Finances are often talked about like some enigma that can’t be cracked unless you’re an accountant, investor, or a CFO. In fact, according to a study from Statista, only 25% of respondents said they considered themselves to be very financially literate, while 4% said they were not financially literate at all.
But the stigma around financial expertise has got to go! By using your resources and taking charge of your own financial standing, you can make a difference in your own life and even inform friends and family who are struggling to manage their own finances.
One of the best ways to glean financial knowledge is to read about it. From financial news and our #RealMoneyTalk series, to the best finance books of all time, there are plenty of opportunities to learn more about your money. Whether you’re looking to boost your budgeting skills, try your hand at investing, or want to learn how to save for retirement, you’re in the right place.
In this post, we’re discussing the 16 best financial books of all time. From books by spunky financial advisor Suze Orman to finance books specifically for millennials, there’s something in here for anyone who wants to strengthen their financial prowess.
Looking for a quick book recommendation? Use the links below to skip ahead, or read end to end to get the most out of our comprehensive list of the best finance books of all time.
- Best financial books by category
- More ways to learn about finance
- Key takeaways: best finance books of all time
Best financial books by category
To help you find the right book for your financial needs, we’ve broken this list down into 7 categories, with some of the best book selections in each.
Best financial books for all readers
Whether you’re just opening your first credit card or you’re trying to figure out how to start a budget, there’s a lot to learn in the finance world. But pick up the most recent issue of the Wall Street Journal as a finance novice, and you might feel a little lost, to say the least.
Before you dive into market trends and economic policy, it’s a good idea to establish some foundational knowledge first. Our list of the best financial books of all time in the general category include titles that encourage changing your perspective on money, to a book that gives a cynical yet informative run-down of the top financial terms consumers need to know.
Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness
In addition to providing advice on finances and wealth, Nobel Prize winning author, Richard H. Thaler tells readers how they can shift their decision-making skills in all facets of life including health and happiness.
Thaler and co-author Cass R. Sunstein include rich behavioral data to look at how humans make decisions and how they can improve their “choice architecture” to avoid investment mistakes, unhealthy habits, and even relationship faux pas. If you’re in search of a new perspective to help you better manage your finances and related decisions, Nudge could be just the push you need to take hold of your personal finances and start meeting your financial goals.
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
If you’ve tried budgeting before and you just can’t get it to stick, it could be time to take a closer look at your habits. In his New York Times bestselling book, author Charles Duhigg examines how people create habits and how we can change them.
Duhigg backs his methodology in The Power of Habit with scientific research and anecdotes that readers can apply to their own lives, whether it’s changing financial habits or learning how to be more productive in work and in life.
The Devil’s Financial Dictionary
One of the biggest roadblocks in financial literacy can be connected to the complexity of the financial jargon and processes we see on the news and in blogs. But in the name of readability, author Jason Zweig brings these convoluted terms back to earth with witty definitions that Wall Street executives and financial amateurs alike can appreciate.
If you’ve ever felt like the finance world is too pompous or complex for your liking, you’re certainly not alone. The Devil’s Financial Dictionary demystifies everything from Wall Street lingo to general terms you can apply to your everyday life.
Best financial books for retirement
Preparing for retirement is an exciting time. You’ve worked much of your life building your career and saving up money, and now it’s time to start catching sunsets instead of chasing deadlines. But as you’re preparing for your sunset years, a lot of questions tend to arise.
How much money should I have in my 401k? Can I really afford to retire? When can I access the money in my retirement fund?
Sound familiar? You’re not alone—a lot of new and upcoming retirees have experienced the same woes as they plan for life after work. But the good news is, some of the most successful finance experts and authors in the world have taken to this topic to provide consumers with the answers they need as they approach retirement.
With that said, here are some of the top finance books for retirement planning:
You’ve Earned It, Don’t Lose It
You probably recognize her spunky personality and hard-hitting financial advice from the Oprah Show and Dr. Oz, but applying her advice directly to your personal finances is a revelation all on its own. In her book You’ve Earned It, Don’t Lose It, author and financial advisor Suze Orman discusses exactly what consumers need to know as they’re prepping their finances for their upcoming retirement.
From choosing trusts vs. wills to maximizing retirement income, Orman’s national bestseller is nothing short of a complete guide to retirement planning.
