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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. Bruce Olson says:

    The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need
    Andrew Tobias

  2. newbie says:

    Personal Finance for Dummies by Eric Tyson

    I’m a recent convert to saving and investing. Unfortunately it took a major recession for me to wake up and wise up…

    This book really got my head screwed on straight and helped get our finances on the right track.

    Investing for Dummies by Eric Tyson was the next purchase and now we’re really getting on the right track.

  3. Rob says:

    Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. It litterally changed the way I handle money (after being through several other financial courses).

  4. Dave says:

    I have only ever read one Personal Finance book, and it was “The Automatic Millionare”. I didn’t particularly enjoy reading it, but I pushed my way through to see if there was any Ah Ha! moments that would help me with my finances – unfortunitely there wasn’t.

  5. Jim,

    My favorite personal finance book is Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. It is so motivating and contains very actionable ideas for how to start getting your finances in order.

    My favorite non-fiction book is Hayek’s Road to Serfdom. This book probably had the biggest impact on me. It changed that way I view liberty and government. I highly recommend it.

    -TheDebtHawk.com

  6. Jeremy says:

    I still have that Motley Fool book sitting on my desk at work. It’s a good primer, easy to read, and much of it is still useful today.

  7. Tim says:

    I think my favorite is Ramit Sethi’s I Will Teach You To Be Rich. I feel like the book is most useful for recent college grads and I was already practicing a lot of what the book lays out but I could really appreciate how relevant the book was for today’s day and age. I immediately ordered a copy for my brother who just graduated college and he loves the book. I also think Ramit’s writing is much more approachable for young people. Excellent book overall.

  8. Chuck says:

    I don’t know if it counts as personal finance, but John Bogle’s “Little Book of Common Sense Investing” has probably rescued thousands of retirements.

  9. Dylan says:

    *Your Money or Your Life* has it’s heels pretty well dug in near the top of my list.

    A more recent, get-you-thinking book that I enjoyed is *The Number,* by Lee Eisenberg.

    But, if you’re a fan of simplicity, *How a Second Grader Beats Wall Steeet,* by Allan Roth is a must read. It’s NOT how to beat the markets, and it’s not just about investing. The overall premise is that everything we need to know to successfully manage our finances was learned by the 2nd grade. It’s the stuff we were told and the mindset we developed later in life that trips us up.

  10. Liko says:

    “Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey, this book has is full of common sense, great book! This book set me on the right path. I paid off $43K in debt in 14 months after reading this book! My income has so much power now.

    I also enjoyed the “Millionaire Next Door” by Stanley. Pretty amazing stuff.

  11. Ken says:

    I’ve read dozens of financial advice books. Your Money or Your Life was the most influential by miles.

  12. I’d have to say “Your Money or Your Life”, just edging “Rich Dad Poor Dad”, just because it provides more details. To me, Kiyosaki’s book is more concept-driven. “Your Money or Your Life” is presented in easy-to-follow steps.

  13. Craig Ford says:

    From the Christian perspective I love The Challenge of the Disciplined Life: Christian Reflections on Money, Sex, and Power. A great take on the relationship between Christians and money.

  14. Jeanine says:

    Over the past 24 years- The Millionare next door rates high on my list. All Your Worth- The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan by Elizabeth Warren. This is a 50/30/20 solution to budgeting and easy to follow.

  15. Adam S. says:

    Without a doubt, “The Richest Man in Babylon” is the greatest book on personal finance ever written. Only 150 pages, reads like a storybook for people who get bogged down with financial mumbo-jumbo, and details step by step EVERYTHING you need to do to become financially independent, in simple common speak.

  16. nickfro says:

    Dave Ramsey’s “Total Money Makeover” FTW. Completely changed the way I view finance…

  17. I have just started reading Personal Finance Books and I have fallen in love with Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. KSC

  18. M.Wanzer says:

    I know a lot of people give Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor a lot of flack for lacking concrete examples and investing tips, but I would say that this book truly changed the way I looked at money. I would not recommend it if you are looking for investing instructions or theory, but it really will change your outlook on handling and making money. Honestly I am not even sure if I would classify it as a personal finance book, it is more like a financial philosophy book.

  19. eric says:

    As much as her on camera personality is grating, I actually like Suze Orman’s books. (Don’t throw things at me people.)

    • StephaniePTY says:

      Don’t worry Eric, I’ll back you up when it comes to Suze Orman. I don’t agree with every word, but her Money Book for the Young, Fabulous and Broke is my favorite book to give as a present at high school grad parties :)

  20. Two books stand out in my list of firsts: Suze Orman’s ’9 Steps to Financial Freedom’ taught me how to budget for ALL my expenses – that changed my life forever; Kiyosaki’s ‘Cash Flow Quadrant’ convinced me that the investor and business quadrants were the route to get the lifestyle I desired.

  21. Patrick says:

    I actually don’t have a personal favorite as I don’t read financial books that often, but do most of my reading online, especially on financial sites like this one and others.

  22. Marlo says:

    The Millionaire Next Door
    Your Money or Your Life
    Simple Prosperity
    Dave Ramsey

    Dave Ramsey should probably get top billing because he was what motivated hubby and I to come together on finances. We took the Financial Peace class several years ago. After we did that we paid of 70K +/- in debt in a concentrated way and to this day we still apply the monthly zero based budget.

    The Millionaire Next Door though was probably the first book that really clicked for me. Love that one.

    Also not really personal finance totally but I loved Affluenza.

  23. AJ says:

    This is a good question. I need to think about this one.

  24. Shawanda says:

    How I wish I could be original. I’d recommend The Total Money Makeover to anyone who’s struggling with their finances. Dave Ramsey fundamentally changed how I viewed debt. Paid off $25K of debt and saved another $7,500 in 13 months by following his advice.

  25. yohbee says:

    I haven’t read too many personal finance books. So far The Millionaire Next Door stand out the most.


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