I wasn’t and avid reader growing up, in fact I really didn’t start reading (voluntarily) until 2011 (I was 25 then). Now I read 40-50 books a year and spend about $1,000 every year on books (I actually just paid $1,000 for ONE book, but we will save that for another post). I’m currently working to put together a new resource for you guys, it will be a detailed reading list by category that currently contains the 230 books I have read over the past 5 years.
Buying books is one of the best investments you can make!
Jim Rohn said that “if you want more, then you must become more,” and one way to do that is to fill you mind with new ideas. The most successful people in the world are avid readers, as they understand the value of CONSTANT AND NEVER ENDING IMPROVEMENT!
You can learn just about anything from a book. Not convinced?
In 2013, I was interested in starting a web analytics consulting practice, because it just seemed so fascinating. Do you know what the first thing is that I did? Yes, I went right to Amazon and put $100 worth of books on the topic in my cart. I knew this would be the fastest and most organized to get up to speed on the topic. I read through the books, my new knowledge empowered me to make a career change out of finance, and onto a new global analytics team supporting a $100M eCommerce business (it was an internal transfer at the company I was working for at the time).
This allowed me to get hands on experience on what I had just learned in the books I had read. After 3-months I decided I was ready to go after some clients as a freelancer on the side. Over the next 12-months I acquired 3 clients earning $18,000 (at an effective rate of $100/hour).
I earned $18,000 due to a $100 investment, that’s an astronomical 180X return on my money.
This is just one example. I truly believe that my income and net worth are at least in part where they are because of what I have learned from the 230 books I have read over the past 5 years. That’s right, I attribute the fact that we’ve been able to grow our income by a compounded rate of 36% per year and our net worth at a compounded rate of 85% per year, to expanding our knowledge and skill sets through reading books.
I hope I have your attention now!
You have probably seen peoples reading list flying around all over the internet. I love leveraging those lists to crowdsource books to add to my personal reading list (I use Amazon’s wish list to keep track of all the books I want to read).
12 Books I will Be Getting From Santa This Year
As I write this, I have already placed my order for these books, and because of Amazon Prime they will be here in two days (Thank You Santa!!!).
by Phil Knight
“In this candid and riveting memoir, for the first time ever, Nike founder and board chairman Phil Knight shares the inside story of the company’s early days as an intrepid start-up and its evolution into one of the world’s most iconic, game-changing, and profitable brands.”
by Jonathan Clements
“There are those who think the goal of investing is to beat the market and amass as much wealth as possible, that street smarts and hard work ensure investment success, and that the road to happiness is paved with more of everything.And then there are those who get it.Want a more prosperous, less stressful financial life? Jonathan Clements, longtime personal finance columnist for The Wall Street Journal, is here to help. His goal: to provide readers with a coherent way to think about their finances, so they worry less about money, make smarter financial choices and squeeze more happiness out of the dollars that they have.”
by Moshe A. Milevsky
“You must be aware of the value, potential return and risk of your own human capital (your job, career and what you do for a living as opposed to stocks and bonds or other investment choices) as well as financial capital and investments to plan a secure future. Human capital is the most valuable asset that you will own over your lifecycle. You need to balance all financial decisions with the characteristics of your human capital. The key trends identified in the first edition of the book namely, the decline of Defined Benefit (DB) pension provision, the continued increase in human longevity and the risk of personal inflation, are as relevant today as they were five years ago. The financial crisis has taught us that all types of capital – human, financial and even social – are key to a secure financial future. If your career has “stock-like” growth and risk characteristics, Milevsky helps you balance your “portfolio” by tilting investments towards safer “bonds.” If your job is more secure but offers lower financial upside, you’ll learn to tilt your investments towards stocks that compensate for your lower earning potential. Either way, Milevsky shows you how to integrate investments, insurance, annuities, and retirement plans to generate the safe and reliable income you’ll need.”
by Jason Kelly
“Go inside the private worlds of founders Henry Kravis, Steve Schwarzman, David Bonderman, and more in The New Tycoons, and discover how these men have transformed the industry and built the some of the most powerful and most secretive houses of money in the world.”
by Tim Ferriss
“For the last two years, I’ve interviewed more than 200 world-class performers for my podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show. The guests range from super celebs (Jamie Foxx, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc.) and athletes (icons of powerlifting, gymnastics, surfing, etc.) to legendary Special Operations commanders and black-market biochemists. For most of my guests, it’s the first time they’ve agreed to a two-to-three-hour interview. This unusual depth has helped make The Tim Ferriss Show the first business/interview podcast to pass 100 million downloads.
“This book contains the distilled tools, tactics, and ‘inside baseball’ you won’t find anywhere else. It also includes new tips from past guests, and life lessons from new ‘guests’ you haven’t met.
by Yuval Noah Harari
“In Sapiens, Dr. Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical — and sometimes devastating — breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural, and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, palaeontology, and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behaviour from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come?”
by Mark Stevens
“King Icahn is an unparalleled human drama. It is the story of a man who rose from humble beginnings to emerge as the most powerful, eccentric, galling, pugnacious and successful force in the business world. The Icahn drama is rife with contradictions, juxtapositions, paradoxes and epic power plays. All have led to a reshuffling of the business\financial landscape, to the electric fear on the part of CEOs when they hear the terrorizing words “Carl Icahn is on the phone” and to one of the world’s greatest fortunes. King Icahn is the only book written about Icahn, completely independent but with full access to the man himself. It reveals the back story of the greatest financier/pit bull of his generation, his multi-billion dollar epiphany, his real motive for taking on the CEO elite as well as his loves, feuds, idiosyncrasies and intellectual brilliance. Reading this book is the equivalent of earning an MBA squared!”
by Derek Sivers
“When Derek Sivers started CD Baby, he wasn’t planning on building a major business. He was a successful independent musician who just wanted to sell his CDs online. When no one would help him do it, he set out on his own and built an online store from scratch. He started in 1998 by helping his friends sell their CDs. In 2000, he hired his first employee. Eight years later, he sold CD Baby for $22 million. Sivers didn’t need a business plan, and neither do you. You don’t need to think big; in fact, it’s better if you don’t. Start with what you have, care about your customers more than yourself, and run your business like you don’t need the money”
by Jordan Ellenberg
“Math allows us to see the hidden structures underneath the messy and chaotic surface of our world. It’s a science of not being wrong, hammered out by centuries of hard work and argument. Armed with the tools of mathematics, we can see through to the true meaning of information we take for granted: How early should you get to the airport? What does “public opinion” really represent? Why do tall parents have shorter children? Who really won Florida in 2000? And how likely are you, really, to develop cancer?”
by Sean Carroll
“Carroll shows how an avalanche of discoveries in the past few hundred years has changed our world and what really matters to us. Our lives are dwarfed like never before by the immensity of space and time, but they are redeemed by our capacity to comprehend it and give it meaning.”
by Daniel Kahneman
“Kahneman’s singularly influential work has transformed cognitive psychology and launched the new fields of behavioral economics and happiness studies. In this path-breaking book, Kahneman shows how the mind works, and offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and personal lives–and how we can guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble.”
By Yuval Noah Harari
“Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century – from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus.”
Please if you have any other book recommendations leave a comment below. The best thing about Amazon and it’s wish list tool, is that you can add books to infinity and beyond…there is no limit.
– Gen Y Finance Guy