The 5-Minute MBA: Takeaways From Top Investing & Business Books – ValueWalk Premium

The 5-Minute MBA: Takeaways From Top Investing & Business Books

The 5-Minute MBA: Takeaways From Top Investing & Business Books by Joshua Soong, CFA, Deerwood Capital

Who has time to read anymore? Except for billionaires of course, somehow they always find time to read books, newspapers, and the Robb Report.

It must be nice to be one of the few lucky people with the financial freedom to spend an hour each day for reading, thinking, and self-improvement. How can ordinary mortals with less than 3 commas ever catch up to them?

Getting an MBA at business school helps, but that costs $100,000 and two years. Reading a lot of books is equivalent to an MBA, but then again, if people had time to read entire books they would already be financially independent and not need to read said books. The rich only get richer, because they read!

So, as a small personal contribution to the struggle against wealth inequality, we came up with a solution. Compile the top investing and business books and summarize each with a one-sentence takeaway. Absorbing our list of takeaways provides almost all the benefits of reading the books, but only requires five minutes.

For example, if we were listing the best movies of each decade and its key takeaway, the first entry would be:

The 5-Minute MBA: 90’s movies

Passenger 57, starring Wesley Snipes

Always bet on black

Now, for your education and amusement, "The 5-minute MBA".

The 5-Minute MBA: Stocks

Security Analysis by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd

Use fundamental analysis and buy below intrinsic value

The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham

Buy with a margin of safety from Mr. Market

Berkshire Hathaway Annual Letters by Warren Buffett

Value investing works

Money Masters by John Train

Value investing works with different investors

Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits by Philip Fisher

Buy companies that grow

Margin of Safety by Seth Klarman

Buy with a margin of safety

One Up on Wall Street by Peter Lynch

Buy companies that you know (that grow)

The Little Book that Beats the Market by Joel Greenblatt

High ROC + Low EV / EBIT = Profit

You Can Be A Stock Market Genius by Joel Greenblatt

Spin-offs, stubs, and LEAPs

The Little Book that Builds Wealth by Pat Dorsey

Network effects, cost advantages, switching costs, intangible assets

How to Make Money in Stocks by William O'Neil


The Aggressive Conservative Investor by Martin Whitman

Buy safe companies cheaply

There's Always Something to Do by Christopher Risso-Gill

Buy net-nets

The 5-Minute MBA: General Investing

The Snowball by Alice Schroeder

Do like Warren does

Damn Right! by Janet Lowe

Do like Charlie does

Memos from Howard Marks by Howard Marks

Price is not value, markets are cyclical, risk is not volatility

The Dhando Investor by Mohnish Pabrai

Heads I win, tails I don't lose much

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Own assets that produce cash flow

The Investment Checklist by Michael Shearn

Use checklists

The Manual of Ideas by John Mihaljevic

Study other good investors

Introduction to Financial Accounting by Horngren, Sundem, Elliott

Double entry bookkeeping

Pioneering Portfolio Management by David Swensen

Illiquid alternatives = Profit

The 5-Minute MBA: Risk

The Most Important Thing by Howard Marks

There are many important things, mostly tied to risk

Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk by Peter Bernstein

Risk management is hard

When Genius Failed by Roger Lowenstein

Too much leverage is bad

Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Taleb

Markets are not gaussian, be long gamma

Antifragile by Nassim Taleb

Markets are not gaussian, be long gamma in life

The 5-Minute MBA: Psychology

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Be friendly, honest, and caring

Influence by Robert Cialdini

People can be influenced

Poor Charlie's Almanack by Charles Munger, Peter Kaufman Editor

Be rational

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles MacKay

People are sheep

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

People are irrational sheep

The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande

Use checklists

Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner

Incentives matter

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Circumstances + Practice = Success

Mindset by Carol Dweck

You can improve with practice

Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Get in the zone

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey


The 5-Minute MBA: Economics and Markets

The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

Capitalism works

The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money by John Maynard Keynes

Economies need intervention

A Random Walk down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel

Markets are efficient

Moneyball by Michael Lewis

Markets are inefficient

Irrational Exuberance by Robert Schiller

Markets are irrational

Stocks for the Long Run by Jeremy Siegel

Stocks are good

Dow 36,000 by James Glassman

Stocks are REALLY good

Common Sense on Mutual Funds by John Bogle

Stocks are good, index funds are better

This Time is Different by Kenneth Rogoff

Crises happen (a lot)

