DSC_6540The Fitbit craze, yet another trend I just don’t get! I’ll stick to reading!

Fitbit went public last week. In its first moments of trading, it shot out of the blocks surging more than 50 percent. Fitbit is an amazing story, not only about a trendy wearable-Internet-connected fitness device, but also about fiscal fitness. Fitbit’s been getting in shape. It had losses in 2012 and 2013, but in 2014 Fitbit’s training paid off. Profits zoomed, and based on their surging IPO, investors have noticed. How’s that for fiscal fitness? Hopefully, Fitbit will stay in shape.

Wearable devices, like the Fitbit and the Apple Watch, are the new rage. Fitbit is a device that you wear on your wrist that monitors fitness activity, sleep habits, fluid and food intake, etc. It sends regular reminders about your fitness progress, or lack thereof. I have a message to all you Fitbit wearing, fitness gurus: “It’s summer!” Lay off the exercise. Head to the beach and crack open a good book.

As an avid reader (and an often exercise slacker), I’m going to share my 2015 summer reading list. Reads that will get you fiscally fit. As we head into the summer season, I hope that you find this suggested reading list enjoyable and informative.

“Get What’s Yours: The Secrets To Maxing Out Your Social Security,” by Laurence Kotlikoff, Philip Moeller & Paul Solman. I’m almost finished reading this one. “Get What’s Yours” will help you navigate the Social Security system and the maze of rules. As an advisor, it’s becoming a bible for my practice. If you are getting ready to claim your Social Security, you’ll want to read this one. In my opinion, it’s the best book on the subject of Social Security claiming strategies.

“The Real Book of Real Estate, by Robert Kiyosaki. Robert Kiyosaki is the bestselling author of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.” I read that book years ago. It was great, and “The Real Book of Real Estate” looks to be another treasure chest of real estate advice and techniques. Kiyosaki has assembled a cast of real estate wizards and trusted advisors who share their knowledge. The goal of this book is to help you win in real estate. I can’t wait to crack this one open.

“Happy Money,” by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton. “Money can’t buy happiness?” Well according the research in “Happy Money,” money can buy happiness. For instance, the research shows we get long-term enjoyment by spending money on experiences vs. buying things. Using our money to buy time also gets us more happiness. One of the greatest ways to increase happiness from money is to give it away to charity. My advice: Go spend some money on this one – it will make you happy!

“The Opposite Of Spoiled,” by Ron Lieber. This book’s premise is that talking openly to children about money can help parents raise modest, grounded young adults who become financially wise adults. This book has real-world stories from families with all ranges of incomes. The book has tips for handling things like the tooth fairy, allowances, chores, charity, savings, birthdays, holidays, etc. This is a great read for parents who know that honest conversations about money with their children are vital talks.

“When to Rob a Bank and 131 More Warped Suggestions and Well-Intended Rants,” by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. I always loved the wit that the authors of “Freakonomics” posses. This time they have put together a collection of their most outlandish blog posts, covering everything from when to rob a bank to why flight attendants don’t get tipped. Ever wonder why KFC runs out of fried chicken? This book will clue you in. In celebration of the 10th anniversary of their landmark book “Freakonomics” comes this collection. This will be a fun read!

Summertime is the season when the world slows down just enough for busy folks to relax. Can you imagine lying in the warm sun with a good book, beverage in hand and a Fitbit buzzing wristband reminding that you are 10,000 steps behind schedule? If you head to the beach for some much needed R&R this summer, toss the Fitbit into the ocean, grab a good book and relax!

I’d love to hear what you are reading. Reach out and let me know.

Full disclosure, my firm does not own Fitbit, nor is it endorsing the stock, nor do I plan to own any wearable devices – but my wife has one.

This article originally appeared in the Old Colony Memorial newspaper in of June 2015.

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