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chriskra

Finance Books: Where to Start?

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I am in my late 20's, but financially am very immature. I am looking for a place to start, something that will give me a good knowledge base while also giving me a good starting point for starting my new financially sound life. I have narrowed my selection down to 3 books, but was wondering if anybody has read them and found them effective or not?

The books are:

Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

The Money Book for the Young, Fabolous, and Broke by Suze Orman

I Will Teach You to be Rich by Ramit Sethi

Any and all advice is appreciated!

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I Will Teach You to Be Rich is one of the best book's I've ever read. I read it, then reread it with a highlighter and a pen to underline, then reread it and put post-it notes in it. I haven't gotten to the last few steps but it has been a huge help to me and helped me set up a lot of valuable accounts. I've gotten out of a few accidentals overdrafts as well, which basically pays for the book itself. I haven't read the other two, but IWTYTBR is one of the easiest reads in terms of finance. Ramit Sethi even has a website, an email list, and a facebook where he's always providing a ton of interesting and informative articles and videos.

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I Will Teach You To Be Rich has been recommended to me many times. I will be picking it up for myself in the new year but based on what I've heard about it I would say go for it!

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The best book that I read when I was your age (oh, so long ago) was called Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance for Your Twenties and Thirties by Beth Kobliner. I read the first edition of her 2000 book. The one I linked is the updated 2009 edition. I was able to make a lot of plans from the information in this book, and I HIGHLY recommend it.

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I was a CFP and Personal FInanace Coach for years (I used to teach an intro to personal finance series of classes for people like you) and I recommend David Bach's books (http://www.finishrich.com/).  He will give you a good, easy foundation to follow.  I recommend staying away from the Rich Dad series unless you are looking to learn about marketing.  The author admitted he committed fraud and that he would not have been able to get his results without having done it.  Not exactly a good financial model to follow.

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Save money and don't buy books. :P

 

Honestly though, there are a ton of resources out there that are free including a ton of personal finance blogs. I will teach you to be rich has a website with a ton of info on it.  I read his blog before his book came out and I can't imagine much more being in the book.

 

These are the blogs I read daily:

http://www.budgetsaresexy.com/

http://www.thesimpledollar.com/

http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/

 

I actually just started my own too...

http://www.productivemoney.com/

 

Of course, if you're set on books you can probably get them free at the local library too...

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I read Ramit Sethi's book and really enjoyed it.  It gives clear simple steps to start yourself moving toward financial success.  He breaks down the things that matter for beginners, and which things are more useful for the higher-level financial wizards.  It's definitely a "for beginners" book, and is exactly what my wife and I needed.  Kindle edition is even cheaper.

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The Total Money Makeover is the best first book IMO.  It gives you a broad view of personal finance.  I dont agree with the religious extras, but they are easy to overlook if you not into them.  It sets up steps to take if your in debt or just starting out.  It completely changed the way I see finances.  I'd even say it changed my life.  But on the topic of money....go see if your local library has all the books and read em all!

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Save money and don't buy books. :tongue:

 

Honestly though, there are a ton of resources out there that are free including a ton of personal finance blogs. I will teach you to be rich has a website with a ton of info on it.  I read his blog before his book came out and I can't imagine much more being in the book.

 

These are the blogs I read daily:

http://studenomics.com -- but to be fair, I have guest posted on BAS :P

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Lots of good books here.

Except Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I remember reading that in my twenties and getting quite excited about investing. What I understand now though is that investing is the level 10, just looking after money in the first place is the level 1. It can be an eye opening read but "speculate to accumulate" isn't going to set you up with safety and security.

My personal recommendation for a young twenty something who is enjoying their wages and not really getting anywhere (or maybe overspending on the fun stuff while the future looks bright) is The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape.

