My Recommended List of Books to Read or Gift

December 22, 2022
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'Tis the season to shop for books to read and gift, and there are a few that I always enjoy recommending (including a shameless plug for the book that Robert Balentine and I wrote last year, First Generation Wealth). What are the books that you always recommend to your friends and family? I'd love to hear what's on your list.

Jim Grubman’s Strangers in Paradise. Jim explains how families who successfully adapt to wealth across generations adapt culturally like immigrants to a new land do. A powerful metaphor and an inspiration for First Generation Wealth, especially our third principle “Seeing the World Through the Next Generation’s Eyes."  

Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton. Few people in history have created such a powerful legacy in only 47 years. “What is a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see,” wrote Lin-Manuel Miranda in the Broadway play based on this book. Our first principle in First Generation Wealth is “Don’t Mistake Wealth for Legacy.”  

Dennis Jaffe’s Borrowed from your Grandchildren. Dennis argues that while Founders build great businesses, Heirs build great families. He outlines characteristics of resilient families and focuses on the opportunities that wealth provides, such as empowerment and propelling purpose, rather than just the challenges of wealth. Dennis' thinking informed Principle 2 of First Generation Wealth, “Distinguish Between Your Business and the Business of Your Family."  

Charles D Ellis’ Winning the Losers Game. This classic from an investment legend (and friend of Balentine!) uses the analogy of winning an amateur tennis game (you win by not making mistakes) to emphasize the bedrock of our approach: successful investing depends more on the management of risk, than return. Look for our Capital Markets Forecast for 2023 coming soon for more on this idea.

Clayton Christensen’s How Will You Measure Your Life? Given to me by the matriarch of a multi-generational family we are privileged to serve at her 100th birthday, no book has done more to make me think about what I want my own legacy to be!

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