The 3 books I’m giving for Christmas this year

Christmas shopping sucks, right?

Not for me.

Years ago, I cracked the Christmas shopping code: I buy people books.

Although I must confess, last year it didn’t work out so well.

I bought my mother-in-law Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

She opened the present, scanned the title, and the look on her face said it all.

“Oh, I’m not saying you’re a hoarder … it’s just … a really good book. Merry … Christmas”, I added.

Silence.

Anyway, you’re not going to be that stupid, so here are the books I’ve got in my Santa sack this year:

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World — and Why Things Are Better Than You Think

Bill Gates says this is one of the most important books he’s ever read.

Author Hans Rosling systematically unpacks fake news, sensationalist clickbait, and doom-and-gloom headlines with cold hard facts: actually, in almost every way, the world is getting much better.

While the media reports obsessively on the latest drama of the moment, the upward movement of human progress marches on with little fanfare. This book shows you how to look at the world in a rational, fact-based way.

A perfect gift for your manic-depressive, we’re-going-to-hell-in-a handbasket, MAGA-hat-wearing brother-in-law.

Where Are The Customers’ Yachts?

This year we’ve watched — gobs agape — at the sheer rat cunning of financial institutions: charging dead people for advice, ripping off the mentally disabled, and billing for advice they never gave.

Has it always been this bad?

Hell, yes!

Almost 80 years ago Fred Schwed wrote the book Where Are The Customers’ Yachts?

The title of the book comes from a legendary story about a visitor to New York who stands admiring the expensive yachts of the Wall Street brokers. He naively asks, “Where are all the customers yachts?”

Of course, there were none. As every bank CEO knows intuitively, the really big money is made in providing financial advice, rather than receiving it. This book will make you laugh and cry.

A great book for anyone who is reviewing their super fund fees over the holidays.

How to Break Up with Your Phone

Our phones (and the apps on them) are designed to be highly addictive. They manipulate our brains, suck up ever increasing amounts of our attention, and capture the one true resource we can never replace: our precious time.

Author Catherine Price explains how phones are changing our brains, and provides a four-week program that shows you how to break up with your phone and form a healthier relationship with your screen.

A great gift for … me.

And yes, you guessed it, I’ll also be gifting my book, The Barefoot Investor for Families.

I’ll confess: while I originally wrote the book for parents and grandparents, a huge surprise for me has been how successful the book has been with kids. I’m pitching it as a perfect stocking-filler. After all, the skills the book teaches will set their kids up for life. And that’s a pretty cool Christmas present to give, right?

Tread Your Own Path!