All Topics / Heads Up! / Book Review List
I was talking to Steve and he agreed that we should have a book review list that stays stuck at the top of this forum.
So if you have a recommendation for reading material tell us about it and give a brief review.
Also lets not get off track with this topic, if you have something unrelated to add just start a new topic.
Cheers & Happy reading.
Carve your own path and lead the way …Residential real estate investing : a beginner’s guide
My rating: 8
Recommended. Quick, inspirational read
Bugger the real estate agents! : we’ll sell it ourselves and save thousands of dollars
Semple, R. J. (R. J. (Bob))
My rating: 7
Good tips for selling home, but not 100% relevant to investing
Streets ahead : how to make money from residential property
My rating: 7
Makes too many assumptions about the reader, including retiring at around 60-65.
Investing in property
My rating: 7
some very useful tips. easy to read, but on the other hand not very detailed.
Real estate riches : how to become rich using your banker’s money
My rating: 9
Excellent book! Very recommended. Covers residential and commercial property.
Don’t sign anything! : how to protect yourself from the tricks and traps of real estate
Jenman, Neil, 1955-
My rating: 9
MUST READ! Incredible eye-opener into real estate agents & institutions. The author has a very cynical view of the real estate industry. Would have rated higher, but I don’t agree with the author’s investment philosophy.
How to create an income for life
My rating: 8
Not a bad book, but I felt a bit let down by the fact that the author only has $1.2 mil worth of real estate after so long.
Your real estate jargon explained : tricks, traps and insider hints
Bell, Anita, 1967-
My rating: 7
quite useful little pocket book, sometimes humorously written
Secrets of property investment : secrets 1-5 : successful strategies for creating wealth through property investment
My rating: 6
quite vague, but a few useful tips
My rating: 8
Emphasis on timing market cycles for a buy-and-sell strategy.
How to sell your home for more : (and buy your next for less)
Wood, Ray, 1960-
My rating: 7
Real money real estate : winning the real estate game
Sugars, Bradley J.
My rating: 9
Great book! Featuring NLP, motivation, etc… More than just a real estate book.
More wealth from residential property
Somers, Jan (Jan B.)
My rating: 7
very detailed set of analyises for property investment
Making your home your gold mine
My rating: 6
My rating: 7
similar to “don’t sign anything” by neil jenman
How to maximise your property portfolio
My rating: 7
i believe her thoughts on depreciation are erronous. a few good ideas in here though.
Property investing for lifestyle
Hewat, Tim, 1928-
My rating: 7
More of a history lesson than any thing else. Has a unique chapter devoted to (property on) golf courses.
The property investor’s handbook
Airey, Graham J.,
My rating: 8
good book, very detailed where other books are not; eg GST
The wealth power of property : you can be a property multi-millionaire
My rating: 7
Property on the net
Airey, Graham J., 1966-
My rating: 6
more of a reference book. quite out-dated also. *didn’t finish this one*
The Penguin Australian home buyer’s guide
Humphrey, Nicholas, 1971-
My rating: 7
clear, step-by-step explanations
Buying and selling off-the-plan in Queensland
My rating: 5
too boring to even finish reading. aimed at developers.
It’s easy to be a property multi-millionaire
My rating: 8
Building wealth : story by story
My rating: 7
full of short investment stories from 101 people. good and bad stories.
The Australian landlord’s handbook : managing residential rental property
My rating: 7
good book on diy landlording
How investing in commercial property really works
My rating: 7
mostly about comercial, with a few other things too.
From 0 to 130 properties in 3.5 years
My rating: 8
book about positive cash flow real estate
Carve your own path and lead the way …A good list. Here are some more plus some suitable for New Zealand.
Australia’s Money Secrets of the Rich.
John R. Burley
My Rating 8
Recommended. Motivational and full of money saving hints.
Your Investment Property.
My Rating 7
Leads you through all the steps needed to get into property investing.
The rascal’s Guide to Real Estate.
My Rating 7
An entertaining read on how to make profits from property.
Some books pertaining to New Zealand but ideas can be applicable to Aust
The Complete Guide to Residential Property Investment in NZ.
Lisa Dudson and Andrew King
My Rating 8
The title is self explanatary
Property Tax in NZ
My Rating 8
Covers most key issues of taxation affecting property investors.
The New Zealand Landlord’s Handbook
Frank Newman and Suzi Bilosh
My Rating 7
All about managing residential rental property.
Landlording in New Zealand
My Rating 9
A complete manual for rental property owners. Also has helpful hints re maintenance.
Carve your own path and lead the way …Australia’s Money Secrets of the Rich.
John R. Burley
My Rating 9
I agree with muppet. one of the best books on ‘wealth creation’ to quote an icky jargony term
Real Estate Riches
Dolf de Roos 8
as well as educational, it reads quite well too
From 0-135 in 3.5 years
my rating – 9
very readable bits interspersed with hard-core diagrams and calculations sections. it may be daunting to people who don’t like numbers, but then again if you can’t do the numbers, you shouldn’t be investing.
and besides, there are these new-fangled gadgets called calculators these days….
