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Best Personal Finance Books

Baptiste Wicht | Updated: |

(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links)

Since I started my journey to a better financial state, I have read many Personal Finance books. I have mostly read books about Investing. I have also read some more general personal finance books that are going all around. I thought it would be interesting to compile a list of all the books I have read so far.

Here, you will find the list of all the best personal finance books I have read. I have put them into several different categories. I will keep this page up to date with the future books I will read.

Investing Books

There are many books out there that focus on Investing. I have mostly read about passive investing and the use of index investing. But some of these books are not about index investing.

The Simple Path To Wealth

The Simple Path to Wealth is an excellent book about investing. It was written by Jim L. Collins, a financial blogger.

This book makes an excellent job of convincing people to invest in the stock market. It is using evidence from historical data that goes back a long way.

The main point of the book is to keep it simple, something I really agree on! By investing only in passive index funds (or ETFs), you can get most of the returns of the stock market. You do not need many such funds, only one or two would be enough for most people.

Overall, it is a great book, well structured and easy to read. The points he makes are simple and well explained. I really recommend this book as an excellent starting point for your investing journey.

For more information about this book, read my full review of The Simple Path To Wealth.

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing

This book has been written by John C. Bogle, the founder of Vanguard. The book is about investing through passive investing mutual funds. The idea is that since we cannot time the market in the long-term, it is better not to try and simply replicate the performance of the market. Since John Bogle is also the inventor is the first index fund, it should not come as a surprise that this book is all about index funds.

It is a good book, backed by many data tables and graphs. The points the book makes are essential. However, it insists a lot upon itself. The book is all about showing that index funds are better than active funds. And each chapter simply adds a layer to that conclusion. And it is not practical. It will not tell you how to invest. Indeed, it will only tell you to invest in index funds. Nevertheless, it is an interesting read if you need convincing that index funds are the way to go.

If you want to learn more about this book, you can read my full review of The Little Book of Common Sense Investing.

The Bogleheads Guide to Investing

The Bogleheads are people who follow the ideas of John C. Bogle. Several of these people came together and wrote a full guide to investing like John Bogle.

This book is all about index investing as well. But it is much more practical than the original book by John Bogle. It contains information on how to choose between different funds and how to invest. It also includes information as to how you should diversify your portfolio. The book gets quite to the point and does not contain a lot of unnecessary details.

This book is an excellent book to start reading about investing and retirement. If you do not have much information about this, it will be beneficial. Unfortunately, it does not contain information for non-U.S. investors. But that is something that is almost always the same in every book.

If you want to learn how to invest like a Bogleheads, you can have a look at my full review of The Bogleheads Guide to Investing.

How I made $2’000’000 in the stock market

This book is very different from the other investing books I have read. In fact, there is nothing about index investing in this book. This book relates the story of Nicolas Darvas, an international dancer that made two million dollars in the stock market in about two years.

The book is written a bit like a novel, relating the story from the beginning to the end. Nicolas is by no means a professional trader. He learned everything by himself. The author started by losing a lot of money investing in stocks. Then, he learned many fundamental lessons. For instance, he soon realized that emotions were the enemy of investing. You should never let your feelings tamper on your investing decisions. Another thing he learned is never to follow the crow. Most advice that you will get is either too late or are coming from people with different interests from yours.

Overall, I liked this book. Even though this is not my kind of investing, it relates a very interesting theory. And I think that you can learn some potent lessons about investing. These lessons are also valid about index investing. You need to be aware that the author took many risks by using considerable leverage, for instance. It is not very clear in the book that he could have lost everything he had and more.

If you find this book interesting, you can read my review of How I made $2,000,000 in the Stock Market.

Personal Finance Books

There are also a lot of general personal finance books. Since it is an essential subject, these books will also cover some investing information. However, this is not their primary focus.

How Millenials Can Get Rich Slowly

This book is specially tailored for millennials, people who reached adulthood during the 21st century. It is made to help people get rich slowly, by following five different tips.

