Category Archives: Book review

Book Review: Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker


Secrets of the millionaire mind

It’s all about the mindset

Our financial success or failure depends mostly on our mindset. Two different persons could have the same capital and the same training but one person will struggle financially while the other will flourish.

T. Harv Eker helps us develop a Millionaire Mind, he helps us develop a mindset to become better persons and to increase our net worth.

The love of money is the root of all evil
Mascaraed party
Mascaraed party

In some cultures, wealth is seen as something evil, something that you want to avoid in order to conform to your environment. If you become too well off, you will stand out and other people will either look at you with scorn or try to take advantage of you. Many times we prefer to stay poor in order to continue being part of the herd. T. Harv Eker helps us to think differently, he teach us how to break the fear of standing out, the fear of being different, the fear of being better off.

Same recycled ideas

There is nothing new in this book. In fact, there is nothing new in any of the self-help books I have read in the past few years. They all cover the same recycled ideas of taking responsibility of your life, setting goals, serving others, etc. However, as a person with a desire to improve my life, I need to continue reading the same message, from many sources, over and over again. It makes me feel motivated and energized. It helps me  set new goals and bring them to fruition. I need to hear the same message from  different messengers. Think of it as a religion, even if you are already a believer, you still want to continue listening to the weekly sermon.

There are two things which I didn’t like about this book.

    • Many of these self-help authors use their books as a promotional pamphlet to sell their workshops and/or seminars for which they charge thousands of dollars.  Another author who uses his own books to promote his seminar is Tony Robbins. At given moment you start feeling disgusted with so much self-promotion. Yes, the material is good but if you are going to push your product so hard the book should be free.

At given moment you start feeling disgusted with so much self-promotion

    • The second thing I didn’t like is that the author promotes the idea or desire to be wealthy by putting down people who don’t have the same ambitions. He displays an “us-vs-them” mentality. Let’s face it, to become rich is not everyone’s priority. Some people want to focus their lives on other things which are more important to them. The same message -to become rich- can be given without putting down people who don’t prioritize wealth.

All that being said, these are T. Harv Eker’s 17 principles for building wealth.

1. Rich people believe “I create my life.” Poor people believe, “Life happens to me.”
2. Rich people play the money game to win. Poor people play the money game to not lose.
3. Rich people are committed to being rich. Poor people want to be rich.
4. Rich people think big. Poor people think small.
5. Rich people focus on opportunities. Poor people focus on obstacles.
6. Rich people admire other rich and successful people. Poor people resent rich and successful people.
7. Rich people associate with positive, successful people. Poor people associate with negative or unsuccessful people.
8. Rich people are willing to promote themselves and their value. Poor people think negatively about selling and promotion.
9. Rich people are bigger than their problems. Poor people are smaller than their problems.
10. Rich people are excellent receivers. Poor people are poor receivers.
11. Rich people choose to get paid based on results. Poor people choose to get paid based on time.
12. Rich people think “both.” Poor people think “either/or.”
13. Rich people focus on their net worth. Poor people focus on their working income.
14. Rich people manage their money well. Poor people mismanage their money well.
15. Rich people have their money work hard for them. Poor people work hard for their money.
16. Rich people act in spite of fear. Poor people let fear stop them.
17. Rich people constantly learn and grow. Poor people think they already know.

Conclusion

Overall, I give this book 3.5 stars over 5. It’s a good read and you will learn a lot, but you have to endure all the self-promotion and the idea that rich people a better than poor people. Rich people are not better that poor people, they just have different priorities.

Coaching services

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Book Review: American Dream by Jason Navallo


americanA few weeks ago author Jason Navallo asked me to review his latest book,  American Dream. I was delighted and grateful for the opportunity and here is my review.

The book is composed of six interviews of people who have had amazing success in business, people who, from nothing, have created an unbelievable amount of wealth.

The book is only 79 pages long, so anyone can get through it within a couple of hours.

If you are an entrepreneur, you have to constantly motivate yourself by reading books, listening to podcasts, and spending time with people who have a similar desire to succeed in life and in business. I find that the secret of the entrepreneur game is to constantly stay motivated. Without motivation people tend to gravitate towards their couches. This book acts as a great motivator.

