I recently had the privilege of being able to spend an entire weekend with a bunch of fellow money nerds at FinCon. It was my first time to attend the conference, and it was a blast. I not only learned a ton but also met so many great people.
After the conference, Casey Bond reached out via the FinCon community’s private facebook group and asked everyone the following question:
I loved the question, and here’s why. She didn’t just ask what were the “best” personal finance books, but which ones people would actually like to read. This is important because no matter how much great information is packed into a book if you end up putting it down before you finish the first chapter, it won’t do you any good!
I was amazed to see so many interesting books recommended by the group – some that I had read before, and many others that I hadn’t.
That leads me to another reason why I loved this list: it generated lots of book names that weren’t the same 4 or 5 books that everyone recommends when you ask them which personal finance books to read. Nothing against the timeless classics (they’re classics for a reason), but sometimes it’s nice to find something fresh and different.
Casey ended up boiling the list down to what she considered the top 9 books. I highly recommend you read her article here.
But I’m too indecisive to be that choosy…
…So I’ve included the entire list, ordered alphabetically.
My only stipulation was that the book had to have been recommended by at least one person other than the authors themselves (however, I have another article highlighting the amazing books that I discovered via authors responding to this thread).
Since I haven’t read all of these books myself, I’ve decided to simply include each book’s title and a snippet of its Amazon summary, rather than any personal opinion.
Happy reading everyone!
1. The Art of Money by Bari Tessler
This is the book your money–savvy best friend, therapist, and accountant would write if they could. It’s the book about money for people who don’t even want to think about money, until the arrival of that inevitable day when we all realize we must come to terms with this thing called money.
Everyone has pain and challenges, strengths and dreams about money, and many of us mix profound shame into that relationship. In The Art of Money, Bari Tessler offers an integrative approach that creates the real possibility of “money healing,” using our relationship with money as a gateway to self–awareness and a training ground for compassion, confidence, and self–worth.
2. The Barefoot Investor: The Only Money Guide You’ll Ever Need by Scott Pape
So what makes this one different? Well, you won’t be overwhelmed with a bunch of ‘tips’ … or a strict budget (that you won’t follow).
You’ll get a step-by-step formula: open this account, then do this; call this person, and say this; invest money here, and not there. All with a glass of wine in your hand.
This book will show you how to create an entire financial plan that is so simple you can sketch it on the back of a serviette … and you’ll be able to manage your money in 10 minutes a week.
You’ll also get the skinny on:
- Saving up a six-figure house deposit in 20 months
- Doubling your income using the ‘Trapeze Strategy’
- Saving $78,173 on your mortgage and wiping out 7 years of payments
- Finding a financial advisor who won’t rip you off
- Handing your kids (or grandkids) a $140,000 cheque on their 21st birthday
- Why you don’t need $1 million to retire … with the ‘Donald Bradman Retirement Strategy’
Scott Pape, the Jamie Oliver of finance, writes for the young and hip who want to enjoy life now – not to wait on dead men’s shoes.
He shows you how to manage your money to do the things you want: whether it’s to quit the job you hate to make a career of what you love; buy a cool flat; go backpacking, or build a wealth portfolio for the future.
It is packed full of simple tips, tricks, checklists and quizzes that will help you to transform your personal wealth with minimum effort.
Broke Millennial shows step-by-step how to go from flat-broke to financial badass. It doesn’t just cover boring stuff like credit card debt, investing, and dealing with the dreaded “B” word (budgeting). Financial expert Erin Lowry goes beyond the basics to tackle tricky money matters and situations most of us face #IRL, including:
- Understanding your relationship with moolah: do you treat it like a Tinder date or marriage material?
- Managing student loans without having a full-on panic attack
- What to do when you’re out with your crew and can’t afford to split the bill evenly
- How to get “financially naked” with your partner and find out his or her “number” (debt number, of course) . . . and much more.
5. The Doctor’s Guide to Eliminating Debt by Dr. Cory S. Fawcett
Too many doctors are carrying perpetual debt and giving away a large chunk of each paycheck as interest to the bank.
The Doctors Guide to Eliminating Debt can show you how to pay off debt faster than you imagined—including your house.
Being in debt is not a default condition. Understand the real cost and that it’s not too late to change the course of your financial life. Being debt-free is empowering, liberating, and invigorating, but most doctors don’t realize they can do it without significant sacrifice.
6. The Elements of Investing: Easy Lessons for Every Investor by Burton G. Malkiel and Charles D. Ellis
In the updated edition of The Elements of Investing, authors Charles Ellis and Burton Malkiel—two of the world’s greatest financial thinkers—have again combined their talents to produce a straight-talking book about investing and saving. Written with every investor in mind, this reliable resource will put you on a path towards a lifetime of financial success.
