Posted about 2 years ago

Book Recommendations - May 2020

If you’re looking for a few book recommendations (from someone with nothing to sell), then you may find this post useful. Below are a few books broken out into three categories: real estate, finance and life in general. These books have been the most beneficial to me along my journey and I think they’ll be a valuable resource for you on your journey to understanding and becoming wealthy.

If you’re not a reader, I challenge you to start with podcasts or audio books. As Charlie Munger 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.”

Reminders: this post is current as of May 2020, these books are in no particular order and the recommendations will change over time.

  • Real Estate:
    • The Book on Rental Property Investing by Brandon Turner
      • Brandon Turner is the co-host of the BiggerPockets podcast. He helped Josh Dorkin (the founder) during the early years then Josh took a backseat and Brandon's been the face of BP ever since. Brandon has written several books but one of my favorites is his easily digestible book called The Book on Rental Property Investing. This book gave me a simplified idea of what it takes to get into real estate and what it takes to buy cash flowing rentals. As you may know, I like (no love!) buy and hold real estate. It’s one of the few true ways for the average Joe/Jill to build wealth.
    • Retire Early with Real Estate by Chad Carson
      • Chad is a former college football player at Clemson (Ohio State should have won the 2019 Fiesta Bowl!) who retired early with real estate. He loves real estate and finance so much he wrote Retire Early with Real Estate, where he shares statistics on what early retirement looks like, how an actual wealthy early retiree invests, and what they invest in. I thought these early retirees were sitting on piles of money or owned apartment buildings. But through Chad’s research he shows that early retirees are very well rounded and diversified investors. And he breaks down a lot of questions about debt to income, debt to equity ratios, loan to values of portfolios, percentages of portfolios are invested in stocks and bonds, and how much money their rental portfolios are making. You get a sneak peak into the finances of hundreds of early retirees! And you may even be surprised how achievable early retirement really is - I know I was!

    • The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No and Low Money Down by Brandon Turner
      • It’s back to the man Brandon Turner! His other book The Book on Investing in RE with No and Low Money Down opened my eyes to the creative ways to buy real estate. Reading this book will also get you in the mindset of thinking to yourself “how can I” instead of “I can’t”. Most investors think money is their problem when it comes to investing in real estate but Brandon shows that with some creativity, and a solution oriented mind, you can invest in real estate with little and no money. This is the perfect book if you think you don’t have enough money to invest in real estate!

    • Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
      • Rich Dad Poor Dad is a classic book that changed my mindset. If you listen to the BiggerPockets podcast, almost every guest (there are over 300 episodes) says their favorite real estate book is Rich Dad Poor Dad. Kiyosaki talks about assets and liabilities, and how using assets intelligently can lead to a rich life. He also describes habits of the wealthy that fly in the face of conventional wisdom - like the rich don’t work for money and your house is not an asset. Warning: you’ll never look at assets and your job the same way again!

  • Personal Finance:
    • Set for Life by Scott Trench
      • It doesn’t matter what you do with your life - whether you’re a teacher, engineer, doctor or real estate investor - you need to have a strong financial position. Set for Life is about setting yourself up for success by starting with a solid financial foundation. The author, Scott Trench, is currently the CEO of BiggerPockets. He is constantly discussing building a strong foundation so you can confidently invest (in real estate, stocks, bonds, etc.) so that your money works for you. When you build up a strong financial position, Scott says, then during times like the coronavirus or the 2008 recession you’re okay, because you've set yourself up with cash reserves, a great credit score, and increased credit lines. There are several strategies he mentions in the book that (if implemented) will allow you to crush any fear of investing, and it's easy to digest.

    • The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach
      • David Bach has been around for many years teaching folks to not let their emotions drive investment decisions and in his book The Automatic Millionaire he writes about automating as much of your investing as you can, so you completely take your emotions out of the investing equation. When you automate your investments you don’t have to rely on your willpower. When you don’t rely on your willpower, you make more consistent investments. When you make more consistent investments, you get higher investment returns! It’s really that simple! Unfortunately, it’s just not easy to put our fears and emotions in the backseat! I freed up some valuable brain space and had less stress after automating as much of my investments as I could, and I think you can too!

    • A Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins
      • JL Collins cuts through a lot of financial nonsense in his book A Simple Path to Wealth, which was born from a collection of letters he wrote his daughter on money. He says, “complex investments exist only to profit those who create and sell them.” I 100% agree! He writes extensively about breaking down seemingly complex concepts in ways that you and I can understand. He covers a wide range of investments too from real estate to stocks, bonds, HSAs, etc. You will develop a healthy dose of skepticism for the finance industry, and an extreme sensitivity for fees, after reading A Simple Path to Wealth.

    • Money Master the Game by Tony Robbins
      • Tony interviewed numerous billionaires and hundred millionaires for his book Money Master the Game. He asked them about their finances and how we (the common folk) should invest. Tony found similarities and principles that he distilled from hours of interviews with these titans, and he assimilated it all in the book. One question Tony asked that was particularly interesting was “if you died, and couldn’t leave your kids any money, but only a set of rules for investing, what would it be?” Consider yourself warned - Money Master the Game is an extensive book and not a quick read, but it’s worth it’s weight in gold!