First of all, you need to save money. There is no way you will get rich if you do not save money. Then, you need to understand the basics of finance and investment. Once you know enough, you can start to invest your savings. With your savings and the returns from your savings, you can get rich slowly.

Overall, it is a nice book, although a bit short. The author even gives you other books as assignments in each chapter. I enjoyed these recommendations. This book is great for standard retirement, but it is not suited for early retirement. If you want to retire early, you will need to save more than 15% of your income.

If you want to get rich slowly, you can read my full review of How Millenials Can Get Rich Slowly.

I Will Teach You to Be Rich

This book is a nice book, very easy to read and quite enjoyable to read as well. The point of the book is mostly based on automation. The idea of the author is that everything gets easier once you automate it.

Therefore, you should automate your bank accounts to automatically save some percentage of your income (your savings rate). Then, you can automate some bills. You can also automate transfers to your investment accounts, such as your broker account or your 401(K).

Although this book is nice, I think there are many issues with it. First, too much automation is not good for your personal finances. I think that automating your personal finances is a mistake. Moreover, some of the views from the author are too conservative. You should save more than 20% of your income if you want to retire early. And you should avoid funds with even 0.75% of fees.

If you want to learn more about money automation, I wrote a full review of I Will Teach You To Be Rich

The Millionaire Next Door

If you want to know more about wealthy people, The Millionaire Next Door is a fascinating book about them. The authors of this book gathered precise information about hundreds of wealthy people and compiled them to know what made people wealthy.

They found out a lot of very interesting things about wealthy people. For instance, many people would be surprised to know that a lot of high-income earners are not wealthy at all. If you spend all your income, regardless of how big it is, you will never be wealthy. Wealthy people that have been interviewed lived a relatively frugal life, saving most of their income and investing their savings.

I liked this book. It is packed with many interesting stories, and the authors did a lot of research to find out information about many millionaires. Unfortunately, it is a bit old and does not cover any young millionaires and does not have anything related to early retirement. Nevertheless, it can teach you some fundamental lessons.

If you want to know how the millionaires next door are living, you can read my full review of The Millionaire Next Door.

Get Rich Books

The previous category of Personal Finance Books already mentioned some that were trying to make you rich. However, they are not aiming to make you rich, just more wealthy. Their point is that you will retire without issues. On the other hand, some books are trying to help make you rich.

Think and Grow Rich

This one is a very old book, from 1937. Think and Grow Rich is the oldest personal finance I have read so far. It is also one of the strangest.

On one side, the book makes a lot of critical points. For instance, the author insists that it is imperative to master your emotions to get rich. I completely agree with that statement. You also need to persistent and never quit. Avoiding using alibis is also a perfect piece of advice. It does not help at all to use alibi to explain your failures.

On the other hand, the book is almost mystical in its teaching. It is talking about things such as mystic signs or exalted planes of thoughts. It goes so far as saying that you can transmute your desires into gold. And the way it is written, even though it makes some excellent points, is not enjoyable. Finally, it is quite old, and this reflects in some of the points of the view of the author, especially regarding women.

If you want to learn more about the mystic teachings of the book, you can read my full review of Think and Grow Rich.

Rich Dad Poor Dad

This book is about the story of Robert Kiyosaki and his two fathers. One is his birth father, living an average life as a state employee, and the other is the father of his best friend. The second father is highly entrepreneurial and is more wealthy than his father.

There are a few good points in the book. You should make your money work for you. And you should work for yourself and have other people work for you if you want to become rich. This fact is entirely true. The book is not about getting frugal and reach Financial Independence but become rich.

Overall, I did not think much of this book. Although it makes some good points, it is not well written. Moreover, it insists a lot on real estate. Real Estate is not the only possible investment but the one that the author mainly used. I think other investments should be emphasized instead of insisting so much upon Real Estate.

For more information, you can read my full review of Rich Dad Poor Dad.

Financial Independence Books

Although there are thousands of Financial Independence blogs, there are not a lot of Financial Independence Books on the market yet. I wish there were more of them. The Financial Independence and Retire Early (FIRE) movement is still pretty young. I am pretty sure that there will be more books on the subject as it matures.

