A solid financial education doesnt necessarily mean you need a fancy degree in accounting, economics or finance. Most of the basics can be learned with an investment of fewer than 10 hours, $20 and reading a few exceptional books. If you are willing to invest a little time, these books will pay a lifetime of dividends.
The Automatic Millionaire
The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach is a long-time best selling book in personal finance. The tagline, a powerful one-step plan to live and finish rich is spot on for the main content of this book.
The Automatic Millionaire explores options you have to ensure you are on track to meet your lifes financial goals including paying off debt and saving for retirement. This book can help you pick up from where you are and get on track for a successful future, no matter where you are on your lifes financial journey.
One popular concept in the book is The Latte Factor or the idea that small spending adds up over time. Investing those small dollars can lead to major market profits. If you prefer a set it and forget it approach to your finances, The Automatic Millionaire is the right personal finance book for you.
I Will Teach You to Be Rich
Millennials looking to master their money love I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi, who runs a website by the same name. Sethi paid his way through college thanks to a system he developed to get as many scholarships as possible. He went on to build similar systems to manage his bank accounts, investments, and savings with a similar automated approach to what David Bach describes in The Automatic Millionaire.
Sethi began teaching his fellow students at small personal finance classes, then started his popular website before consolidating his best tips in this detailed guide. If you are in your 20s or 30s, this book is a fantastic resource to prepare your finances for long-term success.
The Intelligent Investor
First published in 1949, The Intelligent Investor explains the concept of value investing. This is the strategy famed investor Warren Buffett used to build his massive fortune in the stock market. In fact, the books author, Benjamin Graham, was Buffetts college professor and mentor. He is also noted as one of the most influential people in the life of The Oracle from Omaha.
Value investing is a financial concept where investors can identify stocks with an intrinsic value higher than the companys current market stock price. If you can find a company that is worth more than you have to pay for it, it will inevitably grow in value over time.
This long-term investment strategy has proven itself time and again since its release and remains one of the most popular finance books ever written. Many on Wall Street look to The Intelligent Investor as the stock market bible. Many amateur investors lean heavily on the books concepts to profit in the markets.
The Total Money Makeover
Dave Ramseys financial wisdom is packed up in his book The Total Money Makeover. It has quickly become a classic personal finance resource thanks to its easy-to-understand explanations of complex financial concepts.
To optimize your finances, according to Ramsey, focus on the 80 percent of finances driven by your behaviors. You can do this in measurable baby steps that allow you to celebrate the small successes along the way.
From paying off debt to saving an emergency fund to preparing for retirement, this book has you covered. His advice is not perfect for everyone, but it is just right for millions of people. If you feel like your finances are a mess and dont know where to start fixing them, The Total Money Makeover is a go-to resource.
The Millionaire Next Door
Your neighbor may be secretly holding out on you. Maybe one of Americas secret millionaires who built up a small fortune runs to the same grocery store as you do, even if you dont live in one of the nations richest zip codes.
In The Millionaire Next Door, authors Thomas Stanley and William Danko walk you through seven common traits that the richest Americans have in common. Using basic principles such as live below your means and choose your occupation wisely, anyone can save up a seven-figure bank account. Well, anyone who actively follows the seven principles in this book and makes them a part of their everyday life.
Start Reading but Dont Forget About Free Financial Resources
Books offer a great opportunity to get a well-rounded view into your personal finances without spending tens of thousands of dollars or hundreds of hours becoming a certified expert.
Also, keep in mind the plethora of free resources on the web that you can take advantage of. Finance blogs, podcasts and articles are a perfect place to deepen your skills and knowledge. If you do things right, you may be the next secret millionaire dropping by the local market for more milk and your neighbors may not even know.