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11 books for getting smarter about money

By Kobo • October 10, 2020The Bookish Life

Money. Finances. Investing. Just reading the words can drive your heartrate up and spike your blood pressure. It doesn’t have to be that way.

There are simple, easily understood concepts underlying how money works, and how you can make your money work better for you.

Finding the right source for financial wisdom can turn into a whole new stressor on its own, and nobody has time to waste on get-rich-quick nonsense or to listen to a tired lecture on cutting down on lattes. That’s why we’ve pulled together this list of eBooks and audiobooks to help you understand how finance works, what you can do about your own situation, how your brain naturally thinks about money, and opportunities to go deeper and make your money work harder.

This is your brain on money

Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez

This updated classic book aims to help people change their relationship to money to reduce stress and produce better financial outcomes. And because few of us save or spend alone, the most helpful part of this book may be how it helps the reader connect financial literacy with techniques for having tough conversations about money.

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The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel

In The Psychology of Money, award-winning author Morgan Housel shares 19 short stories exploring the strange ways people think about money and teaches you how to make better sense of one of life’s most important topics.

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I Don’t Want to Die Poor by Michael Arceneaux

Essayist Michael Arceneaux gets up close with actual “economic anxiety” and reveals the extent to which it has an impact on every facet of his life — how he dates; how he seeks medical care (or in some cases, is unable to); how he wrestles with the question of whether or not he should have chosen a more financially secure path; and finally, how he has dealt with his “dream” turning into an ongoing nightmare as he realizes one bad decision could unravel all that he’s earned.

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Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

The #1 personal finance book of all time still has lessons, 20+ years after it was first published. Kiyosaki offers a sympathetic view of how most of us are raised to think about money, and builds a bridge to how to think about money differently, with less stress and more curiosity.

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Sorting out your situation

Living Debt-Free by Shannon Lee Simmons

From the founder of the New School of Finance, this book shows you that it is possible to have a life and pay down debt at the same time. In fact, Simmons argues, that’s the only way your debt plan will work. By learning to take control of your finances and pay down your debt in a realistic way you’ll stay motivated long enough to see it through to the end. No shame. No blame. No scare tactics.

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The 21-Day Financial Fast by Michelle Singletary

Washington Post columnist Michelle Singletary proposes a field-tested financial challenge. For twenty-one days, participants will put away their credit cards and buy only the barest essentials. Her goal for every reader: financial peace and prosperity.

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The Wealthy Renter by Alex Avery

With house prices soaring, a renter can’t help wondering, “Am I missing something by not wanting to take out a mortgage of half a million dollars (or more!)?” Alex Avery lays out a path to personal wealth that doesn’t require taking on the burden of home ownership (and the seldom-mentioned risk that interest rates might not always be near-zero), and challenges the fundamental assumption of home ownership as an optimal wealth-building strategy.

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Wealthing like Rabbits by Robert R. Brown

Covering subjects ranging from retirement savings and mortgages to credit cards and debt -- interspersed generously with jokes -- this book will arm you with simple strategies to help you balance your life goals with your financial responsibilities.

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Time-tested investment advice that'll work for you

Millionaire Teacher by Andrew Hallam

Sometimes all we need is a good teacher to tell us what we don’t need to know. Following a handful of basic principles, a former school teacher shows how you can spend just an hour per year on your investments, never think about the stock market's direction — and still beat most professional investors.

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The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham and Jason Zweig

The grandfather of all investing books -- updated! While preserving the integrity of original, this revised edition includes updated commentary by noted financial journalist Jason Zweig, whose perspective incorporates the realities of today’s market and gives readers a more thorough understanding of how to apply Graham’s principles.

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A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton G. Malkiel

In this 12th edition of Burton G. Malkiel’s investment classic, readers gain authoritative insights spanning the full range of investment opportunities — including valuable new material on cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, and “tax-loss harvesting” — to help you chart a calm course through the turbulent waters of today’s (and tomorrow’s!) financial markets.

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