Take Warren Buffett, for example. The renowned billionaire and businessman began his career by reading between 600 and 1,000 pages per day.
Bill Gates reads one book per week, or about 50 books per year.
Studies of wealthy people reveal that they read voraciously. With their entrepreneurial/investing skills, it’s the type of books they’ve chosen to read that contributes to their success. It’s obvious they’re not cracking open the Harry Potter series; they’re reading books that’ll make them even more wealthy.
In fact, here’s proof of that: According to Tom Corley, author of Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals, rich people (those with an annual income of $160,000 or more and a liquid net worth of $3.2 million-plus) read for self-improvement, education, and success. Meanwhile, poor people (those with an annual income of $35,000 or less and a liquid net worth of $5,000 or less) read primarily to be entertained, if they read at all.
How many self-improvement, financial or books about success did you read last year?
- What these types of books can do for you
- The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy by Thomas Stanley and William Danko
- Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School by Andrew Hallam
- The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach
- Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits by Philip A. Fisher
- If You Can: How Millennials Can Get Rich Slowly by William Bernstein
- Winning the Loser’s Game: Timeless Strategies for Successful Investing by Charles Ellis
- The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins
- Final thoughts
What these types of books can do for you
- They’re inspiring. It’s impossible to pick up a copy of David Bach’s Automatic Millionaire and not want to sprint to your company’s HR office for the 401(k) enrollment papers in order to jack up your 401(k) contribution. Or, if you don’t have a 401(k), it’s likely that Bach will make you feel super-excited about opening one for the first time. His book allows you feel as if being a millionaire is actually within your grasp. Any great investing book makes you feel like you’re just as capable as “getting there” as anyone else.
- They’ll get you to think outside the box. And force you to spend time thinking, period. When you read about the concept of “F-You money,” like it’s laid out in The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins, you can be sure that you’ll never think of work the same way again.
- They show you pathways. They say, if you want to be a successful investor, hang out with and learn from successful investors. This includes reading their books. You can learn from their mistakes, too. Most of these books include the mistakes they’ve made. Learn from them and avoid the mistakes they’ve made.
Here’s our list of books that top the charts. They’re not only instructive, they’re meant to help you. You’ve heard of the saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” When you’re in an unfamiliar situation, follow the lead of those who know the ropes.
Also, don’t forget to check out the other list of books we’ve compiled in Best Stock Market Books for Investing 2018.
The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy by Thomas Stanley and William Danko
The contents of The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy might surprise you. The book is less about “put your money in XYZ index fund and invest for 20 years” and more about the daily habits of millionaires. For example, most millionaires don’t look like millionaires. They:
- Don’t drive fancy cars
- Buy expensive clothes
- Live well below their means
- Are tightwads
See, interesting, huh? Read the first few pages on Amazon and you’ll be hooked. The reason we include it on our best investing books list is because it gives great money advice for anyone who wants to be a millionaire.
Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School by Andrew Hallam
IIf you’ve got a modest salary (like that of a teacher, like the author) Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School is proof that anyone can successfully invest and become rich. From a detailed perspective on index funds to conquering your personal financial demons, Andrew Hallam’s nine rules can put you in good financial shape, if you follow them.
The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach
If every fresh-out-of-college American kid picked up David Bach’s The Automatic Millionaire, it’d change his or her life. Bach touts simple action steps to put you on a path to true financial freedom. His simple style shows you what compound interest, technology and making the right choices early on (or later, too!) can do for your future. Spoiler alert: The book is all about making your investments automatic.
Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits by Philip A. Fisher
In this book, stocks are serious business, but if you’re any type of stock investor (yes, even a beginner) Fisher’s 15 points in Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits for what to look for in stocks are well worth paying attention to. Fisher’s book is also highly endorsed by Warren Buffett, so that fact alone makes it worth reading.
If You Can: How Millennials Can Get Rich Slowly by William Bernstein
You might be shocked by the forthright bluntness of If You Can: How Millennials Can Get Rich Slowly. For example, the first chapter is called Hurdle Number One (instead of chapter one, mind you): Even if you can invest like Warren Buffett, if you can’t save, you’ll die poor.
See? It’s blunt, but it sure gets the attention of millennials who might need a money makeover.
Winning the Loser’s Game: Timeless Strategies for Successful Investing by Charles Ellis
If you’re ready for a deep-down look into the market, timing the market, volatile markets and active investing, this book is for you. Written in a plain format and a quick read, Ellis’ Winning the Loser’s Game: Timeless Strategies for Successful Investing is a great book if you’re into the idea of rethinking at how you view your investments or investing in general.
The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins
Spend less than you earn, invest the surplus, avoid debt. That’s one of the first sentences in Collins’ book, The Simple Path to Wealth, and it rings true throughout. Collins, who originally began by writing letters to his daughter, morphed this advice into a website and a book. If all of it stems from advice to his daughter, you know it’s good advice, and it is.
Needless to say, there are thousands of great investing and finance books out there. We only have the opportunity to scratch the surface. A common theme throughout these books is this: Never in history has it been easier to build wealth than now; think of all the technology available to you!