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What one book?
Old 12-18-2010, 09:47 AM   #1
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What one book?

What one book most shaped your financial outlook on life? And why?

You can only choose one.

I had a tough time getting down to just one, but for me it's Your Money or Your Life. It taught me that, in this world at least, time isn't free. You have to buy it.
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Old 12-18-2010, 10:00 AM   #2
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Well, since you named my number one book that really changed my thinking, I will post my second choice book. Ramit Sethi's "I Will Teach You To Be Rich." Although I am not rich, I am very comfortable. I've learned alot from his book (and blog).
The main thing he encourages, is to spend on what you love, and be mercilessy frugal on things that don't matter to you. This is as opposed to what others who encourage fruguality say: To cut down on everything and sometimes deprive yourself of what you what you want. If you enjoy daily $4 Starbucks Lattes, then enjoy them and anything else. I also agree with him on not spending too much time coupon-cutting. Sometimes it can be more time-consuming than it's worth.
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Old 12-18-2010, 10:32 AM   #3
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Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes by Gilovich & Belsky. It delves into behavioral finance traps such as Loss Aversion. After reading this book, I have no aversion to losses and now buy whenever the stock market is at a near term low and sell at market highs. This book has helped me perfect my market timing.

Oh, another behavioral finance trap is Overconfidence.
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Old 12-18-2010, 10:35 AM   #4
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Work less, Live more by Bob Clyatt. It made me realize that there was an alternative to the 9 to 5 grind.
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Old 12-18-2010, 11:43 AM   #5
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Some unknown book in gradeschool that had a returning WW2 vet dragging a car out of a lake, getting it running, loading the gearbox with sawdust (hey - I thought that was an accepted repair back then) and selling it, then buying a Brithish truck and using the motor to build a racecar. For me it was all about finding hidden gems, adding labor and skill, and making profit.

Since then I've always looked for the overlooked use on an item that no longer serves it's intended use.
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Old 12-18-2010, 11:55 AM   #6
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It's difficult to choose only one! But since I have to, I choose Wealth Building, by Kurt Rosentreter, Insomniac Press, 2005. It looks at wealthbuilding as an evolutionary process, and focuses on taxes, risk management, and goals specific to each stage of life.
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Old 12-18-2010, 12:53 PM   #7
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Mutual Funds for Dummies. Introduced me to no-load, low cost, index funds.
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Old 12-18-2010, 02:48 PM   #8
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Back in the 1980's somewhere, I bought and read "How to be Rich" by J. Paul Getty. It's not about "getting" rich, but rather a mindset about being rich, dealing with people, success, etc. I don't have it anymore, but I remember thinking it was pretty cool at that time and it helped to shape some of my early thinking.
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Old 12-18-2010, 02:56 PM   #9
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The big "Value Line" analysis of 1700 companies. I remember sitting down in the library poring over it for hours in the early 80's thinking "wow, some of these companies increase their earnings and dividends every year, even through recessions, etc". I was already cheap, had picked a decent profession (programming), and knew I wanted to be retired since I was a kid, but learning how to invest was the final key.
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Old 12-18-2010, 03:01 PM   #10
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Surprisingly,

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Adventure and cheap and minimalistic living is really what I want to do.

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Old 12-18-2010, 03:11 PM   #11
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What one book most shaped your financial outlook on life? And why?
Goldilocks and the Three Bears

It showed me the wisdom of seeking a reasonable financial goal, not to aim too high or too low - and to watch out for bears.
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Old 12-18-2010, 03:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
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What one book most shaped your financial outlook on life? And why?

You can only choose one.

I had a tough time getting down to just one, but for me it's Your Money or Your Life. It taught me that, in this world at least, time isn't free. You have to buy it.
Don't know if that was the most important one, but it was the first one and set me on the path.
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Old 12-18-2010, 03:45 PM   #13
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Some unknown book in gradeschool that had a returning WW2 vet dragging a car out of a lake, getting it running, loading the gearbox with sawdust (hey - I thought that was an accepted repair back then) and selling it, then buying a Brithish truck and using the motor to build a racecar. For me it was all about finding hidden gems, adding labor and skill, and making profit.

Since then I've always looked for the overlooked use on an item that no longer serves it's intended use.
Supposedly Kirk Kerkorian got his start the same way, and it put the same stamp on his life. After WW2 he bought a bunch of surplus and non-functioning trucks. He wasn't after the trucks, but the fuel which came along in the deal at way below then current scarcity induced prices.

These are the kinds of books I am drawn to also, written by people whose unusual thinking made them rich. The other typle of book I am very suspicious of.

How many books of the "I retired early" genre are really about "I changed jobs from whatever to author, and what I write about is being retired"?

Ha
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Old 12-18-2010, 04:18 PM   #14
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I guess it would have to be "The Number" Lee Eisenberg - The Number - A Completely Different Way to Think About the Rest of Your Life
It's not that I learned so much about financial stuff per se, but I leaned a lot about myself and perhaps humans in general. I have changed my "number" over the years as most of us have, but mostly, I've changed my outlook on what is the definition of "rich" over the years. I grew up well cared for (food, clothing, shelter, love, education, etc.) but we had very little . That very gradually changed as I grew to adulthood, though my parents were never rich except by the definition of the non-first world. Still, I experienced expectation "creep" and "keeping up with the Jones" (although, we/I were never big into that). Instead, I've found myself vaguely "dissatisfied" with my new norm. In simplest terms, we're never satisfied, no matter what we have and how much money is in our "number". We compare "ourselves" with "ourselves" and then want more.

I've never thought of myself as materialistic. I've never gone into debt (except for a mortgage). Yet this book showed me another side to my personality that I had never identified before. I'm not unhappy, but neither am I fully satisfied with my "number" though, by most standards it is completely adequate if not down right amazing.
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Old 12-18-2010, 04:51 PM   #15
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Venita Van Caspel's Money Dynamics for the 1980s book. And Andrew Tobias' Only Money Guide You'll Ever Need. I remember Tobias talking about buying a lot of soda when it was on sale, and storing it under his coffee table.
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Old 12-18-2010, 05:13 PM   #16
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The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck. Stash your cash in a "safe" place as soon as possible, whenever possible ( 401k, in my case).
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Old 12-18-2010, 05:15 PM   #17
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The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need by Andrew Tobias.

I read it a long time ago, before I knew anything about money market accounts or PE ratios. It is an entertaining book that covers LBYM, keeping investment costs down, allocating assets, etc.
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Old 12-18-2010, 05:23 PM   #18
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And Andrew Tobias' Only Money Guide You'll Ever Need. I remember Tobias talking about buying a lot of soda when it was on sale, and storing it under his coffee table.
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Old 12-18-2010, 05:26 PM   #19
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Goldilocks and the Three Bears

It showed me the wisdom of seeking a reasonable financial goal, not to aim too high or too low - and to watch out for bears.
So true. As for me, I think maybe I got a little more from The Three Little Pigs. This one showed me the wisdom of working hard to get high quality results (the brick house) in order to be prepared for adversity, and to watch out for anything like wolves or hurricanes or financial crises that could huff and puff and blow my house down.
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Old 12-18-2010, 06:30 PM   #20
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"Final Exit".

It let me know that money isn't everything.
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