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At Essentia, our sphere of interest spans behavioral science, neuroscience, and high performance coaching – all viewed through the lens of investment decision-making.

It’s a fascinating place to be: just as machine learning and AI come of age, we’re also seeing rapid advances in our scientific understanding of the human brain and the best ways to improve its performance.

With that in mind, here are our latest favorite reads for your summer holiday consideration. (All titles are also available on Audible as audiobooks).

Humility is the New Smart

The robots are coming, but what can we do now to ensure that we, our human organizations, and even our children are best prepared to survive and prosper in this new environment? Hess & Ludwig make a compelling argument for us to focus on excelling in areas such as critical thinking, innovation and creativity that are still out of the reach of machine intelligence. Recognising our weakness, but playing our strengths in this way (i.e. being “skilled but humble”) is our best long term strategy in a ‘Smart Machine Age’.

The Confidence Game

Konnikova is a keynote speaker at Behavioral Alpha 2018, and for good reason: her book is a fascinating foray into how con artists operate and why we are all prone to be their victims – no matter how savvy we think we are. She shows just how fine a line exists between good salesmanship and outright crime, explaining that the path we ultimately take is narrowly determined by our individual tussles of nature and nurture.  


The internet is overflowing with blog posts and synopses about Ray Dalio. However, we strongly recommend that you check any preconceived notions at the door and give this book a proper read (or listen). It’s no coincidence Dalio has done so well; his ideas are spot-on, and the curiosity and persistence with which he has applied them to his business over the course of a tumultuous 50 years are pretty amazing. Don’t be put off by the title – there’s nothing preachy about this book. At the end of the day, Dalio offers a practical philosophy and method that’s entirely applicable to your own life and business – whatever your principles.