Monday, December 12, 2011

Book Review: The Rational Optimist

This post is a book review for "The Rational Optimist-Why Prosperity Evolves" by Matt Ridley.

I've been doom and gloom since the financial crisis. This book changed my attitude.

I pulled my money out of the stock market in 2008 and have been on the sidelines until just recently. Pulling my money out when I did turned out to be a very good decision, but I've also lost out on growing my nest-egg because of my future outlook and negative sentiment toward the world-economy before I read this book.

Using history and science, Ridley showed me that the world is not likely to run out of food, urbanization is a good thing, it does make sense to specialize, and global warming (if it is happening) isn't necessarily a bad thing.

The Rational Optimist dispelled my pessimism by putting many of my common-day worries into the context of the evolution of the human social and economic systems. The conversation begins by describing how humanity captures innovation in its "collective brain" and shows how over time the collective continues to make progress and improve humanity's well-being despite all of the scary challenges.

This book convinced me to get back into the markets and I don't think the timing could have been better despite what the gloom-mongers in the media are saying!