Top 5 Books on Personal Finance You Should Read in 2018

November 30, 2017 0 Ankit Shrivastav

Introduction:

When it comes to how to handle money, most of us do not have the idea on how to proceed on our journey to financial independence. There are plethora of books written on personal finance and how to save and invest money, but few of them have been able to stand out of the crowd and be useful to everybody. We have made the work easier for you. We have narrowed down the long list of such books and picked the best books on personal finance for you. Here is our list of top 5 books on personal finance that you must read to make your financial life better.

The Richest Man in Babylon By George Samuel Clason:

I have mentioned about this book many times in my previous blog posts, and I cannot stress enough how basic yet powerful this book is. The book is a timeless classic, written in the year 1926. The book is written in the form of story of a common man in ancient Babylon, who is struggling with saving money, and learns his financial lessons from the richest man in Babylon who also started as a commoner but made it to the top.

The book teaches ten very important lessons of personal finance that, despite being too basic are usually not followed by most of us and become the root cause of our financial struggle. These Lessons are:

  • Always save at least 10% of what you earn
  • Control your expenditure by not spending them on frivolous things
  • Make sure your money works for you
  • Guard your capital against losses
  • Do not wish for lump sum cash, work towards saving little money and consistent cash flow
  • Increase your ability to earn
  • Invest in your retirement and ensure a future income
  • Do not invest in something you do not understand, in other words, do not invest blindly
  • Keep yourself protected, get yourself a term insurance to keep your dependents safe
  • Do not stop investing because the road to riches is bumpy, keep at it and you will ultimately achieve your goal.

Should you buy this book:

You must if you like stories with important life lessons attached to it, some of the readers may find the language of the book little difficult to understand as it was written in old style English, but if you do, it is one of the best books on personal finance, that teaches a lot about principles of money without suggesting any complex formula and using complicated Jargon. The best thing about the book is it is divided into small chapters which are easy reads,. The book itself is less than 200 pages and could be a great read during a long journey.

The Millionaire Next Door By Thomas Stanley:

Its not a typical How to become rich book that you find in plenty in any books store. The book is a detailed case study, conducted for 20 years on thousands of millionaires around US and the common process they followed to become rich. The outcomes of study conducted for the book are in mythbusting in many ways. There is a popular thinking that people get rich either by inheriting a fortune, by running a successful business or have to be highly qualified and smarter than others.

Contrarian to this belief, the book has made completely different observations about the secrets of millionaires. The author, while researching for his book found out that most of the self made millionaires lived below their means, spent way less than what they earned, and put their savings to work to create a passive source of income.

There are five prominent characteristics of a millionaire that separates an average person from a self made millionaire:

Conservative Lifestyle: While most average consumers run after latest fashion, latest gadget because it’s cool to have and has a great impression on people around us, millionaires on the other hand live a conservative life separating what they want from what they really need. Millionaires buy things based on rational reasons, and not just on impulse. If they find the latest gadget on sale, the first thing they ask themselves? Do I really need it ? By prioritizing rationality over impulsiveness, they save themselves from lot of unnecessary expenses that can be used in some other, more productive uses.

Efficient Asset Allocation: Most of these millionaires were good asset allocators. They put their money in the assets where the risk was relatively lower to the expected reward or return they assumed to get. This does not mean that all these millionaires were great financial managers. In fact some of them had never been to high school. Most of them weighed the risk involved in an asset to the reward expected, did their own research, by talking to people and educating themselves about it, and using that knowledge to make the decision.

Prioritizing financial independence over social status: Most of us are burdened by social obligations. In a society, we are supposed to own few things and have few amenities that everyone has, such as big luxurious house, that shows how prosperous we are, a luxurious car, and many other things that show we are living a good life and add to your societal reputation. All these obligations from our society put a lot of burden on or financial life which messes up our entire financial future. Millionaires on the other hand, prioritize achieving financial goal over having a societal reputation. They do not let their financial decisions be influenced by the societal norms and obligations, and chose what is better for their future.

Made it own without external help: ?As mentioned earlier, most of these millionaires were not born with a silver spoon and made every penny on their own, without receiving any lump sum capital from an external source. Yes it took a lot of hard work, discipline, patience, and persistence, but the end result was worth all the pain and patience.

