We’d all love to have our own personal financial expert at our beck and call, but not everyone can afford to keep a Certified Financial Planner on the payroll. Books, on the other hand, can be an excellent — and affordable — alternative if you’re looking for ways to improve your wealth, find success, and learn how to invest. Lucky for you, we’ve reached out to the experts themselves to find out which personal finance books they always keep handy.
The Expert: Kevin Smith, founding partner of wealth advisory group Smith, Mayor & Liddle
His favorite books: The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy by Thomas J. Stanley and The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
Why he recommends them:
“Understanding investments and having a quality portfolio are of little benefit to investors if it’s not accompanied by wise investment practices and disciplined financial habits. Both of these recommended books emphasize the latter, and avoid the technical descriptions and potentially confusing explanations that most financial books entail.”
The Richest Man in Babylon covers the perks of thriftiness, financial planning and personal wealth, offering timeless principles that can benefit readers for years to come. “I’d recommend it to anyone,” says Smith,” but particularly those of a younger age who have time on their side and can more easily benefit from compounding [interest].”
The Millionaire Next Door, on the other hand, emphasizes the ease with which anyone can become wealthy, and discusses how the typical millionaire is often much different than perceived.
“Those who have become millionaires are generally not those who own the biggest homes or drive the fanciest cars, but rather they’re common, everyday citizens who saved regularly, invested wisely, lived within their means and developed sound spending and investment habits at an early age,” he says. “It gives hope to anyone who might otherwise believe that the rich are only those with the highest paying jobs or beneficiaries of good fortune.”
The Expert: Jim Adkins, founder and CEO of Strategic Financial Associates, LLC
His recommendations: The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience by Carmine Gallo
Why he recommends it: Let’s face it. One of they key components of building wealth is doing well in your career. That’s why The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs is at the top of Adkins’ list. The book focuses on teaching people and public speaking skills anyone can use to achieve personal success. “The message of this book is that Jobs’ extraordinary impact is based on his authenticity and his passion for his company’s people and products,” says Adkins. “Everyone with a product or service that improves people’s lives has a story to tell and can learn from Jobs.”
The Expert: Molly Stanifer, CFP®, Old Peak Finance
Why she recommends them: For budding investors, Stanifer says there are no better books to help explain the ins and outs of the stock market. Both books caution against pure stock picking in favor of investing in a broad array of assets. Bogle’s The Little Book of Common Sense Investing is practically mandatory reading for anyone wanting to learn more about the power of a diversified portfolio.
The Expert: Jeff Jones, CFP®, MS
Why he recommends them: For books that focus on personal growth, Jones says it doesn’t get much better than these two Covey classics. “These books have stood the test of time and offer great re-readability factors,” he said.
The Expert: John Bohnsack, CFP ®, Briaud Financial Advisors
His recommendations: The Education of a Value Investor: My Transformative Quest for Wealth, Wisdom, and Enlightenment by Guy Spier
Why he recommends them: “Spier’s lessons — many of them learned the hard way — teach the reader about gratitude, surrounding yourself with the right environment and modeling the right people, his own hero being Warren Buffett,” says Bohnsack. “The book challenges the reader to become a better investor, but so much importantly to be a better version of yourself.”
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