What are the ingredients of a high quality personal finance book?
To start with, you need a clear, cohesive message from the start that has real meaning – it’s mandatory. Readers take their money seriously and want to know what they get out of a book before they shell out $ 20 to buy it.
Whether this message is to embrace the idea of ââpassive income or to reduce the financial clutter in one’s life to build wealth, clarity is the key to optimizing the reader’s experience.
A positive financial result is another “must” for any personal finance book. After all, Americans feel that they would sort out their money problems over there with root canal treatment and spend an afternoon at the motor vehicle department. So the potential for improving their financial situation after applying the lessons learned in the book means a lot to a reader. Without the possibility of a positive outcome from a personal finance book, why buy it in the first place?
Sadly, message, clarity, and the path to a positive outcome are lacking in today’s personal finance books.
Too often, promotional propaganda focused on marketing and recycled ideas climb to the top of Amazon’s rankings.
(AMZN) – Get the Amazon.com, Inc. report list of the best-selling books, with a few exceptions. So too often the goal is not to improve the financial experience of the reader, but to make the author the star and start booking them on CNBC as soon as possible.
The good news? There are a few exceptions to the rule – personal financial books that live in the real world, have a great message, guide a reader on the path to real wealth creation, and do so in a crisp, concise, and compelling manner. . If you’re looking for books more specific to investing, check out our guide: 9 Best Investing Books For Beginners
If you are looking for a book that contains these components, start your search with the personal finance books listed below (some old and some new) and see if they lead to financial improvement in the area. life.
1. “Your money or your life: 9 steps to transform your relationship with money and achieve financial independence”
By Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez
Even Oprah Winfrey, one of popular culture’s foremost literary champions, calls the book “wonderful” and “life-changing.”
“Your money or your life“is built with a nine-step model designed to take readers to a more deliberate, holistic approach to money management, instilling financial values ââthat can sustain a money-curious teenager for the rest of her life.
2. “Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money”
By Dave Ramsey
Dave Ramsey is a living legend in personal financial circles, but this living and useful book Apparently takes a back seat to Ramsey’s more famous book “The Total Money Makeover” – and it shouldn’t.
While this latest tome does a great job of solving the problem of consumer debt, âDave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Moneyâ is a more comprehensive overview of household money management from A to Z.
That includes a substantial dose of debt management (and should), but Ramsey spreads the wealth and gets into the real-world money scenarios Americans face – things like managing insurance policies, giving donations. of charity, and trade and investment of a rational (not pie in heaven perspective).
If you need just one money management book, this is a good book to choose.
3. “Millennial Money Makeover: Avoid Debt, Save For Your Future, And Live A Rich Life Now”
By Conor Richardson
This new entry into the personal finance publishing market is targeting readers who are starting to experience serious money for the first time – people in their twenties. Another book that deals with real life issues, “Millennium Money Makeover“is particularly useful in helping young readers deal with their debt – especially student loan debt.
Richardson, a certified public accountant, certainly doesn’t write as such. The book is a direct blow to the stomach – a wake-up call and a “how-to” for millennials to get rid of those big student loan debts and jump into the economy and live their best lives.
4. “Get together: organize your files so your family doesn’t have to.”
By Melanie Cullen and Shae Irving, JD
This book reads more clinically than other high profile personal finance books, but the style of the binder fits here.
After all, books that deal with critical, but often overlooked personal financial organizational issues, such as where to keep financial account passwords and how and where to keep a will, are often overlooked. It is a literary crime because there are few worse cases in an emergency or after the death of a breadwinner than when personal files are kept.
“Do togetherâshows how to collect and store personal financial records effectively and efficiently – and, more importantly, provides a solid roadmap for family survivors.
5. “All the money in the world”
By Laura Vanderkam
Vanderkam is a wonderful and inventive writer who deals with a subject much underrated in money management circles – how time, like money, is also a commodity. Better yet, she ties the themes of time and money together, to produce a book where the most important outcome is to use money and time as tools to generate value.
She weaves the theme of “value” throughout her book and does so in an engaging way. For example, instead of paying $ 5,000 for an engagement ring, Vanderkam comes up with the idea of ââspending 10% of that amount on a shiny rock, and using the rest of that money to travel, invest, reduce debt. and send each other little “I love you” gifts when times get tough throughout married life.
“All the money in the world“is full of analogies like this. Each shows that the consumer takes spending for granted, and that the ‘Keeping Up With Jones’ culture is one that should have expired a long time ago. Vanderkam is not wrong. on this point of face.
6. “The Little Book of Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Returns”
By John C. Bogle
Over two decades ago, golf instructor Harvey Penick wrote his famous (at least in sports circles) “Little Red Book” – with the author’s Zen thoughts on golf and life. The book was so small in fact that it could easily fit in the palm of your hand and leave room to grab a putter and make that nasty seven-foot descent on the 18th hole.
Bogle, another recently deceased legend in money management circles, uses much the same pattern with his “Small book on common sense investingand does so expertly. Readers may or may not know that Bogle made history as the founder of Vanguard Funds, the first major investment firm to offer index funds to the public – but they will. much more after absorbing Bogle’s position on investment management.
More revealing, Bogle talks about the futility of expensive investment advice and how low-cost index funds, with their performance and low fees, could level the playing field when it comes to investing between Main Street and Wall Street. History has certainly vindicated Bogle on the matter, even though Wall Street has thrown a lot of mud this way as he has spent decades arguing his case.
Here, Bogle makes his case simply and directly, without bragging about his own great accomplishments. As one Amazon reviewer put it so aptly, “What Gutenberg was to the printing press, Henry Ford to the automobile, and Shakespeare to the English language, Jack Bogle had to fund.”
That line alone should inspire anyone interested in getting their fair share of the financial markets to pick up this book, and the sooner the better.
7. “The millionaire next door”
By Thomas Stanley and William D. Danko
It’s the book that college finance majors and young Wall Street fund managers have kept by their bedside, dog-eared and well-inflated for the past 20 years.
There is a good reason for this. The book portrays a living tale of millionaires not as show-boating, glitter, and glamor materialists, but as ordinary people wearing flannel shirts and driving vans, who had a message to convey to aspiring Americans. material wealth.
Prior to the book’s publication in 1996, Stanley had traveled the country interviewing Americans who won a million dollars. Quite simply, Stanley asked how they did it. Their common sense responses were turned into “The millionaire next door“, structured in seven steps that everyone should take if they want to make $ 1 million or more – by living below their means and choosing a life-long occupation.
Read it and you will understand that most millionaires truly live next door, happy and unpretentious (or no debt to speak of.)
A bonus – it’s as much a book on the American spirit as it is a money management book, and that only highlights its brilliance.
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