Entrepreneur & Investor.
Entrepreneur & Investor.

Top 20 Books For Investors & Entrepreneurs

Below is a collection of 20 books I highly recommend reading for all investors & entrepreneurs. The list is in no particular order.

  1. Lessons From The Titans by Scott Davis Carter Copeland & Rob Wertheimer. This book profiles several industrial giants, and shares lessons applicable for all businesses – especially new-age technology/software businesses.
  2. The Outsiders by William Thorndike. This book details “outsider” capital allocators, who are non-traditional leaders of organizations that have had a successful track record.
  3. The Essays of Warren Buffett by Lawrence Cunningham. This book is a collection of shareholder letters from Berkshire Hathaway’s CEO, Warren Buffett. Timeless lessons for all investors and business folks.
  4. 100 Baggers by Christopher Mayer. This book is about finding stocks that have the potential to return 100x your investment. It covers the business characteristics investors should look for and common mistakes investors make.
  5. The Gambler by William Rempel. Kirk Kerkorian was perhaps the greatest but least-known deal-maker in the history of capitalism. This engrossing biography takes us into his multifaceted world – the world of an aviator, movie mogul, risk-taker, and business tycoon who transformed Las Vegas and Hollywood to become one of the leading financiers in America.
  6. Why Should White Guys Have All The Fun by Reginald Lewis & Blair Walker. This biography of Reginald Lewis is the story of the first African American private equity dealmaker. He managed to acquire a $1bn business through sheer will, determination, and wits.
  7. Red Notice by Bill Browder. This is a fascinating tale of an “adventure-seeking” capitalist. Bill Browder was a hedge fund manager who invested in Russian companies right after the collapse of the USSR. He capitalized on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but this story takes a very dark turn before it finishes.
  8. Am I Being Too Subtle? by Sam Zell. Real estate entrepreneur, Sam Zell, tells his story and shares important lessons about finding opportunities, building partnerships, and allocating capital.
  9. Merchants of Debt by George Anders. This is the story of KKR, the founding fathers of private Equity. The 80s were a wild time in the world of finance, and KKR was in the heat of it all. This book shares details of their early deals and how they grew into the iconic firm they are today.
  10. Winning Moves by Dan Cremmons. This book is a practical guide to increasing the value of an acquired business. It’s written by a former operating partner of a middle-market private equity firm. It’s a great read for people with a finance background and limited operational experience.
  11. Junk To Gold by Willis Johnson. This book details how Willis acquired his first junkyard for $75k and through shrewd acquisitions, creative financing, and operational innovations – grew Copart into a $30bn behemoth. It’s one of the rare businesses that has both a digital moat and a physical moat, certainly worth studying!
  12. Capital Returns by Edward Chancellor. A collection of letters from Marathon Asset Management from 2002 to 2015. The book’s premise is that capital flows dictate much of what happens in an industry, and the economy at large. As a result, capital flows have an outsized impact on investor returns.
  13. Capital Allocation by Jacob McDonough. This book details the early days of Berkshire Hathaway. Warren Buffett acquired the business in 1965 and started making drastic changes. It’s an in-depth look at all the early critical business decisions Buffett made to lay the groundwork for Berkshire to transform it into the $704bn conglomerate it is today.
  14. Towers of Debt by Peter Foster. This book is about the Reichmanns, the real estate family that built Olympia & York. It was one of the largest real estate empires at the time, but it all crumbled due to the excessive use of leverage.
  15. Sons of Wichita by Daniel Schulman. This is the story of Koch Industries, one of the largest privately-held businesses in the world. It details how Charles Koch built the industrial empire, and he shares important lessons for all entrepreneurs and business builders.
  16. The Man Who Solved The Market by Gregory Zuckerman. Jim Simons is the man who quite literally solved the market. He is the founder of Renaissance Technologies, arguably the most successful hedge fund of all time. He is a math professor, turned finance whiz and his Medallion Fund has an insane track record of returning 66% annual returns for 20+ years.
  17. King of Capital by David Carey & John Morris. This is the story of private equity pioneer, Steve Schwarzman, and how. he built Blackstone into the $900bn behemoth it is today.
  18. Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss. A practical guide on how to master negotiations. The book is written by a former hostage negotiator. In a hostage situation, you never agree to split the difference – the goal is to get all the hostages freed. Chris shows you how to take this same approach to the boardroom.
  19. Traction by Gino Wickman. This book is a practical guide to implementing EOS, one of the greatest management systems, in your business.
  20. Built To Sell by John Warrillow. This is a great read for all first-time entrepreneurs. It details the systems and foundations to build your business with in order to scale and eventually sell one day.
  21. E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber. This is also a great read for first-time entrepreneurs. It outlines the common mistakes many small business owners make, and why so many of them fail. It is a practical guide to ensuring your business is structured the correct way, and set up for success.