Knowing how to manage your money is an essential life skill. It’s also an ability that can always be strengthened and improved upon, whether you’re a college student or a retiree. Here we share the best finance books for individuals at all stages of life. Unlike some book lists that focus on one domain — like finance in the business world — our list features books with wide applicability. We’ve also chosen books from a diverse array of voices and backgrounds — because finance is a skill we can all develop and enhance.
How We Picked the Best Books on Finance
To create our list of the best finance books, we started with a list of more than 116 books we gathered from bestseller lists published by The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, industry leader recommendations, and other “best of” lists on the internet.
To narrow the list down to twenty books, we considered overall popularity based on online materials such as reviews and common recommendations. It was important that each book have a broad intended audience and would be useful to most readers.
Additionally, because many popular finance books could technically appear in multiple categories (such as business and leadership) on our website, we’ve done our best to make sure we don’t have duplicate recommendations.
The 20 Best Finance Books
Finance books are a genre of nonfiction. Subgenres of finance books include personal finance, economics, psychology, and business. Many times finance books are motivational and provide readers with tools and exercises to improve their money management skills. Finance books can be helpful for anyone looking to improve how they handle their money, investments, and overall financial decision-making. For those interested in finance books, here are our 20 picks.
”I Will Teach You to Be Rich” by Ramit SethiBuy Now
Our top pick in finance books is the acclaimed “I Will Teach You to Be Rich,” a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller now in its second edition. The book is aimed toward those just beginning their financial journeys, such as college graduates and newlyweds, but there are tips and tricks applicable to all. Sethi lavishes readers with an abundance of easy-to-integrate money management tools. The book also contains motivational stories of how readers of the first edition used its advice to avoid debt and create wealth.
”Your Money or Your Life” by Vicki Robin and Joe DominguezBuy Now
If sustainability is important to you, the holistic money management book “Your Money or Your Life” by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez is a must-read. It contains a nine-step program focused on living more deliberately and meaningfully, with tips like saving the planet while also saving money. Oprah embraced the influential book when it was first published over two decades ago, and it’s still relevant today. The authors have written several other bestselling books, and Robin has won numerous awards for her pioneering work on sustainable living. Dominguez was a Wall Street financial analyst.
“The Automatic Millionaire” by David BachBuy Now
“The Automatic Millionaire” by David Bach upends traditional notions of money management and asserts that you don’t need a budget or large income to get rich. It’s a short, easy read targeted toward middle-class readers without much knowledge or interest in money management. It was first published in 2004, and it spent 31 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list. Author David Bach is also a motivational speaker, entrepreneur, and founder of FinishRich.com.
“The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy” by Thomas Stanley and William DankoBuy Now
A captivating read, “The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy” by Thomas Stanley and William Danko presents data to show the frugal traits most millionaires share. The authors identify seven common traits that show up repeatedly among those who have accumulated wealth. Academic in tone, it’s particularly appealing to people who prefer data-driven advice and enjoy sociological reads. Both authors were marketing professors — Stanley died in 2015 and Danko is retired.
“Broke Millennial” by Erin LowryBuy Now
Written with an audience of 20- and 30-somethings in mind, “Broke Millennial” by Erin Lowry uses real talk and true stories to address tricky money matters and situations. The book provides practical advice on financial matters such as student loan debt, splitting bills with friends, and communicating financial health with new partners. If you like books with a conversational and humorous tone, you’ll enjoy “Broke Millennial,” which was a Washington Post Color of Money Book Club pick.
“The Richest Man in Babylon” by George ClasonBuy Now
If illustrative and entertaining stories appeal to you, “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George Clason is a classic choice in the finance books category. Clason uses parables about the wisdom and wealth of ancient Babylonians to teach readers how to become more prosperous. He shares seven basic principles on saving and investing money, inspired by the wealthy men of Babylon. Clason, who died in 1957, was a soldier, entrepreneur, and writer.
“The Simple Path to Wealth: Your Road Map to Financial Independence and a Rich, Free Life” by JL CollinsBuy Now
In “The Simple Path to Wealth: Your Road Map to Financial Independence and a Rich, Free Life,” author JL Collins strives to lead readers to financial freedom. He does this through straightforward and fatherly financial advice that began as a series of letters to his daughter. The book covers quite a few topics specific to Americans and the American market, but the overall message is still applicable to a wider global audience.
“The Total Money Makeover” by Dave RamseyBuy Now
“The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey is a change-focused book that concentrates on helping readers get out of debt and live a financially healthy life. Ramsey shares his own journey from poor financial management to becoming a national bestselling author, personal finance expert, and host of “The Ramsey Show.” Whether you’re a young adult proactively looking to stay out of debt or a parent in your 40s looking to restore your finances, you’ll find great value in Ramsey’s dynamic story and concrete advice.
“A Random Walk Down Wall Street” by Burton MalkielBuy Now
If you have an interest in the psychology behind investment decisions, check out “A Random Walk Down Wall Street” by Burton Malkiel. This book takes a close look at behavioral finance and also provides strategies for beginning or rearranging your investment portfolio. Malkiel is an economics professor at Princeton University and has written several bestselling books. The tone of the book is instructional and will appeal to readers seeking a better understanding of the stock market and investing.
