Books that Can Change Your Life


We’ve watched enough TV.  It’s time to read some books….

And I’ve got some suggestions that have changed my life or at the minimum helped it significantly.

And better still, a great friend of mine, with one of the most brilliant minds I know, Olivier Roland has provided us with fabulous summaries so you can get the essence of them before choosing which to dive into first.


Fail Safe Investing by Harry Browne

harry browne book cover

The financial world is a mysterious environment, full of technical terms that make no sense to most of us. However, the real secret to how to invest can be summed up as follows: your investments must be secure and easy.

Whether you have a small or large amount of money, Fail-Safe Investing will teach you how to invest it and grow it securely.

In the world of finance, as in other areas, common sense is way more useful to you than the lingo and strategies you may come across. But sadly, common sense is often the least common sense around, when it comes to money.

Don’t expect a secret formula from Fail Safe Investing. It will show you 17 simple rules to guide your investing, give you confidence and ensure you don’t lose your hard earned money.

Read this great summary where all 17 rules are summarised here.

Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter

robert kiyosaki book cover

“By reading this book from start to finish, you’ll know more about investing than many investment advisers who get paid to offer their advice.”

That is the promise of Robert Kiyosaki together with Sharon Lechter who have the knack of providing great financial education without the bombastic jargon of most of the financial world. 

Guide to Investing starts with a simple observation: Pareto’s law applies with respect to the distribution of wealth, and even beyond, since 10% of people control 90% of the money. 

To succeed, one must “not be average”.


“The average investor doesn’t know how to do it and that’s why he/she is one of the 90% who makes only 10% of the money.”

The following topics are covered in the book.

  1. The 10 Investor Controls.
  2. The 5 phases of the plan to get someone with no money to invest with a lot of money.
  3. The various tax laws that govern investments.
  4. Why and how a true investor makes money, regardless of the state of the market.
  5. The difference between fundamental and technical investments.
  6. Five types of high-level investors.
  7. The difference between not having enough money and having too much money.
  8. How to secure an income well over $ 200,000 to start investing in the investments of the wealthy.

Read this summary here.

The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham

benjamin graham book coverAny list on investment books cannot be without the all time classic The Intelligent Investor.

“Lots of people dream of making a fortune on the stock market, but few of them truly succeed in this difficult task. Benjamin Graham, the father of value investing and mentor to Warren Buffett, offers a practical guide to long term success using the value investment philosophy which he helped to found.”

In The Intelligent Investor, Graham explains three fundamental things:

  • How to minimise the risk of irreversible loss of capital in the long term
  • How to increase your chances of making money on the stock market over several years
  • And how to better control your emotions, something that prevents many investors from reaching their maximum potential

The Intelligent Investor made a huge impression on me and was foundational in my stock market investing.

This great summary provides the key points of each of the 20 Chapters. Read the summary here.

The Wealth Chef by Ann Wilson

ann wilson book cover

I hate to include my own book but it would be churlish not to, and if you haven’t yet read it, use this time to get your Recipes for Wealth up to scratch with The Wealth Chef – How To Get Your Money Working Hard for You.

And for investing specifically, dive into the chapter on passive investing – Expand Your Dough.


Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers

susan jeffer book cover

Feel the Fear is an oldie but a goodie.

In our lives we’ve all at one time or another been confronted by “the fear”: fear of taking a decision, fear of losing a loved one, or launching a new project. In “Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway: What stops you from being the person you want to be and live the life you dream of? Susan Jeffers uses examples from her own life and shows us how to conquer our fears and how to finally live the life we have only ever dreamt of. She provides different methods in order to get there, in a clear and accessible language for all.

In a time of unprecedented fear and uncertainty, this is a great resource.

Read the summary here.

Atomic Habits by James Clear

james clear book coverThe majority of people try to change their habits all their lives but fail because they try to change everything at once. 

Through Atomic Habits, James Clear explains how to break this pattern, highlighting the importance of tiny changes, marginal gains or even 1% improvements, which he encompasses under the term Atomic Habits, to allow us to get rid of our bad behavior, develop good ones and finally become the architect of our life.

I first listened to Atomic Habits as an audiobook, and when I realised just how good it is, I had to get it in physical form so I could tag pages and make notes all over.

Read the summary here.

Awaken The Giant Within by Antony Robbins

tony robbins book cover

To be successful, you have to succeed in mastering your emotions, body, relationships, belief and finance, in other words your whole life, which is what Anthony Robbins puts forward: capture your dreams.

This book quite literally changed my life and set me on an extraordinary adventure which still continues today.