The NZ InvestorÕs Guide to Making Money in Residential
Dolf de Roos and Jan somers
although a slim book, it was the first one i read, after watching an interview with some all-black who’d suddenly got pots of money after being low-socio economic all his life. it was a money programme and the guy was talking about how he’d just started learning about investing and the best book he’d read which explained how it works simply was the above book. i raced out and bought it the next day and I loved how it gave a case study of an average family with some equity in their own home who leveraged it into a million dollars in 8 years (i.e. after eight years they owned property worth 1.8 million bu only owed 800k.) it was the first time I started to really get how property investors use the banks’ money to make money.
Rich Dad Poor Dad
i could go on and on about this book – but the main thing i feel is that reading this book ‘re-programmed’ me for financial success, considering that I was pretty much the opposite at the time of reading the book. As soon as i finished the book the world seemed different, and full of opportunities which i started to see everywhere, and which i had never seen before. What i got out of the book was a state of mind I call ‘entrepreneur consciousness’ . Life-changing? well, life is more than $$$. but it was life-changing to me in the $$$ department.
The one-minute millionaire
Robert Allen and Mark Victor Hansen
So much more than a $$$ book. On one of the first pages, they say ‘the object of this book is to create one million enlightened millionaires (who give 10 percent to the community.) we believe this has the potential to change the economic future of the entire world.’
After reading about the number of jobs the average millionaire creates (6) and thinking about the increased energy to the economy, I can totally see that being possible. they further explain this ‘butterfly effect’ as it’s called.
the book also aligns the ideas of wanting to be wealthy with living in integrity with the world and doing only good, which was a biggie for me.
Also, it’s just plain old empowering. the rubber band trick alone (put a band on your wrist and snap it every time you have a negative self-image thought, wearing it every day for 30 days without taking it off) was worth the purchase price.
Carve your own path and lead the way …‘Nothing Down for the 90s’ ? Written by Robert G. Allen of ‘Multiple Streams of Income’ and most recently ‘The One Minute Millionaire’ fame.
I thought it was a good read (been awhile though – I like his book ‘Creating Wealth’ better). It’s very American, but if you take out the strategies that don’t work here, it still gives good ways of buying the properties. No money down does not mean no cash, it just means ‘not mine’. Gives a few good tips on how to raise some cash when needed.
Carve your own path and lead the way …The one minute millionaire
Robert Allen and Mark Victor Hanson
Recommended by Minimogul, an enjoyable read especially the parable, I believe the best way to start the day is with a jog or walk too, charges your brain and sets you up for the day . A book that gets the grey matter working
Think and grow rich
Napoleon hill and W Clement Stone – I think
Haven’t read it for a while, it’s in the box- This book is a classic always being reprinted and it Definitely gets you thinking about the power of your mind
How to be mortgage free in 4 easy steps
Also has a website http://www.mortgagefreeaustralia.com this book discusses various loans and techniques of structuring them to save $
Rental property and taxation
As the name implies, variations, depreciations and tax related matters
Jim mcnight (don’t know if he’s Steves relly)
This book was an enjoyable read by a Uni Professor, it’s about property millionaires and the techniques they used to achieve their individual success stories- I recommend buying it, it’s motivational too, but that’s just me, I get fired up by others doing well, makes me want to do better.
Borrowing to Invest
Noel whittaker and Paul Resnick
Again as the book implies a wealth of knowledge on loans and strategies and usefull to boot
Making Money made simple
First bought his book at least 10 years ago, they’re that good I’ve even bought updated versions. Gave my Dad and my father in law his Living well in Retirement book for last XMAS. A great read on All aspects of investing, a great financial adviser who pointed me out to The richest man in Babylon another book I’ve given many copies away to friends as it’s plain old common sense and very easy to read
10/10 for all of them
Enjoyed the book, read it in 3 days and it’s lead me here where I’m learning more, very motivational, makes you want to get out there and do it ! actually it makes me want to get Steve to get out there and do it for ME!! He’s much better at it!!
Carve your own path and lead the way …Recently read..
By Peter Spann
I enjoyed this book also, it’s been about a month since i read it. not ‘very’ detailed on facts about how to achieve financial freedom, more about how he achieved wealth, as i said though i enjoyed it.
Real Estate Mistakes
By Neil Jenman
You’ll think twice about ‘auctions’ after this book.. heck, you’ll even run from them !!
An insight into ‘some’ Real estate agent’s and their code of conduct ( or lack thereof ). I’m looking forward to reading “Don’t sign anything” Just finishing this book
by Brian Tracy
“haven’t started it yet”, funny thing is, it was recommended to me and i went out to get a copy, only to find “it’s popular” , Angus and Robertsons and Dymocks were out in neighbouring suburbs, i had to drive into the CBD to get it.Reading this next..
It’s By Brian Tracy and the blurb states-
Looking for a book to jump start your life ? Look no further. Brian Tracy’s Maximum Achievementis a awake up call to the wonders within us all. It’s straight to the point and straight to the heart.
