It is the time of year when people are wearing funny sweaters, drinking eggnog, and buying gifts for friends and family. While the first two of the previously mentioned activities are things people are pretty excited about doing, the third is typically one that fills people with dread as it seems impossible to get the perfect gift for someone. In response to that dilemma, I have put together a list of books that I think would be a great stocking-stuffer for that investor (or the investor-in-training) in your life. These books have been instrumental to my career and I would recommend them to anyone, regardless of experience level. Anyway, here is the list……
- “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki – This is the book that got me started and made me realize the importance of investing. This book does not get into the details of investing. Rather, this book focuses on the “why” of investing, as in “Why it is essential to invest.” Although people will often downplay the importance of the "why", I believe that it is absolutely critical to any investor as you have to figure out a reason to do those crazy things that investors often do (e.g., spending vacation time at seminars, staying up for all hours making mailers, spending weekends meeting sellers, cold-calling tons of people, etc.) This “why” is essential as it will force you to take the needed actions when you otherwise would have no desire to do so. Ultimately, this book helped me to form my "why" to pursue investing. To learn more or to purchase this book, click here.
- “Cashflow Quadrant” by Robert Kiyosaki – The second book on this list by Mr. Kiyosaki. This book is the first book that I ever read that explained the 4 ways (or quadrants) that people earn money: 1. Employee, 2. Self-Employed, 3. Business Owner, 4. Investor and to see these quadrants spelled out was truly enlightening. The book goes into detail as to the pros and cons of each of the four areas, including taxes, which is a consideration that we often overlook. I found this book to be truly eye-opening book that showed me why I wanted to be in the “investor” quadrant. To learn more or to purchase this book, click here.
- “Think & Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill – This book I believe is one of the best books ever written. This book has been around for years and originated from a meeting with Napoleon Hill and Andrew Carnegie. It discusses that our relationship with money comes from our mind, and it breaks that relationship down into a science. It is filled with amazing true life stories where people have literally created money out of thin-air simply by their ideas. I still review this book regularly as I believe that it is one of those books of which I constantly learn something new each time. To learn more or to purchase this book, click here.
- “Invest in Debt” by Jimmy Napier – This book is not one that well-known, but it is amazing!! For those who do not know Jimmy Napier, I would make an effort to meet him and attend one of his classes. Jimmy is an amazingly creative investor who invests in everything: real estate, notes, businesses, etc. What I really liked about this book was that it is simple and it deals with real numbers. It is the only book that I know of that shows how to use a financial calculator and explains why it is essential to know how to work one inside and out. Also, when I got started, I often heard people say that one does not need money to invest, but I had no idea how that actually worked. However, this book shows how the numbers work so that one can purchase assets without their own money and without banks and make deals that are profitable for all parties involved. Finally, this book shows the reader how the terms of the transaction are often times more important than the price, which is essential to understand when you invest. As evidenced by the title, the focus of the book is on buying mortgage notes, however, the concepts in this book can be applied to buying cash flowing real estate or virtually any other asset. This book is a must if you are a cash flow investor. To learn more or to purchase this book, click here.
- “Building Wealth One House at a Time” by John Schaub – This book is another book that is not very known in the mainstream, but it is packed with valuable information. If you are starting out, any book or class from John Schaub will be well worth your time as he breaks down investing into bite-size manageable actions that anyone can understand. This book is a very simply formula for how to buy real estate and use it to build wealth. I find that many books become too complicated with theory and seem to lose sight of the forest for the trees, but this book does not fall into that trap. Rather it lays out an easy to follow game plan on how to buy homes, one by one, so that eventually you can have financial freedom. This book is perfect for the newcomer or the seasoned investor as the concepts and plan in here can be applied to anyone. To learn more or to purchase this book, click here.
- “The Unofficial Guide to Real Estate Investing” by Martin Stone & Spencer Strauss - This book I would best describe as an “encyclopedia” of investing. It is filled with content that explains in depth nearly every facet of investing in rental properties, ranging from financing, to property types, to government subsidized rental programs, to name a few. This is an awesome book to give one an idea of how large the world of rental real estate is and how to handle the many different facets. I found this book to be instrumental in opening my eyes to the many options in real estate investing. To learn more or to purchase this book, click here.
- “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George Clason – The principles of money and investing are essential to our lives, and while we often think that investing and money are so different today than they were in the past(and in many ways, they are), the truth is that the principles that govern money and investing have been around for thousands of years. These principles are discussed in depth in this book through wonderful parables that make the concepts easy to digest. The more that we are able to see that these principles are timeless, the easier it is to believe in them and to follow them. This book is also a great read for someone who has no interest in investing as the principles pertain to everyday money usage as well. This is a book that I go back to often as I find it is a great reminder of the concepts that I need to keep at the forefront of my life. To learn more or to purchase this book, click here.
- “Deals on Wheels” by Lonnie Scruggs - I will often hear people say that they do not have enough money to invest, especially those who live in Southern California as property prices are astronomical. For this dilemma, I would suggest a niche in investing, which is mobile home investing. This is an amazing type of investing that not many people know of or do. Mobile home investing allows people to get involved with very little (or no) money, no banks, and it has ASTRONOMICAL returns. I read this book when I decided to start investing in mobile homes, and simply following the principles of this book lead me to my first mobile home deal, which had an amazing return on investment with very little money invested. (To see how these principles apply, check out this interview that conducted on my first mobile home deal.) In investing, we want to find ways so that we are not competing for deals, and the niche of mobile home investing is a perfect niche to avoid competition and this books shows how to invest in mobile homes from start to finish. To learn more or to purchase this book, click here.
- "The Millionaire Next Door" by Thomas Stanley & William Danko - Society as a whole has an idea of what being "rich" looks like, and this typically means fancy clothes, fast cars, & exotic trips. However, this book takes society's misconception and turns it on its head. The authors performed an extensive study of the wealthy and examined where they live, how they live, and how they spend their time & money. The results showed a lifestyle of the rich that emphasized entrepreneurship, frugality, and sacrifice. I found this book to be amazing in that it showed the habits & psychology of the wealthy, which gave me a blue print to follow for my own life. To learn more or to purchase this book, click here.
- “Money: Master the Game” by Tony Robbins – While most of my investing focuses on assets that are not dependent on the markets (e.g., rental real estate, mortgage notes, mobile homes, etc), this book is a bit of a departure as it focuses on "market-centric" investing. I really liked this book because I like to learn about other types of investing and see if there is a better “mouse trap” out there than what I have been using. Also, I think that this book is great at showing the reader "behind the curtain" of all of the problems with the typical 401k investments available to the regular worker, and I recently discussed some of these issues in a recent blog. I found this book to be a really a good book to motivate on to take control of their finances moving forward. To learn more or to purchase this book, click here.
These books are a good starting point for any investor and person interested in investing. So, if you are looking for that gift for someone special, I don’t believe that you can go wrong with any of these books. Good luck, and feel free to reach out if you have any other questions on these books or are looking for another gift idea for that investor in your life.
PS – If you are interested in getting your friend a gift that is not a book, I am having a holiday sale for my class “Calculate Your Way to Financial Freedom” now through December 24. In this class, I teach you how to get rid of the uncertainty with investing and get real clarity so that you can put together deals that no one else can. The class includes over 6 hours of video and a free workbook is included. To get more information on the online/DVD version of my class, click here.