Out of the Rat Race

This book by Eric Duneau is about becoming Financially Free with Real Estate. Eric was able to be Financially Independent with four properties. He devised an entire strategy for everyone to be able to retire early by buying only four properties.

This book is really interesting. It explains very well why you cannot trust the money system and why cash will very quickly depreciate. I enjoyed the first part of the book describing the financial system as a whole. It shows why it is necessary to invest if you ever want to become Financially Free.

Eric describes his entire strategy very well with numbers and a lot of information to support it. His approach is based mostly on Real Estate. He is using a lot of leverage as well to make better returns. If you are primarily interested in stocks, this book is probably not for you. But if you want to learn about a different form of investment, you may be interested in this book!

If you are interested, you can read my book review of Out of the Rat Race.

Financial Freedom

This book by Grant Sabatier is all about becoming Financially Free. Grant was able to save one million dollars in about five years. He did this by having many income channels next to his main job. Moreover, he also invested every money he got from his various side hustles.

In this book, the author gives a full actionable plan to reach Financial Independence or Financial Freedom, as the author calls it. Each step is well defined, from the goal to all the steps you have to take to reach your goal!

Overall, I think it is quite a good book. And it has a very nice point of view on Financial Independence. However, nothing is outstanding in the book. Indeed, you can find most of its content for free on multiple blogs. Also, Grant managed to reach Financial Independence during five years of a raging bull market. He was lucky. And Grant also gets a substantial income from its blog. Finally, he admitted himself to working himself too hard during this journey. He almost burned himself out. Keeping these points in mind, I find the book a bit too optimistic.

If you are interested, you can read my book review of Financial Freedom.

Personal Improvement

One thing I think is essential is to invest in yourself. Investing in your career can make a very significant difference in the long-term.

Deep Work

Deep Work is an excellent book by Cal Newport about the power of working in a deeply focused state of mind. These days it is more and more difficult to be deeply focused on one task.

The author shows that by doing Deep Work, you can get more things done and produce at a higher quality and speed than most people. If you want to be effective in your life and work, this could be a great way.

Without knowing it, I had been practicing Deep Work myself. It is good to put a name on it. And since I have read this book, I have worked on practicing it even more.

Now, it is not a perfect book. The author brags a lot about his achievements in this book. It gets a bit tiring during this book. Also, Deep Work is great for some things. But it will probably not apply to all fields of work.

Regardless, this is a great book. If you want more details, you can read my review of Deep Work.

Digital Minimalism

This great book by Cal Newport is about reducing the impact of digital services on your life. These last few years, digital services like social media have had more and more impact on our lives than ever before.

In this book, the author gives many tips on how to get the best of these digital services. It will help you free yourself from social media.

But not all digital services are bad. You do not have to abandon all of them. The idea is more to get the best out of them. You can optimize your usage of them instead of being a slave to digital services.

For more details, you can read my book review of Financial Freedom.

What’s next?

I am currently not reading any personal finance books, just reading novels. I have no idea what I will read next. I am generally waiting to get a good offer on a Kindle e-book before I read. Here are a few books I would like to read:

  • The Intelligent Investor
  • The Simple Path to Wealth

Do you have any recommendations for me?

The best financial services for your money!

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Photo of Baptiste Wicht

Baptiste Wicht started in 2017. He realized that he was falling into the trap of lifestyle inflation. He decided to cut his expenses and increase his income. This blog is relating his story and findings. In 2019, he is saving more than 50% of his income. He made it a goal to reach Financial Independence. You can send Mr. The Poor Swiss a message here.

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15 thoughts on “Best Personal Finance Books”

  1. Hi IB, may I suggest you read and review Andrew Hallam books: The Millionaire Teacher and The Millionaire Expat. I really like the first one and am reading the latter but Andrew starts to get me a bit confused in the 2nd book when he started mentioning Permanent Portfolio Strategy and Couch Potato with a fundamental index. Can you also write about fundamental index if it’s something interesting to you? Maybe it will be more clear to me after I finished reading the 2nd book but I start to feel the complication of investing as an expat especially one who doesn’t come from established countries.

