Most are aware of what the best investing books are, but not many know where to start when it comes to building a variety of mental models and connecting the dots.
In no particular order, these are some of the books that have helped me build a world view that cuts across economies, history, psychology, game theory and what moves the world in general. Some of these are a bit unconventional but they get across some very important points without giving a damn about being politically correct.
The creature from Jekyll Island
A detailed history of how central banks emerged and why some very smart and visionary people were against the very concept. Fractional reserve banking, fiat currency, bank runs, booms and busts and what not – this helps build an overall framework on how to think about money. What we take for granted today took almost 100 years to formalize. Very interesting read, though it has a slightly conspiratorial tone.
The Alchemy of Finance
This is not a surprising choice at all but the reason for my choice is a bit different. Excerpts from the man’s personal diary on the market during the mid to late 80’s formed the basis for my inferential reasoning framework. How does one go about connecting bond yields to commodity prices, how currencies move based on the narratives that bond markets are pricing in and many such streams of thought are very interesting, though a bit confusing. Especially if you do not understand macroeconomics and asset classes well enough.
How to fail at almost everything and still win big
I’ve already spoken about how great this one is in multiple posts. Ground up concepts that work surprisingly well because the man focuses on things that one can weave into a daily schedule, not some high-level inspirational stuff that occurs once in a lifetime. Scott Adams also displays a very good understand of behavioral sciences, though he does not allude to this directly.
The 48 laws of power
Extremely underrated book in all aspects, behavioral science and psychology at it’s very best. Focus on what works in the real world and not on lofty ideals of how the world should be. Simple concepts like how power does not care about morality and how power abhors a vacuum. Every successful person intuitively uses some of these concepts, though they may not be consciously aware of it. Worth multiple reads.
A very good initiation into the realm of weight training, physiology and how the human body responds to stress that it is not used to. I’ve seen people transform their bodies within a year by applying the simple concepts in this book consistently – both for weight loss and weight gain. How the entire domain of weight training and physical fitness can be reduced to 3-4 simple principles that can get the job done for most people.
The Misbehavior of Markets
How thinking steeped in conventional finance can take investors to the cleaners when they least expect it. Natural patterns and market patterns have more similarities than we realize, a fractal view of the world of investing and finance can reveal a thing or two about how and why markets misbehave. If you’ve read Taleb and like the concepts, you will love this one too.