I was in a local coffee shop earlier this week reading an e-book on my iPad Pro (how millennial of me). It was one that I had read several times before and one that I love to re-read at least once per year because of it's timeless principles. In my mind, I assume that most people are similar to myself and treat self-development as an essential part of life, especially when it comes to money. I caught myself a few times smirking at my book, something I do when the author is making great points (yes, I know I'm a nerd).
As I was deeply focused on my reading, a group of millennials in their mid-twenties became a distraction to me as they sat over to my left. I glanced over to find that I was making direct eye contact with one of them. By how loud and obnoxious his voice was I could tell that he was the leader of the pack.
As I turned my head back to my book, he exclaimed, "What are you reading? It looks like you are having fun reading it because you keep laughing!" I turned and told him, "I'm actually having a blast! I'm reading this book on investing and I can't get enough of it. I laugh every time the author gives me gold nuggets of wisdom!" Needless to say, his face drew a huge blank. It was awkward for a few seconds.
10 minutes later, he had totally left the conversation he was having with his friends and was now deeply immersed into one with me. From the looks of things, I would have never guessed that he was married, had 2 kids and didn't know a single thing about personal finance or investing. He talked about owning a business one day and that he had always wanted to invest his money, but didn't know where to start. I walked out of that coffee shop an hour later with my head held up high. I had given him advice from personal experience, 5 books, and a few other resources that would greatly help him accelerate his knowledge in these areas. It was a productive conversation that I was happy to be a part of.
I typically read books on entrepreneurship so I can learn how to make more money and on investing so I can learn how to grow the money I make. In fact, I am often surprised when I find that so many people don't spend more time investing in their knowledge in these areas. It is very hard for me to pick just 5 books that will help you get started, but the purpose of this post is for you to start somewhere. Here are my five:
I have read this book at least 4 times in text and 2 times via Audiobook. I also am a huge fan of Dave Ramsey's EntreLeadership book and podcast. This book is essential for grasping the basics of personal finance. I read this straight out of high school, which was a great time for me to read it, and it has really shaped the way I think (to a certain extent). This book is for the majority of America for two reasons.
1. It outlines the negative effects that bad debt can have on an individual or family. There are many case studies and examples of how many people were piled very high in credit card and student loan debt and have now paid everything off. These are very inspiring stories that will put things in the right perspective for many people.
2. It gives many great points on how becoming debt free can free you financially and provides strategies on how to tackle bad debt. As American's tend to spend above their means and get themselves into financial trouble, these strategies are key to helping those who are in this situation. The Total Money Makeover is mainly focused on bad debt such as credit cards, student loans, and car loans, but doesn't mention much about using credit for financial leverage. Leveraging credit is a more advanced financial strategy that creates many wealthy people when done right. This is why I recommend this book for beginners, and as you get more financially savvy (especially business owners), you can take different approaches to meet your goals. I do agree that this book must be read first before applying any other strategies! Here is a link to get started on this book and onto your financial success!
This book is also a key read for many young professionals. I love this book because (much like Dave Ramsey) it encourages us to live below our means but also starts to introduce some additional concepts to the mix. Some of the key concepts discussed in the book include:
1. Making our money work for us. This is a key principle to understand when growing your wealth. If your money isn't working for you then you aren't maximizing your wealth potential. There are many investment vehicles that you can use to make money work for you, and this book outlines different vehicles that you can use. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to how you do this, it simply matters that choose one that fits your investment style, and then you do it!
2. Investing in yourself. This is my favorite principle in any book because I believe that investing in yourself makes you much more valuable, and becoming more valuable means you can maximize your earning potential. I discovered this principle years ago when I acquired a few skills that led to high profits and high returns. If you want to learn more about this, I wrote a blog on it here. If you want to read this classic book, you can also find it here.
I don't know if you can tell by the title but this is one of the most thought provoking books when it comes to money! Think and Grow Rich takes you through a project where Napoleon Hill interviewed over 500 successful people, trying to figure out their key to success and good fortune.
Packed with stories, examples, and actionable content, Think and Grow Rich is one that I have committed to listening to once a year. I first read it in my early twenties and it has been an absolute game-changer for my entrepreneurial career.
Hill outlines a six step formula to building wealth which is based on deciding exactly how much money you aim to earn and what you're willing to do to get it (it's not as ominous as it sounds). In your 20s, you're in the perfect position to create a plan, and then spend the upcoming years executing it. This book is key for millennials to learn how to use the power of their mind to build wealth.
What I truly love about this read is that this outlines Stanley and Danko's findings from more than 20 years of research into seven key characteristics that explain how the elite club of America's millionaires became rich. Just like many other books, this one delves into topics like "spending less than you earn" and "avoid buying status symbols" which are commonsense strategies used by many others in this field.
I love the examples given in the book that show how many millionaires actually live. Often times, their lives are not as luxurious as everyone assumes they are. In fact, many millionaires live middle class lifestyles according to the research in this book. It is very interesting to read just how these high income earners live.
If this book doesn't put things in perspective for you and teach you a few things, I honestly don't know what will!
Make this your next read if you haven't read this already!!! Seriously.
As I sat in the coffee shop with the loud millennials to my left, I sat reading this book. A book that I have read 4 times in text and 2 times before via audiobook. This book is one that I love to read over and over because of the advice within. This book takes you through a story of a young boy who has "2 dads", one of them being his biological dad and the other being his friend's dad. He distinguishes how his biological dad thought and how his friend's dad thought. They end up being two totally different perspectives, one being the perspective of a poor man and the other from a very wealthy one.
This book is all about accumulating wealth through asset building, identifying opportunities that create passive streams of income, and many entrepreneurial tactics. It will help many young readers alter their perspectives in finance to understand how true wealth is created.
These principles can be applied to any career that you are in and will prove to be a game changer. You can find it here!
I also recommend the rest of the books from the Rich Dad Poor Dad series, such as Cashflow Quadrant and Financial IQ.
These are by no means a complete list of all my favorites. This list gives beginner knowledge all the way through to a great understanding of how money works. Each book can cater to each individual based on their goals, risk-assessment, and their earning potential. The key is that this will provide much insight to those of you who are looking to get started somewhere. I do recommend you read these in order.
What books are on YOUR top 5? Why?