At the end of 2017 I set a target to read at least twenty-six books in 2018. So far, I’ve finished fourteen books and I’m just about halfway through book fifteen. The first book on the list was responsible for really kicking off my interest in investments. The fifth book on the list was the most emotional book I’ve read in a long time, and despite being pretty well-read on the Second World War it taught me quite a lot. So, this is my progress so far with a link to the Amazon page for each book below each description.
1. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
I was recommended this book by a friend who had just started reading it. We both work as mortgage advisors and he hooked me with the argument the author puts forward that your home is not an asset but a liability. It’s not an exaggeration to say that this book turned my financial outlook upside down. A very readable book which gives powerful but simple advice about money. I’ve recommended this book to a few people and should you choose to read it, please keep an open mind. The book will challenge your beliefs but as the information begins to sink in it will change your outlook.
2. Rich Dad, Poor Dad: Cash Flow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki
As soon as I had finished the first book I purchased Cash Flow Quadrant. This book moves forward with a more in-depth look at the nature of cash flow and how it comes from the four quadrants, which I will not spoil for you here. This was a very interesting book and although it repeated a lot of the information in the first book, it did go further into detail on other points. Some of the advice is more specific to US law but the principles seem transferable to the UK. Overall a very interesting book and recommended for anyone who read Rich Dad, Poor Dad.
3. Rich Dad, Poor Dad: Guide to Investing by Robert Kiyosaki
I think this book was maybe a step too far from the Rich Dad series. I did not really learn much more that had not been covered in the first two books. However, just immersing myself in the subject helped reinforce much of what I had learned from the first two books. Again, there was a fairly heavy US focus. A decent read if you can get your hands on a copy. If you are extremely keen to read this book, then go ahead but I don’t think the average reader will get a huge amount out of it that they did not already learn from books one and two.
4. Swimming with Sharks by Joris Luyendijk
I really enjoyed this book, which is basically a collection of interviews that were originally published as part of a newspaper column. It is a behind the scenes look at banking with much of the focus being on investment banking. It is an honest approach with no particular agenda that I could discern, although it was conceived in the aftermath of the financial crisis a decade ago. If you want to feel really angry about banking you could read this after watching The Big Short.
5. A Higher Call by Adam Makos
The best book I’ve read this year so far.
I had heard about this incident in the Second World War but did not know much of the detail. It is known as the Charlie Brown and Franz Stigler incident, after the US B-17 bomber pilot and German fighter pilot respectively.
In 1943 the US B-17 bomber had taken part in a bombing mission on Bremen. There was a fierce battle and the B-17 was heavily damaged. Several of the crew were dead or severely wounded. The plane itself was almost falling apart with almost all the engines having failed. Franz Stigler chased after the bomber in his Messerschmitt 109 fighter. As he caught the bomber trying to escape German airspace he felt something was off. He saw the damage to the plane and the crew injured and dying with the pilot struggling to keep the plane in the air. Instead of shooting the bomber down, Franz Stigler escorted the bomber out of the combat zone, gave a salute to the US pilot, Charlie Brown, and returned to German airspace.
This book tells the story of each man from their entry into the war and their experience to the end of the war. It tells the story of how this encounter changed them and haunted them for the rest of their lives. The book looks at how even soldiers on opposite sides can show honour, respect and compassion to their enemies. I choked up reading this book, and even just writing about it now I can feel myself getting a bit emotional. A very powerful book.
6. Shares Made Simple by Rodney Hobson
I wanted to understand shares in a bit more detail so I thought I’d go back to basics. A good book that really does make shares simple to understand. Not a huge amount to say about the book to be honest. I read it. I enjoyed it. It did what it promised. If you want to get a basic understanding of how shares work, then this is a good starting point.
7. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
Only just noticed now that it was the seventh book I read this year. There are some useful pieces of advice in this book, but I found the religious elements a bit much. Like many people who have read this book, I read it because it had been referenced elsewhere. However, it was just too dry and too plodding for me to actually enjoy. The habits themselves, when you break them down, are pretty useful. In particular, I like the idea of starting any project with a definite end in mind. Also, approaching interactions with the intention to find a mutually beneficial outcome, or “win/win”. There is also a lot of wisdom in the idea that you should first seek to understand before trying to be understood.
Critic. Writer. Thinker. Observer. Creator of nowwelive.com.