As a financial coach, I am constantly looking to enhance my financial education through a variety of means (books, courses, audio, seminars, etc.). As an avid reader, my preferred choice of continual learning is through books.
I’ve read dozens of finance related books over the years. Some good, some bad. But today, I want to save you some time and effort, by listing 5 of the greatest financial books of all time.
1. Rich Dad, Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki – this book is the one that got me serious about financial education. I would read a financial book every now and then, but not really implement what I was learning. After reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad, I began to understand why I would take one step forward towards financial freedom but then two steps back. Making more money doesn’t do anything for you if you don’t know what to do with it and how to keep it.
Primary takeaway: Definition of an Asset vs. a Liability
2. Multiple Streams of Income – Robert Allen – I have an affinity for this book because I was actually putting it into practice before reading it. I’d see it on the shelf in a bookstore I would visit on my way to a side gig I had as a massage therapist. Each week, that title (and the reflective silver cover) would leap out at me and I told myself, “I’m gonna get that book one of these days”. After I read it, my financial acumen kicked into high gear. Robert Allen affirmed several income streams I had known of and was working on, but more importantly, he opened my eyes to several that I had no knowledge of.
Primary takeaway: Developing revenue streams that produce cash flow without having to be constantly and actively involved
3. Total Money Makeover – Dave Ramsey – this is by far the ultimate treatise for getting out of debt. Not only does Dave make it clear how debt destroys your chance at financial freedom, he also provides an easy to follow plan on how to eliminate your debt. On top of that, he gives additional steps for managing one’s finances (a little conservative, but still tried and true).
Primary takeaway: Debt Snowball
4. Richest Man in Babylon – George Clason – I recall once when I was 16 years old, sitting around wishing someone would just teach me how to make money, grow it and keep it. This is the book I was longing for. I strongly believe this book should be mandatory reading for every child as early as middle school. It’s simple to understand and it’s a quick read. Yet and still, the wisdom enclosed is priceless. In fact, I make it a point to re-read every couple of years.
Primary takeaway: A part of all you earn is yours to keep
5. Getting Rich is Simple…But It Ain’t Easy – Brandon Wilkins – OK, so I’m totally biased on this one! But even though I wrote it, I am still of the firm belief that this is one of the best books ever written on becoming financially free (did I mention I’m a little biased on this one?!?!?) In putting this book together, I basically identified the things that have worked for me in building financial freedom. And when it all boils down to it, it really unifies the 4 previously mentioned books down to one quick read with easy to follow action plans that you can implement immediately.
Primary takeaway: 3 simple steps to financial freedom
So there you have it. These are must read, even if you never pick up another book in your life after them.
And for those who are looking for more. These deserve Honorable Mention: Way to Wealth – Benjamin Franklin, The Millionaire Next Door – Thomas Stanley and William Danko, I Will Teach You to Be Rich – Ramit Sethi, Cashflow Quadrant – Robert Kiyosaki.
Do you have any to add or that you think we missed? Please list them in the comments...