A step by step blueprint for success and achievement including proven techniquies, drawn from psycology, religion, philosophy, business, economics, politics, history and metaphysics. A book for high performance winners
Thanks again Redwing
Carve your own path and lead the way …For any kiwi readers willing to search through second hand bookstores it could be worth your while trying to find yourself a copy of Jones on Property by Bob Jones (out of print). This book influenced my decision to get right out of residential property and into the much more stimulating genre of commercial. Bob Jones is sarcastic, witty and thoroughly inspirational. He somehow managed to finance and build a six story high rise in the Hutt area (north of Wellington) when he was in his early twenties, circa 1962.
Property Investment by Martin Hawes (Shoal Bay Press) is another good read, a “How To” book filled with plenty of good common sense ideas, and some not so common.
Carve your own path and lead the way …Thought I would start a thread on everyones favourite property books.
Mine are (in no particular order)
Reno kings “10 golden rules” and “secrets of prop investment”- dirt cheap, fantastic info, packed with finding, buying, managing info. Have found much info in here worth a mint that is not mentioned anywhere else.
Ricks wrap pack- excellent (cant comment on steves as I havent read it, and cant buy the new one yet!) ps- when is the new pack going on sale????????????????????????????????????????
Penguin’s “diy manual” – truly a bible to allow us hubbies to dig ourselves out of the various holes we have dug for ourselves.
Noel whittakers “making money made simple” an oldie but a goodie. Good common financial sense. Strange, but now when I read his newspaper articles, he is heavily into borrowing for shares, a tactic he expressly discouraged in his old book. (the cynical would say that as a financial advisor, he would love the 1% commission available, but can only charge hourly rates on property investing!)
Rich dad/ poor dad by Kiyosaki- loved this book, fascinated by it, until I read a rebuttal on the net showing that most of the content was probably not true, and unlikely to have happened (example- no one has actually been able to track down his “rich dad”!). Still, a fascinating read, but take with a grain of salt.
And, last but by no means least, 0-130 properties. An excellent book, with the benefit of showing how to own a massive number of cash positive (but slower appreciating in cap gains) properties, rather than owning one or two neg geared properties (which will usually appreciate faster) I think that this book has fundamentally changed the way that we view property investment.
Carve your own path and lead the way …Matt PMember@matt-pJoin Date: 2003Post Count: 645
Don’t Sign Anything!
My Rating – 7
I found this book to be more focused on sellers.
One Minute Millionaire
Mark Victor Hansen & Robert G. Allen
My Rating – 8
An inspirational read 
“If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always had.”
“Isn’t it time for a change?”investorgirlParticipant@investorgirlJoin Date: 2003Post Count: 14
“The Real Estate Rookie – practical advice for the first time residential property investor” by Teresa Wainwright. and published by Choice Books.
I have written this book to provide rookie investors with practical tips on what to look for and what to avoid in a rental property, how to arrange finance, formulate a winning offer, and lots more. I’ve also included interviews, not only with investors but also with tenants, which I believe is a first in a book of this type.
investorgirlpeterpMember@peterpJoin Date: 2003Post Count: 307
(copied from my website – if you’d like the info to be presented in a more readable format – see http://www.alphalink.com.au/~parkerp/invbook.htm)
** General Investing
Make your Fortune by 40 by Paul Clitheroe
For those who aren’t content to keep working until age 65, this book describes how you can speed up your wealth accumulation through real estate, share investing or your own business. Once you find something that appeals to you, it’s a good idea to turn to more detailed books on the topic.
Making Money Made Simple by Noel Whittaker
If you’re a beginner to investing and can only afford to buy one book, this is the one to get! Written by an Australian, it advocates careful budgeting, household debt reduction, saving, investing, and if you wish to really accelerate your wealth journey, the use of borrowed money.
Retire Young Retire Rich by Robert Kiyosaki
Deals with the importance of replacing your employment income with passive income to become financially independent. There are some useful ratios given that can measure progress towards financial independence. Some of his approaches could be regarded as either high-risk (for instance quitting your job to pursue full-time investing with little capital, rather than remaining at work and saving heavily) or unethical (eg stance towards insider trading).
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
The most well-known of a series of books by this prolific author. A story about how the young Kiyosaki was coached by his friend’s wealthy father. There is some doubt as to whether ‘Rich Dad’ really existed (look up John T Reed on the web!) but the book is very readable and despite what detractors say it has given many people the kick they needed to begin their investment journey. His definition of assets and liabilities is interesting; most controversially it does not regard the family home as an asset as it generates no income. Kiyosaki emphasises the need for financial education, saying that traditional schooling equipped people to work for money rather than have money to work for them.
The Millionaire Mind by Thomas Stanley
Probably No 2 on your list, this is a rigorous study of over 700 US millionaires. It describes how they got there (most were self-made), their choice of career or profession, attitudes towards spending and even how they found their spouse. This book is a companion volume to ‘The Millionaire Next Door’ which is also recommended.
The Richest Man in Babylon by George Classon
Possibly the earliest personal finance book and regarded as a classic by many. A fable that well explains the basic principle of investing, ie spending less than you earn and wisely investing the difference.