On his website he runs a couple of paid membership online communities (much like Nerd Fitness only for those trying to get out of debt or learn to invest)

Don't join those yet, but his original book - which is aimed at twentysomethings - is well worth the read. He is Australian, and my copy of the book has been adapted to the UK. I'm not sure if there is a US version, but it wouldn't matter, the advice is still good, clear and simple and will set you up with some basic tools for a secure financial future.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

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I'm a little late to the party, but wanted to recommend a blog MrMoneyMoustache  and a book, Your Money or Your Life (updated version, not the 80's one!). I've followed MMM for awhile and just got YMOYL a few days ago and have chewed through about 80% of it. I'll read through once and then go back and do the steps, though, I've already started with the 'write down every penny that comes in and goes out. Every.Day'. Good luck! 

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As for Dave Ramsey, I'm not a fan at all. In my opinion, a hack who leveraged churches as a growth tactic, and someone whose advice does not merit his success or notoriety.
Suze Orman I would imagine has some solid advice, though that's based on watching her show a handful of times. Personal opinion, she's annoying but right.
Ramit Sethi's stuff is excellent because it's based far more in human psychology than any other personal finance author I've read. His blog by the same name is excellent, I've been subscribed for years, so I assume the book is probably pretty good. 

 

In addition, I would echo the Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki suggestion for beginners, since it explains things very simply (though it does over-simplify many things) because it was essentially written for average highschool students.

To add a suggestion of my own, if you're interested in learning some about the markets, start with The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham, it's essentially the mainstream and simplified version of his book Security Analysis, which Warren Buffet has based his entire investment strategy on since the beginning.

 

Also, when you're done with all that reading, if you don't find yourself hooked enough to want to fully manage everything by yourself, check out WealthFront (https://www.wealthfront.com/) - excellent start-up for those not incredibly into managing their money but still want to be financially sound. 

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For someone beginning, the single best bit of advice is make a realistic budget, then follow it, it will be tough at first, and need many changes and tweaks as you go along, but it is the single best thing you can do. Second is don't spend more than you make.

 

If you do those two things, you will be a whole lot less likely to get into financial trouble. Dave Ramsey's stuff is really the best at those two steps. He is very very anti debt though, if you can't deal with that, should probably look elsewhere. His stuff for once you are out of debt, and investing isn't as good or detailed as his stuff for getting out of debt and budgeting.

 

Suze Orman has not been entirely consistent, but often gives solid advice, just not always with the practical means to help you follow that advice.

 

Personally, I think Robert Kiyosaki is a hack, who makes money by selling books that are fictional and doing seminars, where in one seminar they upsell the next seminar you should pay to attend, where they in turn upsell and even larger and more expensive seminar. The "Rich Dad" mentioned in his books is not a real person, and the books themselves are not terribly helpful nor practical. That and his bankruptcies keep me from recommending his stuff.

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The best book that I read when I was your age (oh, so long ago) was called Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance for Your Twenties and Thirties by Beth Kobliner. I read the first edition of her 2000 book. The one I linked is the updated 2009 edition. I was able to make a lot of plans from the information in this book, and I HIGHLY recommend it.

I actually want to second this one - I picked up a copy of the new edition back in 2011 from my local library -- fantastic, easy-to-understand book for people starting out with personal finance.  

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I'm a little late to the party, but wanted to recommend a blog MrMoneyMoustache  and a book, Your Money or Your Life (updated version, not the 80's one!). I've followed MMM for awhile and just got YMOYL a few days ago and have chewed through about 80% of it. I'll read through once and then go back and do the steps, though, I've already started with the 'write down every penny that comes in and goes out. Every.Day'. Good luck! 

 

MrMoneyMustache is a great website.  

Some aspects of it are a little intense for my taste ... but there are some great points about utilizing money to buy your freedom, using your body to get around (running / biking) and the lessons about not being a mindless consumer.

 

Personally, some of the the changes I made after visiting that site and thinking about my own liftstyle:

- Went from two cars to one car

- Purchased a bike to take to work for the warmer parts of the year

- Using the library to pick up books instead of paying $7 / book on my kindle

- Dropped cable for Netflix and Center Ice (Center Ice is not really mustachian...but I love me some hockey)

- Started bringing lunch to work 4 days a week

 

The site / forum is mostly populated by higher income earners which can be a source of conflict between posters.  But I believe there are some great lessons for everyone there!

