Amit Raizada's Bookshelf, Part II
November 4, 2020
Just four months ago, I published an article on this very same blog detailing the books that have helped shape my investment philosophy. Since that time, the world has changed inexorably. Wildfires and hurricanes have ravaged large swaths of the country, protests against racial inequities have sparked a national conversation reckoning, and the coronavirus continues to kill Americans.
Economically, we have experienced both highs and lows. The stock market has oscillated between the bull and the bear, ultimately siding with the former. Congress has balked at the prospect of passing another fiscal stimulus package. Businesses around the country remain closed entirely or operating under significant restrictions.
Aspiring investors are facing a gauntlet.
As CEO and Founder of Spectrum Business Ventures, though, I’ve always sought to see the world differently, to discover lucrative ventures stepped in innovation where others see losses. During this difficult time, I strenuously encourage aspiring investors to think similarly.
As I’ve said before, one does not need an MBA from Wharton or Harvard to find success in venture capital and investing. Often, the most successful investors hone their philosophies and approaches by combining the lessons they’ve learned in the classroom with those derived from real life, hands-on experience. This list aims to help give you the first part of the equation. Equipped with new strategies and shifted mindsets, it’s up to you to put the second component into motion.
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Napoleon Hill published his magnum opus during the Great Depression. With millions of Americans out of work, his work—unfortunately—takes on a new resonance when read under these current conditions.
Inspired by his conversations with legendary entrepreneur Andrew Carnegie, Hill’s book propounds a series of principles, which he dubs “laws,” that induce success and invite prosperity. Hill argues that maintaining a positive mindset, defined by perseverance and desire, creates a positive feedback loop that begets success.
I’ve always sought to advance a similar philosophy. Shrewd investments are the result of a mental acuity spurred by measured confidence and determination. Mindset is integral to investment. Hill got this right more than 80 years ago, it’s time for us to apply it now.
Tools of the Titans by Timothy Ferriss
Sometimes, to join the best, you have to learn from the best.
That’s exactly what New York Times bestselling author Timothy Ferriss seeks to do in Tools of the Titans, a collection of wisdom derived from his more than 200 interviews with the world’s leading business, athletic, political, and artistic minds. In taking these lessons from the globe’s luminaries, Ferriss attempts to distill the essence of success.
I urge aspiring investors to closely read this work and evaluate how they can apply these principles to their pursuit of innovative, profitable ventures.
The Man Who Solved the Market: How Jim Simons Launched the Quant Revolution by Gregory Zuckerman
Zuckerman’s book is another masterclass in learning from the best. Lauded by the Financial Times, The Man Who Solved the Market examines the rise of Jim Simons, the multibillionaire Wall Street financier who perennially delivers unthinkably high returns to his investors.
Zuckerman looks at how Simons’ background in mathematics helped him see opportunities and ventures differently. This mirrors the approach we employ at Spectrum Business Ventures, where we strive to invest in innovative opportunities in nascent markets. Like Simons, we believe in closely monitoring data and emerging market trends to gain footholds in the markets of the future.
With so much going on in the world, I find it comforting to turn to wisdom and ideas for some respite. I hope aspiring investors will take these recommendations to heart and seek ways to imbue their investment philosophies with the many great strategies, lessons, and outlooks articulated by these authors.