I’ve always read a lot. I believe it’s imperative to increasing knowledge and personal growth, as is self-reflection and tracking inputs and outputs so that you learn what does and doesn’t work on a personal level. However, too often, I finish reading and move on to the next book without giving any thought to what I’ve learned or how I can best use that information to evolve and add to my mental toolkit for the future. So, going forward, I’ve decided to start summarizing what I read and will share my 2018 reading list, with personal takeaways here:
1. The Holy Bible - 66 Books by Various Authors (but breathed by God: 2 Timothy 3:16-17): What can I say here? All of the answers to life’s questions in one place.
2. Legacy Journey by Dave Ramsey: I started this book the end of 2017 and finished this past January. Dave lays out guidelines for how to use your personal wealth to create a lasting legacy. Important lessons for me here were sharing with my children the importance of financial responsibility (avoiding unnecessary debt and starting to invest in their future early on to get the power of compound interest) and using my wealth to help others in a positive manner.
3. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill: Hill spent years studying how people of his age became rich. What I learned from this book was the importance of having the right mindset, along with how goal-setting can help you achieve financial success.
4. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason: Written almost 100 years ago, this book encompasses everything you need be to be successful in managing your money. If I could only pick one financial book to gift to folks, it would be this one. Way ahead of its time.
5. Unshakeable by Tony Robbins: Tony really got me thinking outside the box about finances for the first time with his book. Minimizing taxes and fees were the main takeaways for me.
6. The One Thing by Gary Keller: As the title preempts, this book highlights the power that comes from a singular focus on what is important and using tunnel vision to accomplish goals.
7. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley: Dr. Stanley’s studies share that millionaires rarely come the professions you would think, but from all income groups who live within/below their means, minimize debt, practice intentional focus and invest in their future instead of trying to keep up with the Joneses.
8. The 10 Pillars of Wealth by Alex Becker: This book shared the importance of building a business until it was self-supporting while keeping your main job. The most valuable information for me, personally, was how to properly scale a business.
9. The Man Diet by Chad Howse: Chad has built an internet following focused on bringing back masculinity in a world that doesn’t appear to value the importance of real men. Primary takeaways for me were the values of a balanced diet and only eating when you are hungry.
10. You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think by Wes Moss: While Wes covers a variety of topics on being a happy retiree, his approach to investing changed how I pick mutual funds/stocks, as I now only buy low-fee funds which pay dividends/income. I’ve also started looking into how I will spend my time once I walk away from the ‘normal’ workforce in a few years.
11. Principles: Life And Work by Ray Dalio: A ton of powerful insights here on how to treat yourself and others to obtain maximum results in both work and life.
12. The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway: I’ve been a Hemingway fan for years. His simple, yet profound writing style is one I wish to emulate. This book, read in a couple of hours sitting on the beach, really got me thinking about living a life that allows me to avoid regrets.
13. Divided Investing Made Easy by Matthew Kratter: This book gave me a sound understanding of dividend/income stocks, along with some real examples of solid investments. I read this as a follow up to the Wes Moss book above.
14. The Power of Broke by Daymond John: Written by ‘The People’s Shark,’ John’s book was essential in helping me start my nonprofit this year. Specifically, I am keeping overhead low, taking on no debt and controlling growth to ensure the business is sustainable and provides value to customers for as long as possible.
15. The Lost Art of Discipline by Chad Howse: This young man continues to impress me with his ability to recognize what is required for individual success in a world that continues to promote interdependency.
16. David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell: Another excellent book by Gladwell, who continues to push me to think outside the box. Great example of how the underdog can gain the upper hand by paying attention to detail and shifting the tide to her/his benefit.
17. Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey: I picked this up in the ‘free’ basket at the local used book store. Great background story to what led Dave to building the empire he has that has helped 10s of millions to transform their financial future, along with a simple game plan anyone can follow to accomplish their monetary goals.
18. Warren Buffet Speaks by Janet Lowe: Series of quotes that helps any investor understand the mindset of the ‘Oracle of Omaha,’ the greatest investor of all-time.
19. Rodney M. Davis: The Making of a Hero by John Hollis: I’ve become personal friends with the author of this true story of a man amongst men, leading to a scholarship in Davis’ memory via my nonprofit. A reminder that legacy is what you do, not what you say.
20. Think Like A Freak by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner: This follow-up to Freakonomics and Super Freakonomics provided the punchline for me: people respond to incentives, and to get what you want, understand those incentives.