Without Awaken The Giant Within I may still be working in a cubicle and smoking on a pavement on a grey London winters day… 

I share how discovering Awaken The Giant Within and Anthony Robbins transformed my life in The Wealth Chef

If you haven’t yet read it, go read the great summary here and then get it.

The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz

jim loehr book cover

People comment on my energy the whole time. My energy is one of my superpowers and the great news is great reserves of energy can be cultivated. The Power of Full Engagement is of the books that contributed to my deep well of energy.

There are a set number of hours in every day, but the amount of energy that we have, the key to high performance, to health, happiness and balance is based in energy management, not time management.

The authors begin the book with an observation: we live in a world where everything is getting faster: digital exchanges, communications and the pace of work. We incessantly have to face an increasing number of demands. The most intuitive response that we can find is to devote more time to working to satisfy these demands. This seems logical: the more demands in our life, the more time we must devote to responding to them. The problem is that time is a finite resource. There are a limited number of hours in a day.

Often, we finish work tired, and we can no longer devote quality time to our loved ones. At work, a steady stream of emails and interruptions prevent us from devoting enough time to important projects. We can easily remember birthdays, thanks to Facebook and smartphone calendars, but we are often too tired to go out and celebrate the way we should. What is asked of us often exceeds what can give. In this crazy Covid time, even more so.

To overcome this difficulty and follow the pace, we are constantly trying to better manage our time and succeed in getting everything done.

In contrast to time, energy is not a finite resource

By managing it well, we can increase its capacity and better respond to these incessant demands. In reality, energy, not time, is the fundamental element of high performance

Efficiency, health and even happiness are rooted in the capacity to manage our energy throughout the day. Everything we do, from workplace discussions to the time we spend with our family requires energy. The quality of our actions depends very largely on the quality of our energy at the time when we act. Imagine waking up tomorrow with much more positive energy, focused on investing it at work and with your loved ones. Wouldn’t that change your life for the better?

The authors show us that we have much more control over our energy than we think. In this book, they offer us a set of sound principles for managing our energy, based equally on the physical, emotional, mental and finally spiritual aspects. What they call full engagement requires a large amount of physical energy, a good emotional connection, the capacity to focus properly (mental energy) and finally being true to personal values and a goal that exceeds our immediate personal interest (spiritual energy).

In fact, The Power of Full Engagement presents a new paradigm that is outlined in this great summary by Olivier. Read it here.

The Success Principle by Jack Canfield

jack canfield book cover

This book is for anyone who wants to fulfill their ambitions and their dreams, whether personal or professional: it offers 64 practical and inspiring principles that touch upon all aspects of life to lead you to where you really want to be. 

This great summary unpacks each of the 64 Success Principles

Read the summary here.

That set of great books should keep you out of mischief for a while.

Check out Olivier’s blog Books That Can Change Your Life  for many more great book summaries.

As the inspirational James Altucher says …

“The actions we make today become our biography tomorrow” 

Make today and how you choose to spend it count.

Big Love


P.S. This is me and Olivier gallivanting on snowmobiles in Utah.

It feels like a different lifetime…

So until we can adventure once again through physical travel,…

let books take you on amazing journeys instead.


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  • Marie Louise Steenbjerg says:

    Hi Ann

    I regard my self as Financial independent (I don’t have to work) @ age 63, but I get income from authorities and my health insurance in Denmark. In other words I am at a “break-even point”. I work on online income from many different sources to raise above break even level.
    I learned from CashFlow 101 board game (by Robert Kiyosaki) that even a low income nurse could get financial freedom and it opened my eyes that I could do the same.
    I am an engineer, but have not been able to work full time since 2012 due to cronic disease. I have learned a lot from books (personal development and investment books). I use to recommend The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason to people. It went out of print before WW2, but I found a used version. I was recommended the book by Jim Rohn, the famous business philosopher in one of hus 3-days events recorded in 1970-1990(?), See

  • Jeremy Valerga says:

    Hi Ann
    Thanks for recommending these books.
    As Warren Buffet says, “ the more you learn, the more you earn”
    I’m going to start with the “success principles” by Jack Canfield

  • Brinn says:

    Thank You Ann for sharing your infinite wisdom and generosity! This one, blew it out of the ballpark! A fan for life… <3

  • Vicki says:

    Thanks so much for this Ann, so worthwhile, appreciated!

  • Simphiwe says:

    I’ll need some where did I find copy of the wealth chef

  • Bongani says:

    hi i need the wealth chef book

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