March 10, 2018
A while ago I shared my focus for the year to come. And one of my goals was to read more books.
As it turns out, a few of you are keen to know what I end up reading.
So I figured, why not turn it into a semi-regular thing, where I share which books I’ve read and whether they were any good!
I’ll aim to provide a rough summary with my takeaways. And then you can decide for yourself, whether it’s worthy of reading.
Honestly, this is a great book, which covers the most important aspects of investing.
Here are some of my takeaways from the book:
By investing in shares, we’re arguably taking a higher risk (in the short term) versus leaving those savings in a bank account. But over the long term, that risk is well rewarded. Indeed, over the long term, the safest asset is the riskiest.
What I mean is, cash is going to erode over time as inflation makes it become worth less and less, each year. But the higher long-term return from riskier assets like shares, means your money will multiply over time and beat inflation.
Overall, focus on low cost, diversified, simple investing, and you’ll do better than most professionals. And the best traits an investor can have are discipline and commitment.
The same goes for reaching Financial Independence. Keep your eyes on the prize, focus on a few basic rules and stay true to your plan!
I should probably pick less stocks and buy more LICs/Index Funds. Also, diversify my portfolio more (which is a longer term goal of mine). And importantly, stay committed and make our investing as simple as possible.
I’d recommend this book to anyone with an interest in investing. Even if you only get a few nuggets of wisdom out of it – it’s worth your time.
For those interested, you can grab a copy here.
Man, this book was insane!
Well, not so much the book, but the person it’s about. Elon Musk is probably one of the most fascinating people on the planet today.
After persisting for a long time, the writer finally got Elon to cave in and give him access to his personal life and learn first-hand from his stories and experiences.
Ashlee’s then able to give an amazing view of how Elon operates. And it’s just mind blowing. I mean, his work ethic is superhuman. He even shares that he wants to find a way to bypass eating, so he can just keep working!
There’s some incredible stories from the early days. Such as him working on software to create web-based businesses and platforms, one of which kind of morphed into PayPal.
Anyway, at the time, he’d work all day and night. He told the other employees when they get to work in the morning, to kick him in his chair, so he’d wake up and get right back to work again.
What surprised me was how much of an impact he’s having on the trajectory of multiple industries.
The car industry, space industry and energy industry are transforming at a rapid pace due to forward thinking entrepreneurs like Musk.
There was quite a few dark days where SpaceX and Tesla were only 1 day away from bankruptcy. And to match it, there was some equally uplifting tales where everyone had written his companies off, but they overcame many setbacks to end up delivering on their end products that were deemed not viable or flat out impossible.
The book shares his plans for building the worlds most powerful rocket, the Falcon Heavy (now complete). Recently, SpaceX completed this successful launch.
Ultimately, Elon’s aim is to have humans become a multi-planet species. This begins by carrying cargo up to Mars.
It sounds insane and unnecessary. It sounds like a Billionaire with too much money. But actually, it’s not all that ridiculous. His main belief is simply…we need a backup plan.
Even if the health of Planet Earth improves, it makes sense to have a Plan B. Another option, so the human race continues, should something else go wrong. Although I was sceptical at first, this actually makes a lot of sense to me now. Also, Elon says he even wants to spend his later life living on Mars!?
There’s no shortage of ex-employees and others who say Elon’s priorities are messed up, and he’s a ruthless, unforgiving person.
His personality is one that’s highly obsessive, demanding, unwavering and a perfectionist.
The reason he works with such urgency is because he deems these projects to be incredibly time sensitive (moving to clean energy through electric vehicles and solar panels, while building a Plan B for Planet Earth – Mars).
As he’s only got so much time on this earth, he wants to get as much done as possible. Because he’s afraid if something happens to him, it won’t get done.
His conflicts seem to stem from his obsessive nature and the sheer intensity he works with. Musk’s attitude seems to be, either you’re on board and proactive in solving our problems, or you need to get out of the way.
Interestingly, even the folks who hold a grudge against him, or feel mistreated, still have huge admiration for him and what he’s doing.
Overall, what comes through in this book, is his level of intelligence and limitless level of thinking. Some of his ideas seem outright crazy. But now, he has the runs on the board to show that he can make crazy things happen. And his highly obsessive nature will ensure he doesn’t stop until they’re completed.
It’s a story of an incredibly interesting person, who may well go a long way to solving some of the largest problems in the world today!
If that sounds like your type of book, you can buy it here.
These books were both better than I expected. And reading more books is easier when the books are actually interesting!
Hopefully you got some value out of these basic reviews, and they’ve added to your reading list 🙂
As I continue with this series, the aim is to bring you a good title from the finance space, and also one from the non-finance space.
Let me know if you have any great books you think I should read or review. And any others that might be of interest to those in the FI community.
Having said that, my reading list is already ridiculously long. So on that note, I’d better get back to it!