Everybody wants to be rich and successful. But just what is the secret to financial success? There are lots of books out there that aim to find the answer. Some have turned out to be more popular and groundbreaking than others. Below are some of the most acclaimed self-help books written about making money, as well as a few success story biographies to serve as inspiration.
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
Rich Dad Poor Dad was published in 1997 and has stood the test of time well. It’s a book about the financial tips that rich kids are taught that poor kids often never get taught, comparing the advice of his poor real dad and his rich secondary dad (the latter of which may be fictional, but it doesn’t have too much impact on the overall message of the book).
Topics covered include investing, starting a business and becoming financially literate. One of the big points of the book is the fact that ‘the rich don’t work for money’ and how wealth-building shouldn’t require you to slave away all hours of the day. It also puts forward a very convincing argument as to why being self-employed is in fact ‘less risky’, as well as stating that you shouldn’t treat your home as investment.
The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach
David Bach is a financial advisor who has written a number of popular financial self-help guides. This book (the full title of which is ‘The Automatic Millionaire: A Powerful One-Step Plan To Live And Finish Rich’) is his most famous work. It’s pretty much a guide to gradually becoming a millionaire through various forms of passive income – the idea that you can automate wealth-building.
What makes Bach’s wealth-building book better than others is the way it is presented in layman’s terms. He lays out a very straightforward plan to financial success that you’ll want to start putting into practice straight away. He also uses examples of success stories to show that it works.
Clever Girl Finance by Bola Sokunbi
The average pay gap between men and women is still very large. Consequently, women have to work harder than men to make money – and this book addresses that with some fun and fascinating financial tips for making it rich in a man’s world.
The book is named after the popular personal finance blog Clever Girl Finance owned by Bola Sokunbi. It sees Bola addressing her own financial mistakes and how she was still able to overcome these and find the path to financial success. Topics covered include cleaning up one’s credit score, reducing debt and building a nest egg. The light and accessible tone of it helps to make it an engaging read.
The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
In lots of debt and got no savings? The Total Money Makeover is the perfect book for digging you out of financial trouble and getting you on the path to financial success. It is written by American personal finance personality Dave Ramsey and is divided into seven easy-to-follow steps. It also details the 10 most dangerous money myths.
While some of it can get a little self-promotional, his straightforward breakdown of how to recover one’s finances is very compelling. He really goes into detail what it means to have an emergency fund (and what really counts as emergencies) as well as the snowball method for getting out of debt and various simple means of saving for retirement.
Bringing Down The House by Ben Mezrich
Bringing Down The House – Ben Mezrich tells the tale of one of the biggest financial heists ever committed on the casinos in Las Vegas. It tells the story of how six M.I.T. students used their combined mathematical genius to count cards and win millions.
Despite being the tale of a scam, there’s a lot to be learnt from Ben Mezrich’s Bringing Down The House. It shows you that by using your talents and committing to them, you can achieve extraordinary things. It also shows the negative repercussions that can come from getting rich through dishonest and illegal means, including the way in which people are corrupted by wealth. The fact that the book is a thrilling read with incredible pacing definitely helps to make it more memorable.
One Red Paperclip by Kyle MacDonald
One Red Paperclip is the autobiographical tale of one man’s mission to obtain a house with nothing but a paperclip. In 2005, Kyle traded a paperclip for a pen. This led to a long series of swaps for increasingly more valuable items until he was eventually able to swap a movie role for a farmhouse in Saskatchewan. The tale was first documented on a blog and later turned into a book.
Kyle’s inspirational tale shows how you can achieve wealth from practically nothing. It also shows how the value of assets is very much subjective. More than anything, it’s about thinking outside the box to get what you want – you don’t have to take the traditional route of saving up for a house. His humorous writing style helps to make it all the more enjoyable.
Broke Millennial by Erin Lowry
Are you a broke millennial? Are you eager to save your finances? If so, this self-help book from Erin Lowry could be just what you’re looking for. Broke Millennial is a great guide for those that need help with the basics of personal finance, including how to get out of debt and how to budget effectively.
The book is written in a conversational tone that makes it easy to digest. It’s also very positive in tone, deliberately challenging the doom-and-gloom perspective that is often served to millennials. Those that are already financially savvy may find some of the advice a little too basic. However, those with pretty much no financial know-how are likely to get a lot out of it.
The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J Stanley
Thomas J Stanley’s The Millionaire Next Door takes a look at various people who have accumulated huge amounts of wealth and identifies some of the common traits that they all share. It deliberately strays away from your typical millionaires living glamorous lifestyles and instead focuses on the everyday millionaires living modest lives – some of whom may even be living next door to you.
The real-world case studies make this book very inspiring. The seven common traits identified in the book are also surprising. All in all, it shows that anyone can be a millionaire simply by being more frugal and by planning ahead.
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Think and Grow Rich was written back in 1937. It is often seen as one of the classics of the self-help genre. While some of its content seems slightly dated now, a lot of it is still very relevant. The book isn’t so much a financial guide, but a motivational guide that can be directed towards anything from starting a business to improving your lifestyle.
Positive thinking and the law of attraction are two big principles preached in this book that Napoleon is able to convey in a really engaging manner. There are plenty of small extra nuggets of wisdom dispersed throughout that will stick with you. Add it to your reading bucket list if you haven’t already read it.