12 Books Worth Reading

Jake Ryan
Published in
5 min readAug 9, 2017


On my journey on becoming a better entrepreneur and investor, I’ve done a lot of reading over the past few years. I find it the best way to kick-start my own ideas and creativity. Here is the list of books that I find very useful and worth checking out.

On Investing:

  1. CASHFLOW Quadrant: Rich Dad’s Guide to Financial Freedom by Robert T. Kiyosaki. It is one of my favorite books of Robert Koyosaki. The book is for those who want to make significant changes in their lives and take control of their financial future, teaching how to make money work for you instead of working for the money. It helps to change the way you think about jobs, careers, and owning your own business and inspires you to learn the rules of money.
  2. The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order by Paul Vigna, Michael J. Casey. If you want to know more about cryptocurrency and bitcoin definitely read this book. It talks about its origins, its function, and what you need to know to navigate a cyber-economy.

3. Pioneering Portfolio Management: An Unconventional Approach to Institutional Investment, Fully Revised and Updated by David F. Swensen. This is another great roadmap for creating a successful investment program from David F. Swensen. The author describes the investment process that underpins Yale’s endowment. He provides lucid and penetrating insight into the world of institutional funds management, illuminating topics ranging from asset-allocation structures to active fund management. This new edition provides fund managers and students of the market an up-to-date guide for actively managed investment portfolios.

4. The Choose Yourself Guide To Wealth by James Altucher. A very bold book that provides an updated map of the new territory for generating wealth and freedom. This book is the eye-opener of the century, it is the guide to building, keeping, and investing your money and breaking free from the chains of rusted, old thinking. This was a pretty good book. I recommend it if you like those bubblegum type personal finance books (which I do). There were some good recommendations in the book and there were some that were downright illegal and/or impractical. But, I do like James Altucher for sure.

5. The Millionaire Maker’s Guide to Wealth Cycle Investing: Build Your Assets Into a Lifetime of Financial Freedom by Loral Langemeier. The book will teach you how to build cash in your own Wealth Account, scout out new opportunities, and take control of your assets-and generate new income, as well as use real estate and private equity to accelerate wealth, balance your risks with even bigger rewards and much more.

Business & Entrepreneurship:

6. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9–5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss. This is a step-by-step guide to luxury lifestyle that teaches:

  • How Tim went from $40,000 per year and 80 hours per week to $40,000 per month and 4 hours per week
  • How to outsource your life to overseas virtual assistants for $5 per hour and do whatever you want
  • How blue-chip escape artists travel the world without quitting their jobs
  • How to eliminate 50% of your work in 48 hours using the principles of a forgotten Italian economist
  • How to trade a long-haul career for short work bursts and frequent “mini-retirements”

7. The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. Best business/start-up book I’ve ever read… Ben Horowitz analyzes the problems of how to run the business, sharing the insights he’s gained developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies. A lifelong rap fanatic, he amplifies business lessons with lyrics from his favorite songs, telling it straight about everything from firing friends to poaching competitors, cultivating and sustaining a CEO mentality to knowing the right time to cash in.

8. Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist by Brad Feld, Jason Mendelson. The book outlines the essential elements of the venture capital term sheet — from terms related to economics to terms related to control. It strives to give a balanced view of the particular terms along with the strategies to getting to a fair deal. In addition to examining the nuts and bolts of the term sheet, Venture Deals, Second Edition also introduces you to the various participants in the process and discusses how fundraising works. Whether you’re an experienced or aspiring entrepreneur, venture capitalist, or lawyer who partakes in these particular types of deals, you will benefit from the insights found throughout this new book.

9. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael Gerber. The book will help you to grow your business in a predictable and productive way. It shows distinction between working on your business and working in your business, walking you through the steps in the life of a business from entrepreneurial infancy, through adolescent growing pains, to the mature entrepreneurial perspective, the guiding light of all businesses that succeed.

Economics & Philosophy:

10. Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder (Incerto) by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Antifragile is a blueprint for living in a Black Swan world. It is immune to prediction errors and protected from adverse events. The book spans innovation by trial and error, life decisions, politics, urban planning, war, personal finance, economic systems, and medicine. And throughout, in addition to the street wisdom of Fat Tony of Brooklyn, the voices and recipes of ancient wisdom, from Roman, Greek, Semitic, and medieval sources, are loud and clear.

11. Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman. This book provides the definitive statement of his immensely influential economic philosophy — one in which competitive capitalism serves as both a device for achieving economic freedom and a necessary condition for political freedom. The result is an accessible text that has sold well over half a million copies in English, has been translated into eighteen languages, and shows every sign of becoming more and more influential as time goes on.

12. Rise of the Robots Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford. Artificial intelligence and machine learning is on a rise these days. This book is essential reading to understand what accelerating technology means for our economic prospects — not to mention those of our children — as well as for society as a whole.


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Jake Ryan

CIO at Tradecraft Capital & Author of CRYPTO DECRYPTED & Crypto Investing in the Age of Autonomy, published by Wiley