The Most Popular Personal Finance Books

Most Popular Personal Finance BooksIn last week’s newsletter I asked the following question: What is your favorite book about money. Some of the responses listed popular books. Some mentioned books that were new to me.

Each of the books offers some real insight into personal finance and investing. Arguably the best thing we can do to improve our finances is to never stop learning. Reading great books about money helps us develop new strategies, invest more wisely, and even make the process of managing our money a little less painful.

Hopefully you’ll find some real gems in the results below:

The Millionaire Next DoorThe Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley Ph.D: By far the most popular response, this book is one of my favorites, too. It challenges are beliefs about who millionaires are and how they live. Forget what you may see on TV or read in magazines, most millionaires are ordinary people, working ordinary jobs, living ordinary lives.

A reader named Bill had this to say about the book: “A wonderful insight on how the minds work of people that are from both “camps” UAW’s and PAW’s. Although I never would have considered my self as a PAW, I am.”

And a reader named Jeff learned frguality from the book: The Millionaire Next Door by Stanley and Danko I don’t think I have heard you talk about this before, but before Mr. Money Mustache, this is the book that taught frugality and being smart with your money. The follow up, The Millionaire Mind, is also good. I have read (or listened to on CD) both of these several times.”

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey: Coming in second is this popular book that helps folks get out of debt and start saving. Here’s what some readers had to say about the book:

Jason: “Very good for when inspiration is needed to continue paying down debt.”

Jeff: “The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey This helped me, like it has countless others, get out of debt. Just as a reminder, I listen to it on CD every year.”

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki: An excellent book to describe the importance of putting your money to work for you. It was one of the first personal finance books I read, and it has a powerful message.

The Bible: This was a very popular response. Here’s what one reader named John had to say:

I found PodCast 124 as you covered the “Questions of the Week” to be very entertaining and informative. In response to this week’s question of what is my favorite book about money, my first response is the Bible and the Biblical financial principles as taught to be by the late Larry Burkett, Howard Dayton, and also Dave Ramsey. The teaching on Biblical financial principles from these men has changed my life.

My second response (to provide a more tangible book) is the Sound Mind Investing Handbook. This book was a wonderful primer to me going from budgeting to investing and presenting a simple, straightforward plan for investing. It was also really engaging, with highlights of key text and summaries of each chapter.

By the way, it was the Sound Mind Investing blog that first introduced me to your blog.

The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach: A very popular personal finance book that taps into the power of automation. I confess it’s a book I’ve never read, but I know it has helped a lot of people improve their finances. Here’s what a reader named Jeff had to say about the book: “The first 3rd of the book where he profiles the wealthy couple who never made much money but made saving and investing automatic early in their lives and became super rich is wonderfully helpful and motivating. Even now, when I implement a strategy toward wealth building, I can hear the little voice in my head saying, “make it automatic . . .”

Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach: Another Bach favorite aimed at women (obviously).

Debt Proof Living by Mary Hunt: Here’s what a reader named Lysa had to say about this classic: “Favorite money book, well, Debt Proof Living is my “bible”,as is anything Mary Hunt writes, currently reading Financially Fearless because I’m using LearnVest’s coaching.”

Here are the rest of the books folks recommended:

A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton G. Malkiel (one of my favorites)

Find a Penny: A Financial Journey by Donna Sako

Your Money Ratios by Charles Farrell

The Little Book of Bulletproof Investing by Ben Stein & Phil Demuth

Money for Life by Steve Vernon

The Single Best Investment: Creating Wealth with Dividend Growth by Lowell Miller

If you have any great personal finance or investing books we should add to the list, leave a comment below.

Published or Updated: April 24, 2015
About Rob Berger

Rob founded the Dough Roller in 2007. A litigation attorney in the securities industry, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, their two teenagers, and the family mascot, a shih tzu named Sophie.

Comments

  1. Meridith says:

    Thanks for doing a book recommendation podcast. I agree with the person who said that certain books are relevant for certain times in our lives. For me, JD Roth’s Your Money: The Missing Manual and Peter Dunn’s 60 Days to Change (a book and program I participated in through my credit union) were very useful while I was working towards my goal of paying off student loans. I’m now looking for books and resources as I navigate home ownership and newly-established retirement accounts. I recently finished Bogleheads Guide to Investing and am going to check out Millionaire Next Door and A Random Walk Down Wall Street.

  2. Thomas Patton says:

    Rob: I appreciate your website.

    I do find it dispiriting that those that found your way to your rational advice would still find Dave Ramsey and “Rich Dad Poor Dad” to be numbers two and three on the reading list. Dave does give advice re living below your means though his” no credit cards at all” mantra is just stupid. Intelligent use of credit cards can make you money.
    Rich Dad is an obvious fraud with his high pressure sales seminars. Really, people, just grow at least HALF a brain! Go low cost, buy index funds and ETFs please do not reward the charlatans and hucksters.

  3. Kenneth Hardnett says:

    The Truth About Money by Ric Edelman
    Great book that breaks down everything about investing, saving, and debt.

  4. David says:

    Interesting, nothing by Suze Oman made the list. Guess she’s not as popular as she used to be. Also Robert Kiyosaki has recently admitted that the character known as ‘Rich Dad” is fictional. He has filed for bankruptcy a few times IIRC.

  5. Tim says:

    Bill Bernstein is my go-to guy when it comes to investing. Enlightened me on the power of passive investing. Just wrote “If You Can” an e-book available for $0.99. Worth the investment!

  6. Neil Crawford says:

    Would you ever buy a spouse a personal finance book for X-mas? Or do you think it might back fire?

    • David says:

      No! And I wouldn’t buy them a book on weight loss either.

  7. Loraine Branan says:

    I recommend a book by Steve Markowitz called Good Debt, Bad Debt, and a Better Way Forward. As a small business owner, this book is like a Bible to me. Markowits has had so much success that I take every page very seriously, a good read. http://www.gooddebtbaddebtbook.com is the site. I will be checking a couple you suggested out as well, thanks for those suggestions.

  8. Bridget says:

    Rich By 40 is what turned me into a personal finance enthusiast.

    I love The Millionaire Next Door but I wish it would be updated.. I think the numbers don’t make sense anymore because of inflation.

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