I am living the Canadian dream with my friends
I am living the Canadian dream with my friends

What impressed me the most was the magnitude of the achievement of the people interviewed and the diversity of the industries in which they operate,  industries such as real estate, wealth management, healthcare, etc…

The one lesson that I got from this book – and from my day-to-day observations – is that wealth is abundant to anyone who dares to take it, but it is not for the faint of heart. If your dream is to be an entrepreneur, the sky’s the limit.The amount of wealth available is only limited by your own ambitions, but you have to pay the price. The price of success could be long hours, courage, determination, frugality, wit, and so on. If you don’t pay the price, it is unlikely that success will fall into your lap. For example, I found it amazing how Shelly Sun went from $0 to over 300 million dollars in assets by helping people at the last stage of their life. Or how Ben Cabello, whose family immigrated from Cuba, started with nothing to create a real estate empire in Texas.

In the book we don’t discover much about the author and what motivated him to write these interviews. Does he like entrepreneurship? what makes him the perfect person to write this book?

Another thing that I found lacking was that although the interviews were amazing and the success extraordinary, the people interviewed spoke mostly about their lives and their businesses. They didn’t turn around to tell us (the readers) how we might take some of their experiences and apply them to our lives so that we too can be successful.

The last question of each interview was: “Is the American dream alive?” and the answer was a resounding Yes! It is alive to anyone who is willing to make that dream a reality.

Overall, it is a good book, an easy read. It is inspirational, motivating and I give it a four out of five stars.

I have the feeling that Jason Navallo will write many more books; I wish him success in his career as an author.

Book review: Keys to Success by Napoleon Hill

20161018_153352A few years ago, I read the book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. Since then, I haven’t stopped raving about it and I recommend it  to anyone who is interested in entrepreneurship.

Believing that all the books written by Napoleon Hill would be great, I decided to read “Keys to Success.” I was disappointed.

Napoleon Hill was a reporter. In 1908 he interviewed Andrew Carnegie, one of the richest men in the world at that time. During the interview, Andrew Carnegie suggested that he (Napoleon Hill)  interview all the successful people of the era and distill the secrets of their success. This was the turning point which defined Napoleon’s life.

Speaking at Toastmasters
Speaking at Toastmasters

After 20 years of research and hundreds of interviews, in 1928 he published “The law of success” in 15 volumes. The work didn’t sell well. The 15 volumes were edited down to one big volume (640 pages) which still it didn’t sell well. Finally, the big book was edited down to a 235 page book “Think and Grow Rich” which became a major best seller.

I mention this to highlight that Napoleon Hill was not a great writer, and only after 35 years of editing his work did he manage to create the book which made him famous.

Think and Grow Rich sold over 20 million copies during Napoleon Hill’s time. In the following 30 years of his life, Napoleon gave speeches, lectures and workshops about how to be successful.

During that time, Napoleon continued refining his material to better serve his audience. However, his new material was never published. Only after his death did the Napoleon Hill Foundation put together all the material he was using and condense it to publish “Keys to Success.”

Napoleon Hill never intended to publish another book. It is my opinion that the Napoleon Hill Foundation wanted to either capitalize on the name or serve the public who was still thirsty for his teachings.
The book was not a pleasant read. I found it dry and difficult to follow. The major lessons in this book were recycled ideas which were better explained and better written in “Think and Grow Rich.” If you are an unconditional follower of Napoleon Hill, maybe you will enjoy this book. I didn’t enjoy it and I give it 2.5 stars out of 5.

Book review: The Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson

The Ascent of MoneyMaybe the best history book about money that I have read until now. The author, Niall Ferguson takes us on a journey from the first forms of currency, to the assassination of the Inca race by  the Spaniard Conquistador, to the financial crisis of 2008.

The book was full of information nuggets. I found myself underlining paragraph after paragraph. By the end, however, it became a bit too complex for me and I found myself tuning out.

Niall Ferguson is a Scottish historian and professor at Harvard University. He specializes in International history as well as economic and financial history. Over his career he has written 11 books.

Spending some time with friends. :)
Spending some time with friends. 🙂

The book covers the history of money, credit and banking through the times. Although I liked the book and I give it 4 out of 5 stars, I believe the book is disorganized. Mr. Ferguson jumps from one time period to the next, from one geographic zone to the next and from one aspect of money to another. At many times I was confused and disoriented.

Overall, I recommend it. It’s entertaining and educational. You have my approval to buy it.

Bernard Baruch by James Grant: Book Review


How did I find this book about Bernard Baruch’s life

Book cover of Bernard BaruchAbout one year ago I read an excellent book: Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefevre. So far, that book reminds me of my favorites of times – it is about the life of legendary trader Jesse Livermore. I cannot recommend that book enough.

