What Tom’s Reading: August 2017


Anyone who knows Versant President and CIO Tom Connelly knows that he’s a voracious reader. This habit of mind allows him (and others) to foster imagination, understand the origins of past ideas, learn from others’ mistakes, discover new ideas and test hypotheses.

We are keeping an eye out for interesting stories that Tom reads about financial news, investing, managing wealth, science, current events, and living a happy and healthy life. Here’s what he’s been reading lately:

A Tribal Connection

TRIBE, by Sebastian Junger, aptly opens with Benjamin Franklin’s observation, decades before the American Revolution, that more than a few English settlers were “escaping into the woods” to join Indian society. Doctor Franklin noticed that emigration seemed to go from the civilized to the tribal, but rarely the other way around. White captives of the American Indians, for instance, often did not wish to be repatriated to colonial society. The book looks at post-traumatic stress disorder and the challenges veterans face returning to society. Junger argues that the problem lies not with vets or with the trauma they’ve suffered, but with the society to which they are trying to return.

The Smear

Sharon Attkisson, author of Stonewalled, has a new book out titled The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote. The publisher, Harper Collins, describes the book as “pulling back the curtain on the shady world of opposition research and reveals the dirty tricks those in power use to influence your opinions.

Behind most major political stories in the modern era, there is an agenda; an effort by opposition researchers, spin doctors, and outside interests to destroy an idea or a person. The tactic they use is the Smear. Attkisson exposes the diabolical tactics of Smear artists, and their outrageous access to the biggest names in political media—operatives who are corrupting the political process, and discouraging widespread citizen involvement in our democracy.”


What Tom’s Saying

Tom, Liz Shabaker, and other experts participated in a Phoenix Business Journal panel that addressed why it’s important to educate and prepare future generations for managing family wealth and protecting legacies. Click here to read the in-depth article.



 Tom Connelly is the President and Chief Investment Officer at Versant Capital Management, Inc. His background is not only financial – he has considerable interests other than just making money. His broad curiosity informs and inspires Tom to create an expansive context to investment numbers, which leads to deeper and more strategic conversations with clients.

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