The Little Book of Common Sense Investing

This week I would like to highlight John Bogle and his wonderful book, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing. This little book is an ideal manual for the beginning investor. John Bogle is a true expert in the field of investing (he is the founder of the Vanguard Group) and he has a wonderful way of communicating difficult issues in simple ways that you can understand and then act on. Mr. Bogle does this through the use of stories, quotes, and a whole lot of facts. The book is an easy read (you will have it done in a week or less) and worth every penny you pay for it. Buy it. Read it. Act on it. Financial freedom to follow!

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The Millionaire Next Door

This week's recommended book is The Millionaire Next Door, by Thomas Stanley. This wonderful book delves into the lives of the wealthy like no other book ever has. Stanley asks the important questions? What did the wealthy do to "make it"? What do they own and not own? What do they think about now and before when it comes to money and managing it? What do they look like (this may surprise you)? Maybe most importantly, what are their behaviors. Here is one nugget. Most (about 80%) of millionaires are first generation. They earned it. It wasn't given to them. The question then becomes, how did they do it?

 

There is a perverse relationship with the wealthy in America for many people in our society. Some folks despise the wealthy and yet at the same time, try to be just like them in the way they spend their money. Their is a big problem with that. Most folks don't know what the wealthy have done to get there and they generally end up going down the wrong path trying to be something that has no relationship to wealth. They end up chasing after those who act wealthy (look the part with expensive stuff) instead of those who are truly well off (high net worth). This book will help you understand the difference.

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Smarter Faster Better

This week's recommended book is Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg. Duhigg also wrote The Power of Habit. This new book provides new inside into how humans think and ultimately behave based on the many factors that occur within their lives. Duhigg provides plenty of new insight backed by evidence, demonstrating why it is so important to better understand the human mind, culture, environment, and that crazy thing called emotion. Pick it up. You will feel more enlightened when you finish it.

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Grit

This week's recommended book is Grit, by Angela Duckworth. This book provides plenty of evidence demonstrating the importance of grit when it comes to success. As a society, we have a tendency to think we are born with certain talents and we have limits to just how far those talents can take us. Many people think IQ is set and not improved upon. The evidence says otherwise and their are plenty of examples in the book and in real life. Acquire Grit (the book and the mindset) and you might just see your world change in some pretty wonderful (and possibly painful) ways!

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Contagious

This week's recommended book is Contagious, by Jonah Berger. This lovely book walks you through the world of why things catch on and why they do not. Why do viral videos go round the world? Why must pictures be shared with the people you care about? There is science behind why we do what we do, but there is also that little thing called the soul. This book provides insight into both worlds that is worth exploring. It belongs on the bookshelf and in your thoughts. Inspiration to follow!

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Switch

This week's recommended book is Switch, by Chip and Dan Heath. This life altering book is all about change and how to make it happen even when it's hard, and it's ALWAYS hard. Whether you are looking to change something in your own life or something in your environment, this book provides insight into how that can happen and WHY it should be done. Changing the world starts with changing YOU. Never forget that simple piece of advice. This book will help you better understand that key concept.

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Likeonomics

This week's recommended book is Likeonomics,  by Rohit Bhargava. This relatively short book provides insight into building a successful business and personal life through the process of earning trust, influencing behavior, and inspiring action. Pause and think about this for a moment. There are many people with high IQ's who have great ability, but are not so likable for one reason or another. There are others with average IQ's who seem to get along with everyone with ease. Who do you like working with? Who do you like hanging out with? This book provides the "inside" knowledge to those important questions.

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The Millionaire Mind

This week's recommended book is The Millionaire Mind, by Thomas Stanley. This book followed Stanley's first bestseller, The Millionaire Next Door, and went further in depth on the issue. There are many good takeaways from this book for the reader. Maybe most importantly is the perception vs. reality many of us have on the topic. What do you think a millionaire is like, their mindset, their habits, etc. and then what is reality. P.S. There is a wide difference between people who make a lot of money (and spend most of it) and those who make a decent living and consistently set a decent portion of those earnings aside for future needs and financial independence. This book will help you understand the processes and the results. I highly recommend it!

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The Only Guide to Alternative Investments You’ll Ever Need

This week's recommended book is The Only Guide to Alternative Investments You'll Ever Need, by Larry Swedroe and Jared Kizer. This insightful and entertaining book walks the reader through the land mines that exist outside of normal investing (using publicly traded stock and bond mutual funds for example). What lies outside normal investing? Here we are talking investing in hedge funds, private equity, precious metals, emerging market bonds, indexed annuities, and much, much more.

 

Here is a bit of wisdom that anyone can apply to their portfolio no matter what their income or total capital. The more complicated the investment (hedge funds, private equity, and annuities for example), the faster you should run away! When it comes to investing, simple and straightforward is a good thing (for you, complicated is a good thing for those trying to make money off of you), which takes us back to those boring and very efficient no-load index mutual funds. Learn more with this book and my 2nd book, What Color is the Sky.

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Brandwashed

This week's recommended book is Brandwashed, by Martin Lindstorm. This unique book highlights how products are marketed to the average person from someone on the inside who reveals the "secrets" behind the pretty images and presentations. Lindstrom has spent may years using research and morally questionable approaches to "sell" stuff to people that they don't need, but for some reason, they started to want. Hmmm..... Take the time to read this insightful book to better understand the forces that are working behind the scenes as large corporations try to get to YOUR money.

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The Crazy Man in the Pink Wig