There are many great lessons and thought provoking articles in this week’s set of top reads. In the personal finance section, Ben Carlson unpacks how tiny improvements can make a big impact on our savings accounts, Nick Maggiulli shares four lessons from Leonardo da Vinci that we can apply to become better investors, and Adam Grossman has seven financial housekeeping actions you can take in the last weeks of 2018 to end your year well.

In the personal interest section, Shana Lebowitz picks 25 inspirational titles from Amazon’s list of 100 books for leadership and success, and venture capitalist Fred Wilson discusses why failure is a better route than a hard pivot for startups.

For more articles like this, check out Raghav’s two previous Top Reads posts here and here.

Personal Finance

Tiny Improvements, Big Results

In this article, Ben Carlson makes a compelling argument for the huge impact that automating and habit forming can have when it comes to saving money. He says that we should automate our savings to prevent ourselves from giving up or forgetting to do it at all, and we should implement good habits (like setting aside $25 a month) so that small, bad habits aren’t compounding and working against us.

Automation is the key to creating good money habits you can actually stick with.

For example, your kids may have trouble saving money, as it can be overwhelming for young adults to start putting money aside each month for several reasons (student loans, low starting wages, living expenses etc.). This is where automation and good habits can really make a difference.

For the full article, and to see how starting small could grow your savings account to a little more than $1,600,000, click here.

4 Things Leonardo da Vinci Can Teach Us About Investing

Leonardo da Vinci had a brilliant mind as an anatomist, a military engineer, a scientist and more. He made several groundbreaking discoveries, several of which have been confirmed by science centuries later. After reading Walter Isaacson’s Leonardo da Vinci, Nick Maggiulli pulls four lessons from da Vinci’s life that we can apply to become better investors, including:

  1. Study many disciplines – because having a multi-disciplinary approach can help us make better, informed decisions
  2. Let experience be your guide – because “investing is a domain where experience is far more important than theory”
  3. Write down your thoughts – because as an investor, this can provide you with insight to your thought process over time
  4. Stay curious – because the world is always changing, a strong desire for wisdom will help you to become a better investor

For the full article, click here.

Counting Down

There are only a few weeks left in 2018, which may lead you to believe that not much can be done when it comes to your finances at this point in time. However, Adam Grossman has seven financial housekeeping actions you can take to end the year well and to give tax efficiently, claim Social Security, audit your portfolio, and more.

To read the full article, click here.

Personal Interest

25 of the Best Books About Leadership and Success

If you’re looking to add to your book collection this holiday season, this article is for you. Amazon’s editors have chosen their favorite 100 books on leadership and success and Shana Lebowitz has selected 25 books from that list to share with you.

Of those 25:

Flying Without a Net by Thomas J. DeLong

The book helps readers confront their deepest fears and gives them a series of practical tools for dealing with them.

Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

Goleman outlines the five core components of emotional intelligence so that readers can start developing it.

Choose Yourself by James Altucher

Altucher shares his own entrepreneurial journey and those of others as inspiration to forge your personal path to success.

For the full list of inspirational titles, click here.

Pivot or Fail

The success of many startups can be attributed to a decision to pivot, but VC Fred Wilson believes that failing and starting over is the choice startups should make, rather than doing a hard pivot and he shares why in this article.

[I]f you’ve failed, accept it, announce it, and deal with it. Shut the business down, give back the cash, and rip up the cap table. Then do whatever you want to do next. If it is another startup, do it from scratch and keep as much of it as you can. If it is something else, well then do that too.

For Wilson’s thoughts on pivoting, failure, and early investors, click here.



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