The Best Personal Finance and Investment Books I’ve Read

Posted by Fitz Villafuerte under Personal Finance on May 4, 2016

I was not much of a book reader until I reached college, and that was because I was fortunate to have a roommate at the dorm who was a bookworm.

I love watching movies, but when I learned the habit of reading, I discovered a world that can be as vivid as the cinema.

By the time I graduated, I had moved from literary fiction and novels, towards biographies and non-fiction.

And this was the time that I recognized the power of books not only to entertain, but to educate as well.

At a time when information is just a click away on the Internet, I remain in my belief that reading books is still one of the best ways to learn new things.

Proof to these are the following titles, which I consider as the best investment and personal books that I’ve had the privilege to read.

books

Your Money or Your Life by Joe Domingues and Vicki Robin

ymoylIf you’re looking for a book that can help you turn your financial life around, then this would be it.

It talks about the psychology of money and how it relates to our priorities in life.

It guides you on how to live frugally and invest your money securely, while forcing you to think deeply on the things that matter to you the most – your life and your family.

Best lesson from the book:
That money is something we trade our life energy for.

This means that by working, we’re exchanging minutes of our life to gain money.

But of course, we don’t want to use that energy on working all the time because it should be spent more on experiencing life with our loved ones.

And thus, it becomes necessary to be efficient at making money – to optimize our income and earn passively by investing.

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

moneymakeThis is another book for those who are looking to make a 180-degree turn on their financial life.

It provides a calm and clear voice for those who feel suffocated and hopeless about their debt.

The focus of this book is on creating a debt recovery plan and developing the mental armor that will push you forward and never give up.

Best lesson from the book:
Making a debt repayment plan is vital. Your debts won’t go away magically, and you shouldn’t wait for someone to fix things up for you.

And the best way to do this is to do the debt snowball method.

That is, to focus on your smallest debts first while keeping others at bay with minimum payments, and then rolling your payments over to the next one, and then the next one, until you become debt-free.

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The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley and William Danko

millionnextThis book was an eye-opener for me because before, my impression was that rich people are those who have fancy cars, eat at expensive restaurants, and live in a mansion.

However, this book talks about a noteworthy study that reveals most millionaires actually lead ordinary lives; in fact, they could be your “boring” neighbor because they’re mostly frugal and don’t really like spending on frivolous things.

This book is a must-read for everyone.

Best lesson from the book:
It is possible to become a millionaire when you learn how to live frugally.

A frugal life means to go for quality and reliability when buying stuff, to avoid spending on things that you will constantly need to replace, and to develop a taste for living a modest lifestyle without excesses and irresponsible spending.

The Four Pillars of Investing by William Bernstein

pillarsIf you’re looking for a beginner’s guide to investing, then this book is for you.

It will take you to the reasons why you should invest, what to look for in any investment so you can avoid bad ones, and more importantly, how to choose which one is best for you.

Best lesson from the book:
It’s sometimes best to be boring about investing.

When you’re just starting out, putting your money only on investments that you really know is your best option. Later on, avoid following what’s hot as told by the media and learn to just sit on what you have.

Finally, never invest on anything unless you’ve taken the time to learn how it works and you have a clear understanding of its pros and cons.

A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel

wallThe stock market will always be the most popular type of investment in my opinion, and if you’re hoping to put your money in it, then this book is your ultimate guide to understanding how the stock market really works.

The book thoroughly explains the ups and downs of stocks, including how to identify meaningless and baseless analysis about the market, which is often reported by financial media.

Best lesson from the book:
The stock market is an organized chaos. There are so many people and institutions buying and selling stocks with different motivations and goals that it’s really impossible to predict where any given stock will go.

And thus, the best way to invest in it is to match and ride the market, rather than trying to time and beat it – to invest on the index and just sit on it until you reach your financial goals.

These are the five best books that I’ve read about personal finance and investments, but they’re certainly not the only ones you should read. There are surely other titles that are as engaging, educational, or even better than these five.

Additionally, there’s currently a thriving and growing list of local authors that are publishing excellent financial books made especially for the Philippine setting. I invite you to check them out for they are certainly worth your time and money.

On a special note:

My book, The Ready To Be Rich Guide to Investing, is now available in most branches of National Book Store, Fully Booked, Powerbooks, and Central Books nationwide. But you can still order it online here.


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5 Responses to “The Best Personal Finance and Investment Books I’ve Read”


  1. Pia Marie Tandog says:

    Thanks for the useful list Sir Fitz! This is a good reference for the next book I’m going to read 😀 By the way, I bought your book (Guide to investing) last Money Summit and it was great! I learned a lot and will definitely recommend this to my friends! – Pia

  2. Tim says:

    Thanks for the recommendations.
    I really like Dave Ramsey.
    Whenever I see him on TV, his solid, proven advice (always given in very simple words) makes a lot of sense to me.

  3. Ray says:

    Agreed with “Your Money or Your Life” and “The Millionaire Next Door!” Those are two of my top 10 as well.

  4. fizza says:

    thankyou for sharing such a useful list 🙂

  5. leonel says:

    Thank you for it renew my interest in reading books. Definitely I will buy your books.

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