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I sat down today and reflected on the best wealth building books. I thought about the ones I’ve read that changed my life (no joke), changed my attitude toward money, and helped me earn more.
There are a lot.
Wealth building books have been a really important part of my journey out of the relative poverty I grew up in towards a rich life. So whether you’re trying to get to 100k, 200k, or millions, these books will help you get there.
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- 1. “Think and Grow Rich”
- 2. “The Millionaire Next Door”
- 3. “Rich Dad Poor Dad”
- 4. “The Intelligent Investor”
- 5. “The Richest Man in Babylon”
- 6. “The 4-Hour Workweek”
- 7. “The Automatic Millionaire”
- 8. “The Little Book of Common Sense Investing”
- 9. “You Are A Badass at Making Money”
- 10. “I Will Teach You To Be Rich”
- 11. “The Wealthy Barber”
1. “Think and Grow Rich”
by Napoleon Hill
This remains one of the most quoted wealth-building books of all time. For some reason, everyone swears by it.
So what’s all the fuss about?
For me, this book is important because it was the first to pay attention to money mindset — to the ways that our thoughts interact with our wealth. It’s a little woo woo at times, I never completely agreed with the principles laid out in it that have become known as the “law of attraction.”
But for me, the power of this book is the recognition that our thoughts control our outcomes, and that’s important.
2. “The Millionaire Next Door”
by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko
This book is based on extensive research the authors did into wealthy people, and they realized something. The people who look the wealthiest aren’t necessarily the wealthiest.
We think of wealth as people living in mansions or driving fancy cars. And these authors found that often the wealthiest people are the ones nobody assumes are wealthy.
You could have a millionaire next door!
The lesson is to save, grow your wealth, live within your means, and forget about looking wealthy. It’s better to actually be wealthy.
3. “Rich Dad Poor Dad”
by Robert T. Kiyosaki
This wealth-building book was one of the most important ones for me. I don’t know if the story’s true or not, but it’s powerful.
The author tells his story of growing up in Hawaii, with a “poor dad,” his own dad who was a college professor. And a “rich dad,” a close friend of the family who was an entrepreneur and real-estate investor.
The lessons in the books are powerful, helping you to see how rich people make radically different decisions than poor people do. With lessons like “The rich don’t work for money” and “your home is not an investment,” it will change the way you think about wealth.
4. “The Intelligent Investor”
by Benjamin Graham
Getting into the stock market, let’s talk about Benjamin Graham’s work. By the way, I should preface by saying, I DON’T try to invest in the stock market myself. I personally use low-cost index funds instead.
But if you’re interested in stock market investing, this book is one of the GOATs and the approach is the one Warren Buffet swears by. In fact, Buffet was a student of Graham’s. In this video, he talks about the impact it had on him.
The philosophy of the book is simple: find stocks that are undervalued and invest in them. But doing it in real life is hard — and that’s how Buffet made his millions!
5. “The Richest Man in Babylon”
by George S. Clason
This is an odd little book, and I have no idea how Clason came up with the idea. It’s set in ancient Babylon and follows the wealth principles of a wealthy citizen named Arkad.
It contains famous lessons we all quote today like: “pay yourself first,” and “make your money work for you.”
It’s not fancy, it’s simple wealth building principles that have stood the test of time.
6. “The 4-Hour Workweek”
by Timothy Ferriss
This was the book that spawned the age of people making money online.
I mean, not the only one. There were people making money online before this. But if you look at most current entrepreneurs and ask them which book they recommend, you’ll see “The Four Hour Workweek” up there a lot.
Tim Ferris was a game-changer with this one, explaining how he built a business online while traveling the world. And I’m not sure if ALL of the lessons are still true today (the cost of a lot of things has gone up and internet margins have gone down as more people try to do this). But it’s a powerful lesson in scaling, automating, and outsourcing.
7. “The Automatic Millionaire”
by David Bach
This is a great book about putting your finances on autopilot. He borrows the “pay yourself first” idea too, focusing on funneling part of your money into automated saving and investing before anything else.
Bach notable is ALL IN on homebuying, basically believing that anyone should buy a home ASAP for forced savings.
I don’t really agree with this part… but overall it’s a great book with lots of good lessons.
8. “The Little Book of Common Sense Investing”
by John C. Bogle
This is another stock market book, and the only one anyone really needs (although the ideas show up in other books).
Bogle is the founder of Vanguard, a company based on very simple principles. You can’t time the market. And you don’t need someone to manage your investments for you.
He says to buy and hold low-cost index funds that track the stock market.
9. “You Are A Badass at Making Money”
by Jen Sincero
This is another great money book that’s really fantastic. While some of the books on this list are more nuts and bolts, this book mixes some great practical advice with a ton of good stuff on money blocks and money mindset.
It’s a bit like a modern Napoleon Hill in that sense — and it’s awesome because the mental part of money-making really is a STRUGGLE!
But in addition to all this, the chapter on developing multiple streams of income is really solid.
10. “I Will Teach You To Be Rich”
by Ramit Sethi
This is one of my favorite wealth-building books. Ramit focuses on things like streamlining your finances, investing in low-cost index funds (sound familiar?), earning more, and developing a conscious spending plan (that aligns with you who are and what you love to spend on).
If you want more, Ramit also just created an awesome show on Netflix! My wife and I binged it.
11. “The Wealthy Barber”
by David Chilton
This was one of the first personal finance books I ever read. It’s really solid. It’s sort of like Rich Dad Poor Dad, in the sense that the author and his sister go to a barber and he gives them financial advice — based on the fact that he’s really wealthy as a barber!
I really loved it, and I think there’s something really profound about the concept – that wealth can be built with many unsexy jobs or businesses if you make the right decisions.
If you’re ready to grow, I hope these 11 of the best wealth building books help! They’ve each been important to me at different times in my life and I’ve carried lessons forward from all of them.
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