A good site for those interested in purely investing is canadiancouchpotato (For the canadians of course!).  It has model portfolios for lazy investors.  

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mrmoneymustache.com has decent ideas for people looking to trim bills but my biggest problem with the site is the core of his mantra is: "Save to get rich."

Unfortunately no on ever becomes rich by saving, you get rich by investing, producing or sheer luck.  If I recall, mr money musache had recurring revenue through some rental properties and stocks? He didn't get rich through saving, he's realizing an income stream through long term assets (assets which in the past decade have been -extremely- voltile).  Too many places chant "debt bad" when smart debt and properly utilized leverage can be a valuable financial tool. 

That's not to say saving money is bad, but people sometimes save too much and the purchasing power is eaten away by inflation. 
 

Finances are a lot like health.  Sure you could spend your entire life eating kale paste and drinking lemon water, but it would be an unpleasant proposition for many people.  Just like you could get through life free cycling sandals from the dump and driving a car with a milk crate for a seat but many would question how you're enjoying the life journy.

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I disagree that his mantra is save to get rich.  It is save to buy your freedom (Early Retirement).  

 

I agree with some of the postings and not others...but I read them like any other internet blog and take away anything I personally find valuable and disregard the rest.   

 

Yes his site promotes a high level of saving, but it is all based on those savings being investing in low interest index ETF's (provided through vanguard, ishares, etc) which provide the average return of the market with minimal expenses to the investor. I'm not sure if you missed the parts that refer to what to do with the excess savings? Letting high levels of saving rot away in a "high interest" savings account is a terrible idea and certainly not a way to generate wealth.  Real estate is also discussed but so are the associated risks of making this a large part of your portfolio.

 

At the end of the day the investment advice is fairly similar to what you see with guys like William Bernstein (Bogleheads)... don't waste money on high priced financial planners and don't let people sell you financial instruments that don't make any sense. Educate yourself and learn that a simple portfolio isn't necessarily an unsuccessful one. 

 

I just found it made me reevaluate how I do the little things and made me change in a better way...much like NF and some of the great things posted here. I like to suggest it as a supplemental site to some of the other great resources regarding finances that people have listed here as it is a bit different.

 

 

 

mrmoneymustache.com has decent ideas for people looking to trim bills but my biggest problem with the site is the core of his mantra is: "Save to get rich."

Unfortunately no on ever becomes rich by saving, you get rich by investing, producing or sheer luck.  If I recall, mr money musache had recurring revenue through some rental properties and stocks? He didn't get rich through saving, he's realizing an income stream through long term assets (assets which in the past decade have been -extremely- voltile).  Too many places chant "debt bad" when smart debt and properly utilized leverage can be a valuable financial tool. 

That's not to say saving money is bad, but people sometimes save too much and the purchasing power is eaten away by inflation. 
 

Finances are a lot like health.  Sure you could spend your entire life eating kale paste and drinking lemon water, but it would be an unpleasant proposition for many people.  Just like you could get through life free cycling sandals from the dump and driving a car with a milk crate for a seat but many would question how you're enjoying the life journy.

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Necro!

 

I am in my late 20's, but financially am very immature.

 

I doubt that.  The sentence is self-contradicting.  When you wrote this, you were in your late 20's and thinking about your finances.  There is nothing immature about that.  Perhaps you meant you do not know much about finances and therefore you are looking for a book to start getting informed.

 

Nobody mentioned The Motley Fool.  :(  The book I have on my shelf is titled, "You have More than you Think."

 

I was in my late 20's when I started life on my own in a new State.  Within a couple of weeks after getting my apartment settled, I went looking at the bookstore for something to read up.  One book I read was The Motley Fool - and reading that gave me the confidence I needed to go out and make my own decisions.

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