These days, so many of us get the bulk of our worldview from snippets we read online. We’re more informed than ever, but often lacking in the depth of perspective that comes with long-form writing. That is unless you’re an avid reader of books.
I write articles for a living but sometimes you need a good book to truly understand a philosophy or method. When an author has the space to express their ideas fully you get is a more fully-formed version of their message. As it pertains to personal finance especially, a book is better at delving into complexities and nuance that a 1000-word article can’t even begin to unpack.
Here are some of the best books for those pursuing FI, each with a unique and worthwhile approach to handling your money. Read ahead for the full list.
“The Book on Rental Property Investing” by Brandon Turner
BiggerPockets Podcast co-host and real estate investor Brandon Turner has written the book on real estate investing . Literally. In this 341-page guide, Turner explains how to evaluate real estate properties, how to calculate the ROI on each purchase and the pros and cons of each type of home.
Passive income is a key focus for FI. So this is the handbook on how to build your own real estate empire. As an owner of over 40 rental units, Turner knows the ins and outs of the business as well as anyone. His writing is clear and informative.
Even if you already own a few properties yourself, consider getting this book to learn how you can maximize the value you’re getting from each investment.
“The Little Book of Common Sense Investing” by John C. Bogle
Founder of Vanguard and creator of the index fund, Bogle has been frequently named one of the most important investors of all time. In this book, he shows why investing in single stocks and mutual funds isn’t a good bet for the long-term.
Bogle’s philosophy about picking low-cost index funds correlates with Vanguard’s mission, but the book isn’t a marketing ploy. It’s just an attempt to show investors how to increase their investment earnings without risking their portfolio.
Even if you’re already investing with Vanguard, this book can explain exactly why index funds are the place to stash your retirement funds.
“You are a Badass at Making Money” by Jen Sincero
Sincero’s book is part memoir, part self-help book. She deals with deeper questions that everyone has about money, including one of the most important–how to make a living doing something you love without sacrificing your principles .
Sincero’s prose is directed at everyone who’s struggled to make, keep, and grow their money. She also addresses the psychological barriers that prohibit financial success. There’s a lot of “woo” in this book, but you’ll also find hard truths that might challenge how you feel about asking for more money.
“Your Money or Your Life” by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez
Published in 1992, this book is one of the first to espouse the virtues of living below your means in order to retire early . The two authors describe how to cut back on mindless spending. They also address how reckless consumerism threatens both our society and environment. It’s both a micro and macro view of the philosophy that would eventually become FIRE.
Be sure to pick the 2018-revised edition of the book. (The original has sections about investing in government bonds with 12% yields.) Still, the book is full of helpful nuggets about living a well-rounded life while also paying attention to your finances.
“Side Hustle” by Chris Guillebeau
Sometimes the best way to achieve financial independence is to plug away at your desk job. Then you can save 50% of what you earn and invest it in low-fee funds. But if you have a low-paying job or high fixed expenses, you may need another boost. Enter the side hustle .
Guillebeau’s book isn’t about driving for Uber or delivering food for Postmates. It’s about taking a unique business idea and making it a reality–all in 27 days. His timeline may be too compressed for some, but the passion behind it will probably motivate your inner hustler.
“The Opposite of Spoiled” by Ron Lieber
They say that every parent is a child’s first teacher. So isn’t it also true that every parent is a child’s first financial planner? In this book, New York Times columnist Ron Lieber explains how parents can raise kids who are money-conscious and well-adjusted .
He discusses all the aspects of money and child-rearing. Including topics such as how to handle an allowance or whether or not to pay for chores. He also tackles the question of whether a parent should buy a car. And takes a look at parents paying for a child’s entire college education.
“Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes” by Gary Belsky and Thomas Gilovich
Most of us know the secret to becoming wealthy and retiring at an early age. Earn as much as you can, save half of what you make and invest aggressively.
But every person has inherent biases that can transform even the most logical investor into an irrational consumer. This book counters the most common behavioral mistakes that cause people to lose money , creating a pathway for a more rational approach to investing.
Even if you always stay the course when the market tanks, this book could explain the unconscious behaviors that cause you to lose money.
Happy reading and let us know which FIRE book is your favorite!
- The Best New FI-Friendly Financial Books
- Books To Kick Start Your Side Hustle
- How To Get Books For Free (Or Crazy Cheap)