Summer Reading for Financial Advisors

June 30, 2021 | 11 minute read

Summer reading for financial advisors

‘Tis the season to unfold a lawn chair, tie up a hammock, or plop down into a rocking chair on the porch with a good book. Don’t let the summer pass you by without escaping into the pages of your new favorite read. Whether you want to level up in business or, adversely, take a break from your business, we’ve got you covered. 

Here are the top 25 recommended reads from Team Planswell.

Level up in business

1. Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg 

“Smarter, Faster, Better by Charles Duhigg is one of my top three or four favorite books. We read it twice on the leadership team. If you’ve read it before, go read it again.” —Eric Arnold, Chief Executive Officer

2. Sell or Be Sold: How to Get Your Way in Business and in Life by Grant Cardone

“I've recommended this one to a couple people already —in terms of my personal career and my sales career, the thing that really kind of woke me up was Sell or Be Sold by Grant Cardone. It really explains in detail how everything you do in life is sales, whether it's actually making a sale to connect somebody to transact with you, or if it's trying to convince your spouse to watch something specific on Netflix. He goes through different techniques, but it’s not only techniques. He outlines how to deal with rejection and how to talk about different things as it pertains to sales and in life in general.” —Patrick Brennan, Account Executive

3. ReWork by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

I always recommend the same book I've been recommending for years. ReWork is a very short, fast business book. The key takeaway is just move fast, especially in the startup world. This book cured my perfectionism.” —Jen Mastrud, Chief Marketing Officer

4. Radical Candor by Kim Scott

"A must-read for managers, and it's even more powerful if you can get your teammates to read it too." —Isabel Leong, Community Manager

5. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B Cialdini PhD

“I’m currently reading something highly recommended to me by Planswell’s Head of Sales. He said it’s his favorite book, and so far I can see why.” —Daniel Schloss, Account Executive

6. Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin

“This is a book that really changed the course of my life and career. I was a dud of a salesperson looking across the sales floor at those monsters who hit numbers every month, hearing how they speak with confidence, how they managed to pivot on a dime when necessary, and thinking, ‘well they just they just have it.’ After reading this book, I realized that anyone who’s extremely talented at anything, it was learned...and there's one way to learn that’s better than another, which will give you a better chance of success. So if you want to believe you can get to a place of greatness, read this book. There is an opportunity for everyone and I think having that belief is the foundation of actually moving in the right direction.” —Lukasz Merzdik, Head of Sales

Level up in life

7. The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma 

The 5 AM club by Robin Sharma is a really interesting, motivational life experience framed in a fictional story. You may guess who it might be framed around or based on, but it is fictional as far as I know. I'm part of the 8:30 AM Club, but working my way down to 5 am.” —Andy Cosby, Sales Manager

8. The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

I just finished the 48 Laws of Power. I really like that book. I think Robert Greene is a great author. He also did The Art of Seduction, which is also on my recommended reading list. It’s a great read. Overall, it helps you get a leg up on the competition.  —Anthony Gomez, Digital Ads Manager

9. Originals by Adam Grant 

“Originals by Adam Grant is about how non-conformance moves the world. It's kind of cool. It shows how to champion new ideas and how to fight groupthink. It's interesting for a finance guy like me to get out and see color versus black and white all of the time. It’s a good read.” —Trevor Oseen, Chief Financial Officer

10. My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor 

“It's about how the brain works, not just during recovery from trauma, but how to unlock overall wellbeing. It's a really great read.” —Vanessa Robinson, Account Executive


11. Discovery Your Destiny by Robin Sharma

“I would definitely recommend Discover Your Destiny by the monk who sold his Ferrari, Robin Sharma. The book promises ‘Readers will learn the true purpose of their lives, how to unlock their highest potential, the secret of boundless joy and a direct route to personal freedom’ and it really doesn’t disappoint.” —Javairia Asif, People Operations Lead

12. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

I read it last summer and fell in love. It’s great for self-growth and moving past negative thoughts. Sometimes, we’re just stuck and this book is really good at getting you going again.”  —Javairia Asif, People Operations Lead

13. 99 Poems to Cure Whatever’s Wrong with You or Create the Problems You Need by Sam Pink

It's a little profane but pretty enjoyable. Short read.” —Shaun Esau, Software Developer

14. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

“Everybody has a different kind of currency for how they receive and give love and communicate. I recently ordered a version for teens because I have three teenagers now and need all the help I can get.” —Vanessa Robinson, Account Executive

15. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie

“An unlikely book that I didn't think I would read—I’m not even sure it was intended for someone like me, but I really found value in it. It’s about not comparing yourself to other people. I learned how to compare myself to my future self instead, and to track my tasks and accomplishments weekly to make sure I am having the growth that I want. I feel happier than I did before; this book helped me improve.” —Tony Peters, Account Executive

16. Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins

“As promised, this book really does show you ‘effective strategies and techniques for mastering your emotions, your body, your relationships, your finances, and your life.’ I highly recommend it.”—Tony Peters, Account Executive

17. Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day by Jay Shetty

“I've been reading Think Like a Monk; I'm sure everybody can learn multiple things from this book.’ —Michael Aworoghene, Software Developer

Diversity & inclusion recommendations

18. We Were 8 Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates 

“It's about the South. It's about black politicians, the history of black politicians and, quite honestly, I think it's about the impact of the first black president in America...and the mark he left on American society and the world. I think it's just a really awesome book.”—Scott P. Gill, Chief Compliance Officer

19. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

“I'm taking a break from pure business stuff, so I switched to Trevor Noah's book. I'm actually re-reading it—it’s such a good book. If you want to learn stuff while also being entertained, pick it up. I'm learning all about apartheid in South Africa and what it was like growing up there. It's super fascinating. Very interesting. Highly recommend it.”—Eric Arnold, Chief Executive Officer

20. Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins

“A truly inspiring story of pushing past pain to reach full potential. The author survived poverty, prejudice, and physical abuse to become the only person in history to become a Navy SEAL, an Army Ranger, and an Air Force Tactical Air Controller.” —Tony Peters, Account Executive

Beach reads just for fun

21. Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey 

I was looking for something to burn some time and I just wanted to listen to something on my walks, so I downloaded Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey. I was surprised I couldn't put it down. It was actually really good.” —Scott Wetton, Chief Operating Officer

22. The Shadow and Bone Trilogy: Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

“The majority of my time I spend reading fantasy. In the last three, four months since The Shadow and Bone series came out, that’s all I’ve been reading. No regrets.”—By Abdullah Hussein, Product Manager

23. The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt

“The book I recommend most has to be The Goal. It is a very toe-dip story into how to stop thinking about the thing you're working on specifically and zoom out to think of the system as a whole, so you're not just fixing a local issue and thereby creating problems somewhere else.”Craig Savolainen, Head of Engineering

24. Verity by Colleen Hoover 

“I honestly think summer is just for fun reading, so I'm going to recommend my favorite thriller, which is Verity by Colleen Hoover. It’s just a really fun read if you like mystery books.” —Nicolette Bertsch, Customer Service Representative

25. Becoming by Michele Obama

“A great book, loving it. Recommend it.” —Laurie MacDonald, Account Executive

Ready for more? Check out the reading list from Planswell CEO Eric Arnold. Got a recommendation for us? Please drop me a line at We’re always looking for our next favorite book.


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Kristina Smith

VP Partnerships, Planswell


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