A few months ago I was listening to a podcast created by  the newspaper Investor’s Business Daily and in the podcast the spokesperson was talking about lessons to learn from legendary traders. The spokesperson said that lessons taught by Bernard Baruch were as valuable as the lesson taught by Jesse Livermore. I had never heard of Bernard Baruch before. I looked him up in Amazon.com, I found the book and I put it on my wish list. A few weeks later, my business partner gave me that book as a birthday present.

I had great expectations when I received the book. My enthusiasm was high and I was eager to get started.

Big disappointment

Spending time with my brother, his wife and two daughters
Spending time with my brother, his wife and two daughters

When I finally got to the book I felt a great disappointment. I felt that I was losing minutes of my life every time I turned a page.

The author, James Grant goes into a lot of detail about the life of Baruch’s grandparents, then about his parents, and finally he starts writing about Baruch.

As he narrates the story, he goes into exact dates and practically all the address where Baruch lived and worked. I could never figure out how knowing the exact addresses of Baruch’s office helps the narration advance.

The subtitle of the book is: “The Adventure of a Wall Street Legend.” However, the content of the book devoted to Baruch’s life in Wall Street was less than 20%. The rest of the book was devoted to Baruch’s life in politics and other services which he performed for the US. The subtitle was totally misleading.

Overall, I was extremely disappointed with the content as well as the narration of the book.

My recommendation

My recommendation is not to waste even one minute of your life with this book. That is my job, to shuffle among many business related books, so that I can find and offer you the ones which are worth reading.

Coaching Service

If you are interested in my coaching services, send me a message to book a session guillot.alai@gmail.com

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Book review: The Millionaire Next Door by Dr. Thomas J. Stanley


Book cover. The Millionaire Next DoorBooks at great bargain

I bought this book at a second hand store for only $2. The regular price was $10.99. That’s an 80% discount for a book which is just as valuable today as when it was written in 1996. One of the millionaire’s habits is to constantly be on the lookout for good value.

The irony of Dr. Stanley’s death

Unfortunately Dr. Thomas J. Stanley (1943-2015) left us last year after a fatal car accident. He was a fantastic writer of business books. He wrote many New York Times’ best sellers including The Millionaire Next Door and The Millionaire Mind. The ironic thing about his death is that after a lifetime of pontificating abstinence and frugality, he died while driving his brand new, luxurious Corvette.

Having a beer with a few friends
Having a beer with a few friends

Are you a PAW or a UAW?

Dr. Stanley divides people in two categories: Prodigious Accumulators of Wealth (PAW) and Under Accumulators of Wealth (UAW). He creates this division by using a formula. He multiplies the person’s age, times their annual income, times 10%. If your net worth is above that number, you are a PAW. If your net worth is below that number, you are a UAW.

Let’s experiment, let’s see if I am a PAW or a UAW.

I’m 49 years old.
My income is about $18,000 per year.

49 old X $18,000 X 0.10 = $88,200

My net worth is about $150,000, so according to this formula, I am a Prodigious Accumulator of Wealth (PAW.) Yeeeaaahhh.

Try it! Are you a PAW or UAW?

The book goes on to describe the habits of millionaires and of people with high incomes who are not millionaires.

Dr. Stanley doesn’t tell us exactly the sample size, nor how he managed to have so much face time to interview all the subjects of his study.

I really enjoyed the book and I think everyone who wishes to be a millionaire should read it. It shares many of the principles and ideas that I am implementing to become a millionaire.

At the same time, I think that the book is highly deceiving favoring the romantic idea of a person who starts from a humble background and who through decades of self sacrifice, deprivation and hard work, becomes a millionaire.

Almost all the subjects covered in the book were self employed, white male, blue collar workers. In his samples, there were no females, no movie actors, no sport celebrities, no CEOs from big companies, no rich traders from Wall Street, no programmers from Silicon Valley or the equivalent from that time. Where were all those millionaires? They were nowhere because they don’t fit the ideal character which Mr. Stanley portrays in his book. Although I loved the book, it’s credibility is highly questionable.

Although I don’t believe the research, I believe that the lessons shared are of great value to anyone who wants to increase their wealth. Here are some of those lessons:

Spend less than you earn

According to the book, all the millionaires had frugal wives and they owe their wealth, in part, to the wife’s ability to cut coupons.

I am a deep believer in the “spend less than you earn” philosophy, but I think he could have found better examples than frugal wives.

Avoid buying status objects or leading a status lifestyle

There is a lot to say about this subject and there are many anecdotes to support it, but it boils down to spending less than you earn.

Willing to take a risk

Since most of the millionaires were business owners, they all took the risk of starting their own businesses. It’s hare to become rich when you depend on a salary.

Inter generational lessons

Dr. Stanley claims that sons of high consumers become high consumers and sons of frugal people become frugal. In short, your destiny is predetermined by the habits of your household. It is ironic that most of these millionaires were self-made millionaires from humble families. Yes, your family habits and background can influence your future, but all of the alleged millionaires overcame those odds.

Conclusion

Although the book is portrayed as  serious research, I see it more as a depiction of the fictional character that Dr. Stanley had of the ideal millionaire. All the millionaires of the book became millionaires for the sake of becoming millionaires. They deprived themselves from their own money during their whole life.

Here’s the story of Mr. Ronald Read a Vermont gas station attendant and janitor, who had a portfolio of $8 million dollars by the time he died at 92. He accumulated that much wealth by saving, investing wisely, and being frugal. Mr. Ronald Read never enjoyed any of his own money. This is The Millionaire Next Door.

Coaching Service

If you are interested in my coaching services, send me a message to book a session guillot.alai@gmail.com

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Book Review: How to Work a Room by Susan Roane

book cover. How to work a room

How to create and build relationships

The most valuable assets anyone can have in business and in life are their relationships. In order to build strong relationships, we have to step out of our comfort zone and meet people.

Susan Roane tells us how to use any occasion to meet people and to build relationships. She teaches us how to work a room, from social events, to business events, to many of the different social media.

I found great value in every chapter and I felt that I learned a lot. Most of the information is common sense, but in this changing world, with technology transforming everything around us, sometimes we lose track of what is common sense and what is a new trend. Susan reminds us and assures us that many of the rules of engagement and socializing are still the same.

Dinner with friends after a Toastmasters competition
Dinner with friends after a Toastmasters competition

However, I found the book difficult to read for many reasons:

It is difficult to find a flow from one chapter to the other. It feels like a chain of disjointed little chapters that jump from one section to another. She mentions that in her day-to-day life she has accumulated a file of stories which she had jotted down. It almost seems that she just copy and pasted all those different stories to put together this book.

Susan gives us a lot of her personality.  She uses so much Yiddish slangs that she had to add a Yiddish glossary at the end. This is great if you are part of that community, but not so great if you are not Jewish, it makes you feel isolated. I am from South America. Her Jewish background and slang say nothing to me and I don’t feel like flipping back and forth between the text and the glossary. Make it easy for the reader, easy to understand, easy to read.

Susan uses hip catchy titles for each of her chapters. At the beginning, I thought that it was cute and original, but halfway through the book I got tired of it and began to see it as corny and outdated.

The author uses a lot of quotes and testimonials from other sources. I wish she would put these sources in the footnotes. It seems that every other paragraph starts with Mr/Mrs  ——– says, “Blah, blah, blah.” She goes on for about half a page and then gives credit to someone else. It is good to give credit to others and to acknowledge them, but when you overuse that technique, it stops adding value to the reader and it becomes one more hurdle to get through before getting to the real message.

Overall, I give the book three stars out of five. The book is full of useful information, but her writing style gets in the way.

Thank you Susan, for sharing all your knowledge.

 

Book Review: Money, Master the Game, By Tony Robbins

Book cover: Mony, Master the GameThe first time I heard about this book was during the pod-casting show Radical Personal Finance, I was so intrigued with the review that I decided to read it myself. Here are my impressions:

Tony Robbins wants to teach us about money

When someone as popular as Tony Robbins talks, his followers listen. Tony has a huge following and by talking about money he will inspire other people to think about their financial well being. If one person becomes interested in improving his financial life due to this book, then that is a big win.

Lessons I learned from: Money, Master the Game
  • Public Speaking
    Public Speaking at a Christmas party

    Try to minimize taxes by keeping your money in tax protected accounts.

  • Start investing early, take advantage of the compounding effect.
  • Make savings automatic, make it go directly from your employer to your savings account.
  • Avoid investments with high expense ratios. Most managers don’t beat the index. Stick to index funds or ETFs
  • Have a diversified portfolio.
  • Distrust Financial advisers. Most people in the financial industry are sales persons, they are not advisers. They are motivated by their self-interest, by commission or high service fees; they are not motivated by giving you the most for your money.

