Now that school is back in session, I know that you will be inundated with people giving you advice for what you should do financially. I understand that I am in that same group, and I’m sure that I’m not the only one. Smart people will get their information from a variety of sources, rather than just one. But with all of the people out there trying to plug a book (me too!), who are you reading, and how much influence are you giving them?
Just for fun, I thought I would look up AMAZON.COM and see what came up under a search for “Financial Education”. These are the top 10 books listed from top to bottom by bestselling. I saw some things there that made me chuckle a little, some that made my cringe a little, but every book here made me think seriously about what information we are putting out to young people. More than that, what we are saying about financing in general.
Robert Kiyosaki has definitely made his mark here with a few books showing up in the top ten. I’m not going to comment on whether he is legitimate or not, but the fact that there is a question raises concerns for me. You have to make up your mind about how this affects you.
RICH DAD, POOR DAD: WHAT THE RICH TEACH THEIR KIDS ABOUT MONEY–THAT THE POOR AND MIDDLE CLASS DO NOT!. This is the number one seller for the category, and I think a lot of people just really appreciate the message that he puts out. Personally, I’m not much of a fan, but if it’s your thing, more power to you!
THE INTELLIGENT INVESTOR: THE DEFINITIVE BOOK ON VALUE INVESTING. A BOOK OF PRACTICAL COUNSEL by Benjamin Graham, Jason Zweig, and Warren E. Buffett. Personally, I’m not so familiar with the first two names but I know of, and have a lot of respect for Warren Buffett.
THE LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE. I’ve checked out this book, but I don’t know how well it works for young people.
CASHFLOW QUADRANT: RICH DAD’S GUIDE TO FINANCIAL FREEDOM. More from Kiyosaki.
PERSONAL FINANCE FOR DUMMIES I have a lot of respect for the Dummies group, but I’ve always had problems with reading a book that was insulting my intelligence. Once you get over yourself, I’ve found these books are very helpful.
RICH DAD’S GUIDE TO INVESTING: WHAT THE RICH INVEST IN, THAT THE POOR AND MIDDLE CLASS DO NOT Once again, we’re talking about Kiyosaki here.
HOW TO MAKE MONEY IN STOCKS: A WINNING SYSTEM IN GOOD TIMES AND BAD. I’m not familiar with O’Neil, but I’m always skeptical about someone who makes a promise of a system that works in good times and bad.
NATURAL CAPITALISM: CREATING THE NEXT INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION. Paul Hawken. I’ve never heard of this book, but I like the premise of it. I will probably check it out in the future (if I ever get to the point of reading for fun). Once again, I’m not sure how it translates into dealing with youth issues.
THE INTELLIGENT INVESTOR: THE CASSIC TEXT ON VALUE INVESTING. Benjamin Graham. I have read this one, and I think it is a keeper, but there are a lot of books that aren’t selling as well that I put in the same category as this one. Check it out once you are at the point of wanting to jump into the investing game.
I know a lot of these books are bought every day, some by parents or other family members that are well-meaning (how do you think I got them??), but each of the above list needs to be taken with a grain of salt. There is no one piece of advice that will fit every set of circumstances.
So, have you read any of these books? If so, what do you think about them? Are there some better ones out there that should be showcased but aren’t for some reason? If not these people, who does motivate you when dealing with personal finance?