One of the most powerful things you can do to better your life is to consume (and apply) knowledge from years of data and experience gathered from others.
We all know time is your most precious resource, and you can save a lot of it when learning from other’s mistakes and life lessons. This is what led me to read, write and reflect daily.
Between the books, blogs, and forums I read last year, I probably read as much as I did while in PT school.
By learning more, my wife and I are empowered to work towards creating a life we want to live.
Here are 12 finance and self-development books that I read last year.
1. The Little Book of Common Sense Investing – John Bogle
This book is written by none other than the founder of Vanguard. It is full of historic data to prove how low-cost index funds is the way to go for the majority of the population. Even Warren Buffet’s estate is set to place his assets in low costs index funds for his wife. With all the data presented in this book, it is hard to argue that there is a stronger, less complicated strategy to investing that even amateurs can begin immediately.
Related: Check out my recommended investment platforms
2. The Simple Path To Wealth – Jim Collins
A must-have for those who want to learn about the fundamentals of efficient investing. Jim Collins breaks down investing into digestible pieces using entertaining language without the jargon and mundane numbers found in other investment books.
Whether you are starting on your path to financial independence or just beginning to retire. This is a key resource to pick up.
3. Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki
Another classic for those who want to learn some fundamentals in behaviors to practice to achieve wealth. Robert talks about 4 asset classes and mainly harps on the business asset class, but it is definitely a book everyone should pick up.
4. The Millionaire Next Door – Thomas Stanley & William Danko
Your neighbor could be a millionaire and your doctor could be dead broke. This book opened my eyes to see how our culture of consumption and social norms drive the vast majority of the populations into heavy debt. It provides data comparing the spending behavior of the average millionaire to the spending behavior of the average earning American. You can guess what the outcomes are, but it’s quite staggering when you actually learn the numbers and conceptualize it.
5. Your Money or Your Life – Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez
Constantly working for the next paycheck, but have little to show for it? Are you not satisfied with your job or your life because of your finances or how you spend your time? Look no further, this book is a great start, full of actionable tips and content that can change your life for the better. After reading this book, you may develop the mindset to fight the battle of consumption and take back your life.
Related: Check out our FREE Money – Time Conversion Calculator
6. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – Mark Manson
A great piece of work by a down to earth author who will get you thinking about what is truly important in your life. His work is brutally honest and crude with a touch of humor. Mark Manson tells us what we all need to hear and does not sugar coat anything. If you find yourself having trouble saying “No”, and want to learn how to properly prioritize what is important to you, look no further.
7. The Total Money Makeover – Dave Ramsey
In debt up to your eyeballs? Dave Ramsey will help whip you into shape so you can never feel that terrible feeling of debt and gain some financial freeway for life’s unpredictable journey. While there are some things I don’t agree with, I am not the key population he is targeting in this book. For those having trouble savings money and have debt they cannot get rid of, this is for you.
8. Essentialism: Live Like a Minimalist – James Lathom
Sometimes we believe we own the things we buy when in fact, they own us. This book goes over fundamentals of essentialism and minimalism and how you can apply these principles to regain control over the things you own.
9. Design Your Future – Dominick Quartuccio
Not living your best life or not living to your full potential. I know, me neither, but I am working towards it and this book helped propel me forward. It is full of exercises to assess your life, habits, desires and goals. You have to be willing and open to self-evaluation. I recommend doing these exercises both independently and with a partner. Ultimately, you will feel motivated to work towards your best version of yourself and work towards designing your life to your liking.
10. The Richest Man In Babylon – George S. Clason
It talks about basic personal finance principles, like paying yourself first by saving at least 10% of your income (I personally think you need to save much more than that nowadays), investing, the power of compounding interest and living below your means. While it really didn’t teach me anything new, it provided me with plenty of reinforcement to instill these principles to my being.
11. Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism by Fumio Sasaki
I couldn’t get enough of learning about minimalism and needed more content. This was a great addition to my learning. It will be an enjoyable read to guide you towards living a more simple, yet enriching life. Applying principles of minimalism has already given me the benefits of a clearer mind, improved productivity and a sense of liberation.
12. Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
This is one of those books you need to keep as an ongoing resource. It is sitting on my shelf and I have it on audio format. It’s has tons of actionable tips that you can revisit and use to self-evaluate year after year. The stories, lessons and activities is a powerful resource to help you create a rich life, in more ways than one.
While it is a great habit to pick up these personal development and finance books, knowledge is only power when you apply what you’ve learned. So take what you need from these books. Apply what you’ve learned and watch yourself grow.
Knowledge is power only when appliedArt
Art is the founder of Flexcents, a blog created in 2018 to help others reach their fitness and financial goals through sharing insights as a physical therapist, personal finance nerd, and self-directed investor.