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Thought Leadership

Finance books don’t have to be boring – these 6 reads are proof

Recently, I read a research report on the psychological cost of debt , which helped bring to my attention how debt and finance play such a big part in people’s happiness. However, I know many don’t designate time to educate themselves on important financial topics. When you want a fun read relevant to your business, you probably don’t check the library’s finance section.

Perhaps you should! Authors know online readers have slim attention spans, so when they tackle subjects like sales or procurement, they have to cut to the chase. Only in print books do most business finance authors feel free to joke and explore.

Which recent, money-related reads might you actually enjoy? Check out these titles:

1.Secrets of Sand Hill Road by Scott Kupor

With an introduction by serial entrepreneur Eric Ries, Secrets of Sand Hill Road pulls back the curtain on venture capital. Weaving personal stories with pragmatic advice, Andreessen Horowitz Managing Partner Scott Kupor unpacks how and where Silicon Valley’s top venture capitalists choose to invest. He explains how entrepreneurs can identify likely investors, build relationships, tell compelling stories, and navigate pitfalls such as down rounds.

2.J.P. Morgan by J.R. MacGregor

Part biography and part historical analysis, J.P. Morgan details the life and work of America’s most important financier. Not only did Morgan build one of America’s biggest banks, as MacGregor explains, but he fueled the work of the nation’s most famed industrialists. MacGregor also details Morgan’s personal life, including the tragic death of his partner and the working frenzy it sent him into. Written not just for bankers, but for anyone interested in America’s banking system, J.P. Morgan is a window into the nation’s financial history.

3.Startup CFO by Kyle Brennan

Covering the processes and the personal experiences of financial executives at young companies, Startup CFO  puts an engaging spin on small business finance. Brennan, a startup executive turned consultant, details the special risks young companies face and the opportunities they have to grow. Even for leaders at larger companies, Startup CFO provides insight into how today’s companies scale and survive.

4. Financial Intelligence by Karen Burman and Joe Knight

Recently re-released with updated numbers, Financial Intelligence has been a hit with managers since its debut in 2006. Although some experienced financial professionals will find it basic, the book is ideal for leaders without formal financial education. Readable yet helpful, Financial Intelligence explains the “why” behind popular business metrics as well as the context of landmark events like the 2008 financial crisis.

5.Profit First by Mike Michalowicz

The latest member of Michalowicz’s humorous-but-helpful lineage of financial books, Profit First provides a behavioral perspective on small business finance. The serial entrepreneur suggests a new way to think of the sales-expenses-profits triangle, as well as a series of steps they can take to maximize their profitability. Michalowicz backs his ideas with case studies, personal anecdotes, and advice from investors. Profit First’s greatest feat, however, is flipping conventional accounting on its head without drowning the reader in jargon and numbers. 

6. Outsizing by Steve Coughran

Business growth might sound like a boring subject, but not for readers of Outsizing . Drawing on his experiences as CFO of EMJ Corporation, hundreds of interviews, and scientific studies, Coughran explains how leaders of small and large companies can supercharge growth. In doing so, he touches on topics as diverse as innovation, culture, and the customer experience. More than just a business strategy book, Coughran tells stories that show how to deliver value both for the company and the customer themselves.

Business finance is a broad area, and these books run the gamut. From growth strategies to data analysis, there’s little they can’t teach you about managing your company’s money. Grab one off the shelf, and you’ll see why they’re finding fans outside of the classroom.

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