  • Life In General:
    • The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
      • Most people immediately look at the title and think it’s either BS or a book about how to work as little as possible. But contrary to popular belief, The 4-Hour Workweek is about how to leverage your time to get 40 hours of work with only four hours of your time invested. When you're starting out in your job or business, you're not gonna be able to leverage your time. You're going to have to do everything your boss tells you or the business demands. But during this time you should be building systems and thinking of ways to automate as many of the mundane tasks as you can. Then, when you have enough income from the business or have built up a reputation you can start leveraging other people's time, whether that's a virtual assistant (VA), employee or just help from colleagues. The 4-Hour Workweek will give you strategies and resources to help you think through and implement leveraging your time.
      • Tim also opened my mind to mini-retirements where you take six months to a year off every 4-6 years. Being from the Midwest, growing up with the blue collar work ethic of putting your head down and grinding, you don’t get a chance to step back and think about leveraging your time (and other people’s time) to help you achieve more than you could by yourself.

    • The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
      • Hal Elrod is unbelievable. He died in a car crash, came back to life, was diagnosed with a rare cancer and again, beat the odds of surviving. While his determination and drive are untiring he also wrote one of the most proliferate books ever written on morning routines, The Miracle Morning. I'm not going to spoil the book but the famous acronym is SAVERS, and it has changed millions of lives (literally over 2,000,000). The book is a quick and easy read with simple steps to improve your life. When I implemented the SAVERS into my daily routine I noticed I had more energy, and the rest of the day was easier. Remember, you don’t have to follow his routine EXACTLY, just take the parts of his routine that work for you and make it your own. I guarantee after reading the book you’ll join the millions of people who have been positively impacted.

    • Principles by Ray Dalio
      • Ray is an incredible thinker. He was a billionaire hedge fund manager for Bridgewater, where you had to have hundreds of millions of investable dollars to be a client. In his book Principles he shares the thought processes and systems that he used to be one of the most successful hedge fund managers of all time. He was so successful that he only lost money two years out of the past 35. One year he lost about 3%, when the market lost almost 50%. One of his ideas that has been most useful to me is his systems for finding the truth, not what the leader thinks is right, but what’s true. This is a thick book but it’s full of systems/processes and eye opening thoughts about how companies and the world operate.

    • The One Thing by Gary Keller & Jay Papisan
      • The One Thing can be summarized as a book to help you cut through the noise to focus on the most important thing that will give you the main result you desire. Gary and Jay share powerful ways of questioning what you do so that you can help yourself become more effective. They also share productivity hacks that will help you get more done in less time. Gary Keller uses the strategies in the book to run Keller Williams, which is currently the largest (and arguably the most successful) real estate brokerage in the country. Whether you’re an employee or a business owner, this book will help you organize your time and to-do list!

    • 10X Rule by Grant Cardone
      • Have you heard of Grant Cardone? He's a loud mouth, former used-car salesman that now syndicates real estate deals. If you’re on social media you’ve probably seen one of his videos of him in his jet or Rolls Royce talking about the benefits of real estate. He’s a big proponent of 10x’ing your income and not worrying about cutting expenses. So it’s no surprise that he makes 10s of millions through his real estate syndications. In The 10X Rule he writes about opening your mind to new possibilities and thinking bigger. He said one of his greatest regrets is not making his goals big enough - not thinking bigger. Remember, this guy has over a billion in real estate, A BILLION! And he says he didn’t think big enough…
      • There's so much more you're capable of than you think. Most of us have so much more potential, but we’re confined by our mind. The 10x Rule challenged me to think bigger, set bigger goals, and not limit myself. Everyone can benefit from thinking bigger.

I hope you will find the above books useful resources and beneficial assets on your journey, whether that’s to create wealth for you and your family, to be the largest contributor at your church or to be the best parent for your kids.

Remember: “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I'd love to hear what books you’re reading, what books changed your life and if you found the books above useful!

All the best!

Comments (2)

  1. @Jazmine Bryant 

    Glad to hear some of the books are new for you and thanks for recommending Gary Vaynerchuk's book - I'm going to add it to my list now!

    As far as your question about keeping track of new learnings - I use Microsoft office's OneNote to enter book learnings. I used to keep composition notebooks but I couldn't search anything and it was hard to find information. 

    When I switched to OneNote, I could enter information/learnings and search through it in no time! It made my notes more usable and structured. 

    Best part is OneNote is free! 

    Hope that helps and thanks again for your comment!

  2. Thank you for this list! I currently am reading The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No and Low Money Down and when I read the part about switching your mindset from I can't to how can I, all the issues I had before starting this book kind of dissipated. I'm currently on the section about how to use private money lenders (I actually came on BiggerPockets to take a break from reading that book and was scrolling through the blogs and came across this one) and from what I read so far, the excuses that I've come up with over the past few months as to why I stopped working on starting my company seems like moot excuses. What got me back into gears with starting my company is reading Gary Vaynerchuk's book, Crush It! Why now is the Time to Cash in on Your Passion. It's not real estate related at all but it really put things into perspective for me. Right after finishing that book earlier this week, I started Brandon's book. 

    I haven't heard of a lot of these books but I do have a few of them on my reading list. So, now, I'll go add these to my list. 

    I do have a question for you though, with all of these books, how do you keep track of new things that you learned? I am old fashioned and I like to handwrite my notes but I'm curious about other methods that are more effective time-wise but still effective in helping to retain what I learn. With Brandon's book right now, I am reading, and then taking some time to jot down things that I didn't know before. I read a lot faster than I write so I'm getting further behind in my notes.