The wealthiest, most successful people bury themselves in books. They commit to self-education long after they’ve finished college or any formal education. Warren Buffet once stated “The more your learn the more you earn.” Buffet wasn’t talking about school courses though – he was talking about financial education. We’ve highlighted 9 of our favorite personal-finance books from century-old classics to hot new releases.
‘Think and Grow Rich‘ by Napoleon Hill
Think and Grow Rich has been called the “Granddaddy of All Motivational Literature.”
Prompted by legendary businessman Andrew Carnegie, who turned a few nickels and dimes into a fortune, journalist Napoleon Hill researched more than 500 self-made millionaires over 20 years before releasing his 1937 best-seller “Think and Grow Rich.”
He boils down the “secret” to building wealth into 13 principles and reveals “major causes of failure” that hold many of us back from getting rich.
There is no mention of “money,” “wealth,” “finances,” or “stocks” within Hill’s text. He takes a different approach, focusing on breaking down the psychological barriers that prevent many of us from attaining our own fortunes.
‘The Richest Man in Babylon‘ by George S. Clason
George S. Clason’s timeless 1926 classic simplifies everything you need to know about personal finance. He articulates the steps to get rich through a collection of amusing parables based in the wealthiest city of the ancient world: Babylon.
Clason takes us through the financial knowledge through a maze of characters and the situations faced by them. The author plays with these situations carefully to unfold the different layers of financial principles such as enjoying the benevolence of the Goddess of Luck and how to hold on to wealth and knowledge. He also cautions the readers to be wary of the fact that money can slip away if one doesn’t pay attention. Paying of credit and importance of determination is also charted out in detail.
This is a classic and a must read for those who are looking to achieve financial independence in their life.
‘The Millionaire Next Door‘ by Thomas J Stanley and William D Danko
Dreaming to become a millionaire and not a clue on how to go about it, Thomas J Stanley and William D Danko gives exact answers to your problem in the form of The Millionaire Next Door. A bestseller in 1998 the book expounds on the idea that the truly wealthy people are not the ones who occupy Beverly Hills or Park Avenue. The truly wealthy can be found living just across your street or next door. This personal finance book does not cover a single pop star or athlete; instead it completely concentrates on the plenty of wall-board manufacturers–particularly ones who take cheap, infrequent vacations! The authors in a very straight forward fashion made the readers see the mirror of truth. Stanley and Danko show that accumulation of wealth and its retainment by no means is an easy task. Wealth demands a great deal of sacrifices, discipline, and hard work, qualities that are positively discouraged by the high-consumption society.
‘The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness‘ by Dave Ramsey
The success stories speak for themselves in this book from money maestro Dave Ramsey. Instead of promising the normal dose of quick fixes, Ramsey offers a bold, no-nonsense approach to money matters, providing not only the how-to but also a grounded and uplifting hope for getting out of debt and achieving total financial health.
Ramsey debunks the many myths of money (exposing the dangers of cash advance, rent-to-own, debt consolidation) and attacks the illusions and downright deceptions of the American dream, which encourages nothing but overspending and massive amounts of debt. “Don’t even consider keeping up with the Joneses,” Ramsey declares in his typically candid style. “They’re broke!
Several success stories back up Ramsey’s simple, no-nonsense approach, including a couple who paid off $110,000 of debt in two years and a family that got into $109,000 of credit-card debt while earning six figures … and then paid it off in four years.
‘Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth‘ by T. Harv Eker
Have you ever wondered why some people seem to get rich easily, while others are destined for a life of financial struggle? Is the difference found in their education, intelligence, skills, timing, work habits, contacts, luck, or their choice of jobs, businesses, or investments?
The shocking answer is: None of the above!
In his groundbreaking Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, T. Harv Eker states: “Give me five minutes, and I can predict your financial future for the rest of your life!” Eker does this by identifying your “money and success blueprint.” We all have a personal money blueprint ingrained in our subconscious minds, and it is this blueprint, more than anything, that will determine our financial lives. You can know everything about marketing, sales, negotiations, stocks, real estate, and the world of finance, but if your money blueprint is not set for a high level of success, you will never have a lot of money—and if somehow you do, you will most likely lose it! The good news is that now you can actually reset your money blueprint to create natural and automatic success.
‘I Will Teach You to Be Rich‘ by Ramit Sethi
At last, for a generation that’s materially ambitious yet financially clueless comes I Will Teach You To Be Rich, Ramit Sethi’s 6-week personal finance program for 20-to-35-year-olds. A completely practical approach delivered with a nonjudgmental style that makes readers want to do what Sethi says, it is based around the four pillars of personal finance— banking, saving, budgeting, and investing—and the wealth-building ideas of personal entrepreneurship.
Sethi covers how to save time by not wasting it managing money; the guns and cars myth of credit cards; how to negotiate like an Indian—the conversation begins with “no”; why “Budgeting Doesn’t Have to Suck!”; how to get things rolling—for real—with only $20; what most people don’t understand about taxes; how to get a CEO to take you out to lunch; how to avoid the Super Mario Brothers trap by making your savings work harder than you do; the difference between cheap and frugal; the hidden relationship between money and food. Not to mention his first key lesson: Getting started is more important than being the smartest person in the room. Integrated with his website, where readers can use interactive charts, follow up on the latest information, and join the community, it is a hip blueprint to building wealth and financial security.
‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!‘ by Robert Kiyosaki
Rich Dad Poor Dad tells the story of Robert Kiyosaki and his two dads—his real father and the father of his best friend, his rich dad—and the ways in which both men shaped his thoughts about money and investing. The book explodes the myth that you need to earn a high income to be rich and explains the difference between working for money and having your money work for you.
‘Your Money Or Your Life‘ by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez
What I enjoyed most about this book is that it teaches you to transform your relationship with money. Money is something you trade your life energy for. Think about it. You work to earn money. But you spend your time to work. That’s why Robin and Dominguez spend the first part of this book to make us aware that more is not better.
More money is especially not better if you have to put your own well-being on the line. It’s never worth it. Just ask the family of the bankers who committed suicide during any recession.
If you want to live a healthy and wealthy life, you must detach yourself from money. Instead of striving for more, get better at managing your money. Save it. And don’t waste it on stuff you don’t need. Your Money Or Your Life starts out strategically and gets more practical towards the end.
One thing I don’t agree with, is retiring early. I don’t want to retire and sit on a beach. That’s because my mentors, who are beyond the retirement age, still work and are very happy. I aspire to do the same. But I also want to build enough wealth that I don’t “have” to work if I don’t want to. That’s one thing Robin and Dominguez also believe in.
This book is different from other personal finance books because it starts out with a story of an American couple whose joint income is never over $55,000 a year, yet they own two homes, put their children through college, and retire at the young age of 55 with over $1 million in savings.
The story goes to show that just having personal financial planning does not lead to wealth. Rather, it is important to automatically pay yourself first to secure your future while also paying for the present.
This book offers a realistic system for anyone to put into place, no matter what their income level is. Investing 10% of your income automatically will result in long-term savings without any extra effort.
This is a great book for teenagers and young adults who are just starting to manage their own money. It teaches them to think about their savings first and then focus on what they want to purchase in the present moment. This straightforward book leaves little room for confusion.