Happy 4th of July weekend! Now that summer is officially in full swing, and perhaps you have a little extra time, you may be interested in creating a cash flow creation mindset. To help I’ve compiled a list of my top 10 favorite reads from 2016 and the first half of 2017. One of my secrets to real estate investing success is reading a book a week, and I encourage you to do the same. Have you read any of these books? I would love to hear your comments and your favorite REI reads.

1. The Number – Lee Eisenberg

Former Ad exec and writer for magazines, Eisenberg takes a “regular guy” look at how much you need to retire and how to figure it out. Through story telling about lifestyle, needs and wants, Eisenberg helps the reader gain a calm about what the dollar amount is needed to retire. What is “enough”? This book doesn’t have a lot of complicated formulas or graphs, but a plain English approach to explaining how to figure out the amount needed. The best lesson is about capitalization and how long that money will last. Nice read.

2. Cash Flow Quadrant – Robert Kiyosaki 

Kiyokasi explains and gives charts to help the reader understand that depending on what walk of life you are in, you either will have an easy time or hard time becoming financially independent. This will give anyone a good perspective on where they fit in the economy and whether they are on the slow boat or fast track to independence. Find out for yourself whether you are in the right part of the quadrant.

3. Real Book on Real Estate – Robert Kiyosaki

Love this book because it’s all about the stories of people who succeeded and how.

4. Tax Free Wealth – Tom Wheelwright, CPA

Part of the Rich Dad series, this book is eye-opening to people who complain about taxes, or don’t know the tax advantages given to real estate assets. It’s written in layman’s terms, and will give you a starting point to understanding how to structure your investments (with real life stories of successes and failures) to protect yourself and save on income taxes.

5. The Complete Guide to Buying & Selling Apartment Buildings – Steve Berges

A very analytical book that helps you crunch numbers, but also helps you to leverage or optimize your multi-family building’s cash flow. You can learn to do this before you buy your first apartment building.

6. What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know about Cash Flow – Frank Gallinelli

A book full of step- by-step analysis on terms every investor should know. This math will help decide whether to buy, when to sell, and how to show the seller the fair price based on numbers. The terms used to measure returns (like cap rate, GRM, internal rate of return) are all explained and demonstrated. For those who love technical stuff it’s a great read, for those who don’t it’s a must read.  Mr Gallinelli has a humorous style of writing to boot. Enjoy!

7.  Deals on Wheels – Lonnie Scruggs

It’s about buying and selling mobile homes but because it’s all about how to buy mobiles homes cheap (usually older ones the dealers don’t want) and then selling them with financing in place. I feel that this is a great basic book on how the math and ROI works. The grammar and typos kind of give you a chuckle – the authenticity of his communication comes through

8.  Cash In on Cash Flow – Laurence J Pino –

Though this book was written in 1998, it is still timely and one of the best basics on where (what industries) you can invest in cash flow. Mr Pino is not just a real estate guy; he is an attorney who has invested in all kinds of debt. And so I would call this your Buying Debt 101. From mortgage notes, to car and other vehicle notes, to business debts secured or unsecured, factoring (which is buying a business receivable) to lottery to insurance.

All those things can be bought as a promise to pay. Because he is an attorney, he also touches on the different laws that can be helpful or hurtful. I guess since buying debt is a 2000+year old practice, his 1998 publishing date is still pretty recent. He has a way of making the concepts simple and gives you an overview of the 50, yes 50, ways you can make money with none of your own invested. I might argue that this should be #1.

9 Invest In Debt by Jimmy Napier 1993 rev 2004.

This is another easy read that helps you understand how to calculate the payment, rework the payment without losing yield etc.   How do you calculate what to offer a seller of a note. How do figure out what to offer if there is a balloon note. How do you figure out if a note is a good price. How can you get someone struggling with the payment back on track without losing money. And more.

10.  Seller Financing on Steroids by Dawn Rickabaugh the Note Queen, 2010.

I love this book, because like me, she is a problem solver. She shares through story telling how seller financing has saved many deals and  people avoid a lot of hardship.

You might say, hey, we don’t do that here. Well, she used to be in SoCal, and many of her stories are about transactions here. Whether it’s her million dollar property or the little 100k house, there are seller financing stories at all levels and all types of properties.

My favorite on is the commercial property that would sell that ended up making her a 32% return.  My belief is that as interest rates rise more sellers will have to consider seller financing. And you might, Athena, most sellers want their cash out of the property; why else would they be selling! Well, read the book and see how they still will… and she will be my next podcast guest on Women in Investing and Investors Corner. So stay tuned!

I hope you enjoy and learn from these books as I have done