A book laying idle on a shelf is wasted ammunition. – Henry Miller
It’s important to keep a rotation of books on your nightstand/desk so that you can learn at any moment. Through my monthly bookshelf posts, I’m going to discuss the books I’m currently reading and explain why I think they’re valuable pieces. I open this blog with a few books I’ve recently read to give you an idea of my style, followed by a small summation of each so you can see if they might be a fit for you.
1. Shoe Dog – Phil Knight
Shoe Dog is a fantastic read for any and all budding entrepreneurs. It tells about the struggles and swings that come with starting a business and how Phil Knight turned a small shoe startup named Tiger into the Nike we know and love today. It takes us through the process of growing, developing, going public, and creating a brand, and it is infused with family info and important life lessons. I would highly recommend this to anyone who fears scale, as it shows how with enough time and persistence anything can be achieved.
2. To Pixar and Beyond – Lawrence Levy
TP&B is a novel about the development and IPO process of Pixar, and it gives an inside look at the management style of Steve Jobs and the creation of Toy Story. The novel beautifully retells the experience of taking an underperforming brand and creating one of the largest media powerhouses in the world. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who is interested in content creation and the business behind it, as Lawrence gives us a behind the scenes look at what it takes to be truly successful in the industry.
3. Trading Bases – Joe Peta
Trading bases is a harrowing tale of an ex-Wall Street banker taking his principles of analysis and applying them to the MLB. I first became interested in the book because I wanted to learn how Joe valued teams, my belief being that if I can value a team, I can value anything (relative, of course). The book takes us from the initial spread sheet setup all the way to his Las Vegas hedge fund, and offers very valuable lessons about both investing and life along the way. I recommend this book to anyone interested in finance, as it will open your eyes to the world of value creation and show you how far ground-work can take you.
1. The Most Important Thing: Illuminated – Howard Marks
TMIT is a fantastic book for all investors, not just those focused on value. He teaches important lessons about having contrarian views and using second-level thinking, and he is very adamant on the importance of patience and risk management while investing. I by no-means consider myself a Buffet-type value-bot, however, Marks talks a great deal about being aware of the current conditions and focusing on individual companies to create returns, something that can help all investors alike. TMIT is a relatively short-read, yet it packs a great deal of content and wisdom into it. I would recommend this book for anyone looking to A) step up their mid-to-long term investing abilities or B) educate themselves on the importance of investment basics. The book leaves out all quantitative analysis and focuses solely on relevant concepts to decision making.
2. The Wealthy Barber Returns – David Chilton
I believe that one of the most important things to do as a young entrepreneur is set a proper financial foundation, especially saved capital for when that big investment opportunity or business idea comes your way. David offers several insights on how to save money and how to avoid the spending-pitfalls that trap so many. Only half-way through the book, I’ve already found some habits changing and my perspectives on personal finance shifting, all for the better I’d like to hope. I’ll recap the book in my next Monthly Bookshelf to tell you how it ended – or maybe you can read it faster and tell me how it ended (either works).
See you in January!