I wrote a very similar article back in 2020 with a list of five books I thought everyone should read. I stand by each and every book I chose for that list, but with so many new personal finance books coming out each week–and my tendency to discover some books a few years after they’re released–I thought it was time to add some of my newer favorites. All of the books I am recommending are on my shelf, and I was so excited about them that I brought the authors onto my podcast to talk about them.
1. STACKED: Your Super Serious Guide to Modern Money Management
By Joe Saul-Sehy and Emily Guy-Birken
No matter how much we try not to and how many resources we publish on finance topics, we’re still leaving people behind. This book is trying to change that. And coming from podcasting legend Joe Saul-Sehy of Stacking Benjamins and best-selling author Emily Guy-Birken, this book is an automatic winner. I had the pleasure of talking to Joe about this book on my podcast, which I hope you’ll check out.
The reason I recommend this book is because it does something that very few other books have done: it makes finance funny and approachable. Without a formal education in personal finance offered by schools, we’re on our own to learn about money and it can be daunting. Books like STACKED take the stress out of it and make it something you can dip your toe into before diving headfirst.
My favorite part (and, as mine was published first, I take credit for being the inspiration) is that in the same way I end each chapter of my book, Don’t Retire.. Graduate!, with an extra credit assignment, this book ends each chapter with a checklist of achievements you can cross off to get your merit badge.
2. Save Your Retirement! (From Mass Destruction by the 7 Retirement Villains)
By Patrick Strubbe
This is probably the most unique personal finance book I have ever come across. It is X-Men meets money in the best way. I was able to talk to Patrick Strubbe about his book as well, and it is one of my favorite podcast episodes to date.
I recommend this book because it takes seven very important but often misunderstood or ignored financial concepts and illustrates them (literally) as comic book villains looking to thwart your financial plan. It is fun and different and shares a lot of my same ideologies (though that isn’t why I recommend it). This is a great book for adults further along in their financial journey who want to protect their retirement.
3. Simple Wealth: The Practical Guide to Transform Your Relationship with Money and Live in Abundance
By Holly Morphew
I often talk about “Financial Advisor” being a title that anyone can give themselves. It is the reason I stress the importance of the fiduciary standard and why my team decided to require all of our advisors to be CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioners and uphold the strict code of ethics that accompanies the designation.
The same can be said about financial coaches.
I recommend Holly’s book for a few reasons. First, because she took the extra step to become an Accredited Financial Counselor® and therefore I know she is upheld to a similar code of ethics to mine.
Secondly, I know her story and I know that authenticity is a value that she holds near to her heart. This book is authentic in every sense. She talks about her own struggles with money (some of which she shared with me on the podcast), how she buried herself in and then dug herself out of massive credit card debt, and also talks about something that I often talk about myself: things that are more important than money. Her book explores mindsets and core values and gratitude and giving, not just saving money and paying off debt.
4. Passive Income, Aggressive Retirement: The Secret to Freedom, Flexibility, and Financial Independence (& How to Get Started!)
By Rachel Richards
Rachel Richards is one of the most exceptional human beings I have met in a long time. Without a trust fund or a six-figure salary, she managed to retire very comfortably at age 27. And she’s retired in the new and improved definition of the word because she is financially independent but still productive, active and helping others duplicate her success.
I recommend this book to anyone who wants to create a passive income stream but isn’t sure where to start. Rachel outlines multiple ways that you can create your own passive income streams that may be easier and less daunting than you may have believed.
She was a fantastic podcast guest and even gave me some tips on duplicating her success as a best-selling author.
5. Don’t Retire… Graduate!: Building a Path to Financial Freedom and Retirement at Any Age
By Eric Brotman
You know me well enough by now to expect me to squeeze my own book in here. But I’m not doing it for the reasons you may expect. I have no intention of retiring on the royalties of book sales. In fact, if I ever earn enough in royalties to cover the cost of publishing the book, I will be more than content.
I include my book because I truly believe it is one of the most powerful tools on the market. Especially for readers in their 20s who are just starting out, this book can guide you through all the steps that I would take with a client during a lifelong advisory relationship.
It has steps and worksheets for getting out of debt, creating a budget, calculating your net worth, making sure you’re properly insured, creating a living will, structuring your portfolio, and everything else you need to do to be on track for retirement. It may seem counterintuitive to publish this because for $16 you can do for yourself what our advisors are paid to do for our clients. But I know that not everyone is in the position to hire a financial advisor and want the necessary tools to be available to those individuals.
So, hopefully you will forgive the self-promotion and check out my book as well.