I have always been fascinated by what I can learn in books, audio books, podcasts and industry publications, and I honestly can’t imagine my life without constant and continued learning. A recent study in Forbes documented how important the ability to adapt to change is to success in our fast moving technological society. The ability to adapt to change has everything to do with one’s ability to learn and process new information which comes to us all today at warp speed. Successful CEOs read on average 4-5 books per month while the Pew Research Center found that 24% of Americans have not read a book in any form during the past year. Those with income of less than 30K are three times as likely to be a non-reader of books than those with higher incomes. Want to be more successful in life? Read more books! – This week’s blog focuses on four books that I give my highest recommendation. I hope you will read them and profit from them as I have. Benjamin Franklin said that an investment in knowledge pays the best interest so let’s get busy with some summer reading!

The Latte Factor, by David Bach

Best selling financial author of The Automatic Millionaire is back at it again. This book is superlative for younger readers who want to get a good start in life with their money. An excellent choice for graduates and millennials. Told in story form, Bach’s character Zoey is mentored about how why she does not have to be rich to live rich. It’s an excellent primer about mastering the basics in life with personal finance. Oprah Winfrey brought the book and Bach on her show recently leading to tens of millions of book sales. Endorsements also range from Simon Sinek to Tony Robbins. It’s a short read that you won’t want to put down and that you will want to share with those you love. Getting the right start with money early in life is the profit to be gained from this great little gem. I give this book 5 stars.

The Power of Zero, by David McKnight Harbinger

David McKnight warns in this book about the upcoming tax freight train that will diminish the value of our retirement savings should we opt for the default path of deferring taxes rather than focusing on the merits of tax free savings vehicles such as ROTH IRA accounts, tax free municipal bonds and Sec 73E and 7702 tax advantaged cash value life insurance referred to in the book as a LIRP. The forward in this book was written by CPA Ed Slott who the Wall Street Journal called the leading IRA expert in the country. McKnight shows how someone with a IRA will pay almost as much money over a lifetime in taxes as the current value of the IRA, and why paying tax now and enjoying a tax free future is akin to a farmer paying tax on seed rather than on the harvest. Yes, it’s possible to get to a zero tax bracket in retirement, but you have to plan now. READ THIS BOOK. Just trust me. It’s a short, direct and to the point. Everyone I have suggested this book to could not thank me enough.

Traction, by Gino Wickman

Simply the best book out there for a small business owner. This book has become a national movement with EOS (Entrepreneur Operating System) working today for thousands of small business owners across America. In the book, Wickman defines the 6 core components of any business and provides tools, structure and strategy on how you can run any business by mastering these 6 key areas of your business. Most of you know I host a nationally syndicated podcast on Entrepreneurship called Shrimp Thank. It’s part of the entrepreneurship degree program at Sam Houston State University and it’s also sanctioned by our local Chamber of Commerce. My first guest on the show was a CEO of a 100 million dollar company who told me on the show that he could have thrown out everything he learned with his MBA and run his business entirely on the principles of the book Traction. Get a copy if you are a small business owner. You will thank me later.

Positive Intelligence, by Shirzad Chamine

Great book that addresses why only 1 in 5 team and individuals achieve their true potential. In this New York Times best seller and Axiom Gold Winner Chamine reveals how and why so many of us are sabotaging our own success and happiness by our own internal 10 saboteurs. This book is a must read for any individual or leader who wants to make the most of the relationships which underpin our friendships, marriages and businesses. Becoming aware of these saboteurs can be groundbreaking. This book made a profound impact on me personally, in my marriage and in my relationship with my children. I believe this book will help anyone become a better friend, spouse and co-worker. It’s a deep dive into the psychological influences from an early age that become part of our DNA. In many cases the result of our early programming leads to us sabotaging our own success and happiness. This is one of my books that I plan to re-read every year; it’s that good. Pick up a copy, I know you won’t regret it. At Provident we want to remind you that we remain committed to your long term success. We attend many conferences every year for continued education so that we can bring you the very best in ideas, thought leadership, structure, strategy and solutions. Our team and custom approach to retirement success is becoming well known locally because of you.

By: Daniel Goodwin, Chamber Member, Owner of Provident Wealth Advisors