6 Books That Will Make You A Better Investor
Over the last few years I have become a voracious reader. I am proud of this because before then I only read periodically. I strongly believe that once you find the books that resonate with who you are and who you want to become, they will help you find the way to achieving your goals. The difference in my attitude, energy, abilities, and even health is night and day.
Over the past year I’ve read over 60 books on Real Estate, Psychology, Sales, Business, and Health. I want to share with you the books that have most benefited me. Here are the top 6 (in no particular order) that I’ve read over the past year that will make you a better investor.
1. The Power of Habit
You are your habits! Period. The things you consistently do day in and day out result in who you are today. If you want to change and improve who you are, you must change and improve your habits. Steady, consistent action over a long period will be much more effective than sporadic intense action. A habit can be broken down into three parts: cue, routine, and reward. This book does a fantastic job of explaining how you can train yourself to change habits by substituting a new routine where the old one used to be. I also love the authors discussion of “Keystone Habits” which are core habits (example: working out, reading) that when implemented make you sharper and more effective in many other areas of your life. If you apply the lessons in this book you can literally change your life.
Bill Zeckendorf is a legend. I believe he is the most significant Real Estate Developer in American history. He played a real life game of monopoly in New York City and was single-handedly responsible for developing unique cities like Denver and Montreal. He was a pioneer in creative finance, developing the “Hawaii Technique” where he broke the interest of a building into pieces and sold them like stock instead of relying on debt or equity financing. Most importantly, he was a visionary who would take on projects others were afraid to touch. Much like Steve Jobs, who was fanatical about creating excellent products, he cared more about creating beautiful developments and improving cites than making money. This put him in the minority in the development community and made his work special. A must read if you’re interested in development!
3. The Big Short
If you haven’t seen the movie yet, stop! Read the book first. The movie is excellent but the book is better. You’ll appreciate the movie more after you’ve read it. I think Michael Lewis is one of the best authors alive. This book will help you really understand what led to the 07/08 financial crisis and the recession that followed. I pride myself on questioning conventional wisdom and going against the grain in life and business. This was the primary lesson of the Big Short. A handful of guys actually paid attention to what was happening in the housing market while almost everyone else didn’t. They followed their instincts, despite enormous social pressures to the contrary and made billions betting against the housing market. I wish I’d done that.
4. The Magic of Thinking Big
This is not the “ra ra” motivational fluff that you would get if you attended a self-help seminar. It’s also not going to tell you that if you close your eyes and wish really hard all of your dreams will come true. I believe millions of people mentally handicap themselves with limiting beliefs and negative thoughts. We all know people like this. The difference between the successful and the unsuccessful is not talent! Such a belief is mostly BS and that’s a whole different conversation). This is a fantastic look at how truly powerful the mind is and how you can use yours to shape your success. I have never seen someone articulate the effects of positive versus negative thinking as well as David Schwartz. There are plenty of real life examples in the book that I reference daily. This book will change the way you look at life and success.
5. The Secrets of Power Negotiating
There are way too many books on sales and influence. Most aren’t great and won’t help you that much. Dawson’s work is not among that group. I believe the ability to influence and negotiate are the most important life skills you can have, not just the most important real estate skills. Roger Dawson is a master at this. You can have all the leads and deal prospects in the world. If you can’t close them or negotiate a good deal, you won’t make as much money as you could. Forget about memorizing scripts and responses to objections. This isn’t what the best salespeople do. You have to be able to think on your feet. The book will give you a strong foundation in sales and negotiation, if you don’t already have one, or improve your skills if you are seasoned. Every chapter in this book will make you money.
6. Invest in Debt
This book is geared toward notes investing (investing in paper). To be a well-rounded investor, it is crucial to understand these concepts. Even if notes investing isn’t your niche, you could miss out on a great cashflow opportunity if you don’t have a basic understanding of how to “discount a note.” Jimmy Napier has also developed some very creative strategies to increase your yield. Notes investing is a fantastic way to get high returns (20%+) and invest without a lot of money. It’s a short, quick read and you’ll love it.
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