I was speaking with my brother-in-law the other day and we were discussing a book on stock market investing that I had recently recommended to him. He made the statement that he had finally found a book that gave him a clear path to investing in the stock market.
I was happy that he was enjoying the book. I have probably read somewhere in the neighborhood of 20-30 books on the subjects of stock investing and real estate investing and I have only found two books that provided me with a roadmap to investing. One was on the subject of stocks and the other was on the subject of real estate investing.
There have been thousands of books written on those subjects, and in all fairness, I have not read all of them. So there could very well be other good books out there, I just haven’t ran across them yet. My main complaint or disappointment with the majority of the “other” books is that they are full of fluff and no substance. In other words, the authors tend to talk about how great investing can be and some even give some examples of their past investments, but very few really provide a system for investing. Most of them simply don’t “teach”.
Okay, so by now you are wanting me to reveal the two books… Here they are- Rule #1 by Phil Town and Investing In Income Properties by Kenneth Rosen. These two books taught me a great majority of what I know. I want to throw a third book at you though- Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. Although Kiyosaki doesn’t go into strategy on investing, he does do a fantastic job of educating the readers on the mindset of the wealthy, which is very important!
You are going to run across all sorts of “gurus” out there. Every one of them believes that their way is the best way. You will likely get over-whelmed trying to figure out which one to follow. Here are some things to look for when you are picking a guru:
- How did they make their money?– Did they become rich by writing books or by investing? I love Phil Town because he is truly an investor and puts his money where his mouth is. But be aware- a lot of the “gurus” out there are not really investors but are just trying to sell you on the idea that they are.
- How does their system align with your passions?– As much as I love Phil Town, the reality is that not everyone has a passion for the stock market. As much as I enjoyed Kenneth Rosen’s book, the reality is not everyone wants to own investment properties. You are going to be most successful investing in something you love. Therefore, make sure you are following investing advice that aligns with that passion!
- Do you know anyone else who has had success following them?– To me this is a big one. Do you know anyone firsthand who has had real life success following this guru’s advice or system?
- Can you relate to the guru?– Personally, it’s a lot easier for me to follow someone who I can relate to. Although I’m pretty sure Phil Town’s net worth is higher than mine, he was a regular, blue-collar guy before he became an investor. I can relate to him and his speaking and writing style is something I can understand.
- Is their system easily replicatable?– Some books do offer a system that has worked for some, but it’s highly technical, or it’s highly complicated, or it involves a lot of risk. I like systems that are so tried and true, nearly anyone can do it.