Personal Finance

Essential Financial Books (Your Advice)

When it comes to personal finances, one of the first steps is to get basic knowledge on the subject. Many people do this through books, but when you are just beginning, knowing which books to read may not be obvious. This reader is looking for recommendations on the best financial books to read when starting out:

I am just starting to learn about personal finances and I’m looking for some basic books to read to get me started. What would you recommend as the essential books for someone just starting to read to get a basic overview of what they need to do?

In your personal finance reading, which books have had the biggest influence on you and would you consider to be essential reading for someone who wants to get their finances in order?

7 thoughts on “Essential Financial Books (Your Advice)

  1. While not a book, Vanguard’s podcast; Plain Talk on Investing offers an ongoing easy to understand education on a wide range of investment subjects.

    I would also suggest John Bogle’s The Little Book of Common Sense Investing.

    The reality is that many make investing way, way too complex. With that complexity comes increasing costs, often lower returns and frustration as we often throw our hands in the air and give up and seek professional (albeit often expensive and/or less than impartial) advice.

    I applaud you for wanting to learn. You can and will succeed.

  2. I thought The Four Pillars of Investing was difficult to understand for someone without a solid academic background in finance and economics. I wouldn’t recommend it for a beginner, though it’s a great book for those who want to spend more time and energy on investing.

    The two books that did me the most good were The Secrets of Wealth by Fabio Marciano and The Only Investing Guide You’ll Ever Need by Andrew Tobias.

  3. 1. The total money makeover by Dave Ramsey

    2. Life or Debt by Stacy Johnson

    3. The Treasure Principal by Randy Alcorn

    Read all three of these, apply them and say hello to worry free personal finance.

  4. The Wealthy Barber – An easy read

    All Your Worth – Elizabeth Warren An easy read

    Your Money or Your Life – Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin

    The Only Investment Book You’ll Ever Need – Andrew Tobias

    Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kirosaki

    Total Money Makeover – Dave Ramsey

    Debt Proof Living Mary Hunt

  5. Your Money or Your Life – saved my life.

    One Up on Wall St. – Peter Lynch

    Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds – Just read the first part on bubbles–gives you a good grounding in crowd behavior.

    The Motley Fool Personal Finance Workbook

    Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits – Philip Fisher

    It’s hard to suggest books that don’t deal with investing, per se, but Joe Domingues’ book Your Money or Your Life and the Motley Fool Workbook are good for anybody who needs to learn how to handle and save money to begin with. I’m sure there are other good ones, but I haven’t read them.

  6. The Millionaire Next Door is my favorite. It’s not a how-to bok, but it helped me see how those who are financially successful think.

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