Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

Your Money and Your Brain: Jason Zweig: Book Review

November 30, 2008

 

Your Money and Your Brain

Your Money and Your Brain

I have an interest in investing and psychology so this book was perfect! Jason Zweig’s Your Money and Your Brain: How the New Science of Neuroeconomics Can Help Make You Rich
is an excellent book if you are interested in why we behave in certain ways when it comes to money. Here are some of the sections I found interesting: 

 

  • We are human and the emotional parts of our brain cause us to do things that we even say we wouldn’t do. For example, you know you should buy low and sell high, so why do we bail out when the shares drop on a company we know is fundamentally good? why do we panic sell? why do we still think we can beat the market? The book focuses on educating us in the areas where our human brains focus on survival, reward and avoid risk. These are evolutional impulses we cannot just logically avoid. 
     
  • A monetary loss or gain actually has a physical effect on the body and brain. You are not just rational thought. 
     
  • The neural activity of someone whose investments are making money is indistinguishable from someone who is high on cocaine
     
  • After 2 repetitions of a stimulus e.g. a stock price rises twice, the human brain automatically expects a third repetition. 
     
  • Financial losses are processed in the same area of the brain that responds to mortal danger
     
  • Anticipating a gain and actually receiving it, are expressed in entirely different ways in the brain, helping to explain why money doesn’t buy happiness
     
  • Many investors fixate on the numbers that change the most i.e. daily fluctuations as opposed to the long term growth of their wealth which is where the significant gain may be
     
  • Zweig compares the market strategists, financial analysts and investment experts of today with the soothsayers of ancient history. They both claim to tell the future by “clear signs” – liver spots versus unemployment rates, new products, company launches. Randomness rules the markets and people cannot beat it consistently. 
     
  • So how do you react to this? Control the controllable i.e. your expectations, your exposure to risk, your readiness in the market, your expenses, your commissions, your behaviour…but don’t expect to control the market. Learn what works by tracking what doesn’t. Embrace your mistakes. Keep asking why and find out reasons why things are recommended. 
     
  • Positive thinking can be useful but over-optimism is dangerous. Don’t put too much trust in what is familiar e.g. putting all your super stocks into your own company. You might think it is safe, but so did the employees of Enron. We have an illusion of control if we are involved in something, but this is not true. Exposure makes something more attractive and easier to invest in, even if you have just heard the name and know nothing about the company. 
     
  • Risk tolerance is affected by  framing e.g. this stock has a 20% chance of falling will have less investment than one that has an 80% chance of rising. Beware of how investments are described and turn them on their heads before you make a decision. 
     
  • Keep an eye on your managed funds. You can move a percentage around to other asset classes. This may be your main future income so you should manage it actively. A study found 73% of people made zero changes in asset allocation over the life of a managed fund. 
     
  • Regression to the mean. Extreme growth carries the seed of its own destruction. Sooner or later, a stock or fund that performs much higher than average will crash or have a bad year. It will have to return to the mean.  
     
  • Top tips: Take the global view. Hope for the best, expect the worst. Investigate, then invest. Never say always. Know what you don’t know. The past is not prologue – don’t just buy because a stock has always gone up. Weigh what the experts say. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Costs are killers – watch your fees/commissions. Eggs go splat so diversify. 

I recommend buying this book if only for the Appendixes which are packed with handy advice. This book could save you a LOT of money. You can buy it from Amazon Your Money and Your Brain: How the New Science of Neuroeconomics Can Help Make You Rich
and you can also find Jason at his website JasonZweig.com which has a huge resources page for investors, articles and information. Learn more and look after your money!
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New Book “Living An Abundant Life” Featuring International Success Teachers

October 27, 2008

Are you interested in the Law of Attraction?

Are you a fan of the great success teachers, including Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Dr Wayne Dyer, Brian Tracy and Neale Donald Walsch?

Do you enjoy reading inspirational stories of people who have turned their life around and achieved abundance? 

This new book, “Living an Abundant Life” is packed with success stories, tips and strategies for changing your life and manifesting abundance in all areas. 

 

 

 

Here are some of the bits I especially enjoyed in the book

  • Brian Tracy has a chapter on “Be an Optimist at All Times”. He discusses the way you need to see situations in order to remain positive so you can develop self-confidence and be unstoppable in what you want out of life! 
     
  • Jack Canfield, author of “The Success Principles” and Mark Victor Hansen discuss Habits and how to use them to change your future. If you want to be financially independent, then you need to change your money habits. You need to have a “no exception policy” where you commit to the new habit and just do it! You can determine the quality of your life by changing your habits. 
     
  • Neale Donald Walsch, author of “Conversations with God”  has a chapter on “A Few Words About Life”. He talks about opening yourself up to discernment, to understanding that what you see is not true reality, but a reality that you construct. If you learn this way of thinking, you will be able to see the opportunities hidden in the problems you face today. 
     
  • An inspirational story of how a New Zealand couple are using their spare time to build a real estate portfolio that will enable them to retire early. They focus on creating wealth while continuing to do their day jobs as well. 
     
  • Think of you and your life as a garden. Do you have dark and shady places? riotous colour and flowers? zen water features and calm soothing tones? How would you like your garden to be? This brilliant chapter likens life to a garden that we need to tend so it blooms perfectly. You can turn your out of control jungle into a beautiful thriving paradise. The author, Lizzy Yates, encourages an active thought process for mapping out how you want your garden to be. Cultivate your garden with vision boards, workshops, education, life coaching, meditation, journaling and motivation. 
     
  • Dr Wayne Dyer’s chapter contains 12 specific tools for de-cluttering your life and allowing inspiration in. It includes slowing down… “There is more to life than increasing its speed” – Gandhi
     
  • The inspirational story of the retirees who took off for a round-the-world trip to 33 countries in one year – abundance is more than just material wealth! 
     
  • How Sandy Forster went from welfare to millionaire using the Law of Attraction – ask, receive, be grateful and act!
     
  • Goals are dreams with deadlines. Dream big and go for what inspires you. Then make your goals SMARTER – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound, Exciting and Rewarding. Choose your attitude actively and consciously. Make it creative, positive and open as attitudes are the essence of success. 
     
  • How to achieve business success through tough times by trusting your own voice and creativity, change thought patterns to focus on the positive and go for adventure in your life! How one writer started a quality magazine and set up an organisation of women yacht racing for charity
     
  • A lovely story about one woman’s move from people massage and healing, to pet massage. Her wonderful chapter is about how the energy we give off in life affects our pets health as well as our own. They can be a reflection of our true health.  
     
  • How one brave woman moved from a life of domestic abuse to one of abundance and happiness, after reading books on success and life change. 
     
  • How to believe and take action in order to achieve your dreams and make them a reality. Listen when your body tells you that what you are doing is bad for you. If stress, long hours and bad diet are wearing you down, then you need to listen and find out what you really want to do. 

You can find out more information, or buy the book here => www.AbundantEntrepreneurs.com 

NB. Yes, I am also a featured author in the book! You can read my story here.

Tim Ferriss: 4 Hour Work Week Video Review

October 15, 2008

If you haven’t heard of this book, then you definitely need to watch this video!

Some top quotes and ideas from the book:

  • Lifestyle Design.  You don’t have to live the high stress, long hours life. You can assess the lifestyle you want and then design it. You don’t have to work all your life to sit on a beach at 65…you can go sit on one now for very little money. 
     
  • Outsource as much as possible. Weigh up how much time you spend on things. Automate them. Outsource them. Pay other people to do them if it gives you more time. Spend $30 on a cleaner once a week and spend a few hours with the family. Get someone from http://www.elance.com to write your articles for you. Virtual assistants are the way forward. [Note from JP: I have used several since reading this book and they are brilliant]
     
  • Be, do , have. Decide what you want in your life. Who do you want to be? What do you want to do? What do you want to have? and then get on with achieving it. Life is too short to be stuck in the office. Set extreme goals that are worth achieving. Question everything. 
     
  • What are you passionate and excited about? Go do that.
     
  • Elimination. Have a “not to do” list and make sure you don’t do it. Don’t watch TV. Cut down your email to once a day (and then once a week). Don’t waste time being busy. Be productive in less time and spend the difference achieving your splendid goals. 
     
  • Find your muse. Discover a way to make money by virtual and outsourced means and free up your time to do what you love. This may take time to achieve, but you can make a plan and achieve it, so you can live a freer life. 
     
  • Empower people to make decisions without you. So you can have free time.
     
  • If you don’t set the rules, they will be set for you. 
     
  • Living more is the objective. 
     
  • Know what you will do with this abundance of time. Look at your passions and missions. Move from a life of survival to one of passion and excitement. 
     
  • Experiences override possessions every time. Live life, don’t postpone it. 

I found this book inspirational and it is JAM-PACKED with information and links to great sites. 

Tim’s own site is here and it has calculators for your new life, and all kinds of free information to get you started => http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/

Tim also has a great blog – check it out here => http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/

No B.S. Wealth Attraction for Entrepreneurs: Dan Kennedy

October 13, 2008

I like Dan Kennedy. He manages to say what he thinks, offend people and they still pay him tons of cash because he knows his stuff. He really is no B.S. Saying that, I have heard audios of him speak and they have been incredibly boring. Perhaps it is the age gap…but I do love his books! 

Wealth Attraction for Entrepreneurs

Here are my key points from his latest book “No B.S. Wealth Attraction for Entrepreneurs: The Ultimate, No Holds Barred, Kick Butt, Take No Prisoners, Guide to Really Getting Rich”. I thought I had read enough wealth books, but no, there is always more to learn! If I can still take notes, then there is definitely new material to learn from.

