A Short Guide to Reading and Learning for Investors

I had written a lengthy post in 2015 on the subject of required reading for investors, which also included thoughts from Prof. Sanjay Bakshi and my own reading spectrum.

This latest post is an update on the same and includes my revised reading spectrum (not a major change over last time, but some meaningful additions).

For a change, I am not writing much in today’s post and would rather let the following two illustrations do the talking (Click on the images below to download them in large size). I hope they get the message through to you.

The core idea is that, in true pursuit of wisdom in investing and life, we must read much more of what has endured over time (like supertexts, history, biographies, etc.) than what is ephemeral (like newspapers etc.)

Reading Spectrum - Safal Niveshak

Wisdom Tree - Safal Niveshak

I will end with a thought from Elon Musk on how to learn things deeper. Musk answered this to a question on how he does that himself –

It is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree — make sure you understand the fundamental principles, i.e. the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang onto.

You see, often it happens that we want to dive into the deep end before we learn how to swim. So when you want to learn a new subject, identify the fundamental principles first – the trunk and big branches. Learn those things first and deep, and you’ll be able to figure out the leaves and figs – mostly noise – much easier.

Finally, use the Feynman Technique when you want to learn something clearer and deeper…

Feynman Technique - Safal Niveshak

Let me know your thoughts on these illustrations in the Comments section of this post, and a few of the supertexts – on investing, human, behavior, thinking, learning, etc. – that you think others and I must read and that are not covered above.

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