Best Resources

The below are the books & articles I have found most useful to understanding the world. They're listed in the order I think one should study: first seek to understand yourself, then others, then gather some basic and broadly applicable mental models, then what makes the world go round – economics, and finally history through the lenses above.

For investors, the study of investment principles, business strategy, valuation, and markets comes after that foundation.

[Disclaimer that I'm of course not claiming to have mastered any of these]

Understanding Yourself: Literature on Life and Mindfulness

  • Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
  • The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday
  • The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer
  • Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
  • Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
  • The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
  • Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
  • Principles by Ray Dalio
  • The Almanack of Naval Ravikant
  • Mindset by Carol Dweck

Understanding Others: Psychology

Must Reads:

Good Reads:

  • Nudge by Richard Thaler
  • Stanford Prison Experiment Documentary
  • What Every Body is Saying by Joe Navarro
  • The Influence You Have
  • The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • The Meaning of Human Existence by E.O. Wilson
  • Cure by Jo Marchant
  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Decision-Making and Structured Thinking: Probability, Statistics, Math, Mental Models

Must Reads:

  • Poor Charlie's Almanack by Charlie Munger
  • Superforecasting by Philip Tetlock
  • The Incerto Series by Nassim Taleb (mostly Black Swan and Antifragile)
  • Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk by Peter Bernstein

Good Reads:

  • How to Solve It by George Pólya
  • How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking by Jordan Ellenberg
  • Noise by Daniel Kahneman
  • Wisdom of the Crowds by Michael Mauboussin
  • Seeking Wisdom from Darwin to Munger by Peter Bevelin
  • The Great Mental Models by Shane Parrish
  • Maxims for Thinking Analytically by Richard Zeckhauser

For the technically minded:

  • The Princeton Companion to Mathematics
  • Introduction to Statistical Learning

Understanding What Makes Our World Go Round: Economics

Must Read Overviews of Economics:

  • How the Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio
  • Naked Economics by Charles Wheelan
  • Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlit
  • Economic Facts and Fallacies by Thomas Sowell
  • Trade Wars are Class Wars by Pettis & Klein
  • Micro & Macro 101 Textbook by Greg Mankiw

For those wishing to go deeper, here are some worthwhile areas of study:

  • This book provides a great summary of Ludwig von Mises' crowning achievement entitled Human Action, which is an unusually clear-minded analysis of economics from the ground up (note: you may very well read the original, it's just that it's 900 pages and super esoteric)
  • The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some are So Rich and Some So Poor by David Landes, How the World Became Rich: The Historical Origins of Economic Growth by Rubin & Koyama, How Asia Works by Joe Studwell, and this paper on industrial policy are essential first steps to understanding the question posed in first two books' titles – which is one of the most important questions of all time. Other good resources on economic development include Bridgewater's work on the drivers of prosperity, Hayden Capital's shareholder letter on making the transition from an industrial to a high-tech economy, and Noah Smith's summaries of individual country's current progress
  • The Use of Knowledge in Society by Friedrich Hayek provides an unparalleled explanation of what prices actually represent and their role within a market economy
  • Worldly Philosophers by Robert Heilbroner is of the rarest breed: an economics book that is not just insightful but also elegantly written. It surveys the most powerful minds and ideas in economic history
  • The best resources on recessions and financial crises I've found are Principles for Navigating Big Debt Crises by Ray Dalio, This Time is Different: Centuries of Financial Folly by Rogoff & Reinhart, The Holy Grail of Macroeconomics: Lessons from Japan's Great Recession by Richard Koo, The House of Debt by Mian and Sufi, Trade Wars are Class Wars and The Volatility Machine by Michael Pettis, Fragile by Design: the Political Origins of Banking Crises and Scarce Credit by Calomiris and Haber, The Asian Financial Crisis by Russell Napier, history of the 80s & 90s credit crisis
  • Every page published on Ray Dalio's Economic Principles is well worth reading. My personal favorites are Productivity and Structural Reform, Paradigm Shifts, and Populism: the Phenomenon
  • Foundations of Complexity Economics by Brian Arthur and this blog post go into detail on the uneasy intuition you might have felt in Econ 101: that the perfectly straight lines and soothing simplicity of supply & demand diagrams don't exactly mirror the real world. They begin to untangle that messiness.
  • Road to Serfdom by Friedrich Hayek and Capitalism & Freedom by Milton Friedman provide good analysis on socialism vs capitalism
  • On the history of markets & economics: Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order by Ray Dalio, Debt: The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber, Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson, Monetary History of the United States by Milton Friedman

History of Humanity & The Making of the Modern World

Must Reads:

  • Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
  • The Lessons of History by William and Ariel Durant
  • The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some are So Rich and Some So Poor by David Landes
  • How the World Really Works by Vaclav Smil

Good Reads:

  • Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
  • The Radicalism of the American Revolution by Gordon Wood

Investing & Financial Markets

  • General investing: The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham, Security Analysis by Graham and Dodd, Margin of Safety by Seth Klarman, Berkshire Hathaway's shareholder letters, The Essays of Warren Buffett, Amazon's shareholder letters, Howard Marks' memos (they can be accessed in entirety or via this guide highlighting some exceptional sections), Howard Marks' lecture on risk as well as his book Mastering the Market Cycle, The Dao of Capital and Safe Haven by Mark Spitznagel, Paradigm Shifts by Ray Dalio, Bridgewater's approach to portfolio construction, The (mis)behaviour of Markets by Benoit Mandlebrot, Mauboussin's work on properly incorporating base rates in investment underwriting
  • Business cycles: Capital Returns by Edward Chancellor and Bridgewater's work on profit margins
  • Credit cycles: Principles for Navigating Big Debt Crises by Ray Dalio, Capital Wars by Michael Howell, The Debt-Deflation Theory of Great Depressions by Irving Fisher, a selection of articles on the Austrian Business Cycle Theory (link, link), The House of Debt by Mian and Sufi, The Volatility Machine by Michael Pettis, The Asian Financial Crisis by Russell Napier
  • Cycles of psychology: A Short History of Financial Euphoria by John Kenneth Galbraith; The Alchemy of Finance by George Soros; Mania, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises by Charles P. Kindleberger; Bridgewater's The Archetypal Bear Market & The Bubble Popping, Jeremy Grantham's work on bubbles (1,2), Speculative Asset Prices by Robert Shiller
  • On the role of liquidity: Capital Wars by Michael Howell is absolutely essential, defining liquidity (link, link), a selection of articles on how money is created & how our monetary system works (link, link, link, link, link), a selection of articles on the relation of the Fed to markets (link, link, link, link, link, link), Richard Bookstaber's thoughts on liquidity (link, link), Bridgewater on what types of assets are most vulnerable to pull backs in liquidity, Anna Schwartz and Michael Bordo's analysis of price stability's relation to financial stability (link, link)
  • On business strategy, competitive advantage, and moats: Zero to One by Peter Thiel; Michael Porter's guide to industry analysis and his book Competitive Advantage; Bill Gurley's series on the 10x revenue club (link, link), his thoughts on market places (link), his series on Google (link, link, link, link), on Dell (link), on Netflix (link); HBR's case studies on Netflix (link), RyanAir (link, link), Southwest (link), and on Walmart (link, link); Hayden Capital's series on market places (link, link, link, link); Stratechery's series on aggregators (link, link, link, link, link, link, link); Amazon's shareholder letters (link); the Fat protocol thesis (link); Pat Dorsey's thoughts on moats; Wait But Why's analysis of Musk's ventures (on Elon, on Tesla, on SpaceX)


  • Leadership by Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • The Vital Question by Nick Lane
  • A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  • The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert