Books are something that always bring me joy. And beyond joy, they can provide a lot of knowledge. Since starting this blog, I have read at least four financial books a year. For some that might seem like a little and for some a lot. I typically read fiction, so four financial books feels like a stretch for me. No matter where you are in your reading, I want to give you some financial books as options to help you grow your knowledge, and, maybe, bring you some joy.
The Simple Path To Wealth by J L Collins: This book is truly what it says it is: a simple path to wealth. Collins lives by an easy money motto: avoid debt, spend less than you earn, invest the rest. This book is short and easy to read and reemphasizes Collins key message with every page. And Collins backs up his message with personal experience as well as studies and data. You do not have to be a financial guru to grasp what Collins is telling you. He truly makes it simple. I've been on an investment journey for the last three years, and after reading this book, I feel a lot more secure in my investment choices. I went to reallocate my assets as soon as I put the book down. If you're looking for a simple (don't read that as quick) way to build wealth, and strengthen your mental fortitude for investment, this is the book for you!
The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel: I really enjoyed this book. Housel uses brief stories to illustrate how our emotions and circumstances determine our financial decisions, and how those decisions in turn, affect the economy overall. My biggest takeaways from the book are that (1) No one is crazy. Each person's financial decision is based off the information she has and the positionality she occupies in the world; (2) You must take into account luck and risk, or in other words, unforeseen circumstances. Your successes are never due solely to your ability and neither are your failures; (3) Housel defines wealth as doing what you want, when you want, with whomever you want, for how long you want to. With this definition, how much wealth you need is relative to the individual. I encourage you to check out Housel's book for more of these interesting tid-bits.
Get Good with Money by Tiffany Aliche (aka The Budgetnista!): Opening the pages of this book is like stepping into the classroom with Aliche as your teacher and cheerleader. Aliche, better known as the Budgetnista, posits that there are 10 steps to true financial wholeness, and that you need to accomplish all 10 to get good with money! The first few steps, budgeting, saving and a debt payment plan are likely familiar to anyone who reads financial self-help books. But Aliche takes it much farther by walking the reader through credit reports, net worth, insurance and estate planning. She truly leaves no stone unturned, and guides you through each step with encouragement and the confidence that you can achieve it. Whether you are new to getting good with money, or (like me) have been at it for a while, this book is for you. I've already employed many of the "do's" she mentions throughout the book!
Griftopia by Matt Taibbi: Phew! Y'all, this book is not for the faint of heart. I just finished and my mind is still reeling from the revelations laid out in this book. Both the message Taibbi conveys and the way he conveys it is a lot to take in. Taibbi is the opposite of politically correct, and he is all about equality in the sense that he comes for everyone's throats, no matter who you are. But once you get past his difficult-to-swallow language choices and realize the point he is making, you'll really start to feel sick. Taibbi describes in (sometimes) dizzying detail how government policies and our banking industries (here's looking at you Goldman Sachs) have worked together to strip Americans of their money (internet, commodities and housing bubbles plus the banks' bailout) and America of its sovereignty (look up who own's Chicago's parking meter system, I dare you) while distracting us with bipartisan squabbling and the entertainment of presidential elections. There is the government and economy the average American knows, and then there is the true government and economy. If it sounds like I'm spouting conspiracy theories, I encourage you to read the book to see how real this is. But I warn you. You will likely finish reading this feeling disheartened and potentially filled with rage; and Taibbi does nothing to relieve that. There is no "here's the happy ending" to this book. If you want to get insight into what is really going on, I encourage you to read this book. But if you truly believe ignorance is bliss, this book is not for you.