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Taken as a whole, these books should increase your net worth by at least $1,000,000 over the course of your lifetime.
This list of books would cost you about $150 to buy right now on Amazon, but it will pay you back 1000 or 10,000 fold within a few years. If you borrow the books for free from the library, your return on investment will be almost unlimited. Each book offers a somewhat different perspective on investing and money management but it almost always boils down to the same principles:
- Spend less than you earn
- Insure against the catastrophic (car accidents, home fires, medical problems)
- Invest in broadly diversified, low cost, passive index funds which track U.S. and international stock and bond markets
- Start saving as early as possible and compounding interest will work for you
- Don't take on much debt and pay off that debt ASAP
- Create automated systems of saving, investing, and spending so you can spend time doing the things you love, not focused on money management
I have read each of these books and they can all be summarized in a few paragraphs. However, it is good to see all the evidence and data laid out, so you can be assured that you are making the right investment decisions and personal finance moves.
- The Military Money Manual: A Practical Guide to Financial Freedom
- The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness
- Bogleheads Guide to Investing
- The Four Hour Workweek
- I Will Teach You To Be Rich
- The Little Book of Common Sense Investing
- The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement
- The Millionaire Next Door
- A Random Walk Down Wall Street
- The White Coat Investor
- The Simple Path To Wealth
The Military Money Manual: A Practical Guide to Financial Freedom I wrote this book as a primer on financial independence, investing, and money management for the new military officer. This is the book I wish someone had handed me on my first day in ROTC so I could understand why I was going to school, commissioning, and why I needed to start saving and investing ASAP.
If you are in a similar situation, buy yourself this book. I guarantee it'll pay you back thousands times that.
The Psychology of Money is the best book on money I've read in 10 years. It summarizes much of what I've learned to be true about finances over the past decade of my own study. I recommend it to all my friends and family.
The Four Hour Workweek The book that opened up my mind to the possibilities of lifestyle design and breaking away from the traditional 9-5 type jobs. While Tim Ferriss can be a bit over the top at times, the mindset shift this book presented was one of the reasons I started this blog.
I Will Teach You To Be Rich Ramit Sethi shares his tips and tactics on how to automate your finances and create the systems that allow you to live a rich life. Recently revised and expanded at the 10 year anniversary of publishing. Still extremely useful and relevant.
The Little Book of Common Sense Investing John “Jack” Bogle, the founder of Vanguard, explains why index fund investing works so elegantly for investors. The best rebuttal to actively managed money and expensive investment options.
The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement Doug Nordman is the Godfather of the military financial independence community. This was one of the first books I read that sent me on the path to financial independence in the military. He has an excellent blog to go along with the book.
The Millionaire Next Door The classic analysis of who is worth a million dollars and the kind of lives they lead. The typical high income doctors, lawyers, and professionals are represented, but also the plumbers, union workers, and government and military employees.
It comes down to the choices you make in life, the kind of car you drive, the home you own, and the savings rate you practice. For most above average wage earners, becoming a millionaire is a choice of when.
A Random Walk Down Wall Street The best book I have read that clearly lays out the case for passive index investing. Malkiel offers page after page crushing technical, value, and momentum investors.
The “random walk” refers to the fact that all stock market movements are completely random and not predictable. There is no way you can beat the market or time the market, so don't waste you're time trying! Just buy a diversified, low cost index fund and hold it forever.
His arguments are based on evidence and experience. Don't be a sucker and invest in actively managed funds. Follow Malkiel's advice and keep your portfolio simple, low cost, automatic, and diversified, like I do.
The White Coat Investor A great book primarily written for high income medical professionals, but also applicable to anyone who wants to achieve financial independence. I check Dr. Jim Dahle's blog frequently.
The Simple Path to Wealth JL Collins is a master of making the complex simple. Spend less than you earn and invest the rest in Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSAX) is his advice to achieve financial independence rapidly. To see his style, check out his talk at Google and his famous Stock Series on his blog.