Reading List

Reading List

I love to read. You can gain so much wisdom from reading. It opens the mind to new worlds. It can help you achieve financial freedom and eventually make you rich.

The famous billionaire investor, Charlie Munger, once said “In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time — none, zero.”

Below are various books that I’ve read that have helped me on my journey to financial freedom.

Financial Education and Other Wisdom

Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money–That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not! – The first financial education book that I read. It changed my way of thinking about finances. Key points that I took away from this book:

  • Save more money than you spend
  • Take these savings and buy assets that generate income – let money work for you
  • Limit your liabilities. Don’t buy a house with a large mortgage – you end up paying the bank.

The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Rich – A classic financial education book. I try to read this book every year or two. Key points that I took away from this book:

  • The typical millionaire in the US looks like your average citizen
  • The majority of the typical millionaires in the US limit their spending on flashy and designer name things such as purses, cars, shoes
  • The majority of the typical millionaires in the US save a substantial amount of their income and buy assets to accumulate wealth
  • Typical millionaires spend a substantial amount of time focusing on their investments
  • Very few millionaires became that way through inherited wealth.

Stop Acting Rich:…And Start Living Like a Real Millionaire -This book is a follow up to the Millionaire Next Door and was written after the financial crisis with updated research on millionaires. As you will find, many of the same concepts that applied to millionaires in the Millionaire Next Door still apply today.

Poor Charlie’s Almanack – Expanded Third Edition – This book consists of Charlie Munger’s talks, lectures, and public commentary. Charlie Munger is Warren Buffett’s partner when it comes to Berkshire Hathaway. This book provides great insight into the mind of Charlie Munger who believes in using a framework of various mental models when making business and life decisions.

House of Debt: How They (and You) Caused the Great Recession, and How We Can Prevent it from Happening Again – The authors explore the causes of the Great Recession and how to prevent severe recessions in the future. They note that a substantial increase in household debt is nearly always followed by a recession – the larger the increase in debt, the more severe the recession. Something to note if you live in a country with high and ever increasing household debt.

What the Dog Saw – A book by one of my favorite authors, Malcolm Gladwell. A great read of Gladwell’s essays covering geniuses, theories, and predictions about people.

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking – Another Gladwell book where he provides extensive discussion and research on the power of first impressions in shaping our thoughts  – covering various things such as relationships and business. The books also cover various ways people can act quickly under different scenarios.

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants – Another Gladwell book. This one where he shapes the way we think of the disadvantages that underdogs (David) have against the favorites (Goliath). He notes that we can all turn our disadvantages into advantages to achieve greatness.

Outliers the Story of Success – Yet another Gladwell book. He discusses the best performers in the world at their craft. But specifically, he considers what makes them high-achievers. The reasons are likely not what you’d expect.

Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies – An outstanding look at the history of humans and the reasons why some societies thrived while others didn’t. The book outlines the reasons why some societies were successful while others floundered. You may find the reasons not so obvious.

The Power of Habit: Why we Do What we do in Life and Business – A great read on why people have habits and can’t get out of bad ones. But more importantly, the author outlines how you can change habits – from bad to good.

Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces that Shape our Decisions – Want to know why humans do what they do? Even when their actions make no sense? Then read this book. It provides a great discussion about why humans do what they do and why they make the same mistakes over and over again.

Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us – This book provides a great look at how certain foods advertised as healthy are certainly not. Health is important because excessive amounts of sugar and fat can lead to health and financial issues later. In addition, excessive sugar and fat may lead to brain issues and cognitive function.

Inside Coca-Cola: A CEO’s Life Story of Building the World’s Most Popular Brand– This book tells the story of former CEO and Chairman of Coca-Cola, Neville Isdell. Isdell had an extraordinary professional journey during his tenure at Coca-Cola and helped revive the brand into what it is today.

Meditations (Martin Hammond translation) – A book on the thoughts of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Aurelius was one of the Roman Empire’s greatest Emperors. He practiced courage, justice, wisdom, and reason. This book is a great guide to a happier life.

Investing

The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel – This is one of the classic books on value investing when it comes to stocks, written by the father of value investing: Benjamin Graham. One of the best books on investing ever written. Key points that I took away from this book:

  • Focus on loss minimization when buying stocks, not profit maximization
  • Use discipline, research, and analytical ability when making investments
  • Commit to the long-term. Don’t speculate or day trade.

