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11 Great Books About Money That Everybody Should Read

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in 2007. However, we feel that the books listed here are timeless, and still provide a wealth (pun intended) of information. Each and every one of them on this list is still highly recommended, and many of them still hold the top spots for personal finance best sellers.


I’ve been on a bit of a reading kick lately, so late last week I decided to solicit book recommendations from a few of my fellow bloggers. I asked each of them to recommend one (and only one) financial book, and to also provide me with a sentence or two describing why they chose that particular book. Amazingly, there was very little overlap in their recommendations. The end result was the following list of 11 great books about money.

Whether you’re looking for a book (or two) for yourself, or hoping to pick up a gift for someone else, there’s bound to be something of interest on this list…

The Automatic Millionaire


Author: David Bach
Length: 272 pages
Amazon rating: 4.3 stars
Recommender: Jeremy @ GenXFinance

Jeremy says: I’m a pragmatist, so I really appreciate his matter-of-fact presentation of personal finance issues. There are no secrets to obtaining wealth, no special investments to get into, or even the need for professional advice. All you need is a little common sense that enables you to watch your spending, live within your means, and to pay yourself first–even if that is a bit cliché. This book is an extremely easy read that tackles core issues, and it should be read by anyone who wants to improve their finances.

The Total Money Makeover


Author: Dave Ramsey
Length: 272 pages
Amazon rating: 4.7 stars
Recommender: NCN @ NoCreditNeeded

NCN says: Easy-to-read, this book provides step-by-step instructions for creating a budget, getting out of debt, and living without credit cards. If you are thinking about getting out of debt, this book is a ‘must read’.

Debt is Slavery


Author: Michael Mihalik
Length: 128 pages
Amazon rating: 4.5 stars
Recommender: JD @ Get Rich Slowly

J.D. says: This self-published book is simple, clear, and direct. It doesn’t offer details on how to open an IRA, but it does explain the mental hurdles one needs to overcome in order to take control of his finances.

Founders at Work


Author: Jessica Livingston
Length: 500 pages
Amazon rating: 4.4 stars
Recommender: Will @ Wise Bread

Will says: Filled with inspirational interviews with founders of tech startups — who started billion dollar businesses with nothing more than pure passion and a fanatical belief in themselves — it is the bible for anyone looking to become an entrepreneur. This book inspired the Wise Bread founders to start our own blog publishing company.

The Intelligent Investor


Author: Benjamin Graham
Length: 640 pages
Amazon rating: 4.5 stars
Recommender: Ben @ MoneySmartLife

Ben says: I’d recommend this book to anyone wanting to understand fundamental analysis of a business and its stock. I love the distinction that Graham draws between an investor and a speculator; it runs through my head every time I make an investing decision. I’d go with the revised edition of The Intelligent Investor with commentary by Jason Zweig; it really helps apply Graham’s principles to today’s financial markets.

The Millionaire Next Door


Author: Thomas Stanley & William Danko
Length: 272 pages
Amazon rating: 4.3 stars
Recommender: FMF @ FreeMoneyFinance

FMF says: I like this book because the simple principles it teaches have guided me through several years, helping me to substantially increase my net worth during that time.

The Number


Author: Lee Eisenberg
Length: 288 pages
Amazon rating: 3.3 stars
Recommender: Flexo @ Consumerism Commentary

Flexo says: The author takes the approach that his readers are not simple-minded. Rather than “talking down” to readers like most financial authors, Eisenberg respects his readers and presents his points through stories without dumbing down the content.

The Richest Man in Babylon


Author: George Clason
Length: 160 pages
Amazon rating: 4.7 stars
Recommender: Jim @ Wallet Hacks

Jim says: This book does what no other personal finance book does. It keeps the generally simple tenets of personal finance very simple. Too often books try to be very complicated so they sell more copies, but The Richest Man uses very easy to understand allegories that won’t trip anyone up.

Stocks for the Long Run


Author: Jeremy Siegel
Length: 436 pages
Amazon rating: 4.7 stars
Recommender: JLP @ AllFinancialMatters

JLP says: This book is a great way to familiarize yourself with the workings of the stock and bond markets. Dr. Siegel does a wonderful job of explaining the workings of the markets and how, although stocks are quite volatile over the short-run, they have historically been the best way to build wealth over the long run. There’s even a fourth edition of the book in the works, which should be on bookstore shelves any day.

The Wealthy Barber


Author: David Chilton
Length: 224 pages
Amazon rating: 4.5 stars
Recommender: Jeffrey @ SavingAdvice

Jeffrey says: This book isn’t written like a typical personal finance book. Rather, it’s more like a novel with the lessons inside the story making it easier to read than most personal finance books. It’s a great first book for beginners wanting to get their toes wet and their personal finances in order.

Your Money or Your Life


Author: Joe Dominguez & Vicki Robin
Length: 400 pages
Amazon rating: 4.3 stars
Recommenders: Trent @ The Simple Dollar and Leo @ ZenHabits

Trent says: Your Money or Your Life is the only personal finance book I’ve read that bridges the gap between money management and the deepest core values that I hold in my life, and the principles hold true no matter what your values are.

Leo says: There is good advice in books by all the personal finance experts, but YMOYL actually changed my life, my perspective on life, and changed the way I see money. It made me realize that life is more than buying things and working… and that we are making choices about what we want to do with our lives. So there you have it… Eleven great book recommendations from twelve great bloggers. Thanks to all who contributed!

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