The only financial planning book I’ve ever really read through (a few times) is The Ultimate Financial Plan: Balancing Your Money and Life by Tim Maurer and Jim Stoval. Tim was actually one of my undergrad professors.
I was doing great with these and then I kept going and read some real estate investment books from Bigger Pockets. I got all motivated and tried to use some creative financing to get instant equity in a rental property. It backfired and now I’ve paid $125k for a property worth $75k. FML.
It’s mostly financed and the debt will hopefully be paid down by other people. The renovation was finished in December and I’m still trying to find a tenant.
I could sue the first contractor for about $30k but I don’t know if it’d do me any good. I’m not sure he has anything for me to take and if he doesn’t then I wouldn’t be able to pay the $195/hr attorney. I could end up losing more money.
Big fan of this book for a mindset. I’ve used those principles a lot through real estate. I’ve got some rental properties mainly by living in a place for ~2 years and renting it out instead of selling. The properties are all cash flow positive for passive income that I use for repairs/upgrades while principle continues to go down through low interest 15yr mortgages. The value gain has been a lucky coincidence on two of them, but has gone up substantially.
Outside of real estate, I recommend Ramit Sethi’s “I Will Teach You To Be Rich”. He has a good blog, but the advice is usually pretty straight forward:
Pay off credit cards and high interest loans
Utilize your companies 401K match (if 6% match, at least put in 6%)
Roth IRA maximum contribution
Max out 401K
This is where your “fun” investment stuff comes in, and you can do stocks or other things.
For Roth/401K/Stocks, I prefer retirement accounts that automatically balance your portfolio for you, and I prefer Vanguard as they usually have the lowest fees around. If it’s not a retirement account, I put it into an index fund. I don’t pretend like I know how to pick stocks, so I go the long and slow approach.
Before you go into business for yourself… put yourself in the mental position of your competitors and then come up with every way you and your brain trust can think of to destroy you. Then think of your counter moves. Pretend you’re Sun Tzu. Only then do you have half a chance at success.
I swear, the only thing that will make me happy is if people do their job and stop trying to pin shit on a lack of oil. Some kid in Yiwu, China, who doesn’t speak English, slaps a fucking sticker on random oils and that’s what it does.