What do successful investors read

I recently came across this article on Forbes by Joshua Rogers and got to thinking about what I read and what other successful investors I respect read. Until recently I didn't have a focus on my reading and didn't have a plan for what to read on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis. I have started to refine that process though. I read one to two new books per year on an investment process/theory, business/person profile, or past/current/future technology. I also have a few books that I have read and would recommend again for people who have not read them. I also have a few key newsletters that I subscribe to as well as free reports that are sent out on a somewhat regular basis - I read these religiously and sometimes two or three times. Add to those the blogs (which I mostly filter from twitter these days).

All of these recommendations I have received from someone else in the past and have simply filtered what I have read based on all those recommendations down to my favorites to share. Please add your favorites in the comments or send me an email directly.

Newsletters and reports

I highly recommend a few key ones here. Yes, some of these are paid newsletters and some are free. I've been trying out a few more as well based on recommendations from folks here and am now updating this list regularly.

Stock/Equity investing in public markets

Todd Sullivan's Value Plays, Quarterly and/or Annual letters such as Einhorn, Ackman, Buffett, Marks. Institutional perspective and insights (BAML, Blackrock, etc.)

Early Stage

Momentum, Halo Report, CB Insights

Real Estate

For real estate investors I also read a few reports (Integra's ViewPoint, Marcus & Millichap Research, etc.)

Twitter Feeds

I read a lot of different twitter feeds for a lot of different reasons, I rely mostly on my twitter feed to filter the news and send me the best things to read, best trends to pay attention to, etc. I get articles from the WSJ, Asymco, CoStar, MatterMark, and way too many other sources to list all of them here. This is just a sampling of the great people I follow (if you aren't on the list it doesn't mean I don't follow you). I only follow a few people though, so if you go check out my twitter account you can see who matters most to me. If you want more detail on who I read on twitter - look at my lists (that is how I filter things and magically seem to know a lot about a lot of different things).

Hardeep Walia, Paul Kedrosky, Joe Wallin, Paul Graham, John Sechrest, Eddy Elfenbein, Todd Sullivan, Herb Greenberg, Howard Lindzon, Leigh Drogen, Northwest Angel Conference, Angel Capital Association, Mike Shedlock, Tren Griffin, Tsachy Mishal, and Michael Parekh

Blogs (besides mine of course)

Don't forget that you should be subscribed via email or RSS to my blog!

Here are a few select blogs, I have also included the full list of blogs I subscribe to. I don't read all of them every day - but I do read some of them every day.

Stocks/Equities

Eddy Elfenbein's Crossing Wall Street, Josh Brown's The Reformed Broker, ExPected Losses, Scott Krisilof's Avondale Asset Management, andJohn Huber's Base Hit Investing

Early Stage

Brad Feld, Tomasz Tunguz, Sam Altman, Fred Wilson, Bill Gurley

Momentum

Howard Lindzon

Real Estate

I don't have any great real estate blogs at the moment - what's your fav?

Books

I am working on a book about angel investing, that doesn't mean that I don't have some other books on angel investing that I highly recommend though. Of course when my book is available for sale I'll add it here. Let's start at the beginning though as there are some things that EVERY investor should understand regardless of how your portfolio is structured and what types of assets you are investing in.

You should also read up on basic economics, systemic & unsystemic risk, and taxes (I don't have a top one or two books for these - what's your favorite?). Regardless of what kind of investor you are these are important! Understanding what the incentives are for players in the market is also incredibly important. If you are going to dump your money into a bunch of funds managed by someone else and you didn't consider who the manager is or what incentives are driving them you are likely paying way too much in fees for what you are getting in return. You should also understand what are those fund managers doing.

Also regardless of what kind of investor you are, you would be well served to read one or two books such as The Intelligent Investor, The Dhandho Investor, The Little Book That Still Beats the Market, & The Map and the Territory: Risk, Human Nature, and the Future of Forecasting

From there the content really starts to depend on what asset classes you are investing in. Early stage companies, momentum (technical) investments, bonds, value equities, options, real estate, and so on. You can read the full list of books I've read (some I've reviewed, others I haven't) on GoodReads you can also see the full list of books I recommend.

I'm not really a technical/momentum trader (more of a value guy personally for public markets). I do maintain a broader portfolio though (and understand fragility and risk) and have read a wealth of market technician books/content (e.g. IBD & O’Neill’s book). I don't recommend the efficient market theory. They keep trying to add stuff to it to make it work and it keeps failing (read The Misbehavior of Markets by Mandelbrot). If you're into it though that's fine. Regardless, if you are going to invest in companies, you really have to spend time understanding how to value companies (which means understanding a lot of accounting and finance). There are really two approaches to take to learn more about valuation. You can either go the academic route and dive deeper into accounting and financial management textbooks or you can go the consumer route and skip the academics.

One author that spans both book categories well is Aswath Damodaran. His more academic book Investment Valuation is great as is his book The Little Book of Valuation. There are some great resources that aren't academic such as Howard Schilit’s Financial Shenanigans, Larry Cunningham’s The Essays of Warren Buffett, and Graham’s The Interpretation of Financial Statements

If you wanted to go the more academic route, I like Financial Reporting. One thing to keep in mind about textbooks is that nearly all of them teach you to value based on a single standard set of theories. Without debating the theories, I recommend you get a few perspectives on how to value companies instead of locking into a single set of theories about valuation.

For angel investing books - read mine!! I have a huge stack (20+) books on angel investing. I started buying Venture Capital investing books because I had such a hard time finding GREAT angel investing books. I also decided to write one because there are some, but there are a lot of things that aren't covered well. I plan to continue writing in this space because there is so much stuff missing here. I recommend Financing New Ventures and Angel Investing. There are other early stage books in my full list of recommended books.

For real estate, I recommend reading a couple to start with such as What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know About Cash Flow... And 36 Other Key Financial Measures and Commercial Real Estate Investing 12 Easy Steps to Getting Started. There are more in the full list.

Comment (1)

  1. Scott Krisiloff

    Hi Josh, I’m just visiting this post for the first time. Thanks for highlighting my blog. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed reading it.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: