I may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
So I figured the least I can do is provide you with my top recommendations that helped me get to where I am today. I may not be a millionaire yet, but I'm learning from the cream of the crop, putting myself in the best situation possible. Since I can't surround myself with the top 5 people I want to learn from, I read books and listen to podcasts either written and made by them or about them.
It's great, I read my book on the train if I get lucky and find a seat. If I don't, I rotate listening between the podcast channels I list below. And then on the 10 blocks or so I walk to work, I listen to a podcast episode. Like right now I've been listening to a lot of The Cardone Zone. And then I take a 15 minute walk home from the station and continue listening to an episode. I try to always make sure I'm using my commute to learn new things.
Here are my top recommendations:
This was the book that started it all for me. It's a lengthy 689 pages, but it reads at a high school level. Tony Robbins makes it very clear the only reason managing your finances seems complicated is because Wall Street purposely makes it that way. He explains all the ways you're exposed to unnecessary fees in simple language. This book will give you the confidence to start taking control of your own finances and want to read more books on investing.
Most of the things you're influenced by happen subconsciously. It was interesting to read how and why. One very applicable concept to investing touched on in the book is we typically fear loss twice as much as we enjoy success. Losing a sum of money is twice as painful than the joy in gaining the exact same amount. Which explains why we are so reluctant to let go of our losses in our portfolios. There's even a section in the book on stocks that directly relates to this blog and why you should just play it safe with index funds.
This book makes you think differently about the ways you can make money. It shows you, you don't have to be stuck in a cubicle at a 9-5 job if you really put your mind to it. Tim Ferriss also provides a hell of a lot of recommendations ranging from virtual assistants to the types of businesses that run itself. Inadvertently, this is how my blog started. I always wanted to create a side hustle, and after I read all of these books, I realized I could give this blogging thing a try. The book isn't about literally having a four-hour workweek, it's about creating the life you want on your own terms. It includes a lot of case studies from successful people which is pretty cool.
This is a collection of Fortune articles written about Warren Buffett over his life and career. You get insights on his investment strategies, his thoughts on management and even his personal life-like parenting and his philanthropic efforts. What's unique about this is the author, Carol Loomis, became a great friend of Buffett's, so she was able to write in great, personal detail that very few books on him can.
The premise is based on the idea that creating powerful habits help you achieve the goals you want. You are walked through all the research and the techniques Duhigg uses to identify cues, routines and rewards, and then replacing old routines with new ones, to pick up the pace to speed you up to your goals. I used what I read in this book to find time to get up early and exercise every day when I lived at home and now to find the energy to exercise after work now that I moved out. It also helped me to find time in the day to work on my blog. It's extremely effective, and I couldn't recommend it more.
This is a compilation of interviews from Tim Ferriss' podcast, which I have listed below. It's a book with tips from extremely successful people in their respective fields. Sometimes it has more of an effect to read the interviews instead of listening to them. The podcast episodes run at least an hour in most cases, so these are a bunch of excerpts Ferriss thought were most important from the episodes he chose. It's very helpful getting different perspectives on how people manage their day and how they got to where they are. You begin to see patterns. These people can act as mentors for you.
At first, it was very difficult for me to read this going in cold without any previous knowledge of personal finance. After reading Money Master the Game, this book was a breeze. I understood every term and topic discussed. This book is great for going slightly deeper into investments and is perfect as an introduction for beginners. Index funds are highly recommended, which I'm a huge fan of, so it's definitely a must read.
It calls out Wall Street and all advisors not acting in their client's best interest. Bobby Monks exposes the industry on how we're all being scammed on our retirement money and what to do about it. He explains how the industry works against us and how the industry as a whole got to this point.
Burton Malkiel shows how flawed financial advisors are in A Random Walk Down Wall Street. He goes over technical analysis and fundamental analysis showing actively managed funds severely underperform the average market performance over the long-term. The book does a really great job showing you that you are just as likely to get the same performance throwing darts at a dartboard with stocks listed on it than you are with mutual funds that are actively managed. It does however also talk about how efficient the market is, but since I tend to follow the principles of Warren Buffet and the advice he dishes out (like this), I'm not a believer in that argument. Overall, the book does a great job showing you money managers are no more successful than the next person.
The classic book on value investing that Warren Buffett deems, “by far the best book on investing ever written.” It was written by the father of value investing, Ben Graham (the originator behind the idea of the CFA). This book made everything click for me. Graham talks about how irrational “Mr. Market” is at times and when it's best to take advantage of him. Graham talks about how crucial it is to give yourself a “margin of safety”, or a buffer in the event the worst case scenario happens to the stock you invested in. He explains the calculations he uses to determine whether a stock is cheap and safe enough to own. Surprisingly, the calculations are extremely easy to follow. The Intelligent Investor perfectly explains how to invest in the stock market without taking big risks. For me, this is also the best book I've read on investing.
This is basically the bible of index funds. Jack Bogle, the founder of the index fund shows in clear, concise language, why investing in index funds is the best investment for the majority of people who want to put their money to work. The argument is that trying to beat the stock market, along with all the fees and costs deducted that come from investing, is a lose-sum game. I do know people who have consistently beaten the market, but this is because they took the time to invest in learning the basics and beyond, and spend their time researching and reading reports on companies. For the average investor, this book should always be on your nightstand.
It shows you how well Warren Buffett understands human behavior, what motivates people and why some business choices are good and bad for your personal holdings. It's a tough read for a beginner, but if you're patient with it, it's a phenomenal read. I came out with a much better, well-rounded understanding of the financial world and how it all comes together through my own personal investments.
Warren Buffett says he's 85% Ben Graham and 15% Phil Fisher. Fisher's strategy is finding growth at a reasonable price. He explains what qualities to look for in a business and how to get the information you need to make an informed decision whether to invest in a company or not. Although the book does give advice on how to speak with top-level executives, which may not be as practical these days, pairing this book with the Intelligent Investor gives you great insight on how to make the best possible investment decisions.
It's an inside look at Warren Buffett's life. Reading what he was like as a child, how he was raised and his early interests show you how dedicated he is to his practice. Alice Schroeder gives great insight into how he became the best investor of our day and one of the most powerful and respected people in America.
Excerpts of the annual shareholder meetings starting at 2017 are on here. Given its reputation, not much else is needed to say here. If you listen to the episodes, you'll do yourself a huge favor.
Tim Ferriss interviews a wide range of people on topics from life hacks on your health, to getting more work done in a fraction of the time. It's a great podcast to hear different perspectives on the successes of people in multiple industries.
This is pretty much the most inspirational podcast ever. If you want to gain confidence in yourself, listen to this podcast.
Barry Ritholtz's podcast, for the most part, interviews people talking about the investment principles they use in their work. I personally would never invest based on charting or quantitative analysis, but these episodes give you a better idea of the big picture and why value and passive investing is so much safer. It shows you that most of these guys are basically guessing, making you feel more sure about choosing the right decision to either be a value investor or passive investor.
This podcast is cool just to hear how people got started in their careers and became successful either through founding companies, or becoming a high-level executive. It's interesting to see that a lot of these people started with a simple idea and took action on it. The podcast gives you insight into the characteristics and qualities of what it takes to become successful.
Gary Vaynerchuk tells it like it is when it comes to reaching the success you dream of. He drops some serious reality checks on you whether it's to be fully committed 24/7 putting in the extra hours before and after your day job or to be extremely impatient short-term, but extremely patient long-term. Meaning, do as much as you can every day, but don't expect success to happen overnight. I'd say this podcast is as motivating as Tony Robbins'.
Everyday questions from ordinary people like you and me answered by Farnoosh. Questions range from how much to save in a 401k to how you can pay off a mortgage faster. She also interviews high-profile people like Arianna Huffington, Tony Robbins and Tim Ferriss.
Unshakeable is a podcast based on Tony Robbins' book with the same title, which is a slimmed down version of his Money Master the Game book. There are only 5 episodes in the entire podcast, and the last one uploaded was on March 10, 2017, so I guess there aren't going to be anymore, but they all give great advice on how to manage your money.
Grant Cardone is a multimillionaire sales expert and NY Times best-selling author. He gives great advice and motivation on how to put you in a better position in your life through working your butt off when everyone else is out having a good time.
This podcast is very similar to Success! How I Did It. Interviews in the past include Netflix's Reed Hastings, PayPal cofounder and former colleague Peter Thiel and Airbnb founder Brian Chesky. It's fascinating to hear how the people he interviews think differently about every day problems. A lot of these companies began with a problem these founders had in their daily lives. Pretty cool stuff, and it shows you there is always a better way to do something and maybe your idea is the next big thing.