How to Retire with Enough Money: And How to Know What Enough Is
Ever wondered how much money you need to retire or how much longer you’ll have to work to get there? In her book, How to Retire with Enough Money: And How to Know What Enough Is, retirement planning specialist Teresa Ghilarducci levels with upcoming retirees to tell them how much is enough and how to make your retirement savings grow all in a quick 144-page read.
Ghilarducci also discusses the external factors that might impact your retirement, including politics and the healthcare systems we currently have in place. If you’re looking for a way to ramp up your retirement savings, even if you’re still in college, this book is among the best financial books of all time…at least in our book.
Best financial books for millennials
If you’re a millennial in 2019, you’re likely in a more complicated financial position than people your age in past generations. Perhaps you’re a recent college grad trying to navigate the workforce on your own and you haven’t quite found a balance between entry level experience and a livable wage. Or, maybe you’ve reached the most exciting moment of your financial history thus far and you’re ready to meet another financial milestone such as buying a house or starting to invest in the stock market.
No matter where you’re at with your finances at the moment, it’s an exciting time to learn more about your money. If you’re looking for knowledge and advice specifically designed for millennials, check out these finance books.
Ever heard of #GYFLT? Author and personal finance expert Erin Lowry developed the hashtag to send millennials an important message: “get your financial life together!”. Whether you’ve started saving money or you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck , Lowry’s Broke Millennial book series acts as a guide as you prepare to tackle financial milestones such as getting married, buying a house, having kids, or trying your hand at investing.
So far, Lowry has two books in the Broke Millennial lineup: Broke Millennial: Strop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together and Broke Millennial: A Beginner’s Guide to Leveling Up Your Money. Did we mention she’s also a contributor to our blog? Click here to read more from Erin Lowry.
Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence
Many of us need a step-by-step guide to help us get our habits in order—whether it’s revamping your personal finances or getting back on your fitness game. With their book Your Money or Your Life, authors Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez, and Mr. Money Mustache team up to give readers 9 simple steps to help them shift how they deal with money to make progress toward financial independence.
If you want to learn the basics of managing money, figure out how to fund your dreams, and start taking control of your financial future, this book comes highly recommended as one of our favorite personal finance books for millennials.
Millennial Money: How Young Investors Can Build a Fortune
If you’ve been considering investing your money, congratulations! That’s a huge step to take in your financial future, and it’s an exciting time to learn about how the finance world really works, first-hand. In his guide, Millennial Money, author Patrick O’Shaughnessy discusses how young people can cash-in on the global stock market to make up for potentially limited access to pension plans and Social Security.
O’Shaughnessy recommends investing early to reap the most reward and provides a basic strategy to help you develop your stock portfolio.
Best financial books for women
From career paths and finances to family structures, women in the 21st century lead very different lifestyles now than they ever have in the past. But along with their triumphs and new opportunities, women today may find themselves facing unique challenges when it comes to managing their own money.
Whether you’re looking for help learning how to balance your family life or financial life, or you’re looking to take over the investment world, there are plenty of empowering finance books for women to boost their financial knowledge.
Here are some of the best finance books for women:
You Are a Badass® at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth
You may have heard some buzz about author Jen Sincero’s premiere novel, You Are a Badass® , also informally known as the young person’s guide to self-worth and stability. Well, the first edition was so successful that Sincero has since released two other books in the series: You Are a Badass® Every Day and You Are a Badass® at Making Money.
In each of her books, Jen Sincero offers empowering advice to readers, along with real strategies to make your personal goals actually happen. In You Are a Badass® at Making Money, Sincero uses humorous personal experiences as the backbone of her monetary manifesto, while teaching readers to:
- Find out what’s holding them back from making money
- Generate wealth according to their own standards, rather than societal norms
- Curate their own financial future instead of waiting for things to happen
If you’re in search of a modern take on money that’s relatable instead of intimidating, look no further than this one.
Smart Mom, Rich Mom
Finding a healthy financial balance can be tough when you’re raising a family…or getting ready to start one. From diapers to diplomas, having kids can end up taking a toll on your finances if you’re not armed with the right resources to keep things in check.
In her book, Smart Mom, Rich Mom, Kimberly Palmer explores different ways women can shape their financial future while raising a family. Palmer covers everything from career growth to creating budgets to help ease the stress on moms juggling household and financial responsibilities. If you’re curious about how you can prepare your budget for kids, or want to know how to repair your current financial situation, this book could be just the financial read you need.