Page by page, Malkiel, and Ellis skillfully focus their message to address the essentials and offer a set of simple, but powerful thoughts on how to avoid Mr. Market and his “loser’s game,” and instead enjoy the “winner’s” approach to investing. All the investment rules and principles you need to succeed arehere—with clear advice on how to follow them.
- Shows you how to focus on the long-term instead of following market fluctuations that are likely to lead to costly investing mistakes
- Contains investment insights that can carry you all the way to, and through, retirement
- Written by Burton G. Malkiel, the bestselling author of ARandom Walk Down Wall Street, and Charles D. Ellis, the bestselling author of Winning the Loser’s Game
7. End Financial Stress Now: Immediate Steps You Can Take to Improve Your Financial Outlook by Emily Guy Birken
Studies have shown time and time again that money is a leading cause of stress—but a life free from financial worry isn’t exclusive to the rich and powerful. End Financial Stress Now gives you practical, actionable instructions you need to improve your money management—no matter what your income level is. You can learn how to achieve the mindset of financial flexibility, which can help you navigate any money issues you face.
Featuring straightforward advice on how to increase self-discipline so you can stick to your budget as well as techniques to help you identity misinformation and false beliefs you have about money, you can follow this guide to create a fulfilling life free of financial stress.
8. Financially Fearless: The LearnVest Program for Taking Control of Your Money by Alexa von Tobel
It’s time to throw away all your old notions of what financial advice should look like. Because if you’re looking for a book to put you on an austerity savings plan that has you giving up vacations and lattes, you’re out of luck. But if you’re looking to get your finances in rock-hard shape–in less time than it takes to finish a workout–then Alexa von Tobel, Founder and CEO of LearnVest, has your back.
First, you’ll take stock of where you stand today. Then, you’ll create your customized 50/20/30 plan. 50/20/30 simply refers to the percentage breakdown of how to spend your take-home pay each month. The 50 gets the essentials out of the way so you don’t have to stress about them. The 20 sets your foundation for the future, then the 30 is left to spend on the things that bring happiness to your life.
9. Financial Recovery: Developing a Healthy Relationship with Money by Karen McCall
Whether you are suffering under crushing debt, unable to save money, or caught in the tangle of inherited wealth, Karen McCall’s Financial Recovery offers a time-tested plan for building a stable and satisfying way of life — and keeping it that way. It will help you make a fundamental shift in the way you understand and behave around money.
Karen McCall has more than twenty years of experience counseling people from all walks of life — people with millions of dollars, people with very little, and people whose means are somewhere in between. Financial Recovery will help you develop, and then maintain, full awareness of your spending, earning, and saving activities. It offers strategies for adapting your behavior to meet your most compelling needs, whatever your means. You can start right away using the resources you already have to create a stable and fulfilling relationship with money.
10. Get Money: Live the Life You Want, Not Just the Life You Can Afford by Kristen Wong
In Get Money, personal finance expert Kristin Wong shows you the exact steps to getting more money in your pocket without letting it rule your life. Through a series of challenges designed to boost your personal finance I.Q., interviews with other leading financial experts, and exercises tailored to help you achieve even your biggest goals, you’ll learn valuable skills such as:
- Building a budget that (gasp) actually works
- Super-charging a debt payoff plan
- How to strategically hack your credit score
- Negotiating like a shark (or at least a piranha)
- Side-hustling to speed up your money goals
- Starting a lazy investment portfolio…and many more!
11. Gold Diggers and Deadbeat Dads: True Stories of Friends, Family, and Financial Ruin by Valerie Rind
Few people other than close friends and family knew I suffered a financial disaster after loaning money to my husband’s startup. Plus, I uncovered a shocking secret he kept for a decade. I felt stupid, ashamed, and embarrassed. Here you can read riveting, true stories of ordinary people like me who faced financial hardships thanks to someone else’s wrongdoing.
- Did you co-sign a car loan for an underemployed boyfriend who left you with lousy credit?
- Did you discover after the wedding that your fiancée hid piles of debt?
- Does your sister take advantage of your elderly parent?
- Did your partner waste your household savings on gambling or drugs?
12. Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton
Two professors combine their fascinating and cutting-edge research in behavioral science to explain how money can buy happiness—if you follow five core principles of smart spending.
Most people recognize that they need professional advice on how to earn, save, and invest their money. When it comes to spending that money, most people just follow their intuitions. But scientific research shows that those intuitions are often wrong.
Happy Money offers a tour of research on the science of spending, explaining how you can get more happiness for your money. Authors Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton have outlined five principles—from choosing experiences over stuff to spending money on others—to guide not only individuals looking for financial security, but also companies seeking to create happier employees and provide “happier products” to their customers. Dunn and Norton show how companies from Google to Pepsi to Charmin have put these ideas into action.