“The One-Page Financial Plan: A Simple Way to Be Smart About Your Money” by Carl RichardsBuy Now
Simplicity is the hallmark of “The One-Page Financial Plan: A Simple Way to Be Smart About Your Money” by Carl Richards. It’s an excellent choice for those just starting their financial journeys, as it provides a one-page template to help you identify your financial values and goals in a meaningful way. Visual learners will also enjoy the book — it has many helpful illustrations. Richards is a certified financial planner and “Sketch Guy” columnist for The New York Times.
“Clever Girl Finance: Learn How Investing Works, Grow Your Money” by Bola SokunbiBuy Now
Bola Sokunbi’s fresh book “Clever Girl Finance: Learn How Investing Works, Grow Your Money” is written with a female audience in mind. It’s particularly appropriate for younger women just beginning their careers, as it focuses heavily on the basic foundations of personal investing. The book contains real-world stories, practical wisdom, and motivational advice. Sokunbi received the 2021 Financial Education Instructor of the Year Award from the National Council of Financial Educators.
“Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties” by Beth KoblinerBuy Now
“Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties” by Beth Kobliner is an essential tool for young people with a desire to learn money management skills. Written with a simple, sensible, and blunt tone, it’s a New York Times bestseller now in its fourth edition. Kobliner is a journalist who was selected by former President Barack Obama to serve on the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability. Uniquely, she’s also provided money advice on the air to Elmo as a content advisor for Sesame Workshop’s financial education initiative.
“Spend Well, Live Rich: How to Get What You Want with the Money You Have” by Michelle SingletaryBuy Now
No nonsense, practical financial advice is abundant in Michelle Singletary’s “Spend Well, Live Rich: How to Get What You Want with the Money You Have.” She draws on lessons imparted from her hardworking grandmother to give readers seven money mantras, such as “Keep it simple” and “Cash is better than credit.” Although the book contains pearls of wisdom for all ages, it’s most appropriate for those just beginning their financial journeys. Singletary is a syndicated columnist for the Washington Post and has won several journalism awards.
“The Alchemy of Finance” by George SorosBuy Now
If you’re looking for financial wisdom straight from the source, check out “The Alchemy of Finance” by well-known financier and philanthropist George Soros. Soros, the chairman of Soros Fund Management and the founder of the Open Societies Institute, shares the secrets to his success, including detailed descriptions of his trading methods. As Soros’ writing style can be a bit technical and complex in places, it’s best for those with some financial management knowledge.
“The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing” by Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, and Michael LeBoeufBuy Now
Written more like a DIY manual than a book, “The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing” (Second Edition) is for readers who want to play an active role in their financial education. Authors Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, and Michael LeBoeuf share investment wisdom from the late John C. Bogle, who was the founder of The Vanguard Group. The tone is simple, honest, and concise, and will appeal to readers who prefer authors who seem more like friends than lecturers.
“The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner’s Guide to Getting Good with Money” by Chelsea Fagan and Lauren Ver HageBuy Now
Making better choices with money daily is the theme of “The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner’s Guide to Getting Good with Money” by Chelsea Fagan and Lauren Ver Hage. It’s an excellent choice for young adults and was named one of Real Simple magazine’s “Most Inspiring Books for Graduates.” Among the practical tips the authors share: having a budget-friendly kitchen and talking about money with your friends. Both authors are young and relatable creatives who also enjoy blogging, cooking, photography, and design.
“The Investment Answer” by Daniel C. Goldie and Gordon S. MurrayBuy Now
This is a timely book: One of the major topics covered in “The Investment Answer” is how to be confident and make wise choices in an uncertain financial market. The book is authored by financial experts Daniel C. Goldie and Gordon S. Murray, who shares five key decisions every investor must make. The book is just 100 pages, so if you’re looking for more information on the fundamentals of investing in a concise read, it’s an excellent choice.
“The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime” by MJ DeMarcoBuy Now
If you learn well through analogies, you’ll find great value in “The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime” by MJ DeMarco. The book compares investing and money management to driving a car in the fast lane instead of the slow lane. With topics such as the leading cause of poorness, it’s a good read for those looking to make a change in their careers or living situations. DeMarco is an author and entrepreneur who founded the former startup Limos.com.
“The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness” by Morgan HouselBuy Now
Readers with an interest in behavioral finance will appreciate “The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness” by former Wall Street Journal columnist Morgan Housel. Rather than a math-based look at finances, Housel looks at money management and decision-making from a psychological lens. He does this through 19 short stories that explore the various ways people think about money. Anyone interested in both psychology and making money will enjoy this book.
“7 Money Rules for Life: How to Take Control of Your Financial Future” by Mary HuntBuy Now
Mary Hunt’s “7 Money Rules for Life: How to Take Control of Your Financial Future” is a good choice for readers at any stage of their life or income level. Hunt provides seven concrete and timeless tips for money management, including borrowing only what you can repay and anticipating irregular expenses. Readers who prefer simple language, rather than abstract, will find Hunt’s writing style valuable. Hunt is a bestselling author and founder and publisher of Debt-Proof Living.