Want to improve your investing skills? Switching off the telly and sitting back with a good financial read could pay off handsomely in the long run. You'll learn from the world's best investors strategies.
There are some personal finance classics that virtually everyone can benefit from reading. They include the Richest Man in Babylon, by George Clason The Millionaire Next Door, by Thomas Stanley and William Danko, and Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad Poor Dad series. Some people hate Kiyosaki's books, which admittedly have a lot of failings. In his defence, they're easy to read and can set a younger person on the right financial path.
My other favourite for younger people is Scott Pape's the barefoot investor. If you can get over the fact that the author's a brash Australian, the man has a very engaging writing style aimed at the MTV generation.
I'm no fan of the get rich quick books that abound in the property investment sphere such as 0 to 130 Properties in 3.5 Years. Yuk. Yuk. Yuk. There are an awful lot of the followers of the instant wealth message getting poor fast right now. If you can keep your head on your shoulders then read these books.
Or if instead you want sensible books about property investing that are relevant to New Zealand then check out some of the titles by Lisa Dudson and Andrew King such as Create Wealth, which is a lot more down to earth than its title suggests. Other good sensible Kiwi personal finance writers include Martin Hawes and Mary Holm.
The most powerful investment tool available is sitting right between your ears. A good book to get started if you need a psychological sort out is the best-selling Power of Focus, by Jack Canfield – the author of the Chicken Soup series. I was alerted to this book by an investor I profiled who reads a self-improvement book or biography a week and recommended this as his all-time favourite. There are thousands of self-help books on the market, which could help you tune your investment tool.
This blog was going to focus solely on my favourite personal finance books. But I did of course get lost in cyberspace reading other people's recommendations. The Simple Dollar blog, for example, reviewed 52 personal finance books in 52 weeks, and also recommends its top 26 in order. For some more independent recommendations check out these lists from: About.com, Best Personal Finance Books, fivecentnickel.com and Get Rich Slowly. Or for books with a New Zealand focus, visit the shape of money
Finally, it's also useful to know where to go to get financial books. You can of course buy the bestsellers through the likes of Whitcoulls and Dymocks. If, however you want a less recent or more specialist title it's best to go online. In New Zealand there is the Good Returns bookstore. More obscure foreign titles can be bought from Amazon.com or specialist etailers such as Global Investor Bookshop, which claims to have 100,000 titles in its database. Personally I have patience when it comes to spending money and usually wait for the book I want to appear on Trade Me.
What are your favourite Personal Finance books, and why?