Top Money Personal Finance Book Recommendations From Successful People

  • Insider spoke with dozens of highly successful people and rounded up their popular books.
  • “Rich Dad Poor Dad” is a favorite among real estate investors and early retirees.
  • Super savers take inspiration from “Designed for Life” and “I’ll Teach You to Get Rich.”

Books can be a useful tool if you want to build more wealth, save more money, or just need a little inspiration.

Insider spoke with dozens of successful people, from CEOs of major corporations to individuals who paid off massive debts before achieving financial independence, and asked them to share the books that helped them get to where they are today.

Here are 12 of their favorites.

1. “The Simple Path to Wealth” by JL Collins

Ali and Josh Lupo, who have paid off six-figure debt and are on track to retire by age 40, say the principles outlined in “The Simple Path to Wealth” help shape their investment mindset.

Collins’ book tells them that investing “doesn’t have to be as complicated as people often think,” Ali told Insider. She and Josh use Roth IRAs and taxable brokerage accounts to invest funds in index funds and exchange-traded funds.

The author also dives into how to avoid debt and what to do if you already have it, how to invest in a bear or bear market, and how to spend your wealth safely.

2. “I’ll Teach You To Get Rich” by Ramit Sethi

Another game-changer for Lupos is “I’ll teach you to get rich,” which helps them spend more consciously.

“A few years ago, we thought we had a pretty good idea of ​​our income and expenses, but when we started actually tracking it, we realized our numbers were completely incorrect,” Josh said. “This book does a great job of identifying the importance of spending money on your values.”

The book emphasizes that saving money doesn’t have to mean living a life of want, adding: “It’s important to be aware of your worth, spend comfortably on things that bring you joy or satisfaction, and then Throw away everything else. For the author, it comes down to intentionality, which is a big turning point for us.”

3. “Designed for Life” by Scott Trench

Both Lupos, who achieved financial freedom by age 30, and super saver Avery Hellbrunn both recommend “lifetime.”

It teaches readers how to save the most of their income while increasing their income for financial freedom. A key strategy Trench highlighted is finding ways to cut spending on the “big three”: housing, transportation and food.

FI couple 3

Ali and Josh Lupo are expected to retire early.

Courtesy of Ali and Josh Lupo

“We’re used to cutting back on the smallest of expenses, like Netflix or coffee or eating out, but the authors explain that for most people, about 70 percent of that is housing, food, and transportation,” Josh said. “If you learn how to master these big expenses, you’ll save a lot of money so you don’t have to stress over the little things.”

4. Kay Anderson’s “Retirement Retirement”

“Retirement in Real Estate,” written by real estate investor and landlord Kai Anderson, is what drove Heilbronn in the direction of owning property. “That book got me thinking about real estate as an investment and retirement vehicle,” said the 27-year-old real estate investor.

Heilbron set a goal of buying a home as quickly as possible and started saving as much as possible on his salary. After reading Anderson’s guide and listening to episodes of the popular real estate podcast “BiggerPockets,” he decided to use a tactic known as “home hacking,” in which you rent out a portion of your home to offset your mortgage.

If you want to build long-term wealth, “I think real estate is 100 percent the best thing,” he said. It takes time and patience, and some savings to get started, but if done right, “you can generate cash flow, as long as you have a long-term view, your property will appreciate in value, and you’ll get a lot of tax benefits.”

5. “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki

Robert Kiyosaki’s classic is a favorite among real estate investors and early retirees.

Originally published in 1997, Rich Dad Poor Dad is considered one of the greatest personal finance books ever written. The author grew up with two father figures: “Poor Dad,” his biological father who died trying to pay the bills, and “Rich Dad,” who started his own life before becoming rich. Both fathers were successful in their careers and earned substantial incomes, but one of them always struggled financially.

Kiyosaki noticed fundamental differences in the way “rich dad” and “poor dad” thought, spoke, and acted. In his book, he offers the timeless lessons he learned from “rich dad” that will help you master your money and build long-term wealth.

6. The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

Another classic, The Richest Man in Babylon, was originally published in 1926 but remains relevant today.

Clayson’s book emphasizes the importance of setting aside at least a portion of your income for your future self — even if it’s only 10%.

“There’s a lot of writing about people saving 80 or 90 percent of their income, and people think they have to,” said Ludomir Wanot, who achieved financial independence through real estate investing and co-founded the Evergreen Housing Network. “It’s not very realistic for the average American earning $40,000 or $50,000 a year. What this book does is help people understand that if you only keep 10% for yourself, in just a few years, it will multiply.”