From 0 to 130 properties in 3.5 Years by Steve McKnight
Advocates buying rental properties (mostly outside the major cities) that are so cheap that they make money for you from day one. This differs from some other investors who regard capital gain as most important and are happy to lose money in the interim. The book is very strong on assessing the profitabilty of deals and explains different approaches to property investing (eg buy and hold, renovating, lease options, wraps) well. Because the emphasis is on fast financial independence, McKnight emphasises purchasing dozens of (profit-making) properties so that you can retire before your loans are paid out. This differs from others who will either defer retirement until the loans have been paid or hope for a capital gain so they can sell the property at a profit for their retirement nest-egg. However if the quest for positive cashflow forces the purchase of run-down houses in one-horse towns (something McKnight himself does not advocate) then maintenance and vacancy risks are magnified. The book has less information on non-financial aspects of investing (eg choosing a property manager or inspecting properties), but fortunately other books on this list fill the gap.
How to Create an Income for Life by Margaret Lomas
Like McKnight, Lomas advocates the purchase of cheaper positive cashflow real estate to replace your salary when you retire. However unlike McKnight, Lomas is happy to accept a before tax loss provided that this translates to a profit after tax. This is mostly achieved by buying post 1985 properties that qualify for building depreciation allowance. This is fine if you are on a high income and/or intend to keep working for a while, but heavy reliance on tax benefits can cost dearly if you stop working. The merit of Lomas’ approach however is that ‘after tax cashflow positive’ properties are easier to find than ‘before tax cashflow positive’ and that such properties may be more tenantable and/or have better growth prospects. The book also outlines variations in sale procedures between states, something that is important as the author is not hesitant to buy interstate property sight-unseen.
Investing in Real Estate by McLean & Eldred
An American book that’s very thorough and devoid of hype. Once you’ve made allowances for the different terminology, financing and tax arrangements in the US, it is an excellent read with very clear explanations. It advocates a conservative approach based on (i) never assuming sustained high capital growth, (ii) beware of negative cash flows, (iii) don’t over-extend yourself (iv) never over-pay for property. Three very usable approaches to valuing property are also presented. There is also a caution against the uncritical acceptance of ‘nothing down’ deals as championed by another American, Robert Allan.
Ordinary Millionaires by Jim McKnight
A compilation of stories from people who started with little but by hook or crook (in a few cases) became millionaires through investment property. Common threads seem to be (i) borrow to buy as much property as you can to hold onto as long as you can (ii) look for new uses for properties that others may have overlooked and (iii) the importance of acting decisively.
More Wealth from Residential Property by Jan Somers
Explains the worth of residential property when held as a sound long-term investment. Agrees with the Wakelins that it normally doubles in value over seven to ten years and suggests using equity in your own home as a deposit. However Somers advocates the purchase of affordable property and (rightly) points out that both gain and yield emphases can work, and the right mix depends more on the investor’s circumstances. This author has written several other property books, including ‘Building Wealth: Story by Story’ which are personal accounts from numerous investors.
Seven Steps to Wealth by John Fitzgerald
A slim volume that emphasises that the key to capital growth is land, and purchasers should buy inner-suburban properties with large land components to maximise growth. In practice this means houses or duplexes rather than flats or villas. Advocates buying and holding, then selling a couple of houses to pay off debt on retirement.
Streets Ahead by Monique and Richard Wakelin
Unabashed advocates for capital growth for all investors, regardless of circumstance; any other approach will fail! Recommends purchase of well-located inner-suburban properties with scarcity value and archietectual merit that are likely to grow in value over the longer term. Though the approach recommended could produce excellent result for readers on secure middle to high incomes who intend to retire in 15 or more years time, it is not for every investor and the authors should openly acknowledge this. Nevertheless, ‘Streets Ahead’ still has much to offer and is recommended.
The Property Investors Handbook by Graham Airey
This book recommends a capital growth-based approach, with high yields being equated with high risk. The other books reviewed emphasise that almost anyone willing to do the work can become a property investor. Airey is more conservative, with a quiz that almost says that if you are young, on a modest income, don’t already own a house and don’t live in a capital city you need not bother! After page 11 though, it gets better, with the remaining 200 plus pages being very useful. It’s main strength is the breadth of topics covered, which are not included in other books. For example, there is coverage given to commercial property, ‘less traditional’ property investments, leases, property trusts, selling property, the GST and more.
Understanding Investment Property by Nick Renton
A large and thorough volume by a well-qualified author whose professional expertise extends to most facets of investment and accounting. As hinted by the boring cover, large number of pages and refreshing lack of hype, this volume is more serious than some of the other books reviewed here. The book’s main strength is that it takes a balanced approach, pointing out the pitfalls as well as the benefits of property investing and borrowing money. Unlike some property authors who say that shares are risky and not worth investing in, Renton avocates both share and property ownership as part of a balanced portfolio. The investment style advocated is similar to Airey in that Renton favours investing for capital growth and equates yield with risk. However as the book was written in 2000, the yields used as examples would now only be obtainable in outer suburban or country areas. Renton is more conservative than Wakelin or Fitzgerald when it comes to borrowing and the heavy use of negative gearing and other tax deductions. Again like Airey, helpful chapters on commercial property, the GST and more are included.
