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Thursday, October 23, 2014

111. Eight Books on Personal Finance and Investing

Check out these books for free from your local library. If unavailable get them at or Half Priced Books:

1. “The Total Money Makeover” (2003) by Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey is a personal finance g. Ramsey dispels many money myths. He also attacks many of the illusions and deception of the American dream which encourages massive amounts of debt and overspending. Dave says “Don’t even consider keeping up with the Joneses. They’re broke!” The book’s motto is “If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.” At the core of Dave’s book are the 7 baby steps to financial freedom. Dave’s assertion is that by following these 7 steps in order readers can gradually progress from debt to wealth building. Critics claim Dave’s advice are simplistic. But the 7 baby steps work because they are simple and because people can get tangible results. Of interest you can also listen to the book for free on Youtube here.

2. "Investing for Dummies" (fourth edition 2014) by Eric Tyson 

The title isn’t too promising I know. But honestly
Investing for Dummies is a great little book for beginners. I would skim through this one just to get a feel for the different categories and definitions. At least that's what I've done. I’d then move onto Malkiel’s book. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a free pdf of this book.

3. "A Random Walk Down Wall Street" (2012) by Burton Malkiel 

Simply put, Malkiel takes some very complicated information and makes it so anyone can read and even more importantly understand it. Malkiel holds to a buy and hold approach to investing. A long-term approach to investing focused on passively managed index funds is the way to go. A great book for beginners. 

4. “The Richest Man in Babylon” (1926) by George S. Clason

This book is a classic. It is also a very quick, enjoyable read. Of interest it was originally a series of pamphlets distributed by banks and insurance companies. The Richest Man in Babylon gives an insight into the mindset of being a successful investor. The lessons presented are timeless regardless if you are just learning about finances and investing or if you are a seasoned veteran. The book quickly reveals that wealth building is not a secret. The same way people were accumulating wealth in ancient times is the same way people get rich today.  

5. "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" (2000) by Robert Kiyosaki

This book is great for absolute beginners. It is very inspiring and motivating. Kiyosaki challenges the reader to shift the way he or she looks at money. Rich Dad, Poor Dad gives you the “why” of investing and gets the reader on the path to the right mindset of becoming wealthy. Not sure I agree with using other people’s money to invest to make more money but most of what he writes is on target and there are some great quotes throughout this book. 

6. “The Essays of Warren Buffet” (3rd edition 2013) by Warren E. Buffet & Lawrence A. Cunnigham

If you know much about Warren Buffet or follow his annual shareholder letters you know this will be good advice. Cunningham takes Buffet’s writtings and collated it by topic so it’s easier to follow.

If you’re interested in what Buffet as an investor looks for in a company this is the book for you. If you are into active trading this book might not be for you. Buffet has stated on numerous occasions that his holding period is “forever”. Again this is a long-term approach to investments. 

7. "The Intelligent Investor" (1949) Benjamin Graham

While this book was first published in 1949 the lessons in it are timeless. One of the key focuses of this book is Graham’s direction minimize losses and find the real value of a given company. In essence Graham argues to limit risk by long-term investing. Of interest Graham was Warren Buffet’s mentor. 

8. "Think and Grow Rich" (1937) by Napoleon Hill     

This book is unique in that it was written by Hill during the Great Depression. Since then Hill has sold more than 30 million copies all over the world. Hill was very interested in the lives of his wealthy friends during his life time. Hill published this book at the suggestion of industrialist Andrew Carnegie.  Hill published the 13 principles for success and personal achievement from his observations which included: 1. Desire, 2. Faith, 3. Autosuggestion, 4. Specialized knowledge, 5. Imagination, 6. Organized Planning, 7. Decision, 8. Persistence, 9. Power of the Master Mind, 10. The Mystery of Sex Transmutation, 11. The Subconscious Mind, 12. The Brain, and 13. The Sixth Sense. Some might call it a lot of psychological mambo jambo. Take what you can from it I guess. 

Bonus! Check out "The Millionaire Next Door" review here.

What books have influenced you in personal finance and investing?


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