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The Seed Tree Group Recommends . . .

Check out these recommendations to increase your financial intelligence

Based on the DIY guide to investing by David Alan Carter, this YouTube Channel offers clear cut advice to understanding how to safely invest the stock market and consistently beat the S&P 500. Stephen Carter, author of The Seed Tree: Wealth Building and Money Management Lessons for Teens, provides the videos for the channel.

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Recommended Reading

The world of personal finance books can be intimidating to say the least. Instead of wading through the endless piles of books on the topic, consider our recommendations for the best of the best.


Obviously, you should start with The Seed Tree, but assuming you've already read that, here are the next ones to check out:

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Atomic Habits by James Clear lays out a clear path toward forming solid, life-long habits by basing its philosophy in identity--don't just make a goal to run more, become a runnER. Don't just save money, become a savER. Little steps toward habit creation lead to amazing results. 

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The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson holds a special place for me (Stephen). Many years ago, my mother bribed me with a financial incentive to read this book. I did read it, begrudingly, and despite my attitude, the book impacted me powerfully. Olson uses the metaphor of compound interest to explain the philosophy of creating a competitive advantage in all areas of life. A definite MUST read.

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey is, in fact, a classic. And for good reason. I will be honest, though--I tried to read it a few years ago and gave up. When I approached it again, it was as an audiobook (read by Covey himself) and it was fantastic. Definitely take the time to digest the material fully--I recommend listening to one habit at a time and then working on implementing it fully before moving on. I hold this book up as truly life-changing; it has revolutionized how I prioritize and set goals.

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The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko is a quick read that drives home the concept of frugality. Rather than modeling oneself after the people who drive expense cars and live in massive houses, model yourself after the "millionaire next door" who lives frugally year after year while accumulating wealth. The big takeaway from this book is that it doesn't take a high paying job or crazy inheritance to become a millioniare--it takes dedicated saving and careful spending throughout one's life.

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Start with Why by Simon Sinek will change the way you view not only businesses but yourself. The book is based on his incredible TED talk where he outlines a revolutionary way to conduct business--instead of focusing on the how or the what, focus on the WHY. This is also a great principle for the individual: understanding one's WHY is essential to living a life of meaning and purpose. This is also a great book to help with picking individual stocks in which to invest--invest in companies that have a WHY you feel is compatible with your own.

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The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz is full of beautiful success principles and life hacks to take your dreams, goals, and passions to not only the next level, but the next ten levels. I recommend reading this book every two or three years to jump start your approach to goal making. I love the book so much that I dedicated an entire blog post to it as well as a YouTube video.

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The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach can be read in one afternoon and yet its teachings, if implemented, will reap rewards for many years to come. That's my kind of book. Bach's entire premise is based on the concept that, for something to work, it has to be "automatic." Primarily he is referring to a savings and investing plan--by creating automatic deposits from your checking into your investment account, as well as automating other aspects of your financial life, you will be on your path toward wealth and financial freedom.

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The 12% Solution by David Alan Carter is recommended for two primary reasons: first, the author, David Carter, is my father; second, the strategies work and I currently use them in my own portfolio. For those who seek to get higher returns than the S&P 500, this book outlines a method which uses a hedge, a cash trigger, and an investment strategy to earn, on average, 12% a year in returns. Did I mention that it works? I can personally attest to that. 

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Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki is pretty much required reading for anyone looking to expand their financial intelligence. While I certainly recommend reading it with discernment, it does present a side to investments that focuses more on risk than many of the conservative approaches in other books. My favorite takeaway from the book is Kiyosaki's controversial take on the true difference between assets and liabilities.

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