Reading without a doubt changed my life…
And the list of the best personal finance books below have changed millions of other people’s lives as well.
My football coach in college told me that the smartest people in the world read at least 1 book per month. At the time (of course I was drowning in school work), I thought that was crazy. Who has time to read?
Well, it isn’t about having time. It is about making time… And it is well worth the effort.
It wasn’t until I was 24 and given some books by my boss as my first assignment that I really caught the book bug. From there, I didn’t look back. Over the next 2 years I consumed 2 books per week via audio, Kindle and print. That was the turning point in 1) changing my mindset, and 2) really opening my eyes to what was possible – financially and beyond.
The reason books are so great because you get access into the stories behind the story. You get to see how the most successful and wealthy people in history think and act. You get this access all for very cheap, if not free.
When you talk about a great investment, books have to be at the top of the list!
I asked a bunch of experts what the best personal finance books are, and here are their responses:
Think and Grow Rich (2 Votes)
“The key lesson is that the world is filled with abundance and opportunity for those who control their thoughts and emotions and turn them into positive actions.” – Kevin Cahill CFP, CLU, President and Founder of Canadian Legacy Builder
“It is a brilliant book, but the underlying theme is if you visualize it and work hard for it you can have it.” – Blake Janover, CEO of Trusted Nutrients
Simple Wealth, Inevitable Wealth
“His strongest points are:
- Owning a diversified portfolio of equities over the long-term does not carry significant risk of capital loss. The diversified portfolio of equities is subject to volatility, but volatility passes away under long-term time horizons and should not be conflated with risk.
- Building wealth through the steady accumulation of equity mutual funds is simple, and the result of this behavior, over a lifetime, is inevitable wealth.
- Bonds will not build wealth.
In fact, here’s a list of some of the best, with my reviews linked. – Michael Taylor, Bankers-Anonymous.com
The Giving Tree
“The classic children’s book, The Giving Tree, has taught me a lot about personal finances. Like the titular tree, it’s entirely possible for a parent to give too much, to overextend themselves and jeopardize their own future for someone else, and this is something I see all the time in my work.
I always advise parents, just as airlines tell you to make sure you secure your own oxygen mask before you help someone else, make sure that your finances are taken care of before you start worrying about others. If you don’t take responsibility for your own finances, no one else will– a child can subsidize their higher education, for example, but you can never subsidize your retirement. Always make sure your own financial health is your number one priority.” – Elle Kaplan, CEO and Founding Partner of LexION Capital
Make Money, Live Wealthy
The beautiful thing is that when you write your own blog, you put your own book on the list! Coming this November is my first book: Make Money, Live Wealthy. 🙂
After interviewing 75 successful entrepreneurs, I realized that although the details of their stories are much different, they all go through the same sequential steps to obtaining true wealth. So, this book guides people through the 10 simple steps to true wealth, one piece at a time. Get your free copy today before it is too late!
One of my top 20 favorite lessons from the book is that you can delegate authority of who manages your money, but you cannot delegate responsibility. That is solely on you! Nobody cares more about your finances than you do, so you have to take control and drive your (financial) life in the direction that you want to go.
So many think of it as a matter of luck or skill, but each of the wealthy people I’ve interviewed are just normal people who have set themselves apart by doing some simple but important things along the way. This book details those steps.
Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you want to go, but it will not replace you as the driver. – Ayn Rand (shared by Brittney Castro)
“It shows you so clearly how owning your niche, being the top player and first in, in your niche equals big success and a perpetual income stream.
It’s the way we have grown and prospered here!” – Craig Wolfe, President of CelebriDucks and Cocoa Canard
I Will Teach You to Be Rich
“[Ramit] carefully breaks down and explains complex financially concepts and guides you through the best course of action.
A key lesson that I learned was understanding the ladder of investment. People often want to invest, but they are not confident in what to prioritize. Depending on your situation, should you pay off your debt, invest in a 401k, or a Roth IRA? Sethi thoughtfully explains the different financial instruments and a priority for each.” – Fernando Campos, Co-founder of Topwick
The Architecture of All Abundance
“My favorite book on money and business is The Architecture of All Abundance by Lenedra Carroll- she is the mom of singer/songwriter Jewel and was a huge part of Jewel’s career.
Nedra, as she is known, guided her daughter to operate her business and make decisions from a place of intuition, even if it meant departing from the business norms of the often cut throat music industry.
My biggest take aways from the book are that we don’t have to do business the way it’s always been done and we can be thoughtful, kind, honest and generous in our business dealings no matter what industry we work with.” – Lauren Fritsch, Strategist & Entrepreneur
The Richest Man in Babylon
“The thing that I learned from the book was the rule of ‘10% is mine to keep.’
