How to be a Capitalist without Any Capital by Nathan Latka: Book Notes

How to be a Capitalist without Any Capital by Nathan Latka is a book about how to start building wealth when you don’t have any money.

Very tactical and highly actionable, though I occasionally got a bit of salesy, used-car salesman, penny-pinching, vibes and there are some micro-optimizations and “hacks” that I feel may not even make a meaningful impact on building long-term wealth. Overall, if you can parse out the less useful information a lot of really good insights in the book.

However, I would remind readers that the best way to build long-term wealth, in my opinion is to make something people want. Give people value in order to get what you want.

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  • If Tim Ferriss Wrote The Four Hour Work Week in 2019 as a millenial this would be the book he would write
  • One thing I really admire about him is his transparency and he shows his numbers of how much money he makes and spends, more personal finance writers should do this
  • Shows a picture of his tax return [6]
  • The book wasn’t quite as useful for me because I have already read so much about Entrepreneurship that there wasn’t much that I didn’t already know
  • For example, outsourcing to Upwork or the stuff about tracking what software your competitors are using etc.
  • Though, it was still helpful to see HOW he uses these tools
  • The breakdown of his system for doing his podcast was super interesting especially since I have a podcast as well, Atila TV
  • This is one of those books that has a lot of useful “hacks”
  • How to travel hack etc.
  • While this can be useful for some people, I try to focus on more sustainable ways of building wealth
  • My theory is that the amount of time people put into optimizing travel rewards, they could probably put that into increasing their revenue and still come out ahead
  • I’ve always felt like micro optimizations like optimizing credit card rewards make a negligible effect on building long term wealth
  • The best way to build wealth is by providing value to people and make something that people want
  • if you do this enough you don’t have to worry about “hacking” credit cards to get a free hotel when you travel, you can just have enough money pay for a nice hotel
  • Some interesting insights however:
  • Extremely detailed and well-written section on how to outsource repetitive and commodity tasks [41]
  • Offers a lot of interesting insights on how to watch your competitors are doing and how to learn from them (similar web, todoist, ahrefs, semrush, siftery) [214]
  • Every three months, randomly send an email to people you are paying for a service and say: “I need to find a cheaper option. I can’t afford this anymore. Can you help me cancel my account?” [234]
  • Pros and cons of using fear to negotiate [73]
  • Really good and detailed advice on how to invest in Real Estate [121]

Software Private Equity

  • I found it very interesting how he alludes to Software Private equity being his next big move [249]
  • I am also bullish on technology/software private equity, I actually took a private equity course in business school (course review of the private equity class is coming soon, subscribe to my blog to get notified when it comes out)
  • I remember reading a stat somewhere that the best performing private equity firms were technology/software focused: Vista Equity partners led the group (maybe this is cyclical) but there’s a lot of untapped opportunity in software still. It feels like we are at peak SAAS but sometimes it seems like we have barely even scratched surface.
  • Vista Equity partners actually does almost exactly what Nathan Latka does but on a larger scale (tk tweet @ Nathan Latka my review of the book and my comparison of him to Vista Equity and Robert F. Smith)
  • Would be interesting if Mr. Latka became the next Robert F. Smith
  • Software is the highest productivity part of almost every modern economy (my intuition, I don’t have data to back this up), so this is a smart move by Nathan Latka
  • I also like this because in the book he is looking at a lot of nano-cap companies (company is worth less than $50 million )
  • Smart because there are more deals to be found due to mispricing arbitrage of small companies
  • It’s easier for beginners to start by investing in small companies [151]

Final Comments

  • I can’t tell if this book is not meant for me at my current stage in life (e.g. I am not currently in a position to buy a house or a software company)
  • It doesn’t really have a clear narrative structure, which can be confusing at times to follow, seems more like a collection of essays.
  • I felt a bit overwhelmed with all the topics of the book and the lack of a clear structure, though I can’t tell if that is due to how Nathan Latka wrote the book or I was in a distracted state of mind reading about 2 other books at the same time (I don’t recommend)
  • Overall, a lot of very actionable insights in this book especially if you are looking for different ways to improve your wealth, especially if you don’t have a lot of money right now.