Did you know two thirds of Americans are financially illiterate?
Perhaps you feel you’re part of that number. I certainly was, at least until I was run over on my motorcycle, and forced abruptly onto the path of financial literacy.
That was my lucky day, believe it or not.
Today is yours.
Path To Money Genius
That accident long ago set me on the path to learn about money that ultimately led to my starting Enwealthen a few years back, and the Financial Literacy Chronicles earlier this year.
Your lucky accident is to be here reading this right now.
You see, for the Financial Literacy Chronicles I interviewed over 30 personal finance experts to find out what makes them tick – the money memories that formed them, the thoughts that motivate them, and here’s the important bit – the books they recommend the most when helping people become a money genius.
Here, compiled for the first time are the top 9 books most recommended by money experts as the best way to go from money clueless to money genius. Be sure to make it all the way through for a chance to get the complete book list!
Best of all, I’ve read all these books as well, and can say with confidence that there is something for everyone in this list, no matter what your level of money genius (or genius to be).
Books To Foster Your Inner Money Genius
Without further ado, here’s the list of most recommended personal finance books by the experts of the Financial Literacy Chronicles. I’ve included some of their recommendations to give you a feel for the book, saving the best for last.
It’s a tough choice with so many great books to choose from, so how do you decide where to start?
Here’s an easy solution – just add them all to your Amazon wish list and let your friends and family gift you the path to financial literacy! Hopefully, they’ll buy a few for themselves and can join you on your journey. Best of all, you can swap them when you’re done and learn even more.
Now on to the books!
The Automatic Millionaire
The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach is all about automating your finances for a stress-free and financially successful life. To quote some of the experts of the Financial Literacy Chronicles…
“Making saving and investing (bill paying too) automatic creates consistency. The only way we’ve been able to stick to our savings goals each month is to make it automatic. What’s left is what we have to live on. It’s worked for us.”
“This was the first personal finance book I read after graduating college. It had a big effect on me because it made investing simple.”
The Intelligent Investor
For the book-lover in you, The Intelligent Investor is a slightly intimidating book by Benjamin Graham covering the ins and outs of value investing. Large? Yes. But well worth the read.
“I’ve referred to it over the years and read it piece by piece. It forms the core of my investment beliefs, and I’ll be forever grateful to the man who recommended it.”
“…a classic that I think is worth taking the time to thumb through. There’s no right or wrong way to invest since everyone’s needs and goals are unique, however I think the concepts in this book are great to keep in mind when making investment decisions.”
The One Page Financial Plan
Carl Richards wrote the One-Page Financial Plan to give practical advice without all the jargon, in a way anyone can understand. He did a surprisingly good job, considering he is a financial adviser and swims in jargon for a living.
“…great foundational book and especially great for newly married couples.”
“During my speaking events I always giveaway at least one of these books.”
I Will Teach You To Be Rich
Ramit Sethi is a well-known and well-regarded figure in the personal finance space, or really the entire personal improvement space. His I Will Teach You To Be Rich is a no-nonsense plan to get you on the right path and has my personal recommendation as well.
“The author has a great sense of humor and I learned a ton even though I went into it thinking I knew everything already. I highly recommend this one.”
“…it is a solid, practical handbook to optimizing your finances.”
Rich Dad, Poor Dad
Robert Kiyosaki is a controversial figure in the personal finance space, mainly for questions around his bankruptcy and occasionally for if his “rich dad” was a real person or not. Regardless, Rich Dad Poor Dad, while far from the first personal finance book I ever read, still had an overwhelming impact on my thinking. I have reviews of a few of his books here on Enwealthen if you’re curious about some of his other works.
“…one of the first personal finance books I read as a teenager and it got me into the mindset of making passive income. I’m not saying this is a perfect book, but, I definitely think I can become a millionaire when I read it.”
“…yet another milestone in my discovery of the concept of passive income, and my quest to learn more about it. For anyone who is unfamiliar with that term, I’d highly recommend this book as a good starting point. If nothing else, it will have you thinking about finances differently.”
“probably the first and most impactful personal finance book I read, and I’m grateful it was recommended to me by my roommate while we were sophomores in college. The Cashflow Quadrant is something that took a while to sink in, but is a really helpful way to think about your journey to financial independence.”
The Richest Man in Babylon
One of my personal favorites, and one I have gifted to my loved ones more times than I can count, is The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason. It has the perfect combination of simplicity and power that inspires you to succeed at money.
“…very basic, but covers everything so well. It’s a short read too which makes it a perfect gift.”
“…wonderfully written as short parables that are told to illustrate powerful concepts in wealth building. Written in 1926, it still as relevant as it was 100 years ago.”
“…a great story and has real applications.”
Total Money Makeover
One of the famous personal finance coaches is Dave Ramsey. The “debt free screams” he features on his podcast / radio show are spectacular – check out the top 10 if you need a little inspiration. His advice in A Total Money Makeover is easy to understand, practical and effective. In short, a great starting point, especially if you’re struggling with debt.
“…it provides a proven plan for debt freedom with encouraging stories along the way.”
“a great book for folks in any sort of financial state – whether it be needing to find ways to save money, or even how to invest it effectively, although many different topics are covered.”
Your Money Or Your Life
The second most gifted personal finance book, Your Money or Your Life (Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez), is an instant classic. At its core is the oft-forgotten but absolutely critical reminder that life is a rat race and you must find your priorities so you’re valuing your time, your life, as much as your money.
“…my favorite for so many reasons. It opened my eyes to the possibilities of [financial independence] and helped me better align my spending/expenses with my values and priorities. It completely shifted my money mindset.”
“…a great piece at getting you to think about the value of your time — something that’s worth far more than money.”
“…asks you to examine your relationship with money, work, and life. You are trading your life energy for money. Is it worth it?”
The Millionaire Next Door
And finally, my personal favorite, and the most recommended book on this list, by far. If you only read one book on this list, this is the one to read. The Millionaire Next Door by Dr. Thomas Stanley lifts the veil and shows that millionaires are all around us and it’s far easier to become one than you ever imagined.
“…most millionaires don’t inherit their wealth, but tend to live thrifty, nondescript lives, spending intentionally and investing strategically.”
“…completely changed my perspective on money.”
“…an incredible peek into the differences between how the people ‘think’ the rich live (and how they try to emulate it) versus how actual millionaires really do live.”
“…the book with the single, largest impact in my life.”
“I haven’t gifted a single financial book to someone, but if I ever did, I’d choose only one: The Millionaire Next Door.”
But I Want More
Congratulations! Whatever your financial savvy, you’ve taken one more step on your path to money genius with these 9 most recommended personal finance books.
Best of all, many of them are easy to read, but with powerful, life changing messages.
Already read these books and are thirsty for more? I’ve collected the entire list of most recommended personal finance books and make it available to Enwealthen members.
Intrigued by the quotes and want to learn more about the path to money genius behind each one? Read the rest of the Financial Literacy Chronicles. Trust me, it’s fascinating and educational.
And there you have it. 9 books to take your financial life to the next level.
Now it’s up to you!
Read one of these books? Have another recommendation? Comment below with your thoughts and recommendations.