Books

Here are some of my favorite personal finance books. To save money, don’t forget to check your local library first! If you’d rather add to your bookshelves, an Amazon link is provided for your convenience. (Please note that many of these publications also offer a Kindle eBook version.)

Highly recommended for everyone

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The Millionaire Mind by Thomas J. Stanley. Written by one of the authors of The Millionaire Next Door, this follow up book is a fascinating study of the mindset of ordinary millionaires. (I suggest you read The Millionaire Next Door first. Follow it up with this one if you liked the content.)

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The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko. A very readable summary of academic research on the wealthy. Perhaps not surprisingly, they discovered that America is filled with ordinary people who became millionaires by living below their means and avoiding the “status symbols” associated with wealth. Originally published in 1996, a new edition is due out in November 2010.

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The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, & Broke by Suze Orman. Ah, the ubiquitous Suze Orman. She is everywhere, isn’t she? — TV, radio, and books. Her advice is pretty good and well-aimed for her audience.

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey. This book is a classic. It’s been around for 20 years now and still going strong. It’s not a book about personal finance. Rather, it provides tools and insight to get you “into action” and focused on the “not-urgent, but important” tasks that often seem to fall by the wayside in our busy lives. If you want to pick up some ideas on how to more effectively manage your life, this is the book for you. By putting some of Covey’s ideas into action, your financial life will also benefit.

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The Wall Street Journal Complete Home Owner’s Guidebook by David Crook. Need help thinking through the buy vs. rent decision? Would you like someone to clearly articulate the upside and downside? A must-read for potential home buyers.

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The Wall Street Journal Guide to Starting Your Financial Life by Karen Blumenthal. This one covers all the basics of getting started in great detail.

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For those interested in real estate investing

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Investing in REITS by Ralph L. Block. Everything you ever wanted to know about Real Estate Investment Trusts. Real estate can be an important asset class to include in a well-diversified portfolio. Here’s how to analyze REITs and make good decisions about whether to invest.

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The Wall Street Journal Complete Real-Estate Investing Guidebook by David Crook. Is your home a good investment? Do you want to be a landlord but aren’t sure how to go about it? Read this book and find out.

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Stocks and stock market investing

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Beating the Street by Peter Lynch. The author was one of the most successful mutual fund managers of the 1970s and 1980s. Start with “One Up on Wall Street” (see below). If you like it, then you should consider this one, too.

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The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham (revised edition with Jason Zweig). Originally published in 1949, it has been recently updated with modern commentary by Jason Zweig. This is a classic that should be on all serious stock investor’s bookshelves.

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One Up on Wall Street by Peter Lynch. This is the book that taught me how to pick individual stocks and to learn to love the game of stock investing. Highly recommended.

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A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel. A classic that’s been around since 1973. Now in its 9th edition! It clearly articulates why it is so difficult to “beat the market”. If you are serious about understanding how the stock market works, this book needs to be on your reading list.

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Security Analysis by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd. Another classic value investing tome from the master. (This edition is from 1940.) Only for those who are serious about learning how to analyze the fundamental performance of a business and assess the value of a firm’s stock.

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The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder. A biography of the world’s most successful investor (and one of my personal heroes). The guy started with nothing and ended up the richest man in the country.

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Books on finding a job and a career that you’ll love

This web site focuses on helping you spend, save, manage, and invest your money. What about the income side of the equation? Yes, I mean your job. We have a list of recommended resources for career decisions/transitions, personal growth and development, and leadership. If interested, you may find this list at Tannywood.com.

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