I started reading personal finance books back when I was in high school. (I know, I realize I was a bit of a nerd). I always enjoyed math in grade school, and the compounding power of money was this new, amazing, fascinating topic for me.
In addition, I grew up in a single parent household with my Mother, who was a guidance counselor at an elementary school, and two siblings. Needless to say, we never had a lot of money in our house and my Mother seemed to always be struggling with credit card debt.
We lived in the suburbs and I had many friends whose parents owned their own companies or were high-level executives. It wasn’t hard to see why I was attracted to the thought of one day having enough money so that I didn’t have to worry about it (money that is).
So combine my interest in math with the fact that our family never seemed to have any money (as opposed to my friends who always seemed to have plenty of it), and I was ripe for learning anything I could about getting rich. I turned to the only place I could to learn about financial concepts and money strategies… the library.
My Top 7 Personal Finance Books
Here are some of the books that I read way back in high school and college when I first developed an interest in money, as well as some of the books that have become popular today.
The Wall Street Journal Guide to Understanding Money and Investing – This was the first personal finance book I received that really peaked my interest in investing and money. I don’t remember who gave it to me or when, but this was the book I used to teach myself the basics about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc. After reading this, I was hooked.
The Wealthy Barber – By David Chilton, this was the book that really started it all for me. After I used the WSJ Guide to learn the basics, this was the next book I picked up to start digging deeper into personal finance concepts. It’s written in a parable format, so it is easy to read and follow. A true personal finance classic.
The Millionaire Next Door – By Thomas Stanley. This is a great book that explains the difference between most of the American populace and the people who are truly rich. And chances are, according to the author, these people live right next door to you and you wouldn’t even know it. I’m amazed that after reading this book I still chose to go to law school.
Rich Dad Poor Dad – By Robert Kiyosaki. Like him or hate him, Mr. Kiyosaki started an entire movement of meetup groups and overnight real estate investors with his Rich Dad series. It’s really more of a book about real estate investing than stock market investing, but the lessons are still helpful.
The Warren Buffett Way – After I graduated from undergrad, I went to work at an investment firm and was introduced to the teachings of Mr. Buffett. This is a book that taught me that if I don’t understand what a company does or how it makes money, then I shouldn’t invest in it. I don’t do much individual stock investing today, but when I do, I use Mr. Buffett’s approach as outlined in this book.
I Will Teach You to Be Rich – By Ramit Sethi. I love Ramit. He is a true business genius and self-made multi-millionaire. He also started one of the first personal finance blogs at iwillteachyoutoberich.com. I’m currently listening to this book on Audible.
The Total Money Makeover – By Dave Ramsey. I don’t think that any list of personal finance books would be complete without the Total Money Makeover. But I’ll be honest, I love the financial advice and guidance that Mr. Ramsey gives, I just don’t like the smattering of Christian Gospel that comes with it.
What’s your favorite personal finance book? What do you think of this list? Leave a comment below and let us know!