Personal Finance Author Ahmed Dawn Picks Best Personal Finance Books

Top Personal Finance and Money Books

First Published: November 11, 2009

If you are a novice in the personal finance world and would like to broaden your money management knowledge, a good start would be to kick off your reading with a few timeless personal finance books. But how should you pick the first few books to read considering there are thousands of books written and available on the topic of personal finance?

Today, to make your life little simpler, I will give you a list of my top picks – 5 simple and easy-to-comprehend financial books to kick off your financial journey. One point to emphasize – don’t stop reading after finishing these 5 books. Your financial well-being depends largely on your financial knowledge. Always continue reading more financial books and literature to enhance your personal finance knowledge. Read, learn, and follow your financial roadmap to become successful financially. A Dawn Journal will provide you with great and reliable information to help you go through your financial journey.

Basic personal Finance Books

1. Your Money or Your Life by Dominguez and Robin

A very different type of personal finance book. It will give you a new perspective on life, work, and money. By working for someone else, we are trading our precious time for money. You could spend this time with your family or doing something you enjoy, rather than working for someone else and making them rich. That’s why working for someone else is making a dying – it’s not making a living. The authors show in this book how you can gradually switch from making a dying to making a living. I encourage you to read my full review here: Your Money or Your Life – A. Dawn Journal Book Review

2. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley & William Danko

This book reveals how ordinary people can achieve extraordinary financial success by living below their means and practicing discipline. True millionaires don’t spend, dress, or act like millionaires and they have not inherited wealth or won lotteries. You can be a millionaire too by making smart money decisions and following proven steps other millionaires take mentioned in this book.

3. The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach

There is no shortcut becoming a millionaire. All you need is to use common sense to cut unnecessary expenses, pay yourself first, and make your financial life automated. Bach shows how you can put your financial life on autopilot and reach your goals without spending hefty time on money management. Bach is the guy who coined the term “The Latte Factor®”. What is The Latte Factor®? It just simply means that you cut on unnecessary small spending everyday and save or invest them to reach your financial goals.

4. Getting Loaded: Get Ready, Get Set, Get Rich by Peter Bielagus

Is it possible to become financially successful just by saving a couple of dollars a day? Peter Bielagus shows how to do it in this simple yet insightful book, step-by-step. The author discusses all you need to know about money and how you can use time on your side to build a strong financial backbone. This book is specially recommended for young graduates who are just entering the workforce and to anyone else who wants to be financially strong without having lots of money.

5. Invest Now by A. Dawn

This is a beginner’s guide to show you step-by-step how you can start investing for the first time with very little money. Although Invest Now is written for Canadians, the procedures mentioned would work in any industrialized country. Invest Now is written in very simple and easy language – avoiding all financial jargon. A must-read for those who want to know how financial markets and products work.

Career Success Without A Real Job

Success Without A Real Job – ADJ Book Review

First Published: August 19, 2009

What Is This Book About?

Ernie sent me this book a while ago, and I have been reading it during lunch two times a week for the last two months. I have only so many hours a day and working a corporate job and being an Internet entrepreneur at the same time makes it hard to have time for anything else. Career Success Without A Real Job talks about exactly what I am trying to achieve – to live a free life doing something I love and something I’m passionate about.

Difficulties I Have Reading Zelinski’s Book

Whenever I read Zelinski’s books, I get the feeling that he believes exactly what I believe in and we share the same perspectives on virtually anything you can possibly imagine – such as living with fewer possessions and living on your own terms. It is very hard to read and even review a book if it feels like you are the one who wrote or should have written this book – how can possibly you review your own book? I talked about this more in another post.

Real Job and Unreal Job

Ernie talks about real jobs in this book. A real job is working in a corporation or for someone else with no freedom and flexibility. An unreal job is something you truly enjoy with a lot of flexibility and freedom. Also, the author talks about unconventional business. An unconventional business is a business that does not require any employees, with minimal to no presence on your part, and very low start-up cost. I can’t think of a better example than my Internet entrepreneurship.

An Inspirational Book

Career Success Without A Real Job is mainly an inspirational book – it does not lead you to a specific roadmap for choosing your unreal job. However, it gives you enough information and resources to help you explore your best possible unreal job. The author provides many questionnaires throughout the book to help you recognize your career strengths, steps to create a dream career, questions to help you find your life’s calling, questions to test if you can be self-employed, characteristics to recognize an ideal business and much more. Also, in this book, the author provides lists mentioning 100 of the world’s coolest unreal jobs, top excuses to stay in the corporate world, advantages and disadvantages of being self-employed, lists showing why the corporate world isn’t all that as it seems, ways to sell information, and many more useful lists.

