Forget Your Kindle? Here Are 5 Long-Form Downloadable Reads to Get Smarter While You Travel
Holiday travel generally sucks. The only thing I like about it is the fact that I can spend hours in a row in airports and on planes devouring long form content: books, essays, classes, PDFs, whatever.
These are five truly incredible pieces of content that WILL make you smarter, and they’ll take you more than three hours to read.
Tim Urban’s Wait But Why “Elon Musk Post Series”
At 90,000 words, this read is more than 500 Kindle pages. I have read both Urban’s blog post (which Elon Musk solicited) and the biography that came out a couple years ago (which he did not) and this post is far superior.
While we all know Musk’s epic vision(s) and how that’s manifested over time, it’s truly incredible to read the entire story and hear his vision of the future straight from the horse’s mouth.
He also understands better than ANYONE how to attract the best talent in the world by articulating humanity’s boldest possible missions and steadily moving toward them.
John Pfeffer’s An (Institutional) Investor’s Take on Cryptoassets
This piece does an incredible job demystifying what “investing” in cryptoassets actually means. I personally believe it was so well articulated that it quickly spread through the Wall Street community. As a result, it was single-handedly responsible for the December run-up of last year.
He’s a believer that bitcoin will hit $250 to $800k per coin (which sounded about right last year and doesn’t sound right at all a year later). This theory is based on the “first-mover advantage will be an accepted store-of-value” price argument. I have no opinion.
Whether or not you agree with his bitcoin thesis, if you’re even remotely curious about crypto, you should read it. It explains the advantages and disadvantages of decentralized networks, what you actually own when you buy a coin, and what value the terminal price of that coin should reflect.
All of Jeff Bezos’ Letters to Shareholders, Sequentially (and if you knock these out, Warren Buffett’s)
Perhaps nowhere else is there such infinite business wisdom contained in so few words.
Both of these journeys from the first letters through to the present tell the two most impressive growth stories in history: one in retail, one in investing. They’re easy and fun to read, deeply philosophical, and allow you to see inside of two of the greatest minds of our time.
Just set aside the time to read them all.
You won’t regret it.
Margin of Safety by Seth Klarman
This is an out-of-print value investing book with a cult following. At least it had one when I was a derivatives trader at Lehman Brothers 15 years ago.
For anyone curious about investing and what it means to be an investor (vs. a day trader), this is the best book there is, by one of the greatest investors of our time.
Here’s a great paragraph that I find to be true, and to have been true about myself once or twice in the past:
“Unsuccessful investors are dominated by emotion. Rather than responding coolly and rationally to market fluctuations, they respond emotionally with greed and fear. We all know people who act responsibly and deliberately most of the time but go berserk when investing money. It may take them many months, even years, of hard work and disciplined saving to accumulate money but only a few minutes to invest it. The same people would read several consumer publications and visit numerous stores before purchasing a stereo or camera yet spend little or no time investigating the stock they just heard about from a friend.”
Principles by Ray Dalio: The Pre-Book, PDF Version:
I’ve read the book and this PDF (many, many times) and I think the PDF is much better. He’s an investor, but this book has little to do with investing. It has much more to do with management and organizational philosophy.
Ray has created a “radically transparent” management system at his company. The goals are to find the truth, ignore being “nice” and “political,” and encourage self-examination and working on your “machine” to emphasize constant improvement.
He’s laid out his principles for management and decision making clearly. So clearly that he’s effectively outsourced his own thinking to other people.
While doing this, he’s had such incredible returns that he’s been able to attract amazing talent to this eccentric organization.
The question I have is the following:
Is the system actually creating the results? Or is the system so different and challenging that it attracts extraordinarily high caliber people, and those people would produce the same result in any well-run system?
Probably a little bit of both.
Anyway, thanks for reading.
What are some other long-form, downloadable internet reads that I missed?