine on September 27, 2015 at 7:26 am

    Sounds like a fascinating read. I enjoyed the big short.

    I really enjoy your weekend reading editions.

  18. My Own Advisor on September 27, 2015 at 7:31 am

    I’ve got an e-copy of the book and hope to read it this fall/winter.

    Thanks for the mention Robb. I always appreciate your support.

    Mark

  19. Al on September 27, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Another week of great information.
    Thanks

  20. sylvia on September 27, 2015 at 8:00 am

    thanks for the recommendation of another great read! Also looking forward to “The Big Short”>

  21. Jane on September 27, 2015 at 8:46 am

    As always, an interesting and informative weekend round-up. The Big Short and Flash Boys both sound great. I too love what Michael Lewis has written and I’m in “need” of a good book to read right now!

  22. Doug on September 27, 2015 at 8:48 am

    I would love to become an “insider to the insiders” and look forward to reading The Big Short.
    Cheers,
    DQ

  23. Dorothy on September 27, 2015 at 10:01 am

    Sounds like a good read, so hope I win Flash Boys. I enjoy your Weekend Reading.

  24. Gene on September 27, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Hope to win a copy of Flash Boys

  25. Kim Harvey on September 27, 2015 at 10:15 am

    looking forwrd to the Flash Boys.

  26. Ronda T on September 27, 2015 at 11:12 am

    would appreciate the opportunity to win a copy of Flash Boys and I have added The Big Short to my December viewing list. Thanks for all the valuable information you gather and so kindly share.

  27. Phyllis on September 27, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Sounds like an interesting read!

  28. Sharon C on September 27, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    I am trying hard to improve my financial knowledge and am sure this book could help me.

  29. Carmen on September 27, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    I enjoy B&E, keep up the relevant research and writing.

  30. steve on September 27, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    The book sounds good

  31. Harold on September 27, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Sounds like a interesting book

  32. Cheryl Hollows on September 27, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    Would love to read this book!

  33. Diane on September 27, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    I have been unable to find this book at the library. Winning a copy would be wonderful. I have been looking forward to reading this book for quite a while now.

  34. Carly on September 28, 2015 at 12:11 am

    I would love this book =-)

  35. Erin D on September 28, 2015 at 12:55 am

    Would be interested in reading this book.

  36. Jill Gray on September 28, 2015 at 4:21 am

    The book sounds interesting.

  37. Paul Edmond on September 28, 2015 at 4:53 am

    Should be an interesting read…..even if I believe returns on the market can improve if we actually do some research. Thanks.

  38. Cathy Penney on September 28, 2015 at 7:06 am

    Thanks for the chance to win this book and always providing great info!

  39. AnnieA on September 28, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Weekend reading is my favourite column.

  40. Rob on September 28, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Always interested in Lewis book!

  41. John P. on September 28, 2015 at 8:34 am

    Sounds very interesting. Looking forward to reading it someday.

  42. william millar on September 28, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Your weekend list line up eliminates having to search various sources for interesting articles. This weekend has at least five ‘must read’ articles for me. A valuable e-mail

  43. Mario on September 28, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    Heard about “The big short” and look forward to see it.

    Mario

  44. Be'en on September 28, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Count me in for the book! Sounds like a very interesting read.

  45. Channy on September 28, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Seems like a good read! I am definitely looking forward to “The Big Short”.

  46. Pierre on September 29, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Please add my name to the List. Sounds like an interesting book.

  47. Michael James on September 29, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    I’m looking forward to the movie. No need to enter me in the draw (I’ve read the book). Thanks for the mention.

  48. Denis Thomson on September 29, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    Put me in the draw please. Looking forward to the movie

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