Your Investment Property by Anita Bell
Be verrry suspicious of everyone, scrimp, save and buy dirt cheap! These seem to be the keys to Bell’s approach. You can almost sense this without reading a word; her books are printed on poor quality paper, the price is kept low and a lot is packed in between its covers. Bell’s main technique is the rapid repayment of loans. Though this lessens tax deductions, she points out that the interest savings are greater and you can buy and pay off your second property even quicker (with two lots of rent helping). What most appealed about this book was its down-to-earth style and thoroughness on matters such as inspecting properties. The financing approach recommended limits the number of properties that can be bought at any one time, but for the new investor her conservative approach is sound.
Hi Me Again
The books that I have enjoyed are:
The Riches Man In Babylonby George Classon
A fable about basic financial principles, saving and inveting, learning from the people that already do it, knowing who to trut. Highly recomended for anyone wanting to have a better finacial princple understanding, motivational and interesting.
Also a fable, about finding your destiny, reading the signs in your life and not being mislead by others. A profound read.
Wealth Guardian by Steve McKnight
A fantastic book about structure for holding investment particulary property. Explaining the pros and cons of each structure. It has a simple straight forward introduction to trusts. This book is for anyone considering building a large investment portfolio.
Carve your own path and lead the way …missrMember@missrJoin Date: 2003Post Count: 2
 Re: Book Review fopr the thirsty property investor readers,
I’m having difficulties finding a book or tape that has Ratings (1) or Rating (2) they all seem to be 5’s to 10’s in this forum. Am I missing something here or is there nothing worth consideration?
If you have a worthwhile suggestion to share consider adding it to the ‘Top Shelf Book Review’ list.
Cheers.wezwazParticipant@wezwazJoin Date: 2003Post Count: 192
You need to change your mindset! 10 is the highest ranking and 1 is the lowest, i.e. 10/10 is a brilliant recommendation and 1/10 is a dud – get it? You might want to now go back and review the lists again.woodsmanMember@woodsmanJoin Date: 2004Post Count: 714
The Big Shift (2nd Edition) – Welcome to the Third Australia Culture
(The Bernard Salt Report)- Bernard Salt
Not sure if this has been previoulsy posted here, but for additional information about changing demographics across Australia, identifying areas of growth/deline and other cultural changes which are relevant to property investment & general knowledge.
Whilst some of the information is very general, it provides a great overview and a start for further investigation into those areas that you might be interested in investing.
JamesmelbearMember@melbearJoin Date: 2003Post Count: 2,429Originally posted by capitalist:
“How To Create An Income For Life”
By Margaret Lomas.
A fantastic book that is easy to read, written by a lady with lots of enthusiasm. For an insight to positive property, this could be your Bible!
“How To Make Your Money Last As Long As You Do”
By Margaret Lomas.
A good read, mainly for novice investors. This book is pitched at positive cashflow property investing. Written in layman terms and easy to read.
“How to Research and Purchase Investment Properties”
By Debra Lohrere.
This e-book is written by an Australian author. I found it extremely informative for a first time investor. It had a lot of useful information about the different demographic groups and showed how low end, median priced and high end properties can all be used by investors.
“Real Estate Riches”
By Dolf De Roos.
From the Rich Dad/Kiyosaki stable, but a New Zealand/Dutch writer, a nice inspiring and motivational read that says property is 10-100 times better than shares. I liked the 100:10:3:1 ratio – you may look at 100 properties, put offers on 10, arrange finance for 3, to actually buy 1, but that purchase should increase your net worth immediately by $x0,000’s. Says the ‘deal of the decade’ comes along about once a week. Also puts the case for Commercial property for experienced investors.
“Rental Property and Taxation”
By Tony Compton.
I found this an excellant book to help you learn the very basics of accounting toward owning rental properties and how it effects taxation. It goes into what you can claim, how to keep records. It provides practical and sound advice in an easily read manner. The reader is taken through the purchase, the tax return and the sale. A checklist is provided to help ensure that deductions are claimed in full.
This is a read for any owner of, or anyone considering purchasing, a rental property.
This book takes an unbiased and objective look at the tax effect of a loss from a rental property.
“Seven Steps to Wealth”
By John L Fitzgerald. Jargon-free, and presented in a “how to” manner, this book has some interesting ideas. Easier to read but somewhat lighter than Jan Somer’sbooks. A tad pro-Brisbane for some people’s tastes, but read it with an open mind.
“Renton’s Understanding Investment Property”
N. E. Renton
3rd ed. Information Australia. 2000.
