10 Great Finance Books

Trent at The Simple Dollar read a new finance book every week for a year, ranking them according to how original and useful they were, and now he’s compiled a list of his top ten picks. According to Trent, if you read these ten books (and maybe the ones coming in at #11 and #12), “You’ll have absorbed basically all the useful material in every book on the list.”

His top pick is “Your Money or Your Life,” by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin, a “big picture” book that looks at how and why you spend your money.

[The book transforms] some very broad ideas into very, very specific things you can do to evaluate your own financial situation and how you’re choosing to spend your money and your time. It goes beyond money management into an examination of how we spend money in the modern world and whether it’s in line with our values or not.

Rounding out the top ten (you can read detailed descriptions of each title at The Simple Dollar):

  • 2. “What Color Is Your Parachute?” by Richard Nelson Bolles
  • 3. “The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing” by Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, Michael LeBoeuf, and John C. Bogle
  • 4. “The Complete Tightwad Gazette” by Amy Daczyzyn
  • 5. “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey
  • 6. “Born to Buy” by Juliet Schor
  • 7. “It Pays to Talk” by Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz and Charles Schwab
  • 8. “Smart and Simple Financial Strategies for Busy People” by Jane Bryant Quinn
  • 9. “The Millionaire Next Door” by Thomas Stanley and William Danko
  • 10. “America’s Cheapest Family” by Steve and Annette Economides

“52 Books, 52 Weeks: The Top Ten” [The Simple Dollar via Later On]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Fujikopez says:

    My Personal Favorite: Affluenza by De Graff, et. al.

  2. hoo_foot says:

    Thank you! I was about to start researching good finance books to check out and you’ve saved me a lot of trouble.

  3. gniterobot says:

    I’ve heard great things about your money or your life…I need to read it.

  4. darkclawsofchaos says:

    … great way on how to save money and manage finances… buying books that you probably won’t read or follow, paying for an ounce of common sense seems more like squandering money to me

  5. @darkclawsofchaos: Library!

  6. samurailynn says:

    @Fujikopez: I looked up affluenza and found a PBS documentary. It was pretty interesting, even though the actual video is a little out of date.

  7. Blackneto says:

    I’m going to have to plug Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey. The original one. Not the bastardized sales pitch that is Total Money Makeover.

    I still read Financial Peace once a year to get my bearings. Had to stop listing to dave about the time TMM came out because he started sounding like an infomercial.
    too bad though. the method is solid. at least it was in my case.

  8. gibbersome says:

    Awesome list! Thank you for compiling it!

  9. BigNutty says:

    Total Money Makeover – Infomercial – Dave Ramsey Cash in on success time.

    I too use the library for many books or buy used. No reason to pay retail price for these advice books.

  10. bustit22 says:

    For those who want to know how to invest your savings….

    William Bernstein – Intelligent Asset Allocator (for those who aren’t afraid of math)


    William Bernstein – Four Pillars of Investing (less math intensive)

  11. Myron says:

    At first this struck me as silly. One personal finance book a week for a year. There’s just not that much to know. But the top ten list looks good and has some books I’d like to check out.

    I’d like to second the recommendation for the William Bernstein books. Don’t bother with any other book on investing (except maybe the Bogle book since he’s of the same camp as Bernstein).

  12. skittlbrau says:

    How is “The Intelligent Investor” not on this list? That book is a classic, and the author is credited by Warren Buffett for teaching him how to invest.

  13. Haltingpoint says:

    I’m personally a fan of Learn to Earn by Peter Lynch. Covers the basics of investing but also gives a little insight into the history of it which makes it a little more fun than some of these books that just throw out case study after case study.

  14. kc-guy says:

    @Chris Walters: I checked out The Millionaire Next Door right after an earlier thread mentioned the book.

    The only times I’ve used Barnes and Noble is a cheap date (heading to the kid’s section and taking turns reading pages out of Fox in Socks,) or showing up single to check out females in the store to have other such dates with.

    Besides, reference librarians are a great way to locate resources for those burning follow-up questions…