Unlock the secret to financial freedom with these must-read financial literacy books! Discover the secrets to making more money and taking control of your finances like a boss. Don’t wait any longer, start your journey to financial success today!
Money is something we deal with every day, but how many of us are really comfortable with it and know how to make it work for us instead of against us?
Here is a secret: One of the best things I’ve ever done is start reading books to boost my financial literacy.
It allowed me not only to become more comfortable with money but, eventually, to leave a job I didn’t like and begin to pursue my passion every single day.
For some, financial literacy might mean getting out of debt or saving money for retirement, it might mean maximizing a side hustle or investing in the stock market, or even reaching the type of financial freedom we all dream about.
Whatever it means to you, you’ve come to the right place!
Below are the 13 best financial literacy books to grow your wealth right now. No matter your goals, there will likely be a book on the list which speaks to you.
So, let’s get started!
The 13 Best Financial Literacy Books to Grow Your Wealth in 2023
Rich Dad Poor Dad famously tells the story of author Robert Kiyosaki’s childhood learning from two father figures with very different conceptions of money – his own father, the titular “poor dad,” and the “rich dad” who was his friend’s father.
It is one of the best ways for beginners to start their journey to financial literacy, presenting fundamental financial concepts and practical advice through easy-to-digest parables about his two father figures.
It’s probably a bit cliche to say, but it literally changed my life. It opened my eyes and made me understand how people that make money work for them think.
- Assets vs. Liabilities: Rich people acquire assets, while the poor acquire liabilities they think are assets.
- Make your money work for you: Properly investing your money is the way to obtain true wealth. It’s all about passive income.
- Think like a rich person: In order to grow rich, you must shift from a poor mindset and think like a rich person.
Published in 1992, Your Money or Your Life ties financial literacy not only to your finances but to your life as a whole.
An effective way to summarize the book might be to ask, what good is more money if it is not bringing you happiness and fulfillment?
This book provides simple steps for transforming your relationship with money and achieving both financial security and personal fulfillment.
- Money is life energy: Every time you buy something, you are trading your life – aka the time you spent earning that money. So spend it wisely and make sure it brings you joy!
The Millionaire Next Door is one the best financial literacy book out there because of how it challenges what financial literacy is and who actually has it.
To create the book, authors Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko conducted extensive profiling on American millionaires.
And what they discovered was surprising.
They found that most millionaires don’t live in presumably affluent white-collar areas but in middle-class neighborhoods and blue-collar communities.
So, what’s the secret? To become a millionaire and achieve great wealth, you need to live below your means, work hard and invest wisely.
Wherever you live, by using the seven common traits of the wealthy broken down in the book, you can become “the millionaire next door.”
- Spend less than you earn: More than half of the millionaires profiled in the book pointed to disciplined saving as the reason for their wealth.
- Avoid a status lifestyle: The reason those who live in presumably affluent neighborhoods are often not actually rich is that they spend their money on hollow status symbols.
- Take the risk if it’s worth the reward: Millionaires are not totally conservative; they are willing to act on something that has the potential to expand their financial independence.
If you’re ready to get serious about your financial life, I Will Teach You to Be Rich is the crash course you need.
Written in 2009 by Ramit Sethi (and updated in 2019), this excellent book provides a six-week program to get on top of your finances, with a workbook at the end of each chapter to ensure the concepts solidify and become successful actions towards building wealth.
It provides a good basis for people that are struggling to get on top of their finances. But has some good gems for experts too.
I especially love his approach to finding a way to live a rich life and spend money on what really matters to you (whether it’s your morning latte or splurging on a luxury holiday every year).
- Financial literacy is not about feeling guilty: You don’t have to sacrifice the things you love to achieve financial health.
- The 85% solution: You don’t have to have things 100% figured out in order to act. The most important thing is to just get started!
Published in 2020, The Psychology of Money shows that financial literacy goes beyond just knowing things about money – equally important are our personal psychology and our emotions.
Human beings are not machines – we interact with financial decisions in real life, with our hopes, dreams, and fears impacting how we behave.
Author Morgan Housel shows you how to analyze your own relationship with money and gives actionable advice to make your psychology work for you rather than against you.
I especially loved how he explains the difference between getting money and keeping money. Making a lot of money doesn’t guarantee financial success. Keeping money requires humility and a bit of fear of losing it all.
- Financial literacy is just as mental as it is technical: To be truly financially literate, you must understand your psychology and its relationship with money.
- Understand when enough is enough: The more money you make, the greedier you might get. Remember, luck isn’t always on your side. One of the biggest hurdles when it comes to money is being happy with what you have.
