“Look, I feel like I was chose to the take care of the ones I’m close to.
Kitchen looking like whole foods, got the fam around like it’s soul food.” – Big Sean
Reading is Key to Building Wealth
How many books have you read so far in 2017? How many of those books made you better at your job or improved your thought process around wealth? Meditate on that number.
Warren Buffett reads 500 pages a day. Mark Cuban reads more than three hours a day. Bill Gates reads a book per week. The fact of the matter is, most financially free folks are voracious readers because they understand that knowledge is the gateway to success. Learn, earn, return.
Maybe your career doesn’t require scouring through 500 pages of financial news on a daily basis, but that doesn’t cut you off the hook. Read often and read to educate, not to entertain. A study of 1,200 rich people confirmed that all of them are readers.
If you want to become financially independent, you must think it before you become it. You probably do, most people want to become wealthy. Reading books about personal finance provide a practical way to improve your financial behavior. Take a slot out of your day to invest in your financial education. You’ll thank yourself later. Here’s a list of my favorites.
Tom Stanley and William Danko went out to research how the rich lived their lives and their findings were surprising. They discovered that many folks who lived the “lavish life” actually didn’t have the bank account to back it up. Most millionaires actually live quite modest lives. Surprisingly few of the population living lives in luxury are high-net-worth individuals.
- Live below your means
- Budgeting leads to financial freedom
- Spend your time and money wisely
- Financial independence is far more important than portraying high school status
- Most rich folks don’t ride luxury vehicles
- Spend less and invest more
- Millionaires only pay around 2% of their net worth in income taxes each year, while the average American household spends 10%
Robert Kiyosaki tells a tale about his rich dad and his poor dad. His poor dad (and biological father) was a well-educated fellow who never made much of himself financially. His rich dad (his good friend’s father) was a businessman without a state-of-the-art education that managed to make a fortune.
- Those who don’t risk, are not rewarded – don’t work for money, let the money work for you
- Don’t seek money and security; seek opportunity
- Financial intelligence is key
- Understand the difference between an asset and liability – an asset makes you money and a liability takes money away from you
- Keep your assets high and your liabilities low
- Real estate investing is a great way to make money and save on taxes
- Business ownership and investment ownership are the two best routes to wealth
- Invest in your education – learn cash flow, people, and systems
- Pay yourself first
“This some s*** I wrote about when I was broke
See, the power of the mind is not a joke
Man, I said that I would do it and I did
Used to get left-overs out the fridge
Nobody was famous where I lived
Till I got it jumping at the crib
Took a lot to be able to give, I mean” – Drake
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill is one of the most influential personal success books of all time. The book is based on the research of over 500 business leaders such as Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, John D. Rockefeller, Thomas Edison, and more. The book has sold over 70 million copies since being published in 1937.
- Desire is at the core of all achievement
- Visualizing your success makes the end goal more attainable
- Use “auto-suggestion” to mold your subconscious mind for achievement
- Building specialized knowledge is the key to making progress – it doesn’t pay to be the “master of none”
- Build a mastermind team – your friends should be people who can bring you closer to your goals
- Make decisions quickly and change your mind slowly
- Persistence is paramount in achieving goals
“The Millionaire Mind” by Thomas Stanley is a follow-up to “The Millionaire Next Door” and goes into detail about how millionaires think much different than the average earner. The book follows the theme of “Think and Grow Rich”, where the content emphasizes the power of the mind and how negative thinking can affect your wealth over time. The book motivates us to cut loose our destructive thoughts to unlock our own wealth potential.
- Millionaires set their own agendas and goals, and don’t wait for others to tell them what to do
- If you start something, finish it – that’s what millionaires do
- Focus effort is getting along with people; your pocketbook will thank you later
- 94% of millionaires ranked getting along with people as one of the most important contributors to becoming rich
- If you want to become a success, discipline is vital
- Millionaires are future focused and use their time wisely
“The Richest Man” in Babylon by George S. Clason is one of the most significant pieces of literature about building wealth. The classic, published in 1926, is a short read that’s packed with key wealth-building concepts. The story speaks about the legend of the richest man in Babylon named Arkad. The book reveals his secrets to building riches. This piece of literature served as the roadmap for other books on this list.
- Advice is free – use it to build wealth
- Save at least 1/10th of what you earn – pay yourself first
- Don’t ask about personal finance from your carpenter – seek advice from those with the right knowledge
- Surround yourself with people who are familiar with money, make money, and care about money
- Repay your debts
- Constantly increase your ability to earn – always invest in improving your skills
The author of this book, Ramit Sethi, really isn’t much older than many our readers. He finds a way to write a very dense and robust personal finance book without coming off like the rest of the older crowd writing books. I really like Sethi’s book because it’s sort of like a toolkit for millennials. He gives super practical and action-oriented advice. And he shots it to you straight. If you want an all in one book, this is a great place to start.
- Spend consciously on the things that you actually care about
- Automate as much of your spending, investing, and saving as possible
- Get bank accounts with no minimums and no fees
- Pay credit card debt each month in full
- Invest in low-cost index funds and ETFs
Just pick one book to start with and spread your wings from there. If you’ve already read a couple of these books, hopefully, this post introduced you to at least one new book. Before doing better, you must know better. Learn, earn, return!