My Top 5 Personal Finance/Investing Books

I’m new to investing, what should I do? Where do I even begin?

Nobody starts out an expert, and even the best investors in the world had to begin somehow.

So how did the experts become, well experts.

Many got finance degrees, studied abroad and read a lot. Luckily for you, they have now all written books compiling their experiences, some being the best on investing and personal finance. They discuss what works and what doesn’t, so you don’t make the same mistakes they did.

There are so many great resources available to learn about the world of investing, business, and finance to include blogs, podcasts, and online courses. I feel the most long proven method is still by reading good ol’ books. I’ve spent a few hundred dollars per year on books, but I can tell you that they’ve resulted in countless dollars in savings and in current and future earnings. There really is no better return on investment.

Below is a list of my favorite books with a small description of each. I also have some of these in my Books section that have been that influential in my life to be recognized twice. Feel free to add some suggestions down in the comments as well.

(All of these links are affiliate links to Amazon meaning if you click through the site, I get a small percentage of it with no additional cost to you.)

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

If there’s one thing I’ve never been accused of, it’s frivolous spending. Okay, that’s not completely true. I’ve got a gym membership only to use it a few times and I’m even guilty of have a gym memebership I didn’t activley use while having multiple free options on the military base gyms. However, I have worked very hard over time to be smarter about my spending, what some may people call financial prioritization. Still, I’ll be the first to admit that there’s still so much to learn about managing my finances especially budgeting. Dave Ramsey’s book, The Total Money Makeover, is packed full of helpful information on this subject.

This is a book about money, but what you won’t find in these pages is any kind of get-rich-quick scheme—Ramsey emphasizes that there is no secret way to building wealth. Instead, it takes both dedication and time. You must work for it—hard.

Unfortunately, we are not born with an innate skill on how to manage money. But that is not an excuse for poor money habits and avoiding the necessary steps to educate ourselves properly.

For those who have bad money habits, are swamped in credit card debt, or would just like to improve their budgeting skills, The Total Money Makeover is an extremely rich resource (pun intended). It provides a transparent plan on getting out of debt and lays out exactly how to revolutionize your finances. Ramsey points out many dangerous money myths and how to avoid falling victim to them. Throughout the book, he provides a step-by-step guide to achieving financial well-being.

No matter how much you know about handling your money, there’s always more to learn. If you think your budgeting skills could be even a little stronger, you owe it to yourself to check out Dave Ramsey’s book. You won’t regret it.

Dave Ramsey vs Robert Kiyosaki- Is either right or wrong?

Let’s compare two highly successful, well-respected financial entrepreneurs and their respective stances on debt: Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dadsays that there is such a thing as good debt – or debt used to buy money-generating assets like rental properties and businesses. 

 Dave Ramsey,  radio personality and author of The Total Money Makeover, teaches followers to avoid debt altogether. Both agree that  debt carried on credit cards and cars is bad debt, because these things only make us poorer.

Kiyosaki is not completley against using credit cards, but says that balances should be paid in full every month.

While some see Ramsey’s stance on not using credit at all as extreme, the fact that the Federal Reserve estimates that almost half of U.S. households are unable to pay their credit card bills in full each month, and that these households owe more than $800 billion in card debt (about $15,000 per household), lends itself to the idea.

Ramsey proposes using mutual funds as a main investing vehicle for retirement, and is also a self-admitted lover of real estate as an investment, but only if one uses cash to purchase instead of mortgaging. Kiyosaki advocates leveraging and using real estate as a primary builder of passive income and wealth.

Both programs have worked for millions of faithful followers. We could easily leave it at that, but in finance, just as in many other things, we tend to project what we know to be true on others. This is where things can get distorted.