Personal Capital is great. It takes no more than 5 minutes to set everything up. The app links to all of your accounts. This includes your 401k, IRAs, brokerage and checking accounts and even credit cards. I personally never saw an app that tracks your credit cards in addition to everything else, so it makes it even more valuable to me. You can now keep track of your net worth in one view, making it easy to stay on top of your finances.
Shapr gets rid of exactly what I hate about networking. Instead of heading over to a bar after work spending 2-3 hours there hoping you might eventually run into someone worth talking to, Shapr matches you up with people you're interested in who have also expressed an interest in you. When you get started, you pick a maximum of 10 categories you're interested in. Then, you get what the app calls a batch of people each day to choose from based on yours and other people's preferences. Basically, it's Tinder for networking and it's awesome.
This compound interest calculator is basically a guilty pleasure of mine. Whenever I want to see what a certain amount of money will turn into at a certain rate and period of time, I always use this. It's actually great though, because you don't realize how much of a difference in dollars a single percentage point makes over say forty years until you actually use the calculator. It really shows you how important it is to invest as much as you can early in your career.
CNBC released an archive of Warren Buffett consisting of annual meetings of Berkshire Hathaway back to 1994, 130 hours of searchable video, 500 video clips and several interviews of Buffett with CNBC. Needless to say, it's pure gold.
I use Evernote for all my notes and topic ideas I have for my blog. When I think of something for my blog when I'm not home, I write it in my notes app on my phone, and then transfer them onto my Evernote account on my computer when I get home. I love it, because it helps me categorize topics and ideas, making me stay super organized.
I highly recommend looking into SiteGround if you want to start hosting your blog the right way. Check out the tutorial I have for you. I give a step-by-step rundown of how to get your blog self-hosted and ready to run. In my opinion, it's the best option out there, it works amazingly well for me. Don't waste your time with Bluehost. I made my site live before I had any traffic whatsoever just to see how it would run and it took over 20 seconds to load. As soon as I switched to SiteGround the site loaded immediately. They also transferred the site over for free since I have the GrowBig plan which was great.
If you want to get off to a great start with your blog, you need to create an email list right off the bat. These are going to be your loyal readers. In the beginning, if you don't start one, you may lose those initial people who found your blog. Don't let them slip away! Check out my review of ConvertKit vs the other most popular email services.
If you want to monetize your blog, this is the ultimate course for you. Michelle's course is so thoroughly done, this is the only one you will ever need on affiliate marketing. I took this before I started working on my blog, and I saved myself months of frustration. Not only does she show you the strategies she uses to get approved by affiliate programs and convert your readers, she provides affiliate link program examples and also has a mastermind group for members of the course. Being a member of the group is worth it in itself. If you're just beginning or want to brush up on your affiliate marketing, this is the course for you. There is also a great Pinterest bonus course that was done by Rosemarie Groner who's course is right below this.
This course is great in teaching you how to always have the perspective of the person you're trying to relate to. Rosemarie Groner helps you create your avatar if you haven't done so already and ingrains the idea in your head you must always follow the WIIFM (what's in it for me) philosophy. Thinking about things your readers need help with and not simply posting about whatever is on your mind is what will keep your readers coming back for more. She also gives great ideas on the four different types of emails you should be writing to your subscribers.
Traffic Transformation: 21 Strategies I Used to Go From 17k to 400k+ Monthly Page Views in 10 Months
Lena Gott does a great job showing you the 21 strategies she used and still uses to get such a high volume in traffic to her site. One of my favorite tips was creating a sidebar with the most viewed articles and to always enhance those articles with links directing to posts with affiliate links. There is also great advice on how to utilize Google+ and other strategies in Pinterest that were not brought up in Michelle's affiliate marketing course.
This free e-book gives you great practical insight on how to optimize the content you already have on your blog. Examples include repurposing your content into an e-book, raising your prices and optimizing your ads. It's a quick 12 page PDF that's definitely worth your time.
Alexis' article is based on an alternative method of making money. A sponsored post is when a blogger is compensated for writing about a specific product or brand. It will take some time getting everything set up if you want to do it the right way between creating profiles on websites for opportunities, deciding how much to charge for each opportunity and reaching out to brands, but it'll be well worth your time to create another form of passive income.
Like what you read?
Join all of us to get the latest posts on how to make, save and invest more. It's the only way to your financial freedom. In addition, you get the FREE Coffee Habit Worksheet to track your minor spending and see how it's really costing you over the long-term.