For most people, summer means more downtime with family and friends. It also means more time to catch up on that reading you've been neglecting. Instead of reaching for some frothy adventure novel, why not make better use of your downtime with books that can teach you how to earn more and manage your money more successfully?
The financial world is becoming more and more dependent on technology, so it may seem strange that some of the best books about money have been around for years, even decades in some cases. But when it comes to money, don't fool yourself into thinking that the classics aren't still relevant. After all, the best financial advice – like, "buy low, sell high" – stands the test of time.
1."Rich Dad Poor Dad,"by Robert Kiyosaki. While most money books focus on saving money and specific types of investment tools, Kiyosaki's book is more focused on an idea: getting your money to work for you through the concept of cash flow. Cash flow is when the income earned by an investment is greater than the cost of ownership. Kiyosaki focuses on investments such as real estate that earn and pay income, rather than stocks and bonds, which rely mainly on capital gains to provide returns.
2. "The Millionaire Next Door," by Thomas Stanley and William Danko. If you weren't already aware that living below your means and choosing the right occupation were important steps on the road to wealth, reading this book may convince you. Stanley and Danko profile the modern millionaire and discuss the seven traits that most of them have in common. If you want to be on the road to becoming a millionaire, this book can help.
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3."The Essays of Warren Buffett," by Lawrence Cunningham. Who better than the Oracle of Omaha to advise you about money? Whether you want to learn about managing your personal finances or the approaches to money that drive corporate decision-making, these essays are the next best thing to scoring a sit-down with one of the world's wealthiest people and most successful investors.
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4. "Think and Grow Rich,"by Napoleon Hill. First published over 75 years ago, this is one of the most influential self-improvement books of the 20th century. But don't let its age fool you: It contains great advice for people wanting to improve their financial situation. The difference between this and many other "money" books is that it is less focused on managing the money you have and more focused on acquiring the mindset necessary to become wealthier. After all, Hill's advice that, "Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve," still holds as true today as it did when the book was first published.
5. "I Will Teach You To Be Rich," by Ramit Sethi. Like a modern-day Napoleon Hill, Sethi's focus isn't on how to invest so much as it is on how to become wealthy in the first place. Sethi focuses on "big wins" like how to ask for a raise, instead of minutiae like saving $1,000 a year by skipping lattes. Sethi's advice is to remember that while there's a limit to how much you can save, there's no limit to how much you can earn.
6. "The Automatic Millionaire,"by David Bach. Everyone knows you should "pay yourself first." But this book teaches you simple ways to actually do it. Many people feel investing is too complex so they avoid it; Bach's approach is to automate the processes around saving and investing so that you can pay off debt, save for retirement and manage your finances.
These personal finance books are "must read" material for anyone seeking to gain control over and improve their financial situation. Read them all, and by summer's end, people just might be tapping you for advice about their money!
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