Ludomir Vannot

Seattle-based real estate investor and co-founder of Evergreen Housing Network Ludomir Wanot.

Courtesy of Ludomir Varnot

If you’re interested in building wealth through real estate like Wanot, he encourages people to start saving specifically for their first home. Commit to depositing a percentage of your salary each month into an account designated for a down payment.

7. Never Divide by Chris Voss

Divide That Never Divided, written by a former hostage negotiator for the FBI, breaks down the skills and principles anyone can use to be a more persuasive and better negotiator.

“Voss has written the most important manual on how to negotiate in business using the methods he uses in hostage negotiations,” said Aaron Galvin, CEO of Luxury Living Chicago Realty. “One of his principles is that when you’re negotiating, always Don’t see the person you’re negotiating with as an adversary. Instead, find solutions together. It was an ‘aha moment’ for me. Everyone wants a good deal, but the reality is that when it’s a win-win, Better for everyone.”

Regardless of your occupation or industry, anyone can benefit from this article, Galvin said. After all, life is full of negotiations, from haggling to buying a home to compromising with a partner.

8. “The Messy Middle” by Scott Belsky

Galvin also recommended “The Messy Middle,” which he first read when the company “was going through a lot of turmoil in 2019.” “We just didn’t have a firm footing as we thought. We lost a lot of people, we had to deal with some legal issues, and it felt very messy and very difficult at the time.”

The book acknowledges that companies will experience significant ups and downs.

“It talks about how running a business can sometimes be very confusing, whether it’s a sole proprietorship or a multinational organization,” Calvin said. “So that book really resonated with me.”

He also likes to reread it when the company is doing well. It’s important, he said, “to use what you’ve learned in chaotic times and to be able to use what you do well to overcome the next difficulty,” he said.

9. “Atomic Habits” by James Clear

“Atomic Habits” emphasizes that “small, concerted actions can create big results,” said Danny Baldus-Strauss, who built a seven-figure portfolio in less than a decade and now offers Work on your own.

No matter what you’re trying to build or achieve, Clear’s book will help you develop good habits and break bad ones, he says.

It especially helped him build his Twitter following, over 97,000 It is now his main source of income, thanks to affiliate marketing.

“I knew I needed to build a following before I could make money, so I started writing and tweeting every day,” he explained. He didn’t build his brand overnight. It takes time and consistency, and that’s where this particular book helps: “I would spend two hours on a Twitter thread and it would get seven likes, but I just didn’t stop, and in the end, this consistency Built a following. Eventually, my message started to resonate.”

10. “The Daily Stoic” by Ryan Holiday

Every morning, Baldus-Strauss reads an excerpt from Ryan Holiday’s “The Daily Stoic.” It brings together 366 Stoic insights, every day of the year, from ancient philosophers such as Emperor Marcus Aurelius and playwright Seneca.

Danny Baldus-Strauss

Danny Baldus-Strauss reads The Daily Stoic every morning.

Courtesy of Danny Baldus-Strauss

Stoic philosophy is 2,000 years old but still relevant today, he said: “Every page has a little life lesson, usually around the idea that you can’t always control what happens – but you can. Your own reaction to it.”

That philosophy, he said, has helped him stay calm during market downturns, including the major downturn in 2020, when his net worth fell by “multiple six figures.” While he can’t control what’s going on in the market, he can control how he reacts. (In this particular case, he chose not to respond, but to stay the course instead of paying.)

11. “The Psychology of Money” by Morgan Housel

In “The Psychology of Money,” author Morgan Hauser delves into how people think about money and how their personal experiences with money shape their behavior toward it.

For example, “If you happened to grow up when the stock market was strong, you invested more money in stocks later in life than those who grew up when the stock market was weak,” Hauser wrote.

Hauser’s main point is that mastering your money doesn’t necessarily depend on what or how much you know. It’s about the way you behave.

“He lived through our prejudice and fear of money,” Baldus-Strauss said. “And how we look at investing based on the period in which we were growing up. This book is a great way to build some mental models around money and investing.”

12. “Battle of Art” by Steven Pressfield

Baldus-Strauss says Steven Pressfield’s “The Art of War” is his favorite of the dozens of books he’s read.

“It’s about the concept of resistance,” he explained. “Every day, you wake up and you encounter some form of resistance.”

Pressfield’s book describes resistance as your worst enemy — it’s holding you back from doing what you really want to do, whether it’s writing, creating content, or starting a business — and offers advice on how to overcome it.

Whether you’re looking to build a side business or save a little money every day to put down a down payment on a property, Pressfield’s book will keep you motivated.

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