Nick Renton has produced an extraordinary number of books about law and investment in Australia, including titles relating to wills, negative gearing, family trusts, and the stock market. In this book, he explains the various aspects of property investing. It is not a “how-to” book, but more of a “what-is” book. Renton explains the risks and economic factors to consider when investing in property trusts, parking spaces, mortgages, and both commercial and residential property, amongst other topics. This 496 page volume is very thorough, but quite readable, although it probably wouldn’t make for the best casual reading. The occasional touches of dry humour I found surprising and delightful. Understanding Investment Property is ideally suited as a reference tool, for investigating different classes of property investment as opportunities become available. Hence you could probably just borrow this book from a library or a friend as needed, rather than purchase it yourself.
“Real Estate Mistakes”
1st ed. Griffin Press. February 2000.
Neil Jenman is obviously revolted by the typical real estate agent approach. In this book, he goes to great lengths to explain why this approach is bad for buyers, bad for sellers, bad for agents, and unethical to boot. He convincingly argues that auctions are a bad idea for sellers, and likewise open inspections and mass advertising. He also provides useful tips for buyers to use when negotiating with unskilled agents and at auctions. This is not a book oriented around property investing, but around the buying and selling of one’s home. Jenman doesn’t advocate looking for bargains, paying agents cheaply, or seeking to pay much less than you might be able to afford when buying, and this is to some extent related to the book’s focus. However, the education afforded by reading this book will prove useful to all those who buy or sell property. An interesting read which tells you a lot of what you didn’t know about buying and selling real estate. I lent this to a friend recently who then advertised his house privately for sale at “offers around $515k”. I wondered about this, and nearly fell over when I found out he had negotiated with several interested parties himself and ended up selling it within three weeks for $565k ! He thanked me for the loan (of the book…). I don’t buy the Jenman system, which appears to be a variety of real estate agent which turns off as many buyers as it attracts, but I found the content of this book different, thought provoking and memorable. Not expensive at RRP $19.95 – recommended.
“Building Wealth Story by Story”
Somerset Financial Services Pty Ltd. September 1998.
Jan Somers is one of the high profile residential property investment successes in Australia, and this is the third in her series of books for encouraging others to succeed like she has. There are 101 different arguments for why property investment is worthwhile, presented in the form of short anecdotes. It contains nuggets of information that makes it worth reading, but the amateur “Microsoft Word”-type layout detracts slightly from the professional content. Somers’ approach is to build equity through capital growth, using rental income to balance interest payments in the short term – no predictive ability should be required. Her company sells financial software packages to assist with these calculations, and some of the anecdotes concern the software. The view that “anyone can do it” is emphatically presented, and would be a good introductory read for those considering or just beginning with residential property investment.
“Anyone Can Be A Millionaire”
by Sean O’Reilly.
Great read. He also does the occasional seminar and well worth attending if you get the chance. I liked this book because it was easy to read and covered property investment and shares, not just one or the other. It is basically about how he made his money by investing in property and shares and looks at insurance etc as well. It was only about $19 to buy so was fairly cheap.
“Rich Dad Poor Dad”
Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon L. Lechter
TechPress Inc. 1998.
This book is the first in Robert Kiyosaki’s trilogy of investment guides. He is always very careful not to advocate a particular path to building wealth, but instead tries to teach a mindset for achieving great wealth. Specifically, the mindset of the very rich, based on his own experiences and the teachings of his “rich dad”. Rich Dad Poor Dad lays the educational foundation for the other two volumes, although it stands on its own as an eye-opening and very enjoyable read. Through defining assets, liabilities, balance sheets, and income statements in simple ways, Kiyosaki conveys the basics of financial literacy from the point of view that “cashflow is king”. It doesn’t try to be consistent with typical accountancy teachings, but strives to highlight the aspects of one’s personal finances that should be given priority. It’s a book that could’ve done with a proper editing, but has noble goals, and should be required reading for all those contemplating a life of employment, at the very least for the fresh perspective on investing that it brings.
“The CASHFLOW Quadrant”
Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon L. Lechter
TechPress Inc. 1998.
In this second guide, Kiyosaki introduces four classifications of people based on how they earn income. These classifications form the quadrant for which the book is named. People “on the left side” of the quadrant earn income directly from their own labour. Those on the right side earn income through others’ labour. This book discusses the steps to take in order to move oneself from the left to the right side of the quadrant, particularly to the classification based around earning income from investing where the greatest potential income streams can be found at the lowest risk. Kiyoski seeks to help people understand themselves better, and through this understanding improve themselves to eventually control their personal financial situations.
“Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing”
Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon L. Lechter
TechPress Inc. 2000.
In Kiyosaki’s third guide, the final in the series to date, he tells the tale of how he learned his financial skills, both from his “rich dad” and through his own life. He notes that there is no magic formula, and becoming a successful businessman or investor is hard work. Kiyosaki discusses the need for planning, support from a clever team of financial/business professionals, and what different types of investors do (the best types of investor have more control over their investments). He now works at being the type of investor that takes companies public, profiting from the sales of their shares, but he has previously been the type of investor that buys into businesses, and this is the type of investor that he recommends for most people. This book solidifies the theories presented in the previous two guides, and gives real advice on how to “do” what the best investors do, compared with the previous books that focussed more on how to “be” a good investor.
