List of Books on Investing

Below is a list of investing books I recently shared with a friend seeking recommendations. This list is broadly applicable to all investors, with a slant towards technology private equity investing.

1/ Value Investing – From Graham to Buffett and Beyond: Great for developing an investor’s mindset leveraging the principles of value investing in knowledge-based businesses.

2/ Venture Deals: A tactical guide to the venture game from the Foundry Group team.

3/ The Most Important Thing: Very accessible book on investing, again, with more of a value investor bent. The wisdom in here is deep. Howard Marks co-founded Oaktree Capital. Howard also regularly publishes thoughtful investor letters – deep thinker.

4/ Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: Quite theoretical, but provides a nice set of frameworks around the hype that is venture and why the seemingly irrational behavior at times makes sense broadly. Helpful to think through not blowing oneself up while investing in technology (there are no brave old people in finance!).

5/ Pioneering Portfolio Management: An Unconventional Approach to Institutional Investment: Fascinating perspectives across asset classes – if the CFA is the best avenue for multi-asset class number crunching, then this is the best avenue for bringing it all together at the existential level. Very helpful for considering your role within a long-term focused institutional investment program.

6/ Running Money: Hedge Fund Honchos, Monster Markets and My Hunt for the Big Score: Very entertaining author who bluntly tells it how it is. Helpful insight into the pressure associated with investing other peoples’ money, particularly in the Technology industry. Much of what he says still rings true today.

7/ Where are the Customers’ Yachts?: A cheeky perspective on the fund management business. Written in 1940, but still equally relevant today in my experience. Mind the sharks!

8/ You Can Be a Stock Market Genius: Uncover the Secret Hiding Places of Stock Market Profits: Terrible title, but great book on the merits of special situations investing. Here is my book review if you want the cliff notes version.

Giving More Than You Get

The high school that I attended has a simple mission: Develop “men and women for and with others”.

Last week I had dinner with the CEO of one of Wall Street’s largest investment banks. Unlike other CEOs operating banks of similar scale and scope, he built his bank from the ground-up. He is an impressive entrepreneur who built an organization with a $10 billion+ market cap.

These statements from our conversation stuck with me: In business, he always gives more than he gets; He is a big believer in business karma; karma takes longer to materialize than you would like, so be patient.

I would sum this up as: Lend your help to others who deserve it and be persistent with your career goals.

We each have something unique to offer others. This can be knowledge, time, or simply money (to name a few). I highly recommend finding something unique to offer with a “for others” mindset. I say this because, like giving Christmas gifts, it’s often more rewarding to give than get, and every so often, you unexpectedly get something fantastic in return.