13. Her Money Matters: The Missing Truths From Traditional Money Advice by Jen Hemphill
Are you following traditional money advice but somehow not moving the needle with your financial dreams? Maybe your bank accounts are still looking the same year after year – even after doing all the “right things.”
Or maybe you have been searching for a book specifically on personal finance for women so you can better relate?
You are not alone!
In Her Money Matters, Jen Hemphill shares what you’ve been missing by breaking down what you need.
14. How to Be a Financial Grownup: Proven Advice from High Achievers on How to Live Your Dreams and Have Financial Freedom by Bobbi Rebell
Bobbi Rebell, award-winning TV anchor and personal finance columnist at Thomson Reuters, taps into her exclusive network of business leaders to share with you stories of the financial lessons they learned early in their lives that helped them become successful. She then uses these stories as jumping off points to offer specific, actionable advice on how you can become a financial grownup just like them.
Financial role models such as Author Tony Robbins, Entrepreneur Ivanka Trump, Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary, Mad Money’s Jim Cramer, Designer Cynthia Rowley, Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren, Zillow’s CEO Spencer Rascoff, PwC’s CEO Bob Moritz, and twenty others share their stories with you.
15. I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Remit Sethi
At last, for a generation that’s materially ambitious yet financially clueless comes I Will Teach You To Be Rich, Ramit Sethi’s 6-week personal finance program for 20-to-35-year-olds.
A completely practical approach delivered with a nonjudgmental style that makes readers want to do what Sethi says, it is based around the four pillars of personal finance- banking, saving, budgeting, and investing-and the wealth-building ideas of personal entrepreneurship.
16. The Kickass Single Mom: Be Financially Independent, Discover Your Sexiest Self, and Raise Fabulous, Happy Children by Emma Johnson
When Emma Johnson’s marriage ended she found herself broke, pregnant, and alone with a toddler. Searching for the advice she needed to navigate her new life as a single professional woman and parent, she discovered there was very little sage wisdom available. In response, Johnson launched the popular blog Wealthysinglemommy.com to speak to other women who, like herself, wanted to not just survive but thrive as single moms. Now, in this complete guide to single motherhood, Johnson guides women in confronting the naysayers in their lives (and in their own minds) to build a thriving career, achieve financial security, and to reignite their romantic life—all while being a kickass parent to their kids. The Kickass Single Mom shows readers how to:
- Build a new life that is entirely on their own terms.
- Find the time to devote to health, hobbies, friendships, faith, community and travel.
- Be a joyful, present and fun mom, and proud role model to your kids.
17. Make Money Your Honey: A Spirited Entrepreneur’s Guide to Having a Love Affair with Work and Money by Amanda Abella
Featured in Forbes, The Huffington Post, and The Consumerist, life coach Amanda Abella brings millennial entrepreneurs a powerful guide on how to have a better relationship with work and money.
A new kind of view for a new kind of generation, Amanda has helped countless young professionals make more money and actually keep it.
By combining her business background recruiting for Fortune 500 companies with her positive psychology approach, Amanda walks readers through game-changing mental shifts and practical action steps they can start implementing right away.
18. Retire Early With Real Estate: How Smart Investing Can Help You Escape the 9-5 Grind and Do More of What Matters by Chad Carson
Are you stuck in the rut of a 9-to-5 job? Would you like to do more with your life than just work to pay the bills?
Retire Early With Real Estate provides practical, proven methods to quickly and safely build wealth using the time-tested vehicle of real estate rentals. Experienced real estate investor and early retiree, Chad Carson, shares his tried-and-true investment strategies to create enough passive income to retire at 37 years old.
Packed with specific strategies, tips, and techniques you may have never learned before, this book will help you forge a new path toward your retirement. Learn from more than twenty real estate investors and early retirees profiled in this book—retiring early is possible with a step-by-step strategy at hand!
19. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
THE SUCCESS SECRETS OF THE ANCIENTS—AN ASSURED ROAD TO HAPPINESS AND PROSPERITY
Countless readers have been helped by the famous “Babylonian parables,” hailed as the greatest of all inspirational works on the subject of thrift, financial planning, and personal wealth. In language as simple as that found in the Bible, these fascinating and informative stories set you on a sure path to prosperity and its accompanying joys. Acclaimed as a modern-day classic, this celebrated bestseller offers an understanding of—and a solution to—your personal financial problems that will guide you through a lifetime.
This is the business book that holds the secrets to keeping your money—and making more. May they prove for you, as they have proven for millions of others, a sure key to gratifying financial progress.
20. Set for Life: Dominate Life, Money, and the American Dream. by Scott Trench
Set yourself up for life as early as possible and enjoy life on your terms!