2nd ed. Allen & Unwin. 1997.
In this brief but comprehensive guide, Jerry Tyrrell draws on his experience as a property inspector to provide step by step advice on how to purchase residential property. He discusses topics such as choosing a property, engaging professional help, bidding strategies at auction, legal considerations, choosing a loan, and moving in. There is an emphasis on the use of property inspections, and you may come away from the book believing that the most important step in acquiring property is the property inspection. However, the book gives a very thorough treatment to many of the issues, and may require later reference as a buyer steps through the purchase process in order to make full use of the book.
“How to Own Your Home Years Sooner!”
H. Gill and S. Therry
2nd ed. I.G.C. (Aust). 1997.
Reviewed: November 2000
This short book covers the simple mathematical principles behind housing loans. From this basis, the authors explain the now well known benefits of Offset and Line Of Credit loans. Gill and Therry are mortgage brokers and they are apparently frustrated with how banks sucker people into home loans that cost them a lot. They outline the benefits of the different home loan structures available from banks, list the typical lending criteria used by banks and how to calculate them, show how to keep track of personal expenses and choose the best home loan, and offer tips for paying off a loan quickly. This book is great for those trying to tell the difference between the banks’ loans, and although is helpful for increasing investors’ understanding of loans, is ideally suited for those looking for a home loan.
“Investing in Residential Property”
4th ed. Wrightbooks. 2000.
This book is an extended, scholarly discussion on the economic forces that affect changes in the residential housing industry. The subtitle of the book (Understanding the market in the New Millennium) more accurately reflects the contents than the title does. There is very little guidance on how to invest in residential property – most of the issues discussed are things that the average investor has very little control over, eg. current account deficit, interest rates, taxation or migration levels. However, this book teaches an economic perspective of the housing industry, something that is relatively uncommon. It is filled with facts, figures and tables, and at times can be quite overwhelming. I came away with an appreciation for how complicated the economic environment is, and the difficulty in making predictions about the medium-to-long term future of residential property investing. Although too heavy to be a beginners’ introduction, its completeness makes this book a worthwhile read for the investor serious about understanding the risks inherent in property.
4th ed. (Year 2000 edition) Penguin Books Australia. 1999.
Reviewed: April 2001
Eventually all media personalities get around to writing a book, and so it’s no real surprise that financial planner come television presenter, Paul Clitheroe, has become an author as well. The surprise is how good the book is. It isn’t light reading, but it is aimed squarely at the novice investor. Clitheroe covers both investing philosophy and technique, including topics such as saving, tax, property, shares, and retirement. Although his favourite forms of investing are superannuation and managed funds, he provides reasonable arguments for these without ignoring other alternatives. The more involved (and perhaps profitable) investing techniques are not really covered, but the level of detail provided should easily protect the unwary from some of the self-proclaimed gurus around. If you want a sensible backgrounder to investing in general, then this one is for you.
“Common Sense on Mutual Funds”
John C. Bogle
John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 1999.
Reviewed: June 2001
John Bogle started Vanguard in the mid 1970s, the first fund company to operate a public fund based on a stock market index, and has been a crusader for index funds ever since. In this regrettably wordy and repetitive book, he provides a compelling argument for avoiding investing in actively managed funds, and details the historical and philosophical background of the Vanguard group of funds. His argument is addressed to those who wish to have their money invested without fuss for the long term: there is no way to tell in advance which managed funds will perform the best in the short-term, all funds will perform at best equivalent to the market before costs long-term, and actively managed funds cost substantially more than passively managed funds. Hence low- cost, passively managed funds, such as index funds, are the preferred investment vehicle. The argument and conclusion are supported by copious figures and charts, and as a result this book will appeal to the more academically-inclined investor.
N. E. Renton
2nd ed. Wrightbooks. 2001.
Reviewed: September 2001
Nick Renton has again written a very detailed book to help investors understand the intricacies around an aspect of Australian law. This is the most popular general book for understanding how to use trusts, but it has a bias heavily towards family trusts, as indicated by the title. So if you aren’t interested in setting up a family trust, you will have to wade through much irrelevant material. Another issue is the dynamic situation with respect to taxation of trusts recently. This book was completed after it was determined that legislation to tax trusts as companies was to be postponed indefinitely, but not all of paragraphs in this book are as recent – this minor fault is not a concern if you read the whole book. Until specialist books or pamphlets are prepared for different investors and their needs concerning trusts, this is an essential text to read before meeting with your accountant or solicitor.
“Smarter Property Investment”
Allen & Unwin. 2001.
Reviewed: November 2001
This down-to-earth book, written by ex-solicitor Peter Cerexhe, contains something for any but the most experienced property investor. The focus on both residential property and buying for investment makes this book especially valuable compared with other property or investment books. Areas covered include tax considerations, CBD vs. suburbs, steps involved in buying well, and various strategies for different types of investor. This book may scare off the novice investor, and does not contain any ground-breaking new approaches, but strives (and I believe, succeeds) in being sensible. It is especially suited towards people who already own some property and want to invest in additional property.