  • If you believe on any level that wealth is limited, you will be held back. If you can make these beliefs go away, you will turn your attraction to wealth on full power. [Personal note: This may be difficult in the present financial situation, but be hopeful and view it as a restructuring of wealth; not a loss]
     
  • “Entrepreneurial success and wealth creation require a willingness to risk and experience failure and the emotional resiliency to recover from it quickly, decisively, passionately, and persistently”
     
  • Hardly anyone gets to success in a straight line. Keep heading in the general direction and adjust along the way.  
     
  • Break free of the money-work link. Money does not have to be earned hard – but can be earned smart. Do more in less time. 
     
  • Wealth will not find you sitting in front of the TV. Get out there. Be seen. Make opportunities. Take action. 
     
  • Any decision is better than no decision. It is easier to change direction once you are moving. Zigzagging is a good way to get to a goal. 
     
  • Keep the income flow. Do something to “prime the pump” every day, and then you won’t be left with a dry period of less income. 
     
  • Expose yourself to all kinds of other markets and stimuli. Be open to using ideas from other industries. Read. Associate with like-minded people and successful entrepreneurs. 
     
  • Wealth is attracted to clarity. Clarity of the income level you expect. Clarity of how much your net worth will increase. Clarity in what you want. Clarity on the reasons why you want what you do. Clarity on what you don’t want. 
     
  • You need a clear, vivid mental picture of what your business life should look like. You should also have detailed, constantly updated plans. Clarity allows your conscious and unconscious to work in tandem. 
  • Be cautious of need. Money likes independence. Don’t expand your “need” e.g. don’t expand your overheads. 
     
  • Wealth and value and real integrity are all linked together. Anyone trying to get more wealth without providing more value is dishonest and unethical and immoral, and is attempting to defy the fundamental laws of life”
     
  • Your behaviour must be congruent with your goals. Don’t bullshit yourself! 
     
  • Mark Victor Hansen “The more aligned you are with the things you want, the more powerfully you attract them.” The things you congruently want have no choice but to be attracted to you. 
     
  • Act like a rich person. Save 10%. Give 10% away. Wealthy people do both those things.
     
  • Money moves on courage. You need to courage to act early, to not listen to others, to screw up, to pursue crazy goals, to ask, to ignore criticism. 
     
  • Don’t over-emphasise making money. Pay attention to investing, preserving and multiplying money. Income varies but growth happens when income turns into equity. Income is spent. Equity is invested. [Related post here: Its not how much you earn, it’s how much you keep]
     
  • Jim Rohn “Miss a meal if you have to, but don’t miss a book”. Invest in your education. 

This book is packed with great examples – and what I need to learn is not what you need to learn! So this book is recommended! You can buy it from Amazon here.

Bob Proctor “You Were Born Rich”: Book Review

October 7, 2008

Bob Proctor is featured in “The Secret” but he has been teaching wealth for a long time. I read his book “You Were Born Rich” and the following messages stood out.

  •          Prosperity consciousness. Identify how you really feel about money. Look at the words you use, how your parents brought you up, what you think rich people are like. Look at the results your attitudes have brought you so far. You need to change your thoughts about money if you are to change your life. Abundance is in your thoughts (you were born with this wealth). You cannot have physical wealth until it exists in your mind.

“I dream my painting, and then I paint my dream” Vincent Van Gogh

 

  •          “Remove the lid from your marvellous mind with respect to your own earning ability.” Understand that you don’t need to know how it will happen. You need to see the idea you want to make happen, regardless of whether you think earning that much is a “reality”. If you continue to think you can only earn $50,000, then that is all you will earn. If you set your goal much higher, you remove the limits in your head, and that will reflect in your life.
  •          The seed planted will grow in time. Don’t keep changing your mind about what you want. Keep focussing and putting your energy into it and it will come to fruition.
  •          Start now. Don’t put off the changes until you “have the time” or “have the money”. You will not have either unless you make the time.

 

  •          Specific wealth recommendations.   Set up a savings account. Get life insurance. Pay yourself first (10%). Set up orderly debt repayment.

 

  •          Money must circulate, it needs to flow. To you, and from you. Love people and use money. The “vacuum law of prosperity” means that you have to make room in your life for the new by getting rid of the old. Give of yourself and your money, and it will come back to you. Let go of old ideas, and pick up new ones.

 

  •          Persistence. Belief that whatever needs to happen to help you get there will happen. Persist even when people think you are crazy or misled. Success often happens one step beyond failure.

 

  •          Take more risks towards the goal you want. “What is the razor’s edge for you – the one step every day that will get you closer to where you want to be? To make you better than you are today?”

You can buy “You Were Born Rich” at http://www.CreativePennBooks.com

You can get more information on Bob Proctor here http://www.bobproctor.com/