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Check out the top 5 business books that have been appraised by some of the world’s richest men have been outlined with brief summaries given.
If you follow the lives of several of the best businessmen in the world, both dead and alive, you’ll notice something about them. They’re all voracious readers. Warren Buffett fondly referred to as the Oracle of Omaha stated that reading as much as 500 pages of a book every day would lead to accomplishment. Bill Gates, a man that has consistently topped the list of the world’s richest man reads a new book every week.
This trend shows that books expose individuals to fresh ideas and challenge them to think on a deeper level, opening up new modes of thinking and increasing knowledge. Books will definitely help you think up new ideas on expanding your business either by learning from failed business ventures or strategies that have helped firms grow exceedingly.
The fact remains that annually, thousands of business books are released into the market and read by a lot of people. However, this large selection of possible books to read may get you confused. You might have decided to be an avid reader of business books but with a lingering question on your mind; ‘which books on business would help shape my thinking the best?’ (We’ve already shared the top books on investing, just FYI:)
This article was written to help you streamline the top five business books you should read. These published works from seasoned authors would ensure that you rethink the way you see life and business and shape your business philosophy. The books about to be listed would be accompanied by brief exposures. The books have all stood the test of time and have been acclaimed by some of the most successful people in the world.
“Rich Dad Poor Dad” is a book published in 1997 and it was written by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter. The book stresses the significance of becoming financially literate during one’s primary years of education. Robert makes people understand the importance of financial independence via the acquisition of assets instead of liabilities, real estate investments, starting up a venture and improving one’s financial IQ.
Robert reveals in the book that concerning money, he had a rich dad and a poor dad. His rich dad who first started out as a struggling businessman was the first person who taught him the first secrets of business. His poor dad, also his biological father, was a teacher who died with debts on his head.
Robert exposes that rich dad who is his close friend’s father later becomes financially independent and accumulates wealth while his father who trusted the system and never ‘cared about money’ and was a hard worker never became financially secure.
Rich Dad Poor Dad became a #1 New York bestseller (a spot it retained for half a dozen years) and has sold more than 35 million copies worldwide. It has been translated into 51 languages.
“Business Adventures” isn’t the typical business book that gives advice to readers on how to succeed in business. John Brooks simply discusses history in the business industry and from the fact that history repeats itself, expects you to learn from it.
Business Adventures contains 12 real-life case studies on Wall Street. Brooks talked about the erratic behavior of the stock market in the Flash Crash of 1962 where the stock market wiped off about $20 billion in market capitalization and in three days recovered as if nothing had happened. The story of Ford Edsel, a medium-priced Ford vehicle failure was also discussed. The tax system of the US was outlined and its burden on the US middle class was revealed.
The Texas Gulf case of 1959 was also exposed in the book as the final move that put an end to insider trading and strict regulation by the SEC. Xerox’s immediate rise and fall in the photocopier market were examined. It discussed three stages which the company experienced and how it managed to survive after falling off the grid as the market leader.
The heroics of the New York Stock Exchange was also discussed in the book. The NYSE after carefully measuring sentiment about the US stock market and deciding that the closure of a particular brokerage, Ira Haupt & Co., would lead to a crash in the stock market, pledged almost a third of its reserves to save the brokerage firm. Business Adventures also included the antics of C-class executives of General Electric who were involved in price-fixing and were left off the hook due to ‘communication errors’.
These and 5 other Wall Street stories make up the book. Business Adventures has been described by both Warren Buffet and Bill Gates as the best business book they have ever read. In fact, the Oracle of Omaha sent his personal copy of the book to Gates as a gift.
“The Intelligent Investor” was written in 1949 and has been cited by Warren Buffet as the best investment book he has ever read. The book explains value investing in detail, a concept developed by Ben and polished with David Dodd. Value investing deals with consistent gain in profits from the market by taking note of intrinsic value and disregarding the current market price.
Graham states in his book that to become a successful investor, one needs to avoid financial instruments that seem to rein in massive profits and think ahead for years to come. He also writes that the stock market, frequently referred to as Mr. Market could be highly erratic and advises investors not to mirror the movements of the short-term market. Lastly, he opines that following a strict trading plan would lead to consistent profits for an investor.
Graham explains this by using Mr. Market who visits a shareholder’s home every day to trade shares at varying prices. Sometimes Mr. Market’s prices seem too high, and at other times they seem preposterous. The shareholder can either trade with Mr. Market or ignore him. However, Mr. Market doesn’t mind and keeps on visiting each to trade at a new price. In essence, Ben advises investors to profit from volatility in the market instead of following it and making losses.
“How to Win Friends and Influence People” was written by Carnegie in 1936. Although it has been highly described as a self-help business book, it can largely affect the decisions and outcomes of a business. The book outlines the kind of person you’re expected to become after reading. It states that readers would be able to think more clearly, set more goals, become more interesting to others, boost influence and popularity, and make one an ultimately better salesperson.
Carnegie goes on to write that if one wants to avoid conflict with people, he/she needs to refrain from criticism and condemnation of other people, factors which make one the subject of resentment. He says that a person should know how to appreciate other people and begin to see things the way other people see it.
He further outlines that to make people like you, you need to honestly become interested in them, put on smiles on your face more, make certain that you remember the names of other people, intently listen when other people relate their experiences, make other people feel important, and discuss about what other people like to hear. Dale then explains twelve ways to make people see the way you think.
The book has sold more than 30 million copies all over the world.
“Bad Blood” discussed in detail the deception of Elizabeth Holmes on venture companies in Silicon Valley and the rise and subsequent fall of Theranos, a multi-billion dollar biotech firm started by Elizabeth.
John opines that the root of the deception started when Elizabeth had big ambitions of becoming a billionaire.
He tries to explain the reason why several business-savvy persons fell for her scam. Her biological technology would allow people the opportunity to detect diseases early with a small volume of blood taken in their homes. Holmes used unsavory practices to ensure her biotech scam went undetected.
John Carreyou was the first Wall Street reporter to uncover the scam, leading to a large series of resignations, sacks and eventually instability in the company. He was contacted to investigate the Theranos situation, something that was impeded by threats of legal action against employees. In 2017, Theranos finally crashed with Elizabeth Holmes and her cohorts being jailed.