3 Best Books about Money - You need to Read TODAY!
I rarely say anyone MUST do anything. Everyone’s story is different and everyone is at a different place in their life. BUT, when it comes to money, these three books are the ones I keep coming back to again and again and they are the ones I recommend to my family and friends. Each time I read them, I take away another little nugget of knowledge, and that in turn keeps me coming back again.
Besides the little nuggets of knowledge, I also find each author’s “voice” easy to follow and consume.
I WILL TEACH YOU TO BE RICH BY RAMIT SETHI
The cockiness of the title aside, I love this book because Mr. Sethi has broken down the journey of getting your money organized and working for you into six steps. Each step is broad in scope but narrowed through specific, detailed tasks that are organized so that you can work through them at your pace.
Additionally, he is the first author I ever read in the personal finance space who’s philosophy was similar to mine. He wasn’t preaching “track every penny every day! No matter what! Or you’re a lazy loser!”
Instead, just like me, he believes in NOT living in a spreadsheet. I can’t tell you how refreshing this is. He also believes in setting up a system that allows your money to take care of your life without having to obsess over it every single day. It was refreshing to know someone else believed the same.
The title of his book is more tongue-in-cheek than literal, but his point resonates. Rich is a very flexible word and what one person considers “rich” another might consider barely scraping by. Mr. Sethi’s point is that a rich life is only full of the things that make you happy and bring you joy. So spend extravagantly on what makes you feel rich and pinch pennies until Lincoln screams on everything else!
SMART WOMEN FINISH RICH BY DAVID BACH
Did you know that statistically speaking women tend to outlive men by as much as seven years? This has been painfully true in my own life. My dad passed away in 2003 at 54 years old. I can tell you with 100% certainty that my mom hadn’t been expecting to become a widow at 52. This sad fact of life was the catalyst of Mr. Bach’s career and decision to write this book.
For our purposes, this sad statistic means whether we are married or single or some kind of “it’s complicated’ in-between, as women, we MUST understand money and how to take care of it ourselves.
Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach is the first book I ever read specifically targeted at women to teach them how to manage their own finances. The first time I read this book was more than fifteen years ago was right after my divorce. At the time, I needed to figure out where I was financially and where I needed to be. Even though my background is in accounting, I worked in corporate accounting, not personal finance and I needed help on how to set up systems as a newly divorced woman. Mr. Bach’s book has a lot to do with where I am today financially and my mission to help women understand and find their power around their money.
Over the years, I have read and re-read this book many, many times and I have always found new bits of wisdom. In 2019, the book was updated and expanded for new tax laws and retirement account strategies, but the core of the book is the same.
Mr. Bach isn’t as cheeky as Ramit Sethi, but his message resonates just as much. There is a bit of overlap in content between the two books, but this worked for me because they each come at the message in different ways and with different stories.
Mr. Bach has several other books, including Smart Couples Finish Rich, which I also highly recommend to all of my couples, and The Automatic Millionaire, which was so incredibly eye-opening for me I’ve adopted it into my own system.
GET RICH CAREFULLY BY JIM CRAMER
This recommendation takes a lot of people by surprise. But, it’s my honest-to-goodness go-to resource for building an investment portfolio both inside and outside of my retirement accounts. Get Rich Carefully by Jim Cramer is a primer on how to start investing. From the basic mechanics of “what is a stock”, to how to read a quarterly SEC filing and financial report, this book is all about investing in the market in a methodical, thoughtful way in order to build a solid investment portfolio.
He advocates when I call “turtle investing”: slowly buying solid stocks of solid companies that are going to grow in value and pay you dividends. With Mr. Cramer’s advice, I’ve spent the last ten years slowly building a portfolio that is going to support me in my old age. Sometimes buying as little as two shares at a time!
Mr. Cramer’s methods do require “homework” to evaluate the companies you are thinking about investing in and then to continue to follow them to make sure they continue to be a good fit for your portfolio. But he very clearly, in plain language, explains what the homework is and it rarely takes me more than an hour or so a couple of Sundays a month. He recommends spending an hour a week, but honestly, I never have that kind of time to spend and to date, I’ve been just fine.
This is not a book about how to time the market or pick the next stock that’s going to blow up and make you a millionaire. As the title plainly states, this is a book about how to get rich carefully. If you’re looking for a resource to educate you about stocks and the stock market, and you’re a turtle investor like me, I really think this book is a solid addition to your financial library.
Personal finance is one of those areas of life that we all have to continually educate ourselves about - even me! I read at least a dozen books a year just in this space and as I find good ones to add to my library, I will be sure to let you know!
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