For many, reading is one of those activities we wish we did more. Whether you get stuck in the selection process or find yourself caving to the temptation to binge the latest Netflix series, it can be difficult to get inspired to sit down and read a book. To help spark your money-reading motivation, we share a brief summary of five popular finance books that have a reputation for helping people better understand money matters.
As you read through this list, what other money books come to mind that you have enjoyed? Let us know so we can add them to our list!
- The Millionaire Next Door by Dr. Thomas J. Stanley
- Synopsis: “The bestselling book, The Millionaire Next Door, identifies seven common traits that show up again and again among those who have accumulated wealth. Most of the truly wealthy in this country don’t live in Beverly Hills or on Park Avenue – they live next door.” – Thomas J. Stanley
- Personal Take: One of the most important lessons I learned from this book (along with the author’s other books The Millionaire Mind and Stop Acting Rich) is that the “rich” aren’t always what you would expect them to be. Just because someone is able to flaunt status items doesn’t mean they’re wealthy; often times, they have high incomes but very little in terms of investable assets.
- Life Lessons: Don’t care so much about what other people may think and don’t try to impress others with “things”.
- Recommended Audience: I highly recommend any of Stanley’s books to “youngsters” who often get caught up in status symbols and obsess about being wealthy. These books flipped my initial perceptions of how the wealthy look and invest and have played a major role in how I personally handle my money.
- A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel
- Synopsis: “Whether you’re considering your first 401(k) contribution, contemplating retirement, or anywhere in between, A Random Walk Down Wall Street is the best investment guide money can buy. In this new edition, Burton G. Malkiel shares authoritative insights spanning the full range of investment opportunities—including valuable new material on cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, and “tax-loss harvesting”—to help you chart a calm course through the turbulent waters of today’s financial markets.” – W. Norton
- Personal Take: Some of my early money memories and finance lessons came from Jim Cramer and his infamous tactics on CNBC as he went through a mumbo jumbo of hot stock tips. Then I picked up this book and my view of investing completely changed. This book promotes an approach that is opposite of Cramer’s. Rather, Burton asserts his belief that stock prices are typically a “random walk” – they’re unpredictable (for a recent example of this see Game Stop). Revisiting this book, I couldn’t help but to draw similarities between Burton’s principles and the fundamental principles we use here at Yeske Buie in formulating our portfolios.
- Recommended Audience: Anyone interested in learning more about investing can benefit from reading this book, and we often recommend it to Clients, family, and friends. This book takes a much deeper dive into the realm of investing compared to some of the others on this list.
- The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
- Synopsis: “The ancient Babylonians were the first people to discover the universal laws of prosperity. In his classic bestseller, “The Richest Man in Babylon,” George S. Clason reveals their secrets for creating, growing, and preserving wealth. Through these entertaining tales of merchants, tradesmen, and herdsmen, you’ll learn how to keep more out what you earn; get out of debt; put your money to work; attract good luck; choose wise investments; and safeguard a lasting fortune.” – Barnes & Noble
- Personal Take: Sometimes the most profound topics and ideas can be explained in the simplest of stories. Originally written in 1926, the book walks the reader through essential financial principles by using a collection of parables taking place in ancient Babylon. This is a quick read with stories that describe financial principles in layman’s terms and addresses topics that are relevant no matter the time period.
- Recommended Audience: This book most certainly qualifies as a timeless classic that anyone interested in personal finance should read. It could serve as an excellent bedtime story for children or grandchildren as it’s both entertaining and informative.
- How I Invest My Money: Finance Experts Reveal How They Save, Spend, and Invest by Joshua Brown
- Synopsis: “In this unprecedented collection, 25 financial experts share how they navigate markets with their own capital. They share stories about their childhood, their families, the struggles they face and the aspirations they hold. Sometimes raw, always revealing, these stories detail the indelible relationship between our money and our values.” – Barnes & Noble
- Personal Take: In this book, Josh interviews several leading financial industry professionals and asks them how they invest their money. Hearing how leading financial experts view their investments more broadly amongst the lines of time, human capital, relationships, etc. changed the way I personally view my investment accounts.
- Life Lessons: First, your worth as a human is more valuable than any dollar amount in your bank account (important to remind yourself of this during pandemic market craziness). Second, investing doesn’t have to be complex. Many of these professionals only invest in a couple of broadly diversified ETFs and mutual funds and emphasize the point that the biggest components of wealth building are time and savings.
- Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money by Dave Ramsey
- Synopsis: “Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money covers the A to Z of Dave’s money teaching, including how to budget, save, dump debt, and invest. You’ll also learn all about insurance, mortgage options, marketing, bargain hunting and the most important element of all—giving.” – Barnes & Noble
- Personal Take: He’s opinionated and controversial in the financial world, but Dave’s book does an excellent job of hammering home the essential building blocks of personal finance in a way that’s engaging, personable, and actionable. He uses his own story and personal financial mistakes to help educate those with less financial knowledge and focuses on topics that we at Yeske Buie also believe are important including savings, avoiding bad debt, financial hygiene, and the importance of discussing money with your spouse.
- Recommended Audience: In my mind, this is an essential book that every high school or college-aged student must read.
Dick Wager, a close friend of Yeske Buie, once said, “money is the most powerful and pervasive secular force on the planet.” We believe this to be true, and hope that it serves as inspiration to continually expand your knowledge in money matter in pursuit of financial satisfaction and independence. Of course, if you would like to chat with us about a finance topic that you learned in one of these books or elsewhere, please don’t hesitate to connect with us!