Money makes the world go around, and whether we like it or not, understanding how it works is essential for navigating life’s financial twists and turns.
From the secrets of wealth accumulation to the art of smart investing, the world of money is a fascinating and ever-evolving landscape. If you’re eager to master the art of personal finance, build wealth, and make your money work for you, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ve curated a list of 20 must-read books about money that will not only expand your financial horizons but also transform the way you think about your finances.
Whether you’re a seasoned investor or just starting your financial journey, these books are your roadmap to financial success and independence. So, let’s dive in and explore the wisdom and insights of these financial literary gems that will empower you to take control of your financial future.
1. The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton
David Chilton also offers basic financial advice, but through a story that reads like a novel. The simplicity and humour with which Chilton addresses topics like budget management and life insurance. Property inheritance has made this book a huge hit since its 1989 publication. Chilton also wrote The Wealthy Barber Returns in which he encourages readers to return to financial responsibility.
2. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
Rich Dad, Poor Dad is undoubtedly the most popular book about personal finances for the general public. Kiyosaki compares two types of fathers, each with his financial baggage and strategies, to teach financial novices about the basic principles of saving, investing, debt, and more.
3. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
The subtitle of the original version of this book reads, “This Book Could Be Worth a Million Dollars to You.” Think and Grow Rich is another classic source of practical advice for those seeking prosperity. The author draws on the habits and strategies used by many wealthy people to formulate principles for following in their footsteps on the path to financial success.
4. The Richest Man in Babylon by George Samuel Clason
George Samuel Clason uses stories and parables set in the ancient and wealthy city of Babylon to explain seven simple rules for earning more money and making it grow. Controlling your expenditures and turning your home into a profitable investment are just some of the rules set down in this classic work first published way back in 1926!
5. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker
T. Harv Eker begins with the premise that each of us has a personal money blueprint plan that determines our mental attitude toward money. He urges readers to analyze their inner plans and rework them based on the thoughts and actions of wealthy people. In effect, do like the rich, and you’ll get the same results!
6. The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco
MJ DeMarco debunks popular, conservative notions that wealth comes from getting a good education, buying a house, and saving over the long term. Why wait until retirement to enjoy your money? DeMarco claims that adopting an entrepreneurial mindset puts you in the fast lane to wealth.
7. No Logo by Naomi Klein
Published in 2000 and subtitled, “Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies,” No Logo dissects the shift—surreptitiously in the early ’80s, then exponentially—of multinational business strategies from a culture based on production to approaches centred on marketing. The book is an essential read for understanding the omnipresence of brands and their continuing influence on numerous aspects of our lives to this day.
8. Do You Need It?” by Pierre-Yves McSween
Pierre-Yves McSween, the amiable accountant, invites readers to narrow purchasing decisions down to one essential question to protect themselves from the excessive—and unnecessary—spending that discourages financial fluidity and freedom. The book’s 40 chapters, on topics such as brands, loyalty programs, buying a car, and marriage, target anyone wishing to clean up their finances.
9. The Investment Zoo by Stephen A. Jarislowsky, with Craig Toomey
The extraordinary Stephen A. Jarislowsky founded the firm Jarislowsky Fraser in 1955 and ran it for nearly 50 years. Jarislowsky, an advocate for stockholders as well as ethical business and investment practices, is a must-read author for anyone just starting out in investing. His book, numbering only 166 pages, addresses basic principles plus a multitude of historical, cultural, political, and financial topics.
10. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
First published in 1949 and still considered the bible of stock market investing, this book explains how to identify businesses that will show long-term profits, presents a variety of investor profiles, and describes their individual strategies. The author, Benjamin Graham, mentored Warren Buffett, another iconic figure in the world of investing, who is currently worth approximately US$100 billion.
11. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefèvre
This book recounts the financial career of Larry Livingston, a character based on Jesse Lauriston Livermore, a famous, early-20th century stock operator who made, lost, and remade millions of dollars. You won’t find any financial advice or strategies here, but rather the stock market tribulations of a calculating mind looking to hit pay dirt.
12. One Up on Wall Street by Peter Lynch
One Up on Wall Street is less technical than Graham’s book. Instead, Peter Lynch uses humour to explain the methods and principles he applied while heading one of the world’s largest funds, Fidelity Magellan, in the ’80s. His management talents produced 13 consecutive years of positive performance with an annual growth of nearly 30%.
13. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
This book about behavioural economics can be found on many experts’ list of favourites. Psychologist and winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics, Daniel Kahneman explains that thinking occurs within two systems, one that’s “fast […] intuitive, associative, metaphorical, automatic, [and] impressionistic,” while the other is “slow, deliberate, effortful.” Kahneman invites us to reflect on our way of…reflecting and teaches us how to make the most of both systems. Thinking, Fast and Slow is a fascinating voyage through the intricacies of the human brain
14. The Wisdom of Money by Pascal Bruckner
In this essay, philosopher and author Pascal Bruckner attempts to dissect our love-hate relationship with money, the object of all our passions and resentments. Bruckner presents a different way of looking at money while questioning its use and the role it plays, both historically and today
15. “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey
This global triumph has sold over 40 million copies worldwide since 1989. Stephen R. Covey encourages the adoption of seven habits he observes in successful people. Examples include being proactive and having a plan. The advice offered in this book can be applied to various spheres of life, and it readily establishes the link between effectiveness and prosperity.
16. Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
Dan Ariely refers to experiments on individual economic behaviour to question the popular belief that people usually act rationally. While he concludes that we do the exact opposite, Ariely explains the reasons for this behaviour and demonstrates its systematic and predictable nature.
17. “Freakonomics” by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
Freakonomics has enjoyed immense success since its publication in 2005. Economist Steven D. Levitt and journalist Stephen J. Dubner use economic principles to analyze sociological data and phenomena from popular culture and shed light on human behaviour. Entertaining, yet thorough with a touch of controversy, this book makes economics fun.
18. Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt
Henry Hazlitt delivers an introduction to economics using clear language combined with elegant writing. He explains that the art of economics involves imagining the future and analyzing the consequences of a policy on all concerned groups. In 1996, a 50th-anniversary edition was published with updated statistics and a foreword by Steve Forbes.
19.“Good Economics for Hard Times” by Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo
This recent publication is the work of a married couple, both of whom were awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in economics (along with Michael Kremer). Supported by research, experiments, and data, these two MIT economists propose changes in current economic policies to better manage issues such as immigration, inequality, and climate change.
20. This Changes Everything” by Naomi Klein
This Changes Everything, Naomi Klein’s second entry on this list places the environmental crisis at the heart of questions that call for no less than a reorganization of the global economy. Without such change, humanity could disappear. Ambitious and carefully researched, This Changes Everything conducts an essential examination of the link between capitalism and climate change.