Notes on The Almanack of Naval Ravikant

written by Guido Percú on September 29, 2020

The Almanack of Naval Ravikant

The Almanack of Naval Ravikant - by Eric Jorgenson

Naval Ravikant is a successful entrepreneur, founder of AngelList and investor on many tech companies (including Uber, Notion and Twitter). In the last couple of years, he has dedicated his time sharing his knowledge and ideas on wealth, relationship, health and life philosophy. This book collects this wisdom from Twitter, podcasts and essays. Created and edited by Eric Jorgenson, with Illustrations by Jack Butcher, and a Foreword by Tim Ferriss.

Know more about the author and his process on the interview with David Perell, where he shares the lessons learned from Naval.

Contents of the book

  1. Building Wealth
  2. Building Judgement
  3. Learning Happiness
  4. Saving Yourself
  5. How to Live
  6. Recommended Reading

Recommended Readings

Highlights

All the returns in life, whether in wealth, relationships, or knowledge, come from compound interest.


Seek wealth, not money or status. Wealth is having assets that earn while you sleep. Money is how we transfer time and wealth. Status is your place in the social hierarchy.

Understand ethical wealth creation is possible. If you secretly despise wealth, it will elude you.

Ignore people playing status games. They gain status by attacking people playing wealth creation games.

You’re not going to get rich renting out your time. You must own equity—a piece of a business—to gain your financial freedom.

Learn to sell. Learn to build. If you can do both, you will be unstoppable.

Arm yourself with specific knowledge, accountability, and leverage.

If you can’t code, write books and blogs, record videos and podcasts.

When you’re finally wealthy, you’ll realize it wasn’t what you were seeking in the first place.

Study microeconomics, game theory, psychology, persuasion, ethics, mathematics, and computers.

Money is how we transfer wealth. Money is social credits. It is the ability to have credits and debits of other people’s time. If I do my job right, if I create value for society, society says, “Oh, thank you. We owe you something in the future for the work you did in the past. Here’s a little IOU. Let’s call that money.” Wealth is the thing you want. Wealth is assets that earn while you sleep. Wealth is the factory, the robots, cranking out things. Wealth is the computer program that’s running at night, serving other customers. Wealth is even money in the bank that is being reinvested into other assets, and into other businesses.

But you can improve sales skills. You can read Robert Cialdini, you can go to a sales training seminar, you can do door-to-door sales. It is brutal but will train you very quickly. You can definitely improve your sales skills. Specific knowledge cannot be taught, but it can be learned.

The best jobs are neither decreed nor degreed. They are creative expressions of continuous learners in free markets.

But you can improve sales skills. You can read Robert Cialdini, you can go to a sales training seminar, you can do door-to-door sales. It is brutal but will train you very quickly. You can definitely improve your sales skills. Specific knowledge cannot be taught, but it can be learned.

For example, I love to read, and I love technology. I learn very quickly, and I get bored fast. If I had gone into a profession where I was required to tunnel down for twenty years into the same topic, it wouldn’t have worked. I’m in venture investing, which requires me to come up to speed very, very quickly on new technologies (and I’m rewarded for getting bored because new technologies come along). It matches up pretty well with my specific knowledge and skill sets.

The most important skill for getting rich is becoming a perpetual learner. You have to know how to learn anything you want to learn.

Build or Buy Equity in a Business If you don’t own a piece of a business, you don’t have a path towards financial freedom.

You have to work up to the point where you can own equity in a business. You could own equity as a small shareholder where you bought stock. You could also own it as an owner where you started the company. Ownership is really important.

Literally, being anti-wealth will prevent you from becoming wealthy, because you will not have the right mindset for it, you won’t have the right spirit, and you won’t be dealing with people on the right level. Be optimistic, be positive. It’s important. Optimists actually do better in the long run.

Wealth creation is an evolutionarily recent positive-sum game. Status is an old zero-sum game. Those attacking wealth creation are often just seeking status.

Retirement is when you stop sacrificing today for an imaginary tomorrow. When today is complete, in and of itself, you’re retired.


Money is not the root of all evil; there’s nothing evil about it. But the lust for money is bad. The lust for money is not bad in a social sense. It’s not bad in the sense of “you’re a bad person for lusting for money.” It’s bad for you. Lusting for money is bad for us because it is a bottomless pit. It will always occupy your mind. If you love money, and you make it, there’s never enough. There is never enough because the desire is turned on and doesn’t turn off at some number. It’s a fallacy to think it turns off at some number. The punishment for the love of money is delivered at the same time as the money. As you make money, you just want even more, and you become paranoid and fearful of losing what you do have. There’s no free lunch.

No book in the library should scare you. Whether it’s a math, physics, electrical engineering, sociology, or economics book. You should be able to take any book down off the shelf and read it. A number of them are going to be too difficult for you. That’s okay—read them anyway. Then go back and reread them and reread them.

Doctors won’t make you healthy. Nutritionists won’t make you slim. Teachers won’t make you smart. Gurus won’t make you calm. Mentors won’t make you rich. Trainers won’t make you fit. Ultimately, you have to take responsibility. Save yourself.