Okay, that title may have been somewhat “clickbaity.” Sorry about that.
Reading a book probably can’t rescue you financially or give you the tools to magically become an investment guru. However, I am a firm believer that it is still very valuable to read through stories on the world of money, as not only are they interesting, but also because you can often learn new things.
Hence, here are 4 of my personal favourite books that have either affected the way I think about money or taught me something to save me a lot of money. I’d highly recommend giving any or all of them a read – you may pick up a thing or two.
#1: The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton
If you’ve watched any of Dragon’s Den seasons 7 through 9, then this author’s name may sound familiar to you. Before his time investing in people’s sales pitches on a reality show, Mr. Chilton’s claim to fame was his self-published book The Wealthy Barber. Set in a small town in Ontario, the book follows three characters in their late 20s getting financial advice from their barber, who despite his occupation is quite wealthy (hence the title). I admit that this description probably does not sound like the most interesting read. I myself was skeptical as well.
However, as soon as I actually started reading, I found myself quite fascinated. Chilton did a great job of giving some life and backstory to his characters, so that when he started dishing out the financial lessons, they seemed helpful, relevant, and honestly very natural in terms of the narrative. And perhaps the best part is that these lessons really seem to make sense, and if applied in real life can truly help you “not go broke.”
#2: Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
Did you know that what you name your kid can affect how they grow up, where they will work and live, and how they make and spend money?
I had no clue, until Freakonomics explained it to me. The book, which has been described as “mixing pop culture and economics”, explores various concepts which you would think to have nothing to do with economics, and then links said concepts to economics. Within the pages of the book you will delve into the hidden side of sumo wrestling, bagel businesses, and even grade school exams, learning that money is truly connected to everything.
You may have heard of the podcast Freakonomics Radio before. That podcast is run by Levitt and Dubner, the same authors of this book. If you have listened to any of that show before and liked it, I highly recommend checking out this book that started it all. If you haven’t, I’d recommend not only reading this book, but also listening to that podcast. They’re great.
#3: The Big Short by Michael Lewis
When you see a book that has the tagline “inside the Doomsday Machine”, your first thought is probably of earthquakes and destruction. Most likely it isn’t banks, stocks, and loans. However, in The Big Short, author Michael Lewis talks about a different kind of doomsday: the ones in America in 2008.
When Bear Stearns and Citigroup collapsed during the financial crisis, there were people who had predicted it. When the CDO bubble based on subprime mortgages burst, there were people who were already prepared. When massive corporations suffered billions in losses, a handful of individuals made a fortune.
Who were these people, and how did they think? Why did they bet against the market in 2008? If you asked yourself these questions, then consider The Big Short a must-read. (And watch. There has been a fantastic film made with the same name as well.)
#4: Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
The author of this book, Robert Kiyosaki, essentially had two father figures in his life. A biological father, and a man to whom he was close enough that he considered him another father. One was wealthy, and one was not. Kiyosaki’s goal is to explore the differences in how the wealthy and poor approach and think about money, and the lessons that both his “Rich Dad” and “Poor Dad” have taught him.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad is the opposite of subtle when Kiyosaki wants to get his points across, but using his own experiences as support for these lessons gives his advice a lot more meaning. A book that will help you learn a lot, and also give you that warm fuzzy feeling when you are happy for someone. Highly recommended.
So there you have it! Hopefully something caught your eye, and you enjoy reading some of these books. I know I did.