Nothing replaces the depth and breadth of information contained in a book written by a successful person with a specialist point of view. Instead of quick fixes and hacks that rely on current trends, each of these 12 best-selling personal finance classics promotes concepts that stand the test of time.
We’ve listed these books by financial goals for 2017, so you can choose. Or you can read all 12 – say, one a month – to really deepen your knowledge of personal finance from many different angles.
Pay off the debt
Lily: The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
Dave Ramsey’s ideals and advice are an extreme example of a debt-free lifestyle, but learning that the key to success is to focus on one goal at a time has made all the difference. Dilute your efforts, it takes a lot longer to see results, making it more likely you’ll give up, says Ramsey. The first of those goals is to save $1,000 cash in an emergency start-up fund, and it explains how to do it.
The second is to pay off the debt using the “debt snowball” method, which we love because it pays off the smaller credit card first, again giving you that sense of accomplishment and also freeing up money from that monthly payment to move to the next lowest card balance. And you can’t beat the sheer volume of debt repayment success stories that describe how they did it.
Find more money in your paycheck
Lily: David Bach’s Automatic Millionaire
We believe David Bach coined the term “The Latte Factor” over a decade ago because he clearly illustrated the value of that same $2.50 spent daily on coffee (or whatever ) if they are saved and invested over 10, 20 or 40 years. Even though he wrote the book when savings vehicle interest rates were much higher, the wisdom still applies.
He was also the first strong proponent of automatic bill paying, always paying himself first (so the savings start sooner rather than later) with your bills so you never miss a payment, incur late fees, or incur charges. get any type of late penalty such as a ding to your credit score.
Lily: Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
Aside from his corporate bankruptcy and lawsuit troubles, what we took away from this book is new thinking about assets and liabilities. “An asset is something that puts money in my pocket,” Kiyosaki writes. “A liability is something that takes pocket money from me.” If you buy an expensive car and pay off a big loan, that never puts any money back in your pocket, so it’s actually a liability.
From this point of view, even the purchase of real estate (which most people consider to be their greatest asset) must be done with an eye to future value or current rental income. And you can’t count on that future value. If you have already withdrawn the equity, or you have no equity, or your mortgage is upside down, you can see how this can quickly turn into a liability as well as how values can drop, as many discovered when the real estate market crashed from 2006.
We also learned from Kiyosaki that in real estate, you always have to search and make a lot of low offers.
Developing a work-life balance
Lily: Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez
In this book, you will learn how to assess whether your career choices are costing you “life energy” and whether your work and expenses are truly aligned with your life goals and values. When you do the math as shown in the book, you can see your “true” hourly wage drop tellingly. You can also see how you could be wasting time and money on things that aren’t important to you at all.
Preparation for entrepreneurial success
Lily: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
In Think and Grow Rich, originally written in 1937 and based on interviews with over 500 wealthy people of the time, Hill lays out the secrets he uncovered, organized into 13 steps. What really spoke to us was a chapter on perseverance. Don’t miss the chapter entitled “The Devil’s Workshop”.
Lily: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
For anyone committed to changing a habit or achieving a goal, this book is a must read. In this document, you will learn that to successfully change a habit, you need not only a very strong desire to do it, but also the knowledge of how to do it and the skill to do it. And it all starts with how you perceive the world, yourself and the people around you. You might be thinking, “Just tell me the seven habits already,” so if you want to know, get the book.
Learn more about financial firsts
Lily: The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous and Broke by Suze Orman
Need a book to give to your young adult children as they get their first job and move on their own? A book that would answer any financial questions they might have, such as “What should I do about that 401(k) that was offered to me at my first job? a 401(k)?” This tome outlines the basics of every financial issue, choice, or term that young adults might face. We especially liked his “Don’t Do It” list, as well as his usual spiel, “People first, then money, then things.”
Lily: Linchpin by Seth Godin
If you have career aspirations, this book is for you. In this book, you will learn that to be indispensable to the company you work for (therefore not to be fired), you must bring something special that no one else does. You will learn that simply doing the job as it is written makes you a cog in the big wheel, as replaceable as any other cog. And who just wants to be a cog? The other thing we loved learning about in this book is how your “lizard brain” controls your daily thoughts and actions, and how to resist them.
live like a rich person
Lily: The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D., and William D. Danko, Ph.D.
The majority of America’s wealthy don’t live the stereotypical way we think they do, according to research conducted over the 20 years before this book was published in 1996. The authors studied survey results and d interviews with over 11,000 high profile people. wealthy or high-income individuals and more than 500 millionaires to come to this opinion.
The secret that spoke to us the most was, “They believe that financial independence is more important than displaying high social status.” If you are a data enthusiast, this book is for you.
Develop financial management skills
Lily: Benjamin Franklin’s Path to Wealth
What could be more classic than a book written by Benjamin Franklin over 200 years ago? What struck us about this book was Franklin’s connection between being debt-free and being independent. And who wants to give up their independence just to buy stuff?
Learn more about the stock market
Lily: The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing by Benjamin Graham
The smartest thing this classic, originally published in 1949, has taught us is to take a long-term view of investing. If you don’t have the time or interest to research a stock buy to see if it meets a set of value-oriented investing criteria, you should stick with index funds or mutual funds. shift.
The basic advice in this book has firmly guided many investors to this day, as it urges you never to skip any part of the research process when making a purchase. Get the revised edition, which includes more modern perspectives.
Deal more effectively with people
Lily: How to Make Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Why is this book on a list of personal finance books? Because without the cooperation of others, you cannot be successful at work or with your finances. The lessons encourage you to change your way of thinking and relate to people differently, and the many stories show how they work. For example, the book advises you to forget about what you want and want to say, and focus on the other person’s needs and wants and listen. That, and not to criticize.
This book contains many tips that you can implement immediately, but it takes time for these ways of interacting to become habits. This book is a must if you are in any sales position – or if you want to have friends!
Finance lessons never go out of style
Whether these books were written 100 years ago or very recently has no bearing on the basic financial concepts described. And it doesn’t matter whether you agree with each concept described or the opinion of each author. Find what you like, what might work for you, and leave the rest.
This story originally appeared on Dealnews.com.