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A review of 7 great personal finance books
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”–Charles W. Eliot.

As the holiday buying season gets underway, I thought I’d share those personal finance and investing books that have been my best “friends,” “counselors,” and “teachers.” If followed, these books have the power to change your financial life and the financial life of somebody you know.

Best Investment BookFor the young or new investor, I cannot recommend a better book. The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing explains in an easy to understand way investing, mutual funds, bond funds, asset allocation, taxes and more. I bought this book for my sister earlier this year. With no investing experience, she said the book was very easy to read. She’s also now regularly investing in her 401(k)! If you or somebody you know is at all intimidated about investing, this book is a must read.

Best Personal Finance BookIf you or somebody you know are raising children, this book is a must. I struggle to find the best approach to teaching my children about money. Do you pay an allowance, or not? Do you tie allowance to chores? How do you teach your children to be responsible with money? Raising Money Smart Kids (Kiplinger’s Personal Finance) answers these and other questions. The book is easy to read and provides a lot of great ideas. With two teenagers, I can’t stress the importance of teaching children at a young age the right attitudes about money, and this book can help.

Best Career BookWhether you’re just starting you out or are dissatisfied with your career, What Color Is Your Parachute? (2011) can help you determine what line of work you’d most enjoy. What Color Is Your Parachute Workbook: How to Create a Picture of Your Ideal Job or Next Career is a companion workbook that is worth considering, too. Both books can also help you if you’ve lost a job or our thinking of a career change.

Best Investment GuideFor the not so new investor, The Intelligent Asset Allocator is a great book to learn some of the more advanced concepts of asset allocation. If you’ve read this book, two good alternatives are The Four Pillars of Investing and All About Asset Allocation. So once you’ve read The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing and are looking for more advanced materials, these books are the best of the best.

Best Book On Financial IndependenceYour Money or Your Life does a great job of describing how our lives and money should interact. This book will definitely give you a new perspective on money and work. A note of caution, however. The book includes chapters on inflation and investing that are truly misguided. But the rest of the book is worth reading, particularly if you or somebody you know struggle to control your spending.

Best Book On How To Get RichThis book can be a real paradigm shift if you envision most millionaires as driving expensive cars and living in mansions. The Millionaire Next Door describes how most self-made millionaires actually live. I’ll give you a hint–they live modestly. I do think some of the millionaires described in this book go to an extreme that most of us would find unacceptable. But there are some important lessons to be learned here that can help us achieve financial independence.

Best personal finance book for young adultsWritten by Kimberly Palmer of U.S. News & World Report fame, Generation Earn is a recently published book that is ideal for young adults. I’m working on a full review of the book know, but one great aspect of this book include real life examples of how young adults have managed their financial lives. It’s helpful to hear about the mistakes and successes that others have experienced. The book also takes some controversial approaches to certain aspects of money, particularly debt. Rather than just falling in line with traditional finance books, Generation Earn takes a fresh approach to money issues that have plagued people for generations.

If you have read other great personal finance or investing books, please share them in the comments below.

Author Bio

Total Articles: 1118
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.

Article comments


I’d like to add “The E-Myth Revisited” by Michael Gerber to that list. It’s not a personal finance book, but it is about entrepreneurship. If you ever had the idea of starting a business, it’s -the- book to read.

DR says:

Thanks for the book recommendation. I’m going to check out Gerber’s book later this week.

May I invite you to check out some articles on a new book ‘Accounting for a Better Life’ at dwba.co.uk

It introduces a new domestic accounting model where the business focus on profits is changed to what I call Domestic Well-Being.

John Passmore (retired) author

Briana @ GBR says:

I’m reading Generation Earn right now, and it’s such a good book. I’ll add the rest of these to my Amazon wishlist.

Pension Finder says:

If i have to choose i would love to read Your Money or Your Life. Thanks for sharing these nice books..

Lively Jason says:

I like “The Millionaire Next Door” too. Its amazing to know that people in my country think and live like Americans. The truly rich live modestly; while, many others are living beyond their means by going into debts. There are also economic dependants who don’t need to work, work when they want to, and who still have the financial cord at their waist eventhough they may be classified as working adults. Envy, envy.

Bill Byrd says:

This new book is not on anyone’s list — yet! “Basic Budgeting: You Can Do It!”

An affordable quick read about a fundamental requirement, building a budget of your personal finances. 50 pages long.

This is a visual “How To Do It” book which walks the reader through the budget building process. The simple method it describes is being used by a growing number of people in the U.S., Great Britain and Australia.

It includes the authors “Top Ten Ways to Save Money”.

The best thing is that it is available as an ibook through the ibookstore for $4 and as a printed book form Amazon.com for $9(ISBN 9780 557 401 260).

If you are trying to get a handle on where your money is going this will quickly get you started.

I’ve received the positive feedback from readers because I am the author.

Check it out.

Pinochet says:

During the great bull market of 1980’s – ’90’s, BEN (Franklin Resources) turned
$1,000 into $1,000,000 over an 18 year period (dividends reinvested).
Another bull market should begin in 2-3 years in the U.S. Having a few shares
of BEN in an early ROTH IRA, held through all kinds of weather (don’t panic), dividends and extra payments reinvested, may surprise handsomely at retirement. EV and TROW also did exceedingly well, over a 25 year period.

Seth says:

Any thoughts on Ben Graham’s “The Intelligent Investor”? It’s been highly recommended to me for years. I finally broke down and used an amazon gift card for a copy of that, as well as the Boglehead’s Guide! Looking forward to reading!

Thanks for the site and podcast!

Rob Berger says:

Seth, Graham’s book is excellent. I’ve read it several times and can highly recommend it if you are interesting in buying individual stocks.

dan rutman says:

Rob have you read any of the paul merriman books?

Rob Berger says:

No, but they are on my list.