Over the years I’ve read a lot of books related to wealth, investing, and finances. Every author has a different way of looking at wealth. The question I had when I started started reading was “How do you become wealthy?” I noticed that most books share the author’s definition of what it means to be wealthy. Based on this definition, they explain what you can do to become wealthy. As you read more books about wealth and finances you will notice the variety of different ways the authors define wealth, and depending on your life goals wealth can look different to you.
The truth is no single way of looking at money will tell you how to become wealthy. You will have to take small pieces of information from each book and form your own idea of what you consider to be wealthy and how you can get to that point. I have no doubt you will read other blogs, visit other financial websites, and watch videos on YouTube to get different opinions. More knowledge will help you define for yourself what you really want. With that in mind, I have compiled the most influential books that have shaped my views.
Here are the books I would recommend. These books are not in order, you can pick and choose if you like, as some of these books are related to management, small business, and lifestyle.
The Millionaire Next Door
One of the most influential books I have read is The Millionaire Next Door. I read the book on a whim, and it helped me realize my long term financial goals. When we are young, we don’t really think about what we are going to be doing in the future. This book talks about long term financial stability. It explains how average people can become a millionaires.
It’s not really a secret, because it’s what we already know: living below your means can make you wealthy. However, a lot of people have trouble seeing the big picture. How can saving a few hundred dollars a month make you a millionaire? This book explains it all with statistics, insights, and many real world examples that you can relate to. The book also talks about how wealthy people spend their money, and what you can do to spend your money wisely. It also covers the differences between being wealthy and rich.
After reading this I started to think about my spending habits, my goals, and how I could become wealthy. For me, I had already started some of the spending reduction and had been working on basic investing when I started my first software job out of college, but the idea that I could one day become wealthy, even if I didn’t start my own company or become famous was a great motivator.
With all that said, I highly recommend this book to everyone who thinks that becoming wealthy is impossible for them and their situation. I can assure you, the book has many examples of ordinary people who, through perseverance, were able to attain wealth.
Think and Grow Rich
When I was reading this book I was thinking about writing this blog, and about what I’d like to do in the future. I’ve always wanted to start a business. In fact I started one once before, but it failed. I also want to build a piece of software that I’d sell. These are the kinds of goals that this book is great at helping with.
This book is great at motivation. I find that the examples and what it teaches are great ways to keep yourself motivated an focused on the end goals. Normally, with a goal set in mind, it’s much easier to get things done and to actually follow through.
How to Win Friends & Influence People
I’m very much an introvert. This book is great for people like me. I’ve had a hard time with making meaningful conversations and relationships with people who don’t like the same things as I do. This book really explains what kinds of phenomena I have seen in life but in a way that is digestible and easy to understand.
I’d recommend this book for anyone who is like me who need a little bit of help with how to manage people. This book is also great handbook for how to be a better manager. It explains in lots of detail how people get motivation and what you can do to motivate others.
Okay, I know … depending on who you are you may love or hate this book. You may already have your own opinion on it. It’s a work of fiction and it’s incredibly long. Don’t want to read 1,200 pages? Well, don’t watch the movies. I promise the book is a million times better. This book isn’t about how to become wealthy, but it is a good book to help you get out of the mindset that someone else owes you something. I personally believe that’s a good starting point if you want to become wealthy. You will have to earn your wealth. While objectivism (the philosophy of the author, Ayn Rand) is, in my opinion, not the definitive philosophy it does have many positive qualities. The book argues for reason as the basis of it’s philosophy and goes through many examples and explanations about the philosophy of objectivism.
Most of this is philosophy and it may be hard to read such a dense book. However, if you enjoy reading and want to see an alternative take on the world, this book is a good way to get it. There are a lot of interesting tidbits throughout.