Nothing new

This information is not new nor revolutionary. This is merely a recycling of the same four or five ideas that I continue reading in other personal finance books. However, as a money coach, I am delighted that Tony Robbins is adding his voice to the chorus.

What I didn’t like about Money, Master the Game

I used to like, respect, and admire Tony Robbins until I read this book. This is not a book, this is a 600 pages brochure. Tony had a great time promoting himself, reminding us of his generosity, cheer-leading his accomplishment, name dropping anyone of fame who he has ever met, telling us how great he is, etc.

Every chapter ended with a promise that in the next chapter he was going to reveal the secret of wealth. There was so much huff and puff in the book that I had to struggle to get the few nuggets of information buried between the lines.

The actual useful information could have been written in about 100 pages. The other 500 pages were self promotion and promotion of his other business affiliates.

Misleading Information

Weaved among the useful information, there was some deceptive information that could be harmful for less experienced readers. For example: in the chapter titled “2,750% more income.” An investor with $500,000 is presented with the option of investing in CDs at 0.23%, in Bonds at 3.00% or in an annuity. He neglected to point out the rate of return of the annuity, but highlighted that the investor would get a big monthly check about 2,759% bigger than what he would have received from his CD’s investment. Well, what he neglected to tell the reader was that the annuity’s rate of return was only 1.15% and that the payments were high (compared with the other alternatives) because the investor was getting his own money back. And of course, that he has a business relationship with the annuity provider he was promoting. Shame on you Tony.

Conclusion

I do NOT recommend this book. Every piece of valuable information is weaved with a sales pitch to one of his many business relationships, this makes the book a sales brochure. There is too much fluff and minimal substance. Don’t buy this book and thank me later for all the hour of your life which I saved you. I am not even putting an affiliate link on this book.

Read my other book review of : Awaken the Gian Within by Tony Robbins

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Top Seven Business Books Read on 2015

I love reading business books. They’re motivational, inspiring and they help me keep focus on achieving higher goals. Most people think  business is only about making money, but it’s way more than that. When we learn about business we learn about how to create something of value, a product or a service, for people who are willing and happy to pay for it. Many business people step out of the crowd, fight their inner fears and insecurities to do something better for the world, then they turn around and share their knowledge and experiences with the rest of us. This is the knowledge I find in business books.

Out of all the books I read this year, these are the ones that I like to recommend. Note: these are not recent books. I just happened to read them this year. I buy most of my books at second hand stores or they are passed down to me after someone else reads them. Many of these books are classics already read and reviewed by many other bloggers. I am just adding my voice to the chorus.

The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach7. The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach

The Automatic Millionaire: Canadian Edition: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich

The most important ideas of this book are: Pay yourself first and The latte factor.

Pay yourself first: The most essential part of personal finance is to save money for retirement. However, many people find it hard to muster the discipline to save. Mr. Bach tell us that self discipline is not even necessary. All we have to do is to ask our employers to deposit  money directly into our registered account, even before it touches our own bank account. By doing so, the registered account continues growing paycheck after paycheck until we retire.

The latter Factor: Many of us claim that we don’t have enough money to save, but Mr. Bach suggests that if we cut out the consumption of small, unnecessary items, such as the daily coffee and doughnuts, those little savings, over a long period of time, could build up to a substantial amount of money.

The Wealthy Barber6. The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton

The Wealthy Barber

This book is a parable about three people who seek financial advice from their local barber, who became rich after studying many personal books and seeking advice from financial mentors.

I agreed with the main idea of the book which is to pay yourself first and invest the money. But the devil is in the details. Mr. Chilton advises the reader to find a good fund manager. Research has shown that over 75% of mutual fund managers do not beat the index. I argue that a better suggestion would have been to invest the savings in index funds and/or ETFs.

Mr. Chilton also suggests that we should pay our mortgages as soon as possible. Obviously Mr. Chilton never experienced the low mortgage rates that we are living in our period. In a low mortgage rate environment, I argue that it is better to delay paying the mortgage as much as possible and invest the money in the stock market. If your mortgage rate is 2% and you can get 6% return on the market, why would you pay your mortgage early?

The millionaire mind5. The Millionaire Mind by Thomas J. Stanley

The Millionaire Mind

There are lies, damned lies, and statistics. In this book Mr. Stanley tries to create a statistical portrait of the average millionaire in the U.S. The book was well researched and entertaining. There are many things which made sense, many surprises and some conclusions which Mr. Stanley wanted to believe himself. I believe that Dr. Stanley, in his effort to dismantle the Hollywood version of a millionaire, created a different fictitious millionaire. The religious, hard working millionaire who lives below his means and who is totally devoted to his family.