“The Richest Man In Babylon”
George S. Clason
Reviewed: December 2001
Beloved by millions, this bestselling book reveals the success secrets of the ancients and has been hailed as the greatest inspirational work on the subject of thrift, financial planning, and personal wealth.
George Clason, credited with the production of the U.S.A’s first road atlas, was an avid publisher, and created a number of pamphlets on financial self-help. Many of these pamphlets (originally written as long ago as 1926) have been collected into this book as chapters. Also unusual, is that this book is basically a work of fiction – each chapter tells a different story based on characters from Babylon. Arkad the money lender, Dabasir the camel trader, Sharru Nada the merchant price, and others tell their tales of how they overcame adversity and became successful. Although this theme is presented repeatedly, it is still an engaging and interesting book, and reminded me of Rich Dad Poor Dad in many ways. Clason presents his advice with equal parts of motivation and education, and should capture the imagination of those who have yet to establish a financial plan.
“The One Minute Millionaire”
by Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen
This book gives a fantastic insight into joint ventures and how team dynamics can work. Very inspiring too. If you are doing or contemplating Joint Ventures, this is worth a read.
“The E-Myth Revisited”
by Michael Gerber
Michael Gerber dispels the myths surrounding starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of running a business. Next, he walks you through the steps in the life of a business – from entrepreneurial infancy, through adolescent growing pains, to the mature entrepreneurial perspective, the guiding light of all businesses that succeed – and shows how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business, whether or not it is a franchise. Finally, Gerber draws the vital, often overlooked distinction between working on your business and working in your business.
“How To Be Rich”
J. Paul Getty
Jove Books. 1983.
Reviewed: February 2002
Self-made billionaire Paul Getty was once credited with being the richest man in the world, and here he presents some of his philosophies on life. The book is not titled “how to become rich” since that isn’t its focus, and contains Getty’s advice about the sort of person you should be, if you are rich or to be rich. Intelligently written, it presents the gritty reality of Getty’s accomplishments, and the good and bad sides of being successful in business. Although targeted mainly at the novice in business, it has wide appeal, and in separate chapters also covers Getty’s opinions on investing in stocks, real estate, and fine art.
“The Millionaire Next Door”
Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko
Longstreet Press, 1997.
Reviewed: May 2002
These are the real secrets of America’s rich and not so famous. The authors are academics who have conducted several surveys of affluent America, and have discovered that a majority are not living a glamorous lifestyle, but instead are obsessively frugal and avidly investing. They have the appearance of a traditional worker husband-homemaker wife couple, living in an average home in an averagely decent suburb. The authors suspect that the internal drive that makes them live this relatively humble lifestyle is responsible for their prodigious wealth. The chapter on how children of wealthy parents fare is very telling, with those who become dependent on an easy life finding it hard to become motivated to create their own success. Although more descriptive than prescriptive, this is an interesting look at how the average successful people live, and good for investors finding it hard to defer lifestyle purchases.
“Money Secrets of the Rich: Learn the seven steps to financial freedom”
John R. Burley and Bruce Whiting
Treasure Chest Unlimited, 2000.
Reviewed: October 2002
Financial seminar guru John Burley’s book for the Australian investor is a motivating description of a programme for financial self-improvement. Written in a casual but thorough style and filled throughout with pithy quotations, it guides the reader towards higher levels of investor skill. Burley’s seven levels of investor range from non-investor (zero) through the passive investor (three) up to the capitalist (six), and supplies strategies for moving step-by-step up the ranks. Copious tips and web site references are supplied for almost every significant financial topic, eg. buying a car, choosing health insurance, or selecting positively geared property. I believe that this book contains the substance of Burley’s seminar series, normally costing thousands of dollars, and will be educational for Australians at almost any level of experience.
MelredwingParticipant@redwingJoin Date: 2003Post Count: 2,733
“As a Man Thinketh”
By James Allen,
a book over 100yrs old reprinted numerous times, now printed as, “As a Man Thinks” and “As a Woman Thinks”,
Primarily about the benefits of positive thinking and you sow, so shall you reap, very interesting !
“Money is a currency, like electricity and it requires momentum to make it Effective”ScreminMember@screminJoin Date: 2003Post Count: 448
Here are some books we’ve read recently…
Investing in Fixer-Uppers
Jay P DeCima
Comments: An american author with some different ideas. Gives some good ideas. Worth a look in.
Building Wealth: From Rags to Riches through Real estate.
Comments: Another american author, again some good ideas, a little americanised from time to time. Another one to have a squiz at.
Success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.muppetMember@muppetJoin Date: 2003Post Count: 900
New Zealand Real Estate Investors’ Secrets by Graeme Fowler.
A book about how 10 NZers became millionares from residential property and how YOU can too.
In this book you will learn…..
1. The mistakes they made,the successes they had
2. No-Money-Down deals
3. The pschology of investing in real estate.
4. Why most property investors lose money long term.
5. Various strategies they’ve used.. quick cash, buy and hold, wraps.
6 Negotiation techniques that could save you thousands of dollars.
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