“Can you recommend a book for…?”
“What are you reading right now?”
“What are your favorite books?”
I get asked those types of questions a lot and, as an avid reader and all-around bibliophile, I’m always happy to oblige.
I also like to encourage people to read as much as possible because knowledge benefits you much like compound interest. The more you learn, the more you know; the more you know, the more you can do; the more you can do, the more opportunities you have to succeed.
On the flip side, I also believe there’s little hope for people who aren’t perpetual learners. Life is overwhelmingly complex and chaotic, and it slowly suffocates and devours the lazy and ignorant.
So, if you’re a bookworm on the lookout for good reads, or if you’d like to get into the habit of reading, this book club for you.
The idea here is simple: Every month, I’ll share a book that I’ve particularly liked, why I liked it, and several of my key takeaways from it.
I’ll also keep things short and sweet so you can quickly decide whether the book is likely to be up your alley or not.
Alright, let’s get to the takeaways.
In many ways, finances are like fitness.
- Many people are in a bad way and doing nothing about it
- Many people who are trying to improve are doing the wrong things
- Many of the social norms are completely dysfunctional
- Many of the mainstream “experts” and “gurus” are professional liars
There are some positive correlations as well:
- Most people only need to understand and apply the fundamentals to achieve their goals
- Those fundamentals are simple, straightforward, and surefire
- You don’t have to be perfect—mostly right most of the time gets the job done
- Can positively impact every other aspect of your life
- It’s never too late to get on the right path
- A bit of discipline and diligence now pay huge dividends in the future
In fact, I’d go as far as saying that after your health and relationships, getting your finances in order is the highest leverage action you can take to improve yourself because with it comes more self-esteem, self-efficacy, and self-reliance, not to mention your sense of freedom, stability, and overall sense of well-being.
Money may not be able to ultimately buy you happiness, but it can sure buy peace of mind and the opportunity to find and pursue what makes you happy.
Furthermore, like eating well and exercising, following a sensible financial regimen is downright countercultural—a personal revolution against “the System.”
Our modern Clown World has been engineered by
pyschotic pedophiles people who have worked hard to produce hordes of docile, diseased, distracted, and dysfunctional wage slaves saddled with crushing debts who are just smart enough to push the buttons and pull the levers but too stupid to question why, let alone blaze their own trails.
And the kingmakers have done a damn good job.
For instance, ponder the following statistics taken from surveys and studies conducted by various financial institutions . . .
- Two-thirds of Americans would struggle to scrounge up $1,000 in an emergency.
- Just 46% of Americans have a rainy day fund.
- 56% of Americans have less than $10,000 saved for retirement, and that includes 33% who have nothing saved as well as 23% who have little.
- Only 24% of millennials demonstrate basic financial literacy.
- Americans are collectively carrying over $1 trillion in credit card debt.
- About 77 million Americans, or 35% of adults with a credit file, have debt in collections.
- 47% of Americans who have credit cards don’t pay off their balance in full each month, and nearly one-third make minimum payments each month.
- 26% of Americans have made a delinquent payment and 56% of payment delinquencies were due to overspending on nonessential items.
. . . and then ponder this question:
Did all this just happen through coincidence and circumstance? Or was it made to happen?
And not “made” in the sense of the Dread Lord Rothschild forcing people to sign their lives over to the banks, advertisers, and retailers, but in the sense of people in positions of power creating a complex and interconnected social system explicitly designed to encourage the behaviors that have produced the disastrous results we see around us.
Anyway, regardless of how we got here, we can now can do as our masters command—earn and spend and then borrow so we can spend even more—and suffer the consequences of mounting distress and despair or we can defy the “now-you’re-supposed-to’s” and follow the advice in The Millionaire Next Door and reap the considerable material, psychological, and emotional rewards of financial independence.
Contrary to common belief, we don’t have to come from money or earn hundreds of thousands per year to get there, either.
In fact, the author discovered that while many children of wealthy parents and high earners have more shiny objects than those less well-off, they’re also just a paycheck or three away from financial ruin.
And while your ability to increase your net worth certainly increases with your income, you can absolutely retire rich on a lifetime of modest earnings.
Let’s get to the takeaways.
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