Alden Ehrenreich is the first to admit that he's never had to "worry too much about money," he tells online investing platform Wealthsimple. "Not that there haven't been lean times," adds the 28-year-old actor, who plays Han in the latest "Star Wars" movie, "Solo."
"But on the whole, I've always had steady work and haven't dealt with the financial struggles that so many actors — and young people in general — often deal with when they're starting out," he says.
Just because Ehrenreich has done well for himself doesn't mean he spends lavishly, though: "Like most people, I have a certain queasiness about buying anything that's really expensive."
In fact, the best investment he's ever made is an inexpensive one: books.
"I've found that the one thing that brings me the most joy is something that costs me the least amount of money — reading books," he tells Wealthsimple.
"Books, I've always felt, are the greatest and simplest vehicle for learning," continues Ehrenreich, who says it was acclaimed director Francis Ford Coppola who taught him that the greatest joy in life is learning. "They contain so much wisdom. … And the best part of all? They only cost a few bucks each. You can't make a better investment than that."
Billionaire Mark Cuban agrees with the young actor. Buying books, he says, is one of the best investments he has ever made over the course of his lucrative career.
"I used to love to walk through bookstores," Cuban tells Vanity Fair. "If there was something that caught me eye and I thought it could give me one idea — to spend $30 to give one idea that could help propel me and make my businesses better, it was a bargain."
One book in particular "used to get me all fired up," Cuban says: "The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need," written by Andrew Tobias in 1978. Another particularly influential book helped him earn his first million, he says in an interview with Money: "Cashing in on the American Dream" by Paul Terhors.
As for Ehrenreich's favorites, those would be: "'Steppenwolf' by Herman Hesse. John Steinbeck's 'East of Eden.' Anything by Alan Watts," he tells Wealthsimple. Plus, "I just read Marilynne Robinson's 'Gilead,' which was phenomenal."
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