Book List for 2018

Recently Read Books in 2018

I love reading and I read a book about every 2 weeks.  Here is my recommended book list for 2018 along with a little review and my take of the book.  There are also links to Amazon to make ordering the book easier in case you want a copy too.

I tend to binge read certain topics so you will usually see a theme in the book selection.  Some of these are eBooks, Audio, and physical books depending on the book.


The Year of Living Danishly

Uncovering the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country
by Helen Russell (Author)

I really loved this book and find myself talking about it among friends and family. I love the idea of Hygge, community hobbies, work life balance, and certainty. It removes the stress of the world and applies focus on the important things in life. Other then the weather and day/night extremes, I find it a place I would love to live.

After reading this, I decided to incorporate the Hygge lifestyle into my life.  I use candles at night while working in my study and I try to go out with my family to enjoy desert and other small treats.  Family dinners are also important to me more now then before.  Before it was just about food but now its more about family time.


Extraordinary Leadership

By Robin S. Sharma

Not a bad book.  Short, sweet, and to the point.  Best money I have spend on a eBook (Did I mention it was free!).  Highly motivating and a great start to the day.  The best 60 minutes I have spent in a long time.  Every now and then we all need a reminder of the basic rules of life and this book covers some of them really well.  The title is a little misleading as all of the principles are not really leadership qualities but general life qualities but good information non the less.

My Take:  The information sounds a lot like Tony Robbins which I am a huge fan of and have read all his material to date.My take away notes are:

5 Basic Principles for Leadership

  1. Leadership begins with you
    1. Everyone is a leader in the organization
  2. Leaders put people first
    1. Build relationships
  3. Bias towards action
    1. Do what’s right
    2. take risks, beyond them are your greatest growth opportunity
    3. embrace change and opportunity
    4. daily habits make large changes over time
    5. Nothing fails like success (when you are successful, work harder to stay ahead)
    6. Failure is the highway to success
  4. Self Leadership
    1. Take care of yourself, take care of your team, so they can take care of your customers
    2. Fulfill your life with important things
    3. Lifelong, continuances learning is critical to success
    4. Reading is like having a conversation with the author
    5. Personal care, be Healthy, family first
  5. Leave a legacy
    1. Realize where you want to go in life and go there
    2. Give back to society and the world
    3. Live a life of purpose and significance

Great quote from the book, “The Price of discipline is always less then the price of regret”


The 4-Hour Workweek

by Timothy Ferriss

This step-by-step guide to luxury lifestyle design teaches: how Tim went from $40,000 per year and 80 hours per week to $40,000 per month and 4 hours per week.  In the book Tim goes over:

  • Outsourcing your life to overseas virtual assistants for $5 per hour and do whatever you want.
  • Being an escape artists travel the world without quitting their jobs
  • Eliminate 50% of your work in 48 hours using the principles of a forgotten Italian economist.
  • Trade a long-haul career for short work bursts and frequent “mini-retirements”.

My Take:  This is a very interesting book but do not be fooled by the catchy title.  His ideas are core for any entrepreneur and his get going approach is admirable.  If the title is taken literately, then it would seem to be just a scam.  If read for its interesting ideas on business and life, then it is totally worth the read.  Core ideas I will take away are:

  • Starting a business doesn’t need to be hard, just take the first step.
  • Living the life you want is critical in your life purpose.  Find balance and commit to it.
  • Apply the 80/20 rule where you can so you can apply your time where it matters.
  • Be effective, not efficient, not busy.
  • “Doing something unimportant well does not make it important”
  • Charge a premium, have fewer clients, apply the 80/20 rule here.
  • Validate a business idea before jumping in with time and money.
  • It’s easier to achieve something great than something that’s just “good”.

Work Less, Make More

Stop Working So Hard and Create the Life You Really Want!
by Jennifer White

“Work Less” in this book is not about being lazy, but less “busy” work, less “low quality” work, etc… Make More” is not just money, but Make More time, friendships, build relationships, etc.

Work Less.
· Uncover What Stops You.
· Do What You Do Best.
· Harness the Power of Focus.
· Handle the Time Machine.
· Say Yes to Yourself.

Make More.
· Duplicate Yourself.
· Add Memorable Value.
· Create, Innovate, and Thrive.
· Generate High Income Now.
· Develop Powerful Relationships.

The main idea I took away is I need to charge more for my time because I am worth it. There is no need to compete with other companies that are not as good as I am. Be fair, reduce customers if needed, and provide your best quality to your best customers (or employers).


Originals

How Non-Conformists Move the World
by Adam Gran

In summary, this was a fun book to read.
The first section of the book on managing risks involved in generating, recognizing, and voicing original ideas I felt was its strongest.
The second section dealt with the choices that we make to scale originality.
The third section dealt with unleashing and sustaining originality, and Grant closes the book on emotions.

I liked the first section the most where it talked about how to be more creative and original.

Ideas:

  • Producing great ideas is a matter of quantity.
  • Procrastinate on purpose to trigger the Zeigarnik effect.
  • Repeat yourself and find common reference points to make your crazy ideas more familiar.

“Argue as if you are right and listen as if you are wrong.” -Karl Weick


Succeed

How We Can Reach Our Goals
by Heidi Grant Halvorson Ph.D.

What she learned from the professional study of goals and how to achieve them is what this book is about. She uses the introduction to discuss what we know about willpower and why what most of us “know” about it is wrong. That sets us up perfectly for the rest of the book which is divided into three parts: Get Ready, Get Set, and Go.

Part One: Get Ready

The first chapter is titled “Do You Know Where You Are Going?” We learn that good goals are specific and hard. The author also talks about different types of goals, what to consider when you’re setting a goal, and the fact that positive thinking is good but it can get you in trouble.

Chapter two is “Do You Know Where Your Goals Come From?” It’s about the plasticity of the brain and how we are so much less than what we can be. But there’s also material about how unconscious thoughts help us trigger our goals and how we can use those triggers to do a better job of getting what we want.

Part Two: Get Set

Chapter three is “The Goals That Keep You Moving Forward”. Halvorson defines “Be Good” and “Get Better” goals and then discusses when each is appropriate.

Chapter four is all about goals for optimists and goals for pessimists. Chapter five, “Goals Can Make You Happy,” describes the research of Edward Deci and Richard Ryan. They identified the three basic human goals of autonomy, relatedness, and competence. If that sounds vaguely familiar, it’s because Daniel Pink’s writing has taken that research and distorted it. The Deci and Ryan research is covered well here and you’ll learn about intrinsic motivation and how to make it work for you.

Chapter six is “The Right Goal for You.” By now Halvorson has laid the groundwork by defining different types of goals and different types of motivations. Now she shifts to outlining how we can use different kinds of triggers to get the performance that we’d like. In this chapter, you’ll find out how to choose goals for specific situations.

This is a “bring it all together” kind of chapter. You might find it helpful to read this chapter quickly and then start the book from the beginning. Chapter seven is like chapter six except that it describes how to set goals for others.

Part Three: Go!

Halvorson moves from a general discussion of goal-setting to specific situations. Chapter eight is about conquering the things that are out to conquer your goals.

Chapter nine is “Make A Simple Plan”.Halvorson introduces you to the very simple and very powerful concept of “if-then planning”. Researcher Peter Gollwitzer has described this kind of planning as “instant habits.” It is an incredibly powerful tool and this chapter is another one of those parts of the book that will repay your money and attention.

Chapter ten is about building the self-control muscle. This was an amazing chapter. The body only has so much self-control and needs to be refreshed when it runs low (sugar apparently).

Chapter eleven, on keeping it real, introduces you to the concept of realistic optimism. I found this similar to a part of Jim Collins’ book, Good to Great. He talks about “confronting the brutal facts but never losing faith.” This is a chapter about optimism, when it can work for you and when it can be trouble and how you can make it more likely that it will be a positive force.

Chapter twelve is titled “Know When to Hang On.” This is another one of those “worth the price of the book” chapters. There’s an awful lot that’s written, especially in the areas of personal development and goal-setting, about the need for persistence, but almost nothing on when to decide to quit. In fact, the only book I know about quitting is Seth Godin’s excellent book, The Dip. Yes, this is another of those worth the price of the book chapters.

Final Chapter

The final chapter in the book is “Give the Right Feedback.” Halvorson shares the research of Jennifer Henderlong and Mark Lepper and their five rules for giving feedback well.

Bottom Line

As you’ve probably guessed by now, I think this is a truly great book. It will help you set goals for yourself, help you help others set goals, and help you meet certain specific life situations with the knowledge to handle them effectively.

This is easily the best book I have ever read about setting goals because it brings the understanding of science to the practical reality of setting goals in real life.


Minimalism & Hygge

By G. Williams

Book 1: Minimalism

I have been reading a lot about Minimalism lately so there was not a whole lot of new information here but I did find it motivating.  The books were very short but to the point.  Not a lot of fluff.  There might have been a few items that I found new and interesting.

Things worth noting:

  • You need to decide the difference between a need and a want.  This is unique to each person and a minimalist can still own a lot of things as long as those things bring joy.
  • Buying stuff will never bring you happiness so stop it.
  • The perfect house size is 100 sq per person plus abt 300 sq of common space.  A family of 5 would need about 1000 square feet.  I find this to be too small for me.  I would think 1300-1500 would be more comfortable.
  • This is probably the fastest way to get out of debt while enjoying your life to the fullest.  It also lowers your monthly cash flow.

Book 2: Hygge

This book I found very interesting.  I was introduced to Hygge in the Living Danishly book I read earlier in the year.  It goes very nicely with the Minimalist book.  My Notes:

  • Its not about what you accomplish with your time but how you enjoy your time.
  • Being cozy with friends and family is critical to health and quality of life.
  • Candles, blankets, simple foods, friends, family, sweets, and great conversations.
  • Hygge and Yoga are very closely related and a great way to experience hygge when alone.
  • I ended up buying a lot of candles and making my common places much more Hygge.

The Beginner’s Guide to Buddhism

A Short Course on This Powerful Eastern Philosophy
By Jack Kornfield

Too short to really be informative and contains just the basic information about Buddhism and meditation.  Ont he positive side, it is a good relaxing audio book.  Just don’t listen to it while driving.

Highlights include the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, Dharma, “the laws of life,” Buddhist meditation practices, mindfulness teachings, and meditation practices.


The Book of Joy

By Dalai Lama (Author), Desmond Tutu (Author),Douglas Carlton Abrams (Author, Narrator)

The Book Of Joy is the result of a 7-day meeting between the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, two of the world’s most influential spiritual leaders, during which they discussed one of life’s most important questions: how do we find joy despite suffering?  These 3 lessons:

  • There is no life without suffering.
  • You don’t always control suffering, but you always control your response to it.
  • Compassion and sadness are channels to let go of the anger and stress that result from suffering.

8 Pillars of Joy
The culmination of The Book of Joy is the outlining of 8 Pillars of Joy.

Perspective – Taking a sacred pause and finding the widest perspective helps us solve problems with creativity and compassion rather than rigidity and reactivity.

Humility – Discover how you depend on others – your parents, those who made your clothes, or where you live, or the medications you take. You are only one of 7 billion people.

Humor – Find ways to laugh at your faults, limitation, and foibles. Laugh at yourself. Laugh at life.

Acceptance – Don’t argue with what was or is. Don’t argue with reality. “Why be unhappy about something if it can be remedied? What is the use of being unhappy if it cannot be remedied?”

Forgiveness – Tell your story. Name the hurt. Grant forgiveness. Renew or release the relationship.

Gratitude – Be thankful for what goes well and the learning and growth possible when things don’t go well.

Compassion – Loving kindness: May you be free from suffering, May you be healthy, May you be happy, May you have peace and joy. Begin with yourself, then those you love, then those you know, then those you don’t know, and then those you fear or anger you.

Generosity – Offer more and more and more to others (resources, compassion, forgiveness, understanding) and see what comes back to you.


The Richest Man in Babylon

By George S. Clason

I loved this book and highly recommend the audio version. The narrator does an excellent job of making the story very entertaining and fun. The lessons are core to anyone looking to build wealth and are truly timeless. If you can remember just one lesson from this book, it should be “A part of all you earn is yours to keep”.

Seven Cures for a Lean Purse

  1. A Part of all you Earn is Yours to Keep: Pay yourself first. Save at least 10% of what you earn – no matter what. Work hard at your current job and only spend 90% of what you earn.
  2. Control Thy Expenditures: Saving more means spending less – and it won’t hurt as much as you think.
  3. Make Thy Gold Multiply: Invest your savings. Once you start to build up some savings, invest that money so that it will make more money for you.
  4. Guard Thy Treasure From Loss: invest wisely and manage your risk.
  5. Make Of Thy Dwelling A Profitable Investment: Own your home, but purchase wisely.
  6. Insure a Future Income: Make sure you save enough for retirement and to care for your family when your life comes to an end.
  7. Increase Thy Ability To Earn: Improve your knowledge and skills consistently to increase your earning power. Work hard, look for opportunities, and educate yourself.

Additional Lessons

  • Seek Advice Wisely: Only seek advice from those that are wise and knowledgeable on the subject.
  • Be open for opportunities: Luck and fortune is found in opportunities. Don’t let opportunities pass you by but always remember the 4th cure.

The Five Laws of Gold

  1. Gold comes easy and in greater quantities to the man who safes the tenth part of his income for his future and family.
  2. Gold works with speed and diligence for the wise owner that finds for it a productive use.
  3. Coins of Gold maintains itself under the protection of prudent persons who invests with the counsels of wise people.
  4. Gold escapes from people who invest without a purpose in places that are not familiar.
  5. Gold runs away from people who force gold to impossible profits and follows the seductive counsels of impostors.

Introduction to Personal Branding

by Mel Gibson

Here is the book outline or chapter list.  I took detailed notes while reading the book and learned a lot in the process.  I recommend it to everyone as personal branding has become core to our career development in the modern world.

  • Establish Your Professional Purpose
  • Embrace and Expound Your Experience
  • Analyze Your Competitors as You Build Your Personal Brand
  • Get a New Headshot – Your New Image Starts with an Image
  • How to Craft Your Personal Branding Statement
  • Make Your Personal Brand Discoverable
  • How to Re-engineer Your Digital Presence
  • Take 5 and Practice Writing
  • How to Learn to Listen and Practice Empathy
  • Social By Design: Make Your Personal Brand Stand Out. Always.

Good book. Got better with the 3rd and 4th reading because it was so full of information. I needed to read the book with a notebook in hand so I can record my to-do action list.
Short read, under 1 hour. Narration very monotone which is why I needed several reads to pick up on the important details.


As a Man Thinketh

By James Allen

This one was a difficult read due to the language and writing style but an eye opener non the less. The 2 main take-a-ways of this rather short book was:

  • The first core principle is a person is the sum of their thoughts. What you think is what you do, and what you do is what you become.
  • The second core principle is, in more simpler terms, what you think is the center of your character and will define you no matter of the results of your actions.

I loves this idea of the book raising the moral definition of what it means to be a person of character. I think our worlds morality has been moving in the wrong direction and this book redefines what it means to be a person of good character.

This was a great book to follow up the personal branding book. My next book is going to be “Don’t sweat the small stuff” and feel it will be a super trilogy to refocusing my life on what is really important.


52 Mondays

By Vic Johnson

This book was OK to read but got very tiring with the motivation message at the end of every chapter. I loved the title and the message that small changes over 52 Mondays could have a great impact on someone’s life but I think the book got lost in that simple message. Maybe that was never the books goal and if so, I think they missed an opportunity.

This book gives simple things to do every Monday to accomplish your desired goals. The issue is there are not 52 tasks needed for accomplishing something and the book was overloaded with fluff. The few handful of key tasks should have been focused on instead of always looking for something new to add.

There are plenty of better books to read on goal success and I would not recommend this one.


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

By Stephen R. Covey

This was a reread of a book I read over 10 years ago. It’s amazing how different my take on the book is today than it was when I first read it. Here are my notes.

  1. Be Proactive
    1. We’re in charge. We choose the scripts by which to live our lives.
    2. Circle of Influence vs the Circle of Concern
  2. Begin with the End in Mind
    1. How do you want to be remembered?
    2. Take steps today to get you to your legacy.
    3. Focus on what Really Matters in life!!!
  3. Put First Things First
    1. In order to manage ourselves effectively, we must put first things first. We must have the discipline to prioritize our day-to-day actions based on what is most important, not what is most urgent.
    2. “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” -Stephen Covey
  4. Think Win-Win
    1. In order to establish effective interdependent relationships, we must commit to creating Win-Win situations that are mutually beneficial and satisfying to each party.
    2. Another important factor in solving for Win-Win situations is maintaining an Abundance Mentality, or the belief that there’s plenty out there for everyone.
  5. Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
    1. Before we can offer advice, suggest solutions, or effectively interact with another person in any way, we must seek to deeply understand them and their perspective through empathic listening.
    2. “You’ve spent years of your life learning how to read and write, years learning how to speak. But what about listening?” -Stephen Covey
  6. Synergize
    1. The habit of synergy means in this case “When one plus one equals three or more and the whole is great than the sum of its parts.”
    2. By putting forth a spirit of trust and safety, we will prompt others to become extremely open and feed on each other’s insights and ideas, creating synergy.
    3. “The key to valuing differences is to realize that all people see the world, not as it is, but as they are.” -Stephen Covey
  7. Sharpen the Saw
    1. To be effective, we must devote the time to renewing ourselves physically, spiritually, mentally, and socially. Continuous renewal allows us to synergistically increase our ability to practice each habit.
    2. Physical: Eat Well, Exercise, proper rest
    3. Spiritual: Provide leadership to life and reinforce commitment to value system.
      1. Practice meditation
      2. Communicate with nature
      3. Immerse in great literature or music
    4. Mentally: Expand our mind by reading a lot and writing in your journal
    5. Socially: Develop meaningful relationships.

The Official Preppy Handbook

By Lisa Birnbach

I’ve been wanting to get and read this book for many years but just found an older copy on eBay a few weeks ago. What a great book and very funny. Its so funny because its true and I can definitely laugh at myself when reading this.

Although I am not a full preppy (I tend to wear less colorful clothing most of the time these days) I definitely relate to everything else. Not growing up rich (but living in a very rich town and going to private prep schools), I grew up with this lifestyle and loved every bit of it. You can enjoy the prep lifestyle without the financial backing of a Kennedy. Just dedicate yourself to having fun in simple ways. It’s really that simple.

The book can be read cover to cover or you can skip around pretty easily and enjoy certain topics with friends. I would definitely recommend this book for any preppy or any prep want to be. Get a copy today and bring it out at your next dinner party and enjoy the laughs.


The Joy of Less

By Francine Jay

This was a step by step, room by room guide on decluttering your house and life. I think this is common sense and I consider it mostly fluff. I’m not sure what I expected to find but this was not useful to me.

I suspect because I enjoyed “The Book of Joy” so much, I was sort of expecting the same results with this book. Maybe tie it into the Hygge lifestyle and there could be some very interesting things to write and teach the reader about how to enjoy life with less.

Overall, I would give the book a 3 out of 10 and will return it. I can see some value to people who don’t know where to start a decluttering campaign but that is not me.


How to Start a Blog Today

By Scott Chow

A great, free little book that summarized how to start a blog in just 50 pages. Given I run 7 blog sites, there was nothing new in this 50 page guide but if I were new to blogging, this would be a great “start” to it. If you are experienced at blogging, then you should skip it. It reads like a long blog post.

I was able to read this in under an hour and found the information useful. Sort of reviewing your paper before you submit it to the teacher, this allowed me to review my blogs and make sure I am doing the basics well (like email campaigns and social media).


Present Over Perfect:

Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living
By Shauna Neiquist

Wow, what a great writer! This book really hits home and the author use of words and writing style is incredible. The title says it all, focus on today and enjoying the life you have now. Working to make tomorrow a more perfect version of today is a waste of todays. Also, your life is a collection of todays and if you focus all your energy on making tomorrow perfect, you are really just wasting the opportunity to make today special.

The author goes into her life as a mom, author, and generally overwhelmed with the everyday stuff that has somehow made its way into her schedule. She noticed the loss she was feeling when she compared her “lake life” with her normal life and wanted to close the bridge between them. This is something we can all relate to.

This is not really a self-help book because it doesn’t provide a lot of insight on how to change the readers life to be more present. The book focus is to tell the reader how she changed her focus and what enjoyment it has brought her. I am not sure most people can relate to her story because most people will have a much harder time reducing their busy lives to pursue a more relaxed, present day. If you have a vacation home on the water, I suspect you have enough money to relax on your professional life and slow down to enjoy the roses. Most people do not.

Still, it’s a valuable lesson and goal and I do recommend it. The lesson is common and incomplete (as it is not relatable to most readers), but the writing style is wonderful and a real joy to read. A 5 star read for sure.


10% Happier

How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found a Self-Help That Actually Works

By Dan Harris

I enjoyed this book a lot and I would not classify it as a Self-Help book, its way to funny for that. The book is a humorous journey of Dan’s investigation and eventual adaptation of meditation and mindfulness. He does this transformation in his professional career while maintaining a “normal” personal and professional life. Not an easy accomplishment in today’s crazy busy world but carving out a fraction of time everyday for his practice transformed his life and made him 10% happier. I suspect it will work for me too.

Some of the takeaways are clearly summarized in Chapter 11 (Hide the Zen) where he summarizes how he will adopt a little Zen, Meditation, and Mindfulness into his life. This is his personal list and may not be a good fit for everyone but for me it holds some great advice and is a good fit for my life. Also, I would probably have these things in a slightly different order.

10 Buddhist Principles for the Modern Worker

  1. Don’t be a jerk.
  2. When necessary, hide the Zen.
  3. Meditate.
  4. The price of security is insecurity, until it’s not useful.
  5. Equanimity is not the enemy of creativity.
  6. Don’t force it.
  7. Humility prevents humiliation.
  8. Go easy with the internal cattle prod.
  9. Non-attachment to results.
  10. Ask, “What matters most?”

I would recommend this book to anyone who feels over whelmed and looking for a solution to tame their world just a little. Being mindful through meditation is the key to solving my crazy life and I suspect could be very useful to many others.


Stop Saying Your Fine

By Mel Robbins

Great book for getting yourself unstuck and start making real changes in your life. The book starts off slow and rough but the points she makes really drive home in the second half. Stick with it to the end.

The appendix is a great summary. Well worth a second read for the motivation to get moving on your dreams.

The book is divided in 3 parts:

  • Why you aren’t getting what you want
  • The Method for becoming powerful and getting what you want
  • Finding the stamina to keep getting what you want

In the appendix, Mel creates a great summary of the rules she covers in the book and I listed them here so I can refer back to them often,

Rule 1: Do the things your brain doesn’t feel like doing. Avoid Anti-Actions and get to your important things. Focus on your Game Changer Thoughts. Your mind will fight against anything new. Push through it.

Rule 2: You never know where things could lead. Just do it and see. If you need to adjust your directions later, that’s fine.

Rule 3: Use the 5 second Rule. Act on new ideas within 5 seconds.

Rule 4: Stop trying to pick one over the other. Try to find a way to do both.

Rule 5: Frequency trumps intensity. Something is better then nothing. Improve over time using daily habits.

Rule 6: If you get rejected, make a new map to how to get to where you want to go. Act like water always flowing around obstacles. Be relentless.

Rule 7: Do a brain dump. When you are overwhelmed, dump your brain in a notebook or somewhere to review later. Then focus again on your task. This is where the GTD process will help greatly.

Rule 8: If you cannot do something, delegate it. The work must get done but not necessary by you.


Money: Master the Game

by Tony Robbins

Overview

The best book on investing I’ve read. Particularly important is the goal setting and Asset Allocation.

Step 1: Welcome to the Jungle

Save as much as you can, automatically, each pay check and start as early as possible.

Step 2: Become an Insider, Learn the Rules

  • Mutual funds and institutional investing = bad.
  • Index funds are good.
  • Roth are good.

Step 3: What is the Price of your Dreams?

  1. Financial security. Save enough so that the monthly returns on your investment portfolio will pay for your monthly housing, food, utilities, transportation, and insurance.
  2. Financial vitality. In addition to #1, save enough to cover half of your monthly clothing, entertainment, and “small luxury” costs.
  3. Financial independence. In addition to #2, add the rest of your necessary living expenses, and you have what you need to never have to work again.
  4. Financial freedom. In addition to #3, add the monthly payments for two or three significant luxuries (boat, vacation home, exotic car, etc.) to your number.
  5. Absolute financial freedom. Now dream big – what do you need (things/experiences, not their dollar values) to have everything you want and more?

Step 4: The Most Important Investment Decision

  • “Rule 1: don’t lose money. Rule 2: see Rule 1. —WARREN BUFFETT
  • Vanguard founder Jack Bogle suggests buying into low-cost, low-fee bond index funds that spread out your risk because you’ll own every part of the bond market.”
  • Rebalance once or twice a year.

Asset allocation is everything! So you want to diversify between your Security Bucket and your Risk/ Growth Bucket. You want to diversify across asset classes, markets, and time.

You don’t want to hesitate to get in the market trying to have perfect timing; instead, use dollar-cost averaging and know that volatility can be your friend, providing opportunities to buy investments cheaply when the market is down.

Have a Dream Bucket that gives you emotional juice and excitement so you can experience the benefits of your investing prowess in the short term and midterm instead of just someday far in the future.

Use rebalancing and tax harvesting to maximize your returns and minimize losses.

Step 5: Upside without Downside, a Lifetime Income Plan

“Ray is showing us that if your money is divided equally, yet your investments are not equal in their risk, you are not balanced!”

Ray Dalio breakdown:

  • 30% in stocks (ex the S& P 500 or other indexes).
  • 15% in intermediate US Bonds [seven- to ten-year Treasuries]
  • 40% in long-term bonds [20- to 25-year Treasuries].
  • 7.5% in gold
  • 7.5% in commodities.

Step 6: The Billionare’s Playbook

Four rules:

  • Don’t lose money!
  • Risk a little to earn a lot, risk one dollar to earn 5
  • Anticipate and Diversify
  • You’re never done. Keep learning, saving.

Step 7: Taking action

How to spend money to make yourself happy:

  • Investing in new experiences
  • Buying time for yourself
  • Investing in others