I get a lot of books to read in the mail and I honestly do try to make an effort to read all of them from cover to cover, but I usually don’t. I don’t read every word because a lot of the personal finance books are simply trying to teach one simple concept and drive that point home over and over again with anecdotes, statistics, and other very useful, very convincing pieces of data. Some are stories about the author, thus adding a sense of realism that hopefully will spur you to action. Others are very analytical, using the statistics and data I mentioned earlier to drive home a point in an attempt to convince you of their idea so that you’ll believe it, implement it, and possible grow rich. Ultimately though, the basic idea of the book is quite elementary (which is not to say that the books are not worth it, far from it) below is a one sentence condensation of some very prominent personal finance books that are probably worth reading all the way through. (Some sentences are a little run on… gimme a break!)
Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason
Written decades ago, it contains every single basic personal finance concept told in parable form and so well written even a caveman could understand it.
The Millionaire Next Door by Stanley and Danko
Most millionaires are rich because they spend less than they earn, budget carefully, and follow all the other boring basic personal finance concepts that most people don’t want to follow because they would rather believe that millionaires are all rock stars, business mavens, or children of.
The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey
Personal finance is as much about psychology as it is about numbers and to be successful at it you must avoid debt at all costs and use the successful completion of the small things to give you the confidence to tackle the big things.
The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach
If you set up automatic saving (as opposed to automatic spending like the morning cup of joe – the latte factor), whether its for an IRA or just into a regular old savings account, you can prevent yourself from screwing up your future by spending it.
A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton G. Malkiel
The market is random and since you can’t see the future (and you don’t have a bunch of monkeys with darts), you shouldn’t try to time the market because you will probably fail.
The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
Buy low, sell high, here’s how. (the devil’s in the details I’m afraid, plus any sentence here would not do this text any justice whatsoever)
Your Money or Your Life by Dominguez and Robin
This is another jack of all personal finance trades book that is worth its weight, outlining a nine step that looks to turn your “making a dying” perspective (if you have one) into a “making a living” one.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
To be rich, your assets must work for you (such as real estate) instead of you working for your assets (such as cars).
The Smartest Investment Book You’ll Ever Read by Daniel R. Solin
Buy an index fund because those fees you’re paying for whatever you’re buying is too much, even if that fund manager has a bunch of monkeys with darts (and they probably do).