Are you tied to a nine-to-five workweek? Do you work hard making someone else rich? Are you financially free―the sort of free that ensures you spend the best part of your day and week, and the best years of your life doing what you want? Would you like to “retire” from wage paying work within ten years? Why not build and follow a plan that allows you to live the life of your dreams?
This isn’t about saving up a nest egg. It’s not about setting aside money for a “rainy day” or just accumulating an emergency fund. It’s about building out a Financial Runway. It’s about creating enough readily accessible wealth that you can survive without work for a year. Then five years. Then for life. Set for Life is a three-step guide that gives readers the fiscal confidence they need to achieve early financial freedom. Readers will learn how to:
- Save more income―50+ percent of it, while still having fun
- Double or triple your income in three to five years
- Secure “real” assets and avoid “false” ones that destroy wealth
21. Uninvested: How Wall Street Hijacks Your Money & How to Fight Back by Bobby Monks
Every month our financial statements arrive, and every month we glance at them, trying to understand, hoping that we’ll come out ahead.
But most of us have no idea what’s really going on or the costs involved. According to Bobby Monks—who has been a banker and borrower, investor and entrepreneur—financial firms and money managers have complicated the investing process to keep us in the dark, profiting from our ignorance.
Having dealt with the financial sector throughout his career, Monks has seen it all. In Uninvested, he reveals how, when, and why the relationship between us and our money managers became corrupted—and what we can do to fix it.
22. The Wealthy Renter: How to Choose Housing That Will Make You Rich by Alex Avery
Why be house poor when you can rent rich?
“Why rent when you can buy?” More than any other, this phrase captures the overwhelmingly unanimous promotion of home ownership to Canadians. Real estate agents, mortgage brokers, family, friends, and even the government promote ownership as a safe, attractive, and sure-fire path to personal wealth. This one-size-fits-all advice ignores the reality of Canada’s housing market.
Faced with expensive house prices in a near-zero interest rate world, it’s time Canadians heard the virtues of renting and seriously considered renting as an alternative to home ownership.
23. You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth by Jen Sincero
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of You Are a Badass®, a life-changing guide to making the kind of money you’ve only ever dreamed of
You Are a Badass at Making Money will launch you past the fears and stumbling blocks that have kept financial success beyond your reach. Drawing on her own transformation—over just a few years—from a woman living in a converted garage with tumbleweeds blowing through her bank account to a woman who travels the world in style, Jen Sincero channels the inimitable sass and practicality that made You Are a Badass an indomitable bestseller. She combines hilarious personal essays with bite-size, aha concepts that unlock earning potential and get real results.
24. You Can Retire Early! Everything You Need to Achieve Financial Independence When You Want It by Deacon Hayes
Retiring early is not limited to lottery winners or the super rich. In fact, with proper planning, we can all retire at a younger age than we ever dreamed—but only if we know how. Personal finance expert Deacon Hayes explains the practical, concrete steps you can take to start your retirement when you’re young enough to thoroughly enjoy it, including:
- Developing a personalized retirement plan
- Maximizing income
- Understanding opportunity cost
- Assessing and reducing debt
- Selecting the right investment vehicles
- Sticking to the plan
25. You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think by Wes Moss
If you think you need to win the lottery or work until you’re 75 to retire with financial stability, Money Matters host Wes Moss has very good news for you. You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think reveals the secrets for ensuring a successful retirement―sooner rather than later.
After conducting an intensive study of happy retirees to learn the financial practices they hold in common, Moss discovered that it doesn’t take a financial genius, millions of dollars, or sophisticated investment skills to ensure a safe, solid retirement. All it takes is five best practices:
- Determine what you want and need your retirement money for
- Figure out how much you need to save
- Create a plan to pay off your mortgage in as little as five years
- Develop an income stream from multiple sources
- Become an income investor
26. Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build the Life You Love by Holly and Greg Johnson
Zero Down Your Debt ─ How to manage money and experience debt-free living: Getting into debt is a piece of cake, but getting out? That’s the hard part. Fortunately, award-winning authors Holly Porter Johnson and Greg Johnson offer actionable tips and advice in their new book on how to get out of debt and enjoy debt-free living. The secret? The “zero-sum budget”― the black belt of budgeting methods and the answer to how to get out of debt and pay off that debt quickly. They should know: It helped them wipe out $50,000 of debt.
How to get out of debt: With just a pen and a piece of paper in your arsenal, you’ll learn how to implement a zero-sum budget and become debt-free – once and for all. The zero-sum budget’s primary tenets are giving every single dollar earned a purpose ― whether it’s for bills, debt repayment or savings ― and using last month’s earnings to cover this month’s bills. All you need is the know-how, some willpower, and a positive attitude to transform your financial situation. Let Holly and Greg Johnson show you how to put zero-sum budgeting to work for you.