The Work Model for People Too Prosperous to Do Mornings

The above is the title of Chapter 7 that is dedicated to Internet entrepreneurship. It is no wonder that I read the above chapter before reading anything else. The author was able to give a good summary of what kind of things you can do online and what to expect. One misconception we have is that you can be rich doing Internet business overnight – and the author points out these and other misconceptions we have about Internet entrepreneurship. Chapter 7 is a very resourceful chapter and I suggest you read this chapter with the utmost attention. Here are some lists the author mentions in this chapter:

– Examples of Profitable Internet Business
– Top-Ten Ways to Make Money on the Internet
– Ten Questions to Help You Find Your Internet Niches
– Seven Main Ways to Get Traffic to Your Website

Some Important Highlights from Career Success Without A Real Job

Here are some highlights I must mention before I finish writing this review:

– Success as an entrepreneur takes time. Don’t expect to things to happen overnight.
– Achieving Career Success Without A Real Job is like climbing a mountain. There will
be risks, disappointments, and adventure.
– Ordinary individuals were able to achieve extraordinary success – and so can you.
– It’s never too late to pursue your dream career.
– The strongest single virtue for attaining success is self esteem – believing in yourself. – Believe in you, your dreams, your talent, and that it is possible for you to reach your
dreams. You will succeed.
– Don’t be afraid to spend money on your self-development and the stuff you need
along the way to reach your goals.
– Creativity is your best asset. Explore it, culture it, use it, and grow rich.
– Try to live with fewer possessions. Material possessions are an obstacle to set your
soul free and live a happy, unreal life.

My Take

This is a must-read book for everyone – even if you love your current corporate job and have no plans to quit for an unreal job. Who knows, maybe you will look at life from a different perspective after reading Career Success Without A Real Job.

Flip UltraHD And MoviePix MP5A4 HD Digital Video Camera

Watch A View From My Balcony Non-HD

First Published: June 10, 2009

I have been contemplating buying an HD Camcorder for sometime. However, I was procrastinating because I wanted to buy a Flip UltraHD and it was not yet available in Canada. A couple of days ago I found out that Walmart Canada was selling the Flip UltraHD Digital Camcorder, and I decided to visit Walmart to buy one. As I was about to buy the Flip UltraHD an associate walked up to me and asked why would I want pay double just for a brand name.  He showed me a MoviePix MP5A4 HD cam which cost $127 (Flip UltraHD costs about $270) and had more features than Flip UltraHD. He also said that he tried it himself and he is convinced that it was a better deal at half the cost of a Flip cam. He sounded very convincing and I decided to give it a try.

After coming home (that was Saturday), I spent couple of hours learning various features and trying to get acquainted with my new cam. Today (Sunday), I shot my first clip – and the picture quality is just outstanding. I am pleased with this camera, especially its price. I am going to post a clip for you, and I will post a link to a similar video clip I shot before with a regular video camera. You will be able to see the difference yourself.

I will be using my new HD cam at the Toronto Reference Library in The Spring 2009 Toronto Small Press Book Fair. And from now on, expect to see more video clips capturing interesting stuff as I see them through my eyes.

MoviePix MP5A4 HD 720P Video Camcorder Review

MoviePix MP5A4 HD Camera Review

First Published: June 28, 2009

Ever since I wrote Flip UltraHD And MoviePix MP5A4 HD Digital Video Camera post, I have been getting lots of questions regarding my MoviePix HD video camera. Lots of readers asked whether to buy a Flip UltraHD or a MoviePix HD cam. Today, I am writing a quick comparison Review showing the main differences between these two cameras. After looking at this comparison table below, you should have a good idea of what to pick.

MoviePix MP5A4 HD

1280 x 720

up to 60 fps



8 MP

Li-ion rechargeable battery 2.5 hours

Camcorder connects to your computer via USB cable

SD memory slot allows up to 32GB of storage

USB, AV & HDTV Component output jacks allow to connect it directly to HD TV


148 gms

In Canada: $127 C$ In USA: $147 US$

Flip UltraHD

1280 x 720

up to 30 fps



Can’t take still pictures

rechargeable NiMH AA batteries 2.5 hours. Can use standard AA alkaline batteries as well.

Camcorder connects directly to the USB port on your computer.

8GB internal memory

HDMI output on the side for HDTV connections, but no bundled cable


170 gms

In Canada: $299 C$ In USA: $199 US$

Watch A View From My Balcony I Shot On MoviePix Video Camera In HD

Amazon Echo Dot with Alexa Made My Life Easier

My Top Commands for Amazon Alexa

Amazon Echo Dot products provide a pathway to the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for ridiculously low prices. I picked up 2 Echo Dots (2nd and 3rd Generation) for only $25 and $40 on sale. Since I unboxed my Echo Dots, my world has changed, as Alexa took lots of tasks and worries out of my everyday life.

You can watch my Amazon Alexa Echo Dot Review here. There are so many things Alexa can do and she is always improving. Some of features I have been using since I brought her home:

Flash Briefing – I added 3 of my favourite news feeds together and Alexa will play them together when I say “flash new” or “flash briefing”.

Start My Day – This is another command where you can add several items and Alexa will play them one after another once you command her to “start my day”. I added a random fact, news feed, weather, and my calendar under this command.

When Should I Leave – You tell Alexa your public transit stop numbers and she will tell you the next 2 schedules when the bus or streetcar will leave. Alexa can only save one bus stop, so I saved the one I use most. For all others, you can tell her the numeric bus stop numbers. I see there is room for Alexa to improve, so you can only tell her your intersections, instead of stop #s.

Set Up Timer, Alarm, Reminder – Setting up alarms or reminders are so easy now. I don’t need to go through all those settings on my phone.

I also use features like weather, wind chill, and currency conversion frequently. I am learning more about Alexa and will share my experiences on this site and on my YouTube Channel.