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Your Take: Your Favorite Personal Finance Book

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Every year, hundreds of personal finance books are published. Every year, personal finance bloggers, experts, and columnists always refer back to a handful of books that have stood the test of time. Many bloggers are fans of Your Money or Your Life and the Richest Man in Babylon, many investors call The Intelligent Investor their Bible, and lots of people look up to the books of Suze Orman, Dave Ramsey, and Robert Kiyosaki.

I want to know, what is your favorite personal finance book ever? It can be the book that has had the most impact on your life, the book that you most enjoy reading, or the book you’d most likely recommend to a friend.

I’ve listed my must read personal finance books and even written one sentence summaries of ten personal finance books, but have I ever told you my absolute favorite?

The Motley Fool’s Money Guide by Selena Maranjian. As they say, you never forget your first. This book was the first personal finance book I ever read, back in 2003 when I started my first job, and it gave me all the tools to help me succeed. The best thing about the book was how broad it was. It gave me a sense of the landscape and enough of a vocabulary that I could learn anything Maranjian missed by researching it on my own. Is it the best book? That I can’t say, but I do know it’s my favorite.

So what’s yours?

{ 36 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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36 Responses to “Your Take: Your Favorite Personal Finance Book”

  1. Nice topic. Richest Man in Babylon is a good read. The Millionaire Next Door and the Tightwad Gazzette series are worthy as well.

  2. ddan7 says:

    I think the sequel to The Millionaire Next Door, “The Millionaire Mind” is the best I’ve read. It’s much easier to read than the first book. My Dad made me read it in high school. I’ve never read Dave’s book but I’ve listened to his radio program for years so I definitely recommend anything by him.

  3. Ari Weinberg says:

    I haven’t seen/read a personal finance book that is any different than the next. For this reason, I have no favorites and generally tend to avoid them.

    They all depend on tone and style, but impart all impart the same knowledge. This is mostly because there are no NEW developments in personal finance. There haven’t been for decades, centuries, millenia…the only thing is how to adjust to changing situations and laws.

  4. Kaleb says:

    Carmen Wong Ulrich “Generation Debt” Easy read, Good info and examples.

  5. Damon Day says:

    I don’t really have a personal favorite. I like David Bach quite a bit because of his simple and straight forward style.

    I would have to give a nod of course, to “think and grow rich” although not a personal finance book, one of the early influences on how I thought about money.

  6. azphx1972 says:

    I’ve read a lot of personal finance books, and my current favorite is “The Millionaire in You: Ten Things You Need to Do Now to Have Money and Time to Enjoy It” by Michael LeBoeuf. What I love about it is that it’s not just about personal finance, but teaches the strategies that anyone can use to reach overall happiness in life.

  7. Mike Piper says:

    To me, most mainstream personal finance books tend to be rather lacking.

    David Bach is excellent in terms of readability, but when he gets to mutual fund selection, he seems to suggest simply picking the fund with the highest past performance record that you can find. No mention of expense ratios or asset allocation.

    Your Money or Your Life is great in many ways, but then the authors go and recommend that investors put everything in bonds. Sure it might make sense for some, but for everybody? I’m not convinced.

    Things by Kiyosaki tend to be fun to read, but then he recommends things like buying real estate for investment purposes with no money down. 100% leveraged investments may make sense for some people, but for the average investor? Yikes!

    The Millionaire Next Door has many interesting conclusions, but their survey’s methodology was flawed in a serious way. (It’s a textbook case of selection bias.)

    My two favorites to recommend are Bernstein’s Four Pillars of Investing and Bogle’s Little Book of Common Sense Investing. They each only cover investing, but at least the quality of information is good.

  8. Hank says:

    The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach

    It’s definitely the best book he has written. All the others pale in comparison.

  9. BeachBoy says:

    I enjoyed Suze Orman’s “Money Book for the Young, Fabulous and Broke”.
    I’m currently reading Total Money Makeover, and planning on reading Your Money or Your Life after all the praise it has everywhere.

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