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According to the 2020 TIAA Institute-GFLEC Personal Finance Index, financial literacy in the United States is improving, albeit slowly and modestly. Adults surveyed this year answered only 52% of the questions correctly, but that number has increased by about 1% per year, from 2017 to 2020. If you’re like most Americans, you don’t. learned a lot about financial management from your parents. or your school, which is precisely why finding educational resources as reliable as personal finance books is so vital.
Our selections aim to provide you with the knowledge you need to feel empowered to take control of your finances and join the ranks of those who turn a new leaf in learning about money. A good personal finance book is one that offers valuable information on how to manage spending, savings, debt, and investments. These picks of the best finance books do it all in a package that’s also entertaining, upbeat, and accessible.
Best overall: the choice of wealth
Both inspiring and informative, Dennis Kimbro’s book “The Wealth Choice: Success Secrets of Black Millionaires” is outstanding read for anyone interested in wealth accumulation. Dr Kimbro, university professor, motivational speaker and writer for the Napoleon Hill Foundation, effortlessly combines years of in-depth research with engaging success stories in this 2013 publication. The storytelling style that turns pages, combined with his financial acumen and general wisdom of life is sure to make this a personal finance read that will have mass appeal for years to come.
Not only is the book highly recommended by the Investopedia Financial Review Board, the research in “The Wealth Choice” is top notch. Over the course of seven years, Kimbro and his colleagues conducted an in-depth study of 1,000 black millionaires to understand how and why some people are able to create significant wealth, even when they come from humble beginnings. Throughout his conversations with black millionaires which are detailed in the book, Kimbro shows readers how they can apply the techniques of the rich to help themselves achieve financial success.
Best Intro to Investing: Investing 101
There aren’t many investment books attractive enough to live on your coffee table, but Michele Cagan’s âInvesting 101â is one of them. Between the covers of this book, readers will find a well-written Nut Soup An Introduction to Investing. Part manual and part manual, this book, and the entire 101 series, will not give you advice on how to beat the market, but it will provide you with a working knowledge of how different financial vehicles work, the differences between the different ones. types of investments and how to build a well-balanced portfolio for long-term growth.
Cagan, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), excels at providing readers with simple yet comprehensive definitions of complex financial vehicles and concepts. âInvesting 101â is the perfect book for anyone interested in learning more about the world of investing, as well as for those looking for a must-have resource on investing to consult from time to time. Cagan’s straightforward approach and lack of editorialization make this book a great introduction to investing.
Best Introduction to Budgeting: Easy Money
Written by Gail Vaz-Oxlade, of the Canadian personal finance television show “Til Debt Do Us Part”, “Easy Money” is a great read. Vaz-Oxlade’s writing style and his years as a personal finance educator shines through in this short guide that tells readers exactly how to budget and what to include in a budget.
The best things about the April 2020 title “Easy Money” are the timelessness of the advice and the accessibility of the budgeting method. While other budgeting books insist on endless tracking and optimization, Vaz-Oxlade’s well-honed budgeting system requires no apps, software, and skills in math or technology. It applies to both high and low incomes alike, and despite some references to specific investment vehicles in Canada, it can be applied to budgets anywhere. Vaz-Oxlade’s method of budgeting is to assess current spending, correct the course, and then maintain control through budgeting and prioritization. Even the most budget-conscious reader will walk away from “Easy Money” feeling ready to take charge of the finances.
Best for Behavioral Economics: Dollars and Sense
The idea that our spending decisions are all based on logic and education has long been debunked. We now know that our financial decisions are often based on unconscious emotions and desires. In Dan Ariely and Jeff Kreisler’s book âDollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spender Smarter,â readers learn about the inner workings of the human mind when it comes to managing money. Ariely, James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economicsat Duke University, and comedian Kreisler are a great pair who have created an engaging read, which seamlessly combines scientific evidence with entertaining real-world examples.
This is the perfect read if you’re interested in things like how the sunk cost error causes people to overspend, why we overestimate what we have, how our environment and mindset impacts. about our willingness to spend money and ultimately why so many of us lose control over our spending. Unlike many behavioral economics and pop psychology books, âDollars and Senseâ not only describes the problematic way humans approach money by default, but also provides some real, practical advice to help us all overcome our habits. irrational financials.
Ideal for credit repair: perfect credit
Lynnette Khalfani-Cox has 15 financial management books to her credit, but “Perfect Credit”, first published in 2010, is one of the best books on credit scores because it is a guide. clear and actionable to improve credit, step by step. Additionally, according to a 2019 Experian report, about a third of Americans have subprime loans; the need for a book that deals with improving credit scores is clear.
Despite the often loaded subject matter, âPerfect Creditâ manages to be entertaining, approachable and upbeat. Khalfani-Cox’s voice makes readers feel like they’re getting trusted advice from their best friend who happens to be a former Wall Street Journal reporter. The book also covers important and often overlooked topics, such as how to negotiate with creditors and control overspending to avoid overuse of credit in the future.
Ideal for student loan management: debt-free degree
“Debt Free Degree” is ideal for parents who not only want to help their children avoid mountains of debt, but also know how to best prepare their children for college, what courses their children should take in high school, and the best way. to choose a school and a major. In the national bestsellerHowever, author Anthony ONeal details exactly how to go about getting a college degree paid in cash.
While most of the news headlines focus on the inevitability of struggling with student loans, ONeal offers an alternative and dynamic approach to getting great deals on higher education. “Debt Free Degree” is also an enjoyable read, thanks to ONeal’s anecdotes gleaned from his work as an on-air radio personality and speaker. It is important to note that this book is strongly aimed at parents whose children are not yet in college.
Best for money management: your money or your life
The latest incarnation of “Your Money or Your Life” by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez was updated in 2018, but the key message is the same as the 1992 hit original: Money alone doesn’t buy happiness. . Far from resting on its laurels, this personal finance guide is still the best book for learning the model of building wealth and a healthy relationship with money. In addition, it is recommended by the Investopedia Financial Review Board.
The nine steps outlined in the book are the brainchild of Dominguez, a self-made millionaire who got his first job to support his family at just 7 years old. Robin’s ability to translate Dominguez’s Steps to Wealth into digestible instructions that not only tell the reader how to handle money, but also how to relate and think about money and priorities, sets this guide apart from other similar titles. . âYour money or your lifeâ will not only show you the right steps to take in your quest for financial independence, but it will do so in a way that will change your relationship even to money, consumerism, gratitude and self-esteem. concept of “enough. ”
All of the books on our list are worth reading, but if you’re shopping for someone else or just aren’t sure which title best suits your needs, we recommend either “The choice of wealth” Where “Your money or your life. âBoth books offer wide appeal and a changing perspective on money management and life.
Why trust Investopedia?
The author of this article, a financial independence, early retirement (FIRE) enthusiast and professional writer with a degree in writing, literature and publishing, began to compile this list by establishing categories based on the varied needs of our diverse group of readers. Drawing on over a decade of reading personal finance books experience, including several on this list, a sub-list of potential winners has been put together.
Next, we sought the advice of Investopedia’s financial review committee for recommendations. Next, we looked at books that fell into those categories that were also on bestseller lists, had been written by outstanding personal finance experts, and had received stellar online reviews. From there, we applied the same type of rating that would apply to any other book: we considered the ease of use of the advice in the books as well as the entertainment value and style of writing.