Books That Shaped My Journey As a Person and Investor

Books That Shaped My Journey As a Person and Investor

Finance and personal growth might seem unrelated, but for me, they’ve always been intertwined. The books I’ve read have significantly influenced my approach to investing and have taught me how to become a more conscientious citizen.

Take a closer look at the titles that have developed my investment philosophy, instilled positive habits in me as a person, and given me inspiration in my work with Deerfield.

As a Person

Several books have guided me along my personal journey.

Letters From a Stoic by Seneca

Seneca was a Roman philosopher, and in this title, he helps his friend Lucillus find a fulfilling life. The book documents their journey and discussions about living ethically and honorably. Through reading, I learned to better embrace reason, practice self-control, and accept what’s beyond my control.

The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss

This book from Ferriss’s celebrated 4-Hour series promotes strategies for escaping the 9-to-5 doldrums. It’s given me pointers about pursuing and attaining financial independence by working smarter, not harder. Ferriss describes how to cut out unnecessary forces in your life and find more time to relax and do what I love.

Living Forward by Michael Hyatt

This book gave me an easy-to-follow system for forming a personalized life plan. It focuses on identifying core values and desired outcomes. Hyatt has taught me how to move forward in my journey and lead a purposeful life with intention. He believes you can find fulfillment by being proactive, not just reacting to circumstances.

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

Krakauer’s celebrated work chronicles the adventures of a college graduate who “drops out” and explores the Alaskan wilderness. He questions society’s expectations and theorizes about the allure of freedom. It’s a bittersweet story about changing one’s life by getting outside your comfort zone.

Stillness Is the Key by Ryan Holiday

In this title, Holiday talks about pursuing calm and stillness in mind, body, and soul. Through historical accounts and mental exercises, he explains how to manage emotions, simplify life, and find clarity in a world producing non-stop noise. It’s taught me to stay centered within the chaos of modern life.

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

This book is a wild ride through history explaining how humans became earth’s dominant species. Harari emphasizes the need to cooperate in large numbers fueled by myth. It made me ponder how humans have developed over the centuries and how you can leave an impactful mark on this world.

As an Investor

These titles about modern finance have provided invaluable insights for success in this field.

Simple Wealth, Inevitable Wealth by Nick Murray

While many books discuss how to make millions now, Murray concentrates on the long game. He develops a buy-and-hold strategy by investing in low-cost mutual funds. Murray focuses on time in the market rather than timing the market and how to control emotions in times of significant market fluctuation.

A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton G. Malkiel

This one is a modern classic. Malkiel argues that stock prices follow a random pattern and that investors should cease trying to beat the market. Like Nick Murray, Malkiel endorses a passive investment strategy through index funds, portfolio diversification, and a focus on long-term success.

The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America by Lawrence Cunningham

Warren Buffett, of course, is one of the most successful investors in market history. This compilation of letters to shareholders is like attending a master class in intelligent investing. Buffett offers wisdom on investing and having ethical business principles.

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John C. Bogle

Bogle is a champion of low-cost index funds. Like Murray and Malkiel, Bogle focuses on buy-and-hold strategies, proclaiming that actively managed funds rarely outpace the market. This book describes how diversification and patience can make for a low-maintenance path to success. 

Using Books to Shape Your Journey

Whether you’re looking to transform your life or your career, books can provide an effective road map. I hope you find these particular books as inspiring and impactful as I did.

About Marcus

Marcus Miller is Wealth Manager and Shareholder at Deerfield Financial Advisors, a fee-only financial advisory and wealth management firm with offices in Indianapolis and Chicago. His role includes strategic planning, income tax optimization, insurance and estate planning, and investment management for a diverse group of clients. Implementing Deerfield’s unique financial planning approach called WealthwhileSM, Marcus helps clients live their best lives and focus on their most worthwhile passions. He is passionate about helping them pursue, experience, and maintain true financial independence for their families—without the sales pitch. He truly enjoys helping people and developing deep, meaningful relationships with clients.

Prior to joining Deerfield in 2012, Marcus gained valuable experience at a Big Four accounting firm, a nationally recognized brokerage house, and a distinguished independent advisory firm. He holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Accounting from Ball State University, the Certified Public Accountant and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM designations, and is a NAPFA Registered Financial Advisor. Marcus serves on the Board of Happy Hollow Children’s Camp and on the Planned Giving Committee at the Indianapolis Zoo. He is a member of the Professional Advisor Leadership Council at the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) and is involved at his daughters’ school.

Marcus resides in Carmel, IN, with his wife, Andrea, and their two daughters. They love spending time outdoors hiking, bicycling, camping, and traveling to national parks. (They have a goal to visit all 63 national parks; Yosemite is the current favorite.) An avid reader, especially of non-fiction, history, and finance books, Marcus also trains in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, likening it to a physical chess match that involves problem-solving and mental strengthening with physical consequences. To learn more about Marcus, connect with him on LinkedIn.


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