I found the book interesting, motivating, and even if I don’t believe everything in the book, I still recommend it. There are many valuable lessons in it.

rich dad4. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money – That The Poor And Middle Class Do Not!

This book has inspired millions of people to invest in real estate. It’s a parable of Mr. Kiyosaki’s life, mixed with some entrepreneurship and real estate lessons.

The major lessons offered in this book are:

  1. School does very little to give us a financial education.
  2. Wealth is defined, not by how much we earn but by how long we can live from the income of our assets.
  3. In order to become wealthy, we have to invest in income producing assets such as real estate and/or stocks.
  4. Our house should not be considered an asset.
  5. We should use other people’s money to achieve our financial objectives; for example, borrowing money to buy commercial properties.

I recommend this book for anyone who is tired of working for the man.

How to win friends and Influence People3. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Mr. Carnegie is one of the greatest communicators of the 20th century. He created one of the best known public speaking and self improvement programs of our era. His training program is known throughout the world.

Mr. Carnegie’s course is based on a five-phase continuous improvement cycle:

  1. Build greater self-confidence
  2. Strengthen people skills
  3. Enhance communication skills
  4. Develop leadership skills
  5. Improve attitude and reduce stress

The book is a gem. It will not only improve your business, but it will also improve your personal life.

Builiding Wealth2. Building Wealth by Russ Whitney

Building Wealth: From Rags to Riches Through Real Estate by Russ Whitney

This book is similar to Rich Dad Poor Dad, but it goes a bit deeper into different techniques to build wealth in real estate.

There are several elements that I like about the book:

  1. It is a great source of inspiration;
  2. It is full of techniques and wisdom on how to buy, sell and rent properties;
  3. It shows you how to get started with little or no money.

Overall, the book is a great investment. It is recommended reading for anyone who wants to build wealth, anyone who wants to stop dreaming and start doing. I believe that I will be well compensated for the time I put into reading this book.

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefevre1. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefevre

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefèvre

The book is a disguised biography of legendary trader Jesse Livermore. What struck me the most is that even though the book was written in 1923, it feels as if it was written today. It accurately describes how time stands still in Wall Street. We clearly see that the psychology and emotions of a stock market trader are timeless.

The book makes you feel as if you were there, next to Jesse Livermore, deciding which trade to do next, living the thrill of the win and suffering the pain of losing.

Mr. Livermore became famous mostly for taking advantage of the bear market of 1907 and on the bear market of 1929 he made about $100 million. In today’s dollar that would be about $1.4 billion.

If you like the stock market, I think that this book could play a major role in your success.

McGill University students
I am teaching a bachata class at McGill University

Conclusion

Please let me know in the comments if you have read any of these books and your opinion of them. Which business books would you recommend to the audience.

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Happy new years.

 

 

Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs by Carmine Gallo

Book Cover: Presentation Secrets of Steve JobsHow to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience

As a member of Toastmasters International ( a public speaking organization), I am always looking for information on how to improve my public speaking skill and how to do better presentations.

Yes, I found some valuable information in The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs. Nothing new nor revolutionary, but it is good to hear the same lessons over and over again until they become part of my subconscious.

Here are some of the lessons which are shared in this book:

The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs

  1. Have a clear message
  2. Answer the most important question the audience has: Why should I care?
  3. Create Twitter-like headlines
  4. Present the problem or an antagonist
  5. Present the solution
  6. Make sure the numbers are easy to understand
  7. Don’t talk longer than 10 minutes without introducing something new
  8. Invite other speakers to the stage
  9. Keep slides simple
  10. Use props wisely
  11. Practice, practice, practice
Hollowing party
This was a Halloween party at McGill Toastmasters club

The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs
was 234 pages long. The actual valuable information could be condensed to 34 pages. The other 200 pages were a combination of Steve Jobs and Apple idolatry plus a bit of self promotion. If you are an Apple/Steve Jobs evangelist, you will love this book. If you are a regular individual, you will find yourself rolling your eyes about three or four times per page.

I think that  when Steve Jobs died, Mr. Gallo saw an opportunity, to wrap a speaking manual around his death.

Overall, I don’t recommend this book. The book has a valuable message, but you have to read through all the other stuff to find that message. You will find better value for your time elsewhere.

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