Ok, the title might be a bit off putting, but believe me, this is a great book.
The Millionaire Fastlane openly challenges, mocks, even rejects the traditional foundations of financial literacy presented in some of the other books on this list, which author M. J. DeMarco derisively calls “The Slowlane.”
Instead, the book shows you how to capitalize on persistence, daring, and unconventional thinking to move into the “Fastlane.”
It’s about living the lifestyle of your dreams. It explains how to find ways to make a living that are not dependent on the time you work (goodbye 9 to 5!) and also give you more time and freedom.
- Leave the conventional path: If you want to truly change your life, forget about the old ways – it’s not about getting a degree, finding a job, and working hard. In today’s world, there are alternative, faster ways to define wealth, work less, and retire young.
For years, I was too scared to invest in the stock market. That was until I came across a book called The Simple Path to Wealth.
Written in 2016 by Jim Collins, the book breaks down something called index investing – in short, investing in an Index Fund which mirrors the performance of the entire stock market.
Index Funds are a great way to get into the stock market without taking big risks.
I truly recommend you buy this book. It’s a tiny investment for a massive reward (if you follow his advice).
But if you want to deep dive into Jim’s theories, you can also check out his Stock Series for free on his blog.
- Investing doesn’t have to be complicated: Collins recommends putting 100% of your investments into one single fund – the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund.
Another great book on index investing is The Little Book of Common Sense Investing, by John C. Bogle.
Written in 2007, and updated in 2017, the book illuminates the successful index investing process Bogle used as he built The Vanguard Group investment firm.
If you are new to investing, and want to find a sustainable investing strategy that isn’t too risky or complicated, get this book!
- Index Funds! Trying to beat the market, according to Bogle, “is a loser’s game,” and Index Funds are the only way to ensure your fair share of stock market returns. In his words: “Don’t look for the needle in the haystack. Just buy the haystack!”
First published in 1949, this classic book breaks down the secrets of “value investing” – where investors purchase undervalued stocks of companies with strong fundamentals, then wait for the stock to rise as its price meets its intrinsic value.
Best of all, the book provides the tools necessary to find undervalued companies yourself using publicly available information.
No wonder famed investor Warren Buffett famously described The Intelligent Investor as “by far the best book on investing ever written.”
- Price vs. Value: The market overreacts to price changes in the short term, without looking at a stock’s long-term prospects for success or failure. Value investors look for price-value discrepancies and pounce.
Similar to The Psychology of Money, David J. Schwartz’s 1959 book The Magic of Thinking Big asserts that a fundamental part of financial literacy is confidence.
All the skills in the world mean nothing unless you have the belief and confidence to make a plan and follow through.
Which is exactly the purpose of the book – to provide you with the tools to develop the type of confidence you need for success in your financial future.
- Think success, not failure: Believe you can succeed, and you will. Thinking success conditions your mind to produce success.
- Believe big: Don’t sell yourself short. The size of your success is determined by the expanse of your belief.
Written way back in 1926 by George S. Clason, The Richest Man in Babylon teaches financial planning through a series of parables and simple lessons set in ancient Babylon, and to this day remains one of the best books to help you reach your financial goals.
We all learn differently, and since this book remains popular nearly a century after it was first published, it’s clear than many are benefitting from the financial advice it provides.
- Save 10% of everything you earn: “For every ten coins thou placest within thy purse take out for use but nine.” Although these days, saving 10% won’t get you far – especially if you want to become financially independent, it’s important to understand the concept of spending less than you earn.
- Invest the money you save: “Learn to make your treasure work for you. Make it your slave.”
- Live below your means and don’t take on any debt: Don’t confuse necessary expenses with your desires.
Instead, the secret is one simple step – make it automatic.
Whether you’re talking about debt and bills, investments, or savings, just set up an automatic system which takes money directly from your bank account.
The Automatic Millionaire gives you a step-by-step plan to do just this.
- It has to be automatic: Automate payments and savings to act in a financially disciplined way without being disciplined yourself.
13. Work Optional
A lot of the best finance books on this list talk about reaching early retirement. But what about if you like to work?
This is where Work Optional comes in.
Written in 2019 by Tanja Hester, the book is explicitly not anti-work, but rather, as Tanja puts it, all about “reclaiming your life from our nonstop work culture so that you decide what role work will play in your life, instead of society deciding for you.”
- Define what ‘work optional’ means to you: The whole point of ‘work optional’ is to construct a plan not just for your finances, but for your dream lifestyle designed entirely by you.
Have you read any of these books? Which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!