Chose an occupation where they can be self employed: ?This is the most important point of all that separates common people from a millionaire. People who end up being rich, have their own business, whether small or big, they chose to work for themselves instead of others. How does that make a difference? When you work for someone else, such as a job, you trade your time for money. Since there is a limited amount of time you have to trade, there is always an upper limit on how much you can make by working for someone else. By being self employed, you turn the table and make people work for you. The more people you employ, the more work you get done, and more money you make for yourself in the same amount of time.

Should You Buy This Book:

If you want to be millionaire and do whatever it takes to be where you want to be, the book is a must read for you. The book does not give you tips on saving and investing, but is a detailed study on the habits, principles of finance that help them build the life of their dreams. If you are young and just starting off with your life journey, this book will be of great help for you. I would say it’s a must read for young generation.

Think And Grow Rich By Napoleon Hill:

The book is not a personal finance read but much more than that. Written more than 100 years ago. The principles taught by the author in this book still hold true value in todays world. Think and grow rich is not about how to save and invest, but the mindset you need to be successful. The principles discussed are not just limited to achieving financial success, but will ?also be useful in achieving any impossible looking feat in life.

The book is based on 25 year long research done on more than 25,000 people. The conclusions drawn were 13 principles that he dedicates each chapter of his book to. These principles are:

  • Desire: The Turning Point of All Achievement
  • Faith: Visualizing and Believing in the Attainment of Desire
  • Auto-Suggestion: The Medium for Influencing the Subconscious Mind
  • Specialized Knowledge: Personal Experiences or Observations
  • Imagination: The Workshop of the Mind
  • Organized Planning: The Crystallization of Desire into Action
  • Decision: The Mastery of Procrastination
  • Persistence: The Sustained Effort Necessary to Induce Faith
  • Power of the Master Mind: The Driving Force
  • The Mystery of Sex Transmutation
  • The Subconscious Mind: The Connecting Link
  • The Brain: A Broadcasting and Receiving Station for Thought
  • The Sixth Sense: The Door to the Temple of Wisdom

Each chapter builds up on the previous one, the book starts with the idea of what you can perceive, you can achieve. The book does not tell or teach you how to be rich, but is a great source of motivation if you have something in mind but are scared to go ahead and achieve it because of fear and uncertainty.

The book does not offer anything out of the box or something that you are completely unaware of, but if you need a reminder of simple principles of success and life that we tend to forget while dealing with complexities, this is the right book for you.

Should You Buy This Book:

As said earlier, this book is not a guide on how to get rich, its about rich mindset you need to accomplish anything in life whether it is monetary or non monetary. I have read this book twice, and let me tell you, it’s hard to put it down once you start reading it. The author has written it in ?such an engaging manner that its hard not to go on reading. If you are someone who loves to read about money, finance and also wants some motivation along with it, this is the best suited book for you.

Secrets of A Millionaire Mind By T Harv Eckar:

You might have heard about people who won a huge lottery, but then went broke soon afterwards. The question is, why does it happen ? Why do people who become rich so quickly and easily lose it all in a short span of time? According to the author of the book, the secret of being rich does not lie in making more money, but being able to keep it. Winning lottery brings in money, what it does not bring with it is the right mindset needed to keep it. When money comes easily and effortlessly, we lose respect and value towards it and start being careless about it.

The book Secrets of A Millionaire Mind is written in a simple and engaging way that makes it fun to read. If you have ever asked yourself why is that some people are rich but others are not? The answer according to the author lies in the financial blueprint of your income and expenses. The author discusses in detail the difference between how rich and poor think and perceive money and how that makes all of the difference. The seventeen principles of wealth mentioned in the book that rich have and poor people dont are mentioned below:

Principles of wealth (Secrets of a millionaire mind by T Harv Ecker)