Capital in the 21st Century by Thomas Piketty

Rich people make more money than poor people

The 5-Minute MBA: Trading

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefevre

Cut losers, ride winners

Market Wizards by Jack Schwager

The trend is your friend, until the end, when it bends

The Alchemy of Finance by George Soros

Prices can affect fundamentals

Education of a Speculator (1997) by Victor Niederhoffer

Speculation is awesome and will make you tons of money

Practical Speculation (2005) by Victor Niederhoffer

Speculation is dangerous and will lose you tons of money

Confessions of a Street Addict by Jim Cramer

Trading is stressful

Fortune's Formula by William Poundstone

Don't overbet

The 5-Minute MBA: Wall Street

Liar's Poker by Michael Lewis

Wall Street is a jungle

Monkey Business by John Rolfe and Peter Troob

Wall Street is a jungle full of monkeys

The Partnership: The Making of Goldman Sachs by Charles Ellis

Goldman Sachs is good at making money

The House of Morgan by Ron Chernow

JP Morgan is good at making money and politics

Biography of a Bank by Marquis James and Bessie James

Branch banking is best banking

Too Big to Fail by Andrew Ross Sorkin

Private profits, socialized ris

F.I.A.S.C.O. by Frank Partnoy

Derivatives are tricky

Where Are The Customer's Yachts by Fred Schwed

Brokers are not your friends

The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe

Masters of the Universe humbled

The Financier by Theodore Dreiser

Successful financiers are aggressive

The 5-Minute MBA: General Business

The Essential Drucker by Peter Drucker

Business exists to serve society

Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson

First media mogul/elder statesman

The Outsiders by William Thorndike

Make bold acquisitions, create value, repurchase stock

Competition Demystified by Bruce Greenwald and Judd Kahn

Liquidate if you don't have competitive advantage

The Smartest Guys in the Room by Bethany MacLean and Peter Elkind

Accounting can hide the truth

King of Capital by David Carey and John Morris

Stephen Schwarzman is good at private equity

Business Adventures by John Brooks

Business can get crazy

Jack: Straight From the Gut by Jack Welch

Cut costs; exit if not #1 or #2

Good to Great by Jim Collins

Get the right people in the right seats on the bus

Losing my Virginity by Richard Branson

Be a bold, fun entrepreneur

The Box by Marc Levinson

Containers shrink the world

Personal History by Katherine Graham

Be strong and confident

From Third World to First by Lee Kuan Yew

How to build a first-world country from nothing

The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman

East and West are converging

The 5-Minute MBA: Hedge Funds

More Money than God by Sebastian Mallaby

Hedge funds are awesome and will make you tons of money

The Hedge Fund Mirage by Simon Lack

Hedge funds are terrible and will lose you tons of money

Hedge Hogging by Barton Biggs

Hedge funds are a mixed bag

No One Would Listen by Harry Markopolos

Capital raising through affiliation and exclusivity

Fooling Some of the People All of the Time by David Einhorn

Public activist shorting is tough

Confidence Game by Christine Richard

Bill Ackman is 100% confident he is 100% right

The Big Short by Michael Lewis

Big shorts need big puts

The Billionaire's Apprentice by Anita Raghavan

Don't cut corners

The 5-Minute MBA: Technology, Media, Telecom

The Innovator's Dilemma by Clayton Christensen

Hit 'em where they ain't

Cable Cowboy by Mark Robichaux

John Malone is a great cable and media investor

The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick

Execution is everything. Also network effects.

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Steve Jobs is obsessed and brilliant

The Road Ahead by Bill Gates

The internet is the future

Idea Man by Paul Allen

Bill Gates is an edge walker

The Everything Store by Brad Stone

Give customers what they want

Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh

Give good customer service

The Mythical Man Month by Frederick Brooks Jr.

Software engineering is hard

Inside the Plex by Steven Levy

Google is smart and thinks big

The Men Who Would be King by Nicole LaPorte

Hollywood is tough

Only the Paranoid Survive by Andrew Grove

Manage through strategic inflection points

Who Says Elephants Can't Dance? by Lou Gerstner

Bureaucracy is bad, turnarounds are good

Fire in the Valley by Paul Freiberger and Michael Swaine

Computing changed everything

From Zero to One by Peter Thiel

Monopolies and start-ups are good

The 5-Minute MBA: Retail

Sam Walton: Made in America by Sam Walton

People like low prices

Pour Your Heart Into It by Howard Schultz

People like coffee shops

Grinding it Out by Ray Kroc

People like burgers

In-N-Out Burger by Stacy Perman

People like good burgers

The Billionaire Who Wasn't by Conor O'Clery

People like duty-free shops. Also charity.

The 5-Minute MBA: Energy

Titan by Ron Chernow

Refine oil, get rich

The Big Rich by Bryan Burrough

Find oil, get rich

The Frackers by Gregory Zuckerman

Find hidden oil, get rich

The First Billion Is the Hardest by T. Boone Pickens

Buy oil, get rich

The 5-Minute MBA: General Interest

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

Life is short, minimize regrets

How to be Rich by J. Paul Getty

Live a rich life

Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

Guns, germs, and steel affected history

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Women are good at business too

John Adams by David McCullough

The patriot's patriot

The Art of War by Sun Tzu

Be water my friend

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Follow your dreams

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The 5-Minute MBA

The 5-Minute MBA: Takeaways From Top Investing & Business Books


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