We may have turned the corner into August, but there’s still plenty of time to add books to your summer reading list. You may have one more trip to the beach planned and are looking for an informational read. Or, you could just want to enrich your days at home with a good book. Either way, take a cue from our group of professionals on some must-reads.
We asked our CIA team which books about investments, business, lifestyle, leadership and, of course, finance, make up their all-time favorites. Of course, You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think is on everyone’s list, but we wanted them to push beyond the obvious.
Their answers span a wealth of writings – from renowned philosophical investment writings to new biographies on great leaders. Our professionals provide suggestions for every taste and curiosity.
Take a look at their list and see which ones you’ve already read, or that you want to dig into. Whether by surf and sand or in the comfort of your living room, you won’t be disappointed.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert T. Kiyosaki
Although more than two decades old, this book is just as relevant today as it was when first published. Written as a series of parables, Kiyoasaki says that schools don’t do a good job of teaching kids about money, so parents should. He touts the power of financial literacy, financial education and financial independence. Kiyoasaki focuses on building wealth through investing in assets and real estate and starting and owning businesses.
“I read this book in a college class and it helped me wrap my mind around the concept of making your money work for you,” says Mallory. “It changed my mindset from not just spend versus save but spend versus grow. It was a really impactful jumping-off point for me.”
The Richest Man in Babylon, George Samuel Clason
Written in 1926, this book also uses parables to deliver its points, although these are set 4,000 years ago in Babylon. It’s regarded as a classic in the realm of personal financial advice. It includes chapters entitled “Start Thy Purse to Fatten,” “Make Of Thy Dwelling A Profitable Investment,” and “Insure a Future Income.” The final chapters include a poignant piece of wisdom that survives the ages: If You Make Wise Decisions Your Money Will Be Protected.”
“This is one of my all-time favorite books,” says Taj. “It’s a short read but contains core, simple concepts that anyone can follow, such as paying yourself first before anyone else and sticking to saving a certain percentage of your income. I 1000% recommend the book. It is even great for younger adults with an entrepreneurial spirit!”
Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, and Priorities of a Winning Life, Tony Dungy
Dungy is best known for his career as an NFL football player and, later, as a coach. He was the first black coach to lead his team to a Superbowl victory. But that’s not what Coach Dungy focuses on in his New York Times best-selling memoir. Instead, he tells his story of a life lived for God and family. His reflections and stories challenge readers to rethink and redefine set ideas about what success really means.
“This is a great book on leadership and balance in life,” says Dan. “Not only is Dungy a Superbowl winning coach, he’s also an amazing leader outside of football. He is measured and doesn’t curse or yell. It’s truly admirable to see someone lead and earn the respect from his peers with his nature.”
Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert T. Kiyosaki
Cashflow Quadrant, Robert T. Kiyosaki
Set for Life: Dominate Life, Money, and the American Dream, Scott Trench
Brynne agrees with Mallory that Rich Dad, Poor Dad is an inspiring read. She also adds Kiyosaki’s second book to her must-read list.
Cashflow Quadrant is an informational read designed to teach people how to move beyond job security and begin to find their own world of financial freedom. Its lessons include how to make significant changes in your life smartly and how to take the reins on your financial future.
Brynne chose Trench’s piece, Set for Life, because she and her husband are gearing up for their second purchase of a piece of real property. Trench outlines steps on how to accumulate a lifetime of wealth in a short time. His take is that this accomplishment involves working harder and smarter than the average person. The ultimate goal? Financial freedom.
The Magic of Thinking Big, David J. Schwartz
Dr. David J. Schwartz has long been regarded as an expert that works at the forefront of motivation. In his book, the goal is to help you find greater happiness and peace of mind. Schwartz lays out the path to help you achieve this “life success.” Some of his suggestions include getting rid of the fear of failure, making your attitudes your allies and thinking like a leader.
“While written in the late 1950s, this piece still makes sense in today’s world,” says Adria. “This great book is about how being positive and believing in yourself will bring you success.
The Laws of Wealth, Dr. Daniel Crosby
James chose this book for its wisdom on behavioral investing. Dr. Daniel Crosby is a psychologist and behavioral finance professional. His detailed and explicit explanation of the topic of behavioral investing is a must-read. Dr. Crosby outlines principles for managing your behavior and your investing process by using ten rules of good investor behavior, including “Forecasting is for Weathermen” and “If You’re Excited, It’s Probably a Bad Idea.”
Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World, Liaquat Ahamed
Curt originally picked up this book because it was a recommended read from Ben Bernanke. In Lords of Finance, the Great Depression, as it is commonly conceptualized, is debunked. Instead of beginning in 1929 from a tornado of events beyond any one person’s or government’s control, Ahamed reveals that the decisions made by a small number of central bankers were at the root of that economic meltdown. He explains how the Great Depression’s effects set the stage for World War II and reverberated for decades to come.
The Intelligent Investor, Benjamin Graham
Tom’s preferred version of this classic is the new edition, with an analysis at the end of each chapter by Jason Zweig, a noted financial journalist. Benjamin Graham is an investment philosophy legend who also happens to be Warren Buffett’s mentor. If that’s not enough to encourage you to give The Intelligent Investor a read, go to any investment professional and they’ll likely tell you that this is the most influential book you can read on how to reach your financial goals.
Liar’s Poker, Michael Lewis
Den of Thieves, James B. Stewart
Kristin’s recommended reads are purely for pleasure. She says, “I love reading about the scandalous things that happened in Wall Street history. To that end, these are my two favorites.”
Liar’s Poker is an insider’s account of life as a bond salesman on Wall Street during the late 1980s. Those interested in financial history will also enjoy, Den of Thieves, which tells the story of crime, big business, and the insider-trading scandal that nearly destroyed Wall Street in the United States during the 1980s.
Book of Proverbs
While not specifically tied to investing, there’s so much wisdom and power in the Book of Proverbs. Some of us have many memorized. Joel chose this inspired collection because of the simple, honest, and humbling writings contained in each proverb. Proverbs raises questions of values, moral behavior, the meaning of human life, and righteous conduct. The Book retains an ongoing relevance for both religious and secular readers in its worldliness.
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