Best financial books for budgeting
Budgeting can be one of the trickiest things to master when it comes to achieving financial wellness, but as you probably know, budgeting is an important skill to learn. Whether you’re wondering why you need a budget in the first place or where to begin, these budget-specific books are here to help.
How to Manage Your Money When You Don’t Have Any
One of the most frustrating roadblocks to saving money is feeling like you don’t even have enough money to cover your bills, let alone save. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 12.3% of Americans were living in poverty in 2017. With that statistic in mind, it’s easy to see that financial challenges are widespread across the country.
If you’ve ever been in a scenario where you’re scraping by to pay your bills but you want to save money, Erik Wecks’ How to Manage Your Money When You Don’t Have Any could give you the insight and inspiration you need to optimize your financial situation. Wecks speaks from his personal experience struggling to make ends meet in order to give context and provide readers with suggestions that might work for them, too.
The Financial Diet
Feeling lost at the thought of crunching numbers or developing a budget? Author Chelsea Fagan’s been there. In her book/life guide, The Financial Diet, Fagan gives millennials and Gen Zers the tools to take over their finances and build a better future. From budgeting to investing and slimming down spending, Fagan’s got your finance questions answered.
Best financial books for entrepreneurs
Are you planning your next business venture or world takeover as you’re reading this? You might want to take a moment to learn from the experts first. In these finance books for entrepreneurs, you can learn from their mistakes, find out how to optimize your business plan, and discover new strategies to boost your business.
You Are a Mogul
Entrepreneur Tiffany Pham has had to adapt to life fast—and she’s done more than just adapt. From attending business school at Harvard to founding her own company, Pham’s had a lot of experience building her empire from the ground up. In her book You Are a Mogul, Pham tells readers all about how she got to where she is and how they too can make their own entrepreneurial dreams come to fruition.
Whether you’re looking for guidance in identifying your passions or want to know how to “Crush it in Corporate Life,” You Are a Mogul includes the resources and real-life advice you need to jumpstart your career.
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t
Have you ever wondered what really differentiates two competing companies when it comes to success? They entered the market at the same time and both have strong branding, but why is one so much more successful than the other?
In his book Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t, author Jim Collins analyzes what makes a company go from good to great, and why some companies are able to achieve success despite their mediocre reputation. Collins focuses on 4 key findings to support his theory:
- Leadership structure
- The Hedgehog Concept
- The Flywheel and the Doom Loop
If you’re thinking about starting your own business or what to optimize your current structure, consider using Collins’ book as your guide toward entrepreneurial success.
Best financial books for investors
Navigating the stock market as a beginner is no simple task. To help you learn the ropes, investment experts such as Warren Buffet and Burton G. Malkiel are spilling their secrets in these financial books for new and seasoned investors.
The Essays of Warren Buffet
As one of the most successful businessmen of all time, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffet, is one of the most influential figures in the investment world. Lawrence A. Cunningham’s curation of Warren Buffet’s essays include topics from wealth management to investment strategy.
If you’ve considered investing in the stock market but you’re not sure where to start, The Essays of Warren Buffet could be the introductory guide you need to take the leap.
A Random Walk Down Wall Street
Jumping into the investment world can be intimidating, to say the least. But having a lay of the land, working knowledge of the terminology, and some insight on investment strategy, you could be cashing-in on Wall Street in no time.
In his investment guide, A Random Walk Down Wall Street, Burton G. Malkiel educates readers on a variety of investment topics that can easily be applied to the modern marketplace, thanks to updated editions. Malkiel covers just about everything consumers need to know about successful investing—from 401ks to digital currency trends.
More ways to learn about finance
In addition to reading some of the best financial books of all time, there are plenty of other resources out there to help you diversify and expand upon your financial knowledge. Try incorporating some of these strategies to become a self-taught financial expert:
- Speak to a financial advisor
- Learn more about your credit score by getting a free credit report
- Listen to finance-related podcasts
- Read financial news and blogs
- Participate in conversations about finances with family and friends
- Practice managing your personal finances by using a budgeting app
- Take a class online or at a local college
- Watch our #RealMoneyTalk series
Key takeaways: Best Finance Books of All Time
The financial world can often seem intimidating, but if you just take a little time to learn about it, you may find that you’ll have a better hold on your own financial standing. Use this list as a guide to help you learn more about how money works in general and as it applies to your personal finances.
Have any financial book recommendations of your own? Let us know in the comment section below!