I save 10% of the money that comes in and invest it for myself.” – John Hedtke, Consultant/Author/Contract Writer (book notes)
The Smart Woman’s Guide to Planning for Retirement
“Chapter 9 offers a number of ways to own your home outright. Surprisingly, they’re easy.
#1 Buy half as much as you can afford. #2 Biweekly mortgage payments but with all the ins and outs, such as avoiding fees, and when to pay off your mortgage.
It also covers deductibility, how to take your equity with you when you move, reverse mortgages, and more. This is a book to read as a young person, in college, to begin to set your life up and keep most of what you earn.” – Teri Gault, CEO of TheGroceryGame.com
Your Money Or Your Life
“The key lesson I learned from the book is that my time is valuable.
Every time you spend money it costs you time that you need to earn more money. What you spend is what you’ve worked. It’s an eye-opening concept that can really change the way you look at your spending.” – Glen Craig of Free From Broke – Stay Out of Debt, Build Wealth
The Joy of Not Working
“From this book I learned that enjoying my life every day is more important than pursuing wealth and advancement while missing out on daily living.” – Steve Silberberg, Owner of Fitpacking Weight Loss Backpacking Vacations
The Secrets of the Millionaire Mind (2 Votes)
“The main thing I learned is that you need a good plan how to spend your money, and how to save.
The book teaches a strategy to spend 10% of your money, you must enjoy a little, to save for projects, to save 10% for the future. It gives you a concrete roadmap for financial success.” – Jay Berkowitz, CEO of Ten Golden Rules
“The one lesson learned from this book is that, as humans, we all have a relationship with money that is taught to us by our parents. Because of that, we will never be much more wealthier than our parents until we understand why we sabotage ourselves when it comes to making more money.
I always say share with my clients that, regardless of what franchise they buy they can’t have wealth in their bank account until they’re wealthy in their mind. Not adhering to this “rule” is why most lottery winners go broke in less than five years.” – Tom Scarda, CFE, Inspirational Speaker and Author
Rich Dad, Poor Dad
“I learned that there are different mindsets when approaching the same problem. Robert’s rich dad looked at problems differently then Robert’s poor dad saw them. Changing your school of thought can turn a problem into an opportunity.” – Dan Fuoco, Interactive Marketing Manager, Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau
Tap Dancing to Work
“The main takeaway for me, would be frictional costs. That the returns promised may not be the same once costs and administration fees have been siphoned off. Also watch the inflation number.” – Colin Myles, Author & Listener
The Millionaire Next Door
Millionaires are 99% of the time not those that you see on MTV Cribs (is that TV show even around still) or the Kardashians. The typical millionaire is an unassuming, somewhat frugal self-made millionaire.
This book uses 20 years of data to lay out the numbers as proof. One of my favorite traits that the authors talk about is this: one of the keys to their financial success is in identifying specific niches and exploiting them. They become the best in their niche, whatever it is, and that pays off big time.
Confessions of a Street Addict
“What I learned most was how to have the head for the game, to jump in when others are panicking–when you’re ready to throw up on your shoes from fear was the gist of it–and sell when everyone is complacent.
In the book, Cramer bared it all, including his mistakes, and gave amazing credit to his level-headed former wife Karen, whose trading acumen was unmatched. It’s through his personal experiences that the reader can really glean how to have the stomach–and the discipline–for making money in the market. To this day, I’ll tune in to at least the first 10 minutes of every Mad Money episode because he can cut through the crap and distill the day’s events, good or bad so that you understand market drivers.
Many viewers still just listen for “tips,” bid up stocks he talks about in the after-hours and have no clue about trading. They should all read the book. It helped my husband and I put two kids through college and allow me the security to write children’s books, my other passion. ” – Julie Davis Canter, Author of the children’s book, “Waddley Sees The World”
One Up On Wall Street
“It is very easy reading and very practical advice. My favorite piece of advice is to buy what you know.
There are so many investments out there but you can make just as much money in toothpaste as you can in technology, so if you have knowledge about a particular industry you have an advantage over the pros.
If you see a company in your industry doing well check out the financials and buy if the price looks right and the financials look good.” – Shane Fischer, Attorney at Law, Owner of Shane E. Fischer, P.A.
Total Money Makeover (2 Votes)
“I read it about 10 years ago and it allowed me to become debt free which allowed me to take 3 layoffs in 2 years in stride in the financial crisis after 2008. It also led me to my passion and vocation, which is helping others take control of their financial lives and prepare for the future!
The lesson I learned is that there is no “magic pill” success comes from coming up with a plan and and following the plan, on a daily basis.” – Shanna Tingom, AAMS, Financial Advisor
“I have to say that I consider Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover to be the overall best financial book in circulation today. At the same time, saying this makes me cringe, as I and most financial authorities recognize that it is full of clearly dangerous misinformation about such topics as insurance and investments.
