The 5-Minute MBA: Takeaways From Top Business Books

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: CAN SLIM

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: Focus

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

Read full story: ValueWalk

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