    1. Hi Zin,

      Thanks for your suggestion. I will put these on my list. But I don’t really have time for personal finance books these days.
      These are just examples of portfolios, more complex variations of the three-fund portfolios.

      As far as I know, a fundamental index is an index that is not weighted on price. They could be weighted on price instead. I don’t think this has much value for investors.
      You should keep it simple.

      I am not IB :)

      1. Sorrrrrrrrrryyyyy, I sent these comments at 1AM and somehow I wrote down this IB name very mindlessly. I also start to see many repetition the more books I read about passive investing. Thank you Baptiste Wicht and have a nice day :P

  2. Hi there,

    Was halfway through ‘Common sense investing’ and looking for a review and found your site. Very informative! I will def also read the Bogleheads one as well. A short book I enjoyed was ‘The Richest Man in Babylon’ by George S Clason. It was written in the 1920s and a lot of it is common sense but it’s an entertaining read. I wish I’d read it when I was 18.

    If you are yet to read The Intelligent Investor, good luck it’s v heavy. I got the audiobook and listened to it whilst out walking. Would recommend getting the latest edition which has commentary by Jason Zweig written in 2003, applying the principles to a more modern context.

    1. Hi Rich,

      Thanks :)

      The richest man in babylon was recommended to me several times. I will bump it up on my list of books to read. I didn’t know there was more recent version to the Intelligent Investor, this is a good thing!


  3. Hi The Poor Swiss,

    Thank you for all the articles and information you offered us, it’s all very interesting.

    Beside “The Intelligent Investor” which is a great book, I would also recommend you two books not seen in your list:
    – “A Random Walk Down Wall Street” by Burton Malkiel
    – “The Millionaire Mind” by T. Harv Ekel

    There is also a nice book with a strategy of investing with 2 ETFs in a 80-20 allocation for a 3% gain by quarter, called “The 3% Signal” by Jason Kelly.


    1. Hi Sorin,

      Thanks for your suggestions! A random walk down wall street is already on my list. It has been recommended many times to me. But the other two were not on my list before. I never heard of them :)
      I will have to order a few more books next year, it’s been a while since I have read investing books.

  4. Hi,

    Money Master the Game by Tony Robbins is a good read.
    Of all the financial books I’ve read, it’s the most actionable I’ve come across. The real costs of mutual funds was horrifying.

    I’ve got a few more I could share in no particular order:

    Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefèvre is a classic must read.

    Market Wizards by Jack D. Schwager
    and also; The New Market Wizards by the same author.
    Great read to get an insight into what the masters of markets know and some of their lessons learned.

    Trading for a Living by Alexander Elder (and also the new version).
    Basics of trading, also about keeping a journal and other habits to help your trading.

    I had a blast reading all these and some others, feel free to share your thoughts about them.


    1. Hi Sam,

      Thanks for sharing this list!

      The one by Tony Robbins is on my future reading list, but expect from Reminiscences of a stock operator, I have never heard of the others!
      I guess I need to expand my list.

      Except for the first one, it seems very active investing stuff, no? It is an interesting read, but not the things I would base my investing on.

  5. Hi!
    I can recommend you another good book on the same category: “How to be a capitalist without any capital” by Nathan Latka. I think that is one of the books that must be read by anyone who wants to reach financial independence these days. It gives you some ideas, but also the mindset about how people can start a business without being necessarily an expert in a certain area.

    1. Hi Carmen,

      Thanks for your recommendation, it sounds interesting! I have never heard of it though :)
      I have added it to my list of books to read (the list is too long!).

      Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Hi man, very nice and useful blog. I just discovered today. I am gonna go through some important stuff here and I may get back to you for advice or discussion.

    I thought you would first read The Intelligent Investor.
    Try this: Accounting Made Simple: Accounting Explained in 100 Pages or Less

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