  • Rich people create their life, by making conscious decisions that bring positive change in their lives. Poor people go with the flow and have a mindset that life happens to tham and they have no control over the events of their lives.
  • Rich people weigh risk-reward ratio and are willing to take calculated risk with their money. Poor people are too scared to lose money, never risk it, and end up being poor.
  • Rich people commit to become rich, and take meaningful action towards it, poor people dream and wish to become rich but seldom take action towards being.
  • Rich people have an open mindset and are willing to learn new things, poor people want to be in their comfort zone and are scared to try and learn new things.
  • Rich people look beyond obstacles and focus on opportunities, poor people are too focused on what can go wrong and never look beyond problems and uncertainties.
  • Rich people surround themselves with positive people, poor people are surrounded with negative people.
  • Rich people do not shy away from promoting and selling something they truly believe in, poor people see selling as something negative and do not promote it.
  • Rich people are bigger than their problems, and try to solve them, poor people think problems are bigger than them and do not make necessary effort to solve them.
  • Rich people are excellent receivers, and are open to opinions, whether positive and negative. Poor people cannot stand negative criticism and do not analyze or make changes according to advice received.
  • Rich people prefer getting paid for results (such as a product or service), poor people prefer getting paid for time.
  • Rich people focus on net worth, poor people think of monthly income
  • Rich people have multiple sources of income and manage money well, poor people have single source of income and commit a lot of financial mismanagement.
  • Rich people make sure their money work hard for them poor people work hard for money.
  • Rich people act in spite of fear, poor people allow fear to stop them.
  • Rich people constantly learn and grow., poor people think they know everything

Should You Buy This Book:

The book is not just about the mindset of the rich people, there are many chapters dedicated to how rich people divide their earnings every month and allocate a part of it for every aspect of life, whether it is food, entertainment, leisure, and saving etc. If you are interested in a book that not only teaches you to think like rich but also shows you step by step process of how to achieve those goals, this book is a definite read for you.

Secrets of a millionaire mind

Total Money Makeover By Dave Ramsey:

Although the book is written by an American author, it is still relevant to the Indian readers because as we are becoming an emerging market, the financial prosperity is bringing all its evils with it. Unlike the days of our grandfathers, when having debt was a sign of poverty and financial indiscipline, today debt is no longer a four letter word, and is not seen with hatred. In fact, thanks to all the financial institutions, today having debt on yourself is a fashion. Having a ton of credit cards may sound cool to many, but it brings a lot of worries with it too. The book Total Money Makeover is all about breaking the myths of personal finance. The book is brutally honest and does not shy away from admitting the denials about money that we live throughout our lives.

The first five chapters of the book are dedicated to debunking the financial myths and lies we live. It deals with the denials we live in, the reasons why we hate to admit that our financial life is getting worse until it’s too late. It also talks about some cliched perceptions we have for money (such as money is the root cause of all evil. Ramsey in his book says, it is not the money but our greed for the money that is the root cause of all evil.)

David Ramsey also tells us that how ignorant we are towards finance not just as an individual but also as a society. There is no programme in our schools and colleges to spread financial literacy to our kids. Kid that are brought up by financially non savvy parents remain ignorant about money and finance and learn too late in their lives about it.

The remaining of the chapters discuss the baby steps about how you can improve your financial life by taking small but consistent actions in your everyday life that will have a huge impact on your future. There are many important points that the author has discussed in this book.

Some of the most important ones are discussed below:

  • Create an emergency fund first
  • List out all your debts from the highest interest to the lowest, and attack each one of them one by one.
  • Pay your house loans early
  • Invest for wealth

Should You Buy This Book:

The book is simple to understand, step by step guide to saving and investing money. The author has tried to keep it as simple as possible with details on how to approach each step. If you are someone who has been struggling on financial front and has no clue how to get your money on the right track, this book is a must buy for you.

Conclusion:

Money and finance is something that has a deep influence in our lives, no matter where we live, how much we earn and what we do, the rules of saving and investing are same all over the world. The rules are very simple, but the reason why most of us fail is because we often forget the fact that achieving financial dependence is not a one time gig and requires disciplines and patience to achieve. All the books mentioned above are the best sellers of their time and have been loved and adored by readers all around the world. If you are someone who is tired of living a life with lack of money and happiness, these books will provide you with all the tools and techniques to take financial matters in your hand and put your life back on track. Hope you will enjoy reading them as much as I did.