Security Analysis: Sixth Edition, Foreword by Warren Buffett – This is another classic value investing book written by Benjamin Graham. The book lays out an investment philosophy and approach to value investing that is still relevant today. It is not too complicated nor too simple.

Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings – An investing classic by investor, Philip Fisher. The book highlights Fisher’s process for identifying stocks that have long-term growth prospects. The process is rigorous but following it can result in outstanding returns. There’s a quote that Warren Buffet is 85% Fisher, 15% Graham. Warren Buffett’s track record is proof that Fisher’s method works.

One up on Wall Street: How to Use What You Already Know to Make Money in the Market – Another investing classic. This one is by Peter Lynch who trounced the stock market during his investing tenure. The book is a simple read. It provides insights into Lynch’s methods of finding stocks that are star performers.

Beating the Street – Another investing classic by Peter Lynch. In this one, he explains how he researched and selected companies recommended in the 1992 Barron’s Roundtable. His methods are still relevant today.

Margin of Safety: Risk-Averse Value Investing Strategies for the Thoughtful Investor – This book is by investing legend, Seth Klarman. Klarman advocates the value investing approach including various strategies to making it work. Klarman’s track record shows that these strategies work. I found his discussion on the psychological attributes that a value investor needs to be enlightening as well.

The Little Book of Value Investing – This compact book provides a great overview of value investing. The concepts outlined in this book can help an investor beat the market.

Biography

The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life – A great book covering the life of the greatest investor of all time, Warren Buffet. Some takeaways:

  • You can succeed in business and life by maintaining integrity at all times
  • When investing in stocks or private business, focus on great companies with endurable competitive advantages (i.e., moats)
  • Be humble and count your blessing. If you live in Canada or the US, you won the “birth” lottery and received a head start on life.

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike: Phil Knight – An awesome read on the creation and fruition of Nike. We’re all familiar with the Nike brand but many of us don’t know all of the blood, sweat, and tears that went into making the company and brand. As a shareholder, I enjoyed reading this. Motivation for creating and sticking with a business.

Michael Jordan: The Life – The best biography I’ve read on the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan. How is Michael Jordan relevant to financial freedom? Because he approached basketball and life in general with a killer instinct. The amount of drive he has is unbelievable. Motivation for gaining the drive to achieve financial freedom.

Alexander Hamilton – An awesome biography on one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Hamilton came from lowly social status and against all odds became one of the most powerful figures in United States history. He was a promoter of the US Constitution. He founded the US’s financial system, US Coast Guard, and the New York Post. He was George Washington’s right hand man. He worked tirelessly for his country and saw this as his duty. He can be an inspiration to anyone trying to achieve financial freedom or to anyone trying to get out of a rut.

Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future – A great biography of Elon Musk, the man behind the vision of Tesla and SpaceX. If you want inspiration, read this book. Musk has relentless drive and has a vision for bettering human kind on a level few humans can comprehend.

Built from Scratch: How a Couple of Regular Guys Grew the Home Depot from Nothing to $30 Billion – The story behind the co-founders of the Home Depot. They revolutionized home improvement. A classic rags to riches story. An outstanding lesson on why the customer is always right!

Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable – This book is about basketball trainer, Tim Grover. Grover trained some of the greatest basketball players of all time including Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Dwayne Wade. In his book, he highlights the hard work and drive one must put in to achieve what he wants in life. His story is an inspiration as he came from nothing to become one of the best athletic trainers on the planet.

Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Man and Discovering Myself – This book is about ultra-athlete, Rich Roll. Roll went from an out-of-shape unhappy middle age man to one of the fittest athletes on the planet. Another inspirational story if you feel that you can’t achieve financial freedom.

Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela – A riveting biography of the great Nelson Mandela. I think Nelson Mandela can be an inspiration to anyone. They couldn’t break him in prison. He only became stronger. Eventually freeing South Africa of apartheid.

The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy – The father of President John F. Kennedy. This book does a great job encapsulating the life of Joe Kennedy. Kennedy worked tirelessly in all of his ventures including various businesses, investments, and politic positions. His work ethic and commitment to public duty is an inspiration.

The Will to Win: Leading, Competing, Succeeding – Entrepreneur Robert Herjavec shares his keys to achieving success. In addition to building his own companies, Herjavec co-star’s on the TV show Shark Tank and previously co-starred on the TV show, Dragon’s Den. Herjavec came from nothing and wants readers to work hard towards success and be the most successful at what they do.

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