Finance and Business Reading List
The following books are the best in the world for those who need to learn personal finance. This includes young people, and those who are just getting started with money. It can also include people who never were educated on personal finance, and want to take control of their financial situation.
Books about money are usually boring, and unapproachable for those who don’t know much. This book proves the opposite is possible. Tiffany Aliche is an empathetic teacher of money and this book provides ten easy, actionable steps you can take to improve your financial wellbeing. If you are feeling lost in personal finance, and don’t know how to start getting your financial house in order, read this book. There’s no better place to start than this, and no better time to start than now.
If you feel financially lost and confused about what to do to make a change, read the Total Money Makeover. This book has solid and clear moves you can make to get the most out of your money. Thousands of readers have reported remarkable changes in their financial situation just a few weeks or months after reading this book. It’s not overly complex, and explains the concepts so anyone can understand and make use of them.
This is another book that’s not explicitly about personal finance, that has massive implications for personal finance. So much of your financial well being comes down to habits – spending habits, saving habits, work habits, etc. It makes sense then to about habits and the mechanisms in the brain that cause us to make them. It also makes sense to learn to optimize your habits so you can spend money wisely, save money regularly, and advance in your career. Don’t miss this one if you have a hard time getting out of bad habits or adopting good ones.
That’s the question on everyone’s mind when they first set out on their own, only to find that managing finances is a lot harder than it seems. There’s innumerable terms to understand, a huge consequences from making a single mistake. This book provides 99 principals to live by that are easy to understand, and easy to implement. They’re designed to make your financial life way easier to understand, and to manage. This book is a great choice for those who need to come up to speed quickly on personal finances.
This book may seem odd to include in a list about personal finance, but it’s a must-read. Who Moved My Cheese? is about how to value the various aspects of your life, and how to deal with change. Your personal finance is likely something that you place a great deal of value on, and this book will help you understand your relationship to money. It will also give you tools to deal with changes in your finances, which will certainly happen in your life. The lessons of this book can also be applied to work, relationships, friendships, and leisure activities.
The following books are best for those who are interested in or are actively starting a company. If you’re interested in entrepreneurship, these books are not to be missed. Even if you’re working at a startup, you should think about reading some of these books though – they’ll make you better prepared to work at a young, high growth company.
Zero to One by Peter Thiel
If you’re only going to read one book before you start a business, make it Zero to One. Peter Thiel is a polarizing person, but he’s dead right on the advice in this book. Whether you’re a first time founder, or an experienced one, you’re sure to get phenomenal value from this short book.
If you are raising money, or plan to raise money for your startup you’re doing yourself a massive disservice if you don’t read this book. The process, terms, and expectations in raising venture capital or angel capital can be opaque at best. This book demystifies everything and gives you the ability to understand the intricacies of term sheets so you don’t get screwed. Definitely plan to read and understand this book before you take outside capital for your business.
This book is targeted at investors, but it’s extremely valuable for any entrepreneur who wants to raise money to read. Whether you’re going after a small amount of money from an individual angel investor, or a large round from a venture capital firm, this book will teach you how investors think. You’ll learn what they’re looking for in the companies they invest in, what the common deal-killers are, and how you can best position your company to be attractive to investors. Calcanis is also one of the hosts of the excellent All-In Podcast. This book is a quick read, and definitely worth your while.
This is a classic book that’s targeted toward software companies, but certainly has lessons for startups in any industry. The premise can be boiled down to finding the fastest way to get a usable product in front of your customers and gathering feedback, then using that to iterate on the next version of your product. There’s a lot of powerful concepts in this book, and it’s not to be missed.
One of the most important things that a startup needs to do is carve out a niche for their products. This book is all about identifying “uncontested market space” and securing it so you have less concern over what your competition is doing. The last thing you want to do is to launch an undifferentiated product into a competitive market, and this book will help you avoid that trap. For example, a few years ago, dozens of companies tried to create a consumer drone. Today, only a handful are still alive, and only a few have significant revenue. They could have avoided that trap by reading this book.
This book may have launched more side hustles than any other book ever written. Tim Ferriss is a master marketer and is able to clearly spell out his formula for making your passion into a job, and then automating it as much as possible. The writing is personal and approachable, making this a fun and engaging read. It’s very worth your time to read the Four Hour Workweek, even if you’re happy working a lot more than that. The tips to automate non-value adding tasks are really incredibly useful.