The Almanac of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson

One question which plagues every investor’s mind, whether the individual is a novice or an experienced: how do people make money by investing right? 

From Warren Buffet to Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, they have got it right most of the times when they decide to invest their money and put it to work. Turns out their money works with utmost loyalty. 



Author: Eric Jorgenson
Originally Published: 2020
Publisher: Magrathea Publishing
Pages: 242
Genre(s): Non-Fiction, Self Help

Guess that is exactly what the thought in Eric Jorgenson’s mind was when he set out to write a book documenting the machinations of Naval Ravikant’s mind.  The founder of Angellist, Epinions and, an investor in Twitter, Uber, Yammer, etc. and known the world over for his investment acumen, Naval Ravikant is a textbook of investment wisdom. His thoughts and words on crypto, wealth creation, investment and happiness have a huge following.  This book is entirely based on transcripts of Naval’s tweets and talks. In the preface, noted author Tim Ferriss writes that he likes Naval for certain specific things:
  • Questions nearly everything
  • Can think from first principles
  • Tests things well
  • Is good at not fooling himself
  • Changes his mind regularly
  • Laughs a lot
  • Thinks holistically
  • Thinks long-term
  • And…doesn’t take himself too goddamn seriously.
Naval Ravikant is an Indian immigrant to the US who shifted from Delhi to New York with his single mother at the age of 9. Getting into a good school and then Ivy league education in Computer Science and Economics enabled him to scale his path quickly. Never to shy from hard work, he knows how to put his money to work. With his investments turning gold, he is regarded as the person with the midas touch in investor world and is revered for his nuggets of knowledge which he keeps sharing.  The book is divided into two parts, well three if you count the ‘Bonus’ part too, titled Wealth and Happiness. Earning money may be an art and largely based on luck (though he says money making is also a skill) but building wealth and creating happiness is a skill we can develop. Tim Ferris writing this book means a whole lot of things. They have been close and keeping in mind that Naval likes to share all his wisdom about creating wealth, the book was also shared free of cost on the digital platform.  What I learned from this book: The most important thing- to productize yourself. 
  • Money and wealth are two different things. Seek wealth, he says, not money or status. I learned to differentiate between wealth that works while you sleep, while money is how you transfer wealth and time.
  • One cannot get rich by renting one’s time, but rather owning equity in a business which lends you financial freedom
  • There is a knack in picking industries that have real-time long-term potential, choose good partners and the same time, arm yourself with skills, including selling and building yourself. 
  • He places huge importance on gaining specific knowledge- something you cannot get at school, cannot be automated, or outsourced but gained only through apprenticeship. 
  • What I was amused is when he says Business is not skill and to shun business magazines and courses (classes).
  • I have been able to save a hell lot of time by applying his principle of setting an hourly rate for your own time. So I tend to outsource tasks that cost me more than my hourly rate. 
  • That compound interest, both in business and in life (including investments in relationships and jobs) pay better in the long term.
  • Bank on permission-less leverages- like writing a book, a podcast, a blog or a youtube channel. 
  • The three big decisions one needs to make are the ones you do while you are young- where you live (investing in good real estate that is close to your job), who you’re with (includes business associates and relationships, join with the best and the most passionate people) and what you do (for a living as well as your passion so it all feels like play). 
  • I understood a new meaning of retirement – not the day when you stop working (of your own will or kicked out because you’ve reached the benchmark age). He says retirement is when today is complete, in and of itself. So you stop sacrificing your today for an imaginary tomorrow because that tomorrow has become your today. 
  • You are wise if you know the long-term consequences of your actions and it’s judgment when you apply this to external problems. 
  • One key gem which I learned and applied in my life is that if you cannot decide, the answer is no. It made matters very easy for me post this nugget. 
  • Reading is the best means of creating new mental models. Naval’s reading list in the book comes in handy. 
  • We look at three important things in life as wealth, health and happiness whereas it should be the other way round. 
  • Happiness is not joy or bliss but peace. And enlightenment is not something you achieve sitting on a mountaintop but it comes moment to moment. 
  • Finding happiness within and that anything that does not involve a screen, saves time. 
Why I recommend this book
  • Because when a successful entrepreneur, investor, creator is also a well-read philosopher and thinker, it’s a killer combo.
  • It’s crisp, profound and meaningful. It leaves you with Aha moments on every page. 
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