Still, there is no better general resource for the average American to combat debt, prepare for the future, and create a long term personal financial plan. If started early enough, this book will guide most anyone through life’s financial journey.” – Rob Drury, Executive Director of Association of Christian Financial Advisors
Train Your Brain: How to Build a Million Dollar Business in Record Time
“The key lesson I learned is you can’t become successful by focusing on how broke you are!” – Desiree Wolfe, Marketing Strategist and Creator of Mama Owned Business School
Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions
“Although, there are a whole list of books on behavioral finance which could make that list. While the book is more about the way our brains process information, it contains invaluable lessons to be aware of when it comes to making decisions regarding money.
By being aware of the cognitive shortcuts our brain makes and our inherent behavioral biases, we have a better chance at overcoming their negative influence on our final decisions.” – Adam Jordan, CIMAR, AAMSR, Director of Investment Research and Management of Paul R. Ried Financial Group
The Automatic Millionaire
“I read this book when I was 18 years old while working a valet graveyard shift, and It literally changed my financial life. I turned into a savings machine by putting my efforts to save money on autopilot. I still use the principles in that book today and I like to think I have a heavy Roth IRA for a 28 year old male.
Make investing and saving easier by putting your saving streams on autopilot and investing in broadly diversified index funds. This is the ticket to being the millionaire next door.” – Gino Pascucci, Business Development, Premier Trust
4 Hour Work Week
“Although not a book that directly talks about money & wealth but in the end exactly shows you how to live a life like a millionaire.
Deadly book! It’s the last book anyone should read for earning more and enjoying a life full of freedom.
My Takeaways from Book:
1) Automate the Work (Outsource the repeatable task and become free)
2) Do things that Excites in the New Free Time” – Boni Satani, Inbound Marketer
All the Money in the World
“It’s not a personal finance manual like one you could get from Dave Ramsey. Instead it’s a look at how money and spending can make us happier, and what we can give up to have the lives we really want. It’s a book about how you can use money as a tool, how to spend it on things that will actually have a greater impact on your life and how to make financial decisions more efficiently.
A lot of what it discusses is spending money on experiences, instead of stuff. Or thinking about what will really make you happy – hiring a housekeeper to come once a month to clean your house so you can have more time to spend with your kids.” – Zina Kumok, Blogger at Debt Free After Three
The Minimum Wage Millionaire
“This is a must read for teenagers, and parents of teenagers, who want to learn more about how money works. The book presents a practical approach to accumulating wealth for teenagers who are just starting to earn income with a part time job.
Using simple analogies to unravel complex financial concepts allows the young mind to grasp why it is important to invest early and how to start with their first paycheck. Following a simple plan for only six years, they will have a small nest egg that will grow into about one million tax free dollars by the age of 65.” – Kelsey McBride
Dynamic Laws of Prosperity
“Being taught that prosperity only came from lots of hard work, I was surprised to learn that there are really more than 15 laws surrounding prosperity.
When I purchased the book, I didn’t realize that the author was a minister and only looking up information on the author after reading bible verses that dealt with prosperity.” – Maria Marsala, Business Coach to Financial Professionals of Elevating Your Business
Now these are 25 great books. I’ve read nearly 20 of them, but can see that the others are must-reads, as well.
If you ever have any book recommendations or questions, be sure to send me an email at: [email protected]
I love hearing from you, and look forward to having you check out my first book when it is launched in November! 🙂
Marty Morua says
“How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. No, its not a book on finance but more than likely will help those in the financial services industry focus their minds on developing a powerful Rolodex of people that will help them (and vice versa).
Just throwing in my .02 cents
PS: I’ve read 10 of the books you listed and they’re great!
Austin G. Netzley says
@disqus_VC6hQrYtYx:disqus, I’m so glad you added that book… Because that is my #1 book of all-time! http://yopro.wpengine.com/resources/
I completely agree on the indirect impact on people’s success. It is seriously a timeless book.
Thanks for the comment! Reading 10 on the list is outstanding for sure. I’ll also be coming out with my own personal list of the 25 best books here soon. Stay tuned!
Chester Boyd says
I’ve picked up some great recommendations from this list. Thanks so much for sharing.
I would add The Millionaire In The Next Cubicle by Chip Mendez. http://www.chipmendez.com
Mendez covers so much ground in this book and his advice is always clear and well constructed.
I think it’s an excellent book for young professionals and students to establish some core foundations and good decision making as they enter the workplace.
David Bach, Start Late, Finish Rich
This was a book with a very simple premise, absolutely HUGE amounts of money pass through your hands in small amounts, so stop buying that $5 cup of bitter Starbucks coffee and save it.
Austin G. Netzley says
How do you get rich? One dollar at a time. 🙂
Thanks for the comment, @smiddywesson:disqus.