by Adam Dawson, CFP®
We put this book at the top of our recommended list because, well, one of our advisors wrote it! This is not your typical financial book. It’s full of real-life stories, including many of Adam Dawson’s own personal experiences. It is not technical and contains practical advice that will give you a clear path for what you need to do to accomplish your goals and feel more at peace about your finances.
Most people blame their money problems on external forces over which they have no control. However, no one has to be a mere victim of circumstance. For generations, many people have enjoyed a lifetime of prosperity due to their diligent application of the principles discussed in this book, despite economic reversals or personal tragedies that could have been financially devastating.
Daniel C. Goldie, CFA, CFP®
Mr. Goldie perfectly encapsulates our investing philosophy at Capstone Capital. Jargon-free and written for all investors–experienced, beginner, and everyone in between–The Investment Answer distills the investing process into just five straightforward choices:
- Should I invest on my own or seek help from an investment professional?
- How should I allocate my investments among stocks, bonds, and cash?
- Which specific asset classes within these broad categories should I include in my portfolio?
- Should I take an actively managed approach to investing, or follow a passive alternative?
- When should I sell assets and when should I buy more?
In a world of fast-talking traders who believe that they can game the system and a market characterized by instability, this extraordinary and timely book offers guidance every investor should have.
by Napoleon Hill
In 1908 the multi-millionaire Andrew Carnegie told the young writer Napoleon Hill that he believed anyone could achieve greatness if they understood the principles and steps that lead to success, and that these could be discovered by interviewing many of the world’s most successful people. He told Mr. Hill that he would be willing to make all the introductions if he were up to the challenge to create “the world’s first philosophy of individual achievement.”
Mr. Hill immediately accepted the offer and for more than 20 years interviewed hundreds of the most famous and successful leaders in every field, including Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, John D. Rockefeller Jr., the Wright brothers, and President Theodore Roosevelt. This book is the culmination of his many years of research, and is the best-selling self-improvement book in history.
This book has had a tremendous impact on our lives, and is the main reason one of our advisors, Adam Dawson, decided to write his own book. Despite the book’s title, the principles it teaches are not just about growing wealth, but also apply to the achievement of any worthy goal. Many different editions are in print, but we like this one because it provides helpful updated commentary throughout.
by Stephen R. Covey
This book has had a profound influence on us at Capstone Capital. It has shaped much of our perspective throughout our careers.
Mr. Covey helps us understand that effectiveness is more powerful than efficiency, and that true success is measured by how well we balance both our personal and professional effectiveness. By mastering the habits he teaches, we can achieve true independence, cooperate better with other people to accomplish great things we could never do on our own, and continually improve throughout our lives.
Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography is remarkably honest. He is very open about the foibles of his youth and his frustrations while striving to master what he deemed to be the 13 most necessary virtues. Catching a glimpse of his humanity made us respect him even more, and feel better about our own frustrations with our weaknesses.
We were fascinated to learn many of the ways in which he helped improve society that are less well-known. Since books were very expensive and not many people in his area owned them, he essentially created the first public library, loaning out his vast collection of books and asking friends to do the same. Later, he observed that the dirt roads of Philadelphia were causing a lot of discomfort for people and negatively impacting businesses, especially when it rained, so he initiated a monumental effort to pave the roads.
He also invented the stove, started a school, started a hospital, and formed a militia. None of this was to make a name for himself. He simply loved solving problems and making other peoples’ lives better. In fact, he even refused to put a patent on his stove because he believed an invention that important should benefit everyone equally.
by Michael E. Gerber
In this classic must-read for anyone who owns a small business or is thinking of starting one, Mr. Gerber dispels the myths of entrepreneurship. He explains that just because someone is really good at performing the technical work of a particular business does not mean they would be good at running all aspects of that type of business on their own.
Many people quit their job and start their own business in hopes of increasing their freedom and income, only to discover that running their own business often results in less of both for a long time, and the entrepreneurial dream turns into a nightmare. Tragically, 80% of them end up having to close their doors within five years of opening. Mr. Gerber explores the reasons so many small businesses fail and teaches business owners how to avoid these traps.
by Jim Collins
Mr. Collins observed that some companies, after limping along in mediocrity for years, somehow manage to make giant leaps forward while their peers remain stagnant or even fail. Driven by his curiosity to discover the forces driving this phenomenon, he assembled a large research team to analyze 11 publicly-traded companies with cumulative stock returns at least seven times greater than the general market over a 15-year period.
His team also analyzed a set of comparison companies which were in a similar position to the elite companies before they made the leap, to determine the differences between them. After five years of research, they distilled principles of management style, company focus, and discipline that were consistent across all the elite companies, but not found in the comparison companies. These findings can help any organization understand how to achieve lasting greatness.
by Malcolm Gladwell
Through many fascinating examples and entertaining stories, Mr. Gladwell explains why some products, ideas, and even fashion trends catch on and spread like wildfire, while others don’t. Anyone seeking to advertise their products or services more effectively, or striving to influence widespread social change, would greatly benefit from Mr. Gladwell’s insights.
by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko
Who are the wealthy? How do they live? After 20 years of studying affluent Americans, Dr. Stanley and Dr. Danko reveal that the vast majority of truly wealthy people are not the type we would normally think of as being wealthy. They live in regular neighborhoods. They drive regular cars. They are not famous, and they didn’t inherit their wealth.
Most of them are self-made millionaires who simply chose the right occupation, worked hard, lived well below their means, and consistently invested with prudence. Throughout this book the authors discuss the “seven common denominators” they discovered among those who succeed in building wealth.
by Richard Nelson Bolles
This book is the main reason one of our advisors, Adam Dawson, chose to become a financial advisor, and he loves his job! Mr. Bolles believes that each of us has been charged with a specific mission in life, for which we have been endowed with unique talents. He asserts that each person who discovers and focuses on doing what he does best will be much more successful and of greater benefit to society than he who just takes whatever job comes along or tries to fit an unsuitable mold imposed upon him by others.
We can easily detect our unique talents and skills because these are the things we enjoy doing most. The challenge is figuring out how to transfer our unique abilities into something that truly benefits society, for which people are willing to pay.
Do you love what you do, and does it satisfy your financial needs? It’s never too late to re-evaluate what might be the best use of your unique abilities and how to make money doing it. This book is an invaluable companion in that process, but is only as good as the effort you put into the exercises.
by Mark Victor Hansen and Art Linkletter
The first page of this book reads, “This book is dedicated to the 76.9 million Baby Boomers, the Echo Boomers who will come after them, and the millions of people over sixty-five today. May the next fifty years of your lives be the most amazing ever.” The central idea is that while many older people apologize for their age and act like life is already over, with the right attitude and practices, the rest of your life can be the best years ever.
There is a lot of good advice about maintaining body, mind, relationships, spirituality, creativity, and purpose. From our perspective as a financial advisors, the part we found most applicable and fascinating was the authors’ thoughts on the importance of staying active throughout retirement; not stopping work completely, but maybe shifting to more meaningful, enjoyable work as health and financial status permits.
by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Mr. Taleb sheds an interesting light on our vulnerability to uncertainty and our tendency to look for patterns where none exist to create a false sense of security. The author asserts that if we take a more realistic view of the uncertainty surrounding us, we can be better prepared to face the consequences of unexpected events, and perhaps even profit by them.
Although a bit cynical in tone, it is still a good read and consistent with the perspective we teach on market volatility and the importance of protection against unexpected events.
No representation or warranty, either express or implied, is provided in relation to the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information contained in these books. In addition, the content does not necessarily represent the opinions of Capstone Capital or its employees.