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Topic: Recommended Personal Finance Books?
Message: Posted by: Danny Diamond (Feb 17, 2007 05:54PM)
Anyone have any personal finance books that they can recommend to me? I have heard some good reviews about "Rich Dad, Poor Dad", so I am picking that one up soon. I also have "Everything you Need to Know about Personal Finance in your 30's" and "The Millionaire Mind". So, does anyone have any other books that they felt were particularly influential to them as far as personal finance goes?
Message: Posted by: balducci (Feb 17, 2007 06:05PM)
Thomas Stanley, PhD, has written some books on personal finance. Go to your local shop and browse the shelves. His book "The Millionaire Mind" is highly recommended (I own a copy, just haven't read it yet).

I quickly entered this thread hoping to preemptively warn you off of "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" before anyone suggested it to you, but I see I am too late.

The author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a snake oil salesman.

The thing is, though, a bunch of Christian groups recommend Rich Dad, Poor Dad because they have been deluded into believing that the author is a good Christian (I think the author markets himself that way on talk shows and the like), so his book "must" automatically be good. I believe nothing could be further from the truth. Here is an analysis of Rich Dad, Poor Dad:

http://www.johntreed.com/Kiyosaki.html

[And you'll probably learn more for free from John Reed's page http://www.johntreed.com than you will from RDPD.]

Incidentally, a fellow by the name of Casey Serin is a disciple / student of RDPD's author. Look how well it is working out for him:

http://iamfacingforeclosure.com/
Message: Posted by: Danny Diamond (Feb 17, 2007 06:43PM)
Thanks for the response Balducci. As I said, I have the "Millionaire Mind" book. I enjoyed that one and should probably re-read it, since it's been probably 4 years since I've read it.

I am well aware of the mixed reviews that "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" has received. It seems that some people detested his way of thinking, while other thought it was an enjoayable read and provided a nicely illustrated contrast in thinking about the issue of personal finance. I don't plan on automatically subscribing to the ideas preached in RDPD, but I believe that it's beneficial to research many different opinions on a subject and then coming up with your own system/beliefs.
Message: Posted by: balducci (Feb 17, 2007 07:06PM)
So long as you're cautious going into RDPD, I guess you'll be okay. Personally, I just hate giving my hard earned money to someone recycling old news and truisms for profit, and marketing oneself falsely, as I believe RDPD's author is doing.

Sorry I missed your earlier mention of The Millionaire Mind. I saw your mention of RDPD first, and that set off alarms which temporarily affected my reading comprehension.
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Feb 17, 2007 07:42PM)
A lot depends what your goals are, how experienced you are, how much effort you want to put into managing your money, etc. The Motley Fool books are good...their starter book is probably "The Motley Fool Investment Guide" If it's alphabetical by author, it's under G for Gardner. Peter Lynch's books "One Up on Wall Street" and "Beating the Street" are very good. Benjamin Graham's The Intelligent Investor is a classic that is old, but not outdated. John Neff on Investing is also good. Good websites to learn from include http://www.morningstar.com and http://www.fool.com
Message: Posted by: Danny Diamond (Feb 17, 2007 09:23PM)
[quote]
On 2007-02-17 20:06, balducci wrote:
I just hate giving my hard earned money to someone recycling old news and truisms for profit, and marketing oneself falsely, as I believe RDPD's author is doing.
[/quote]

No worries, I am not buying it. I have it reserved at my local library - that's where I'll be "picking it up" from. If my interest is in financial well-being, then borrowing from my library as opposed to buying, seems like a good start!
Message: Posted by: ViciousCycle (Feb 17, 2007 09:53PM)
Your Money or Your Life is a nice book that puts the "personal" back into personal finance. The book reminds us that money is our stored up life energy, and so being mindful about our money is not just about dollars and cents, it's about how we choose to live our lives. The book has stayed in print for many years now, so it should be easy to get a copy from your library.
Message: Posted by: balducci (Feb 18, 2007 02:25PM)
Another link on John Treed's website summarises the financial lowlights of various (real-estate) authors:

http://www.johntreed.com/bestseller.html

Incidentally, although it is not a finance book per se, a somewhat related book on the topic of personal success (not just financial success) is "The 48 Laws of Power" by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers:

http://www.48lawsofpower.net/

http://www.powerseductionandwar.com/

The 48 Laws of Power runs through 48 principles one should live by for power and success, and illustrates with references to various historical figures what happens when you do or do not follow the rules. I found the book to be an enjoyable read.

Even if you are not mercenary enough to follow all of these rules yourself in your own life dealings, being familiar with them allows you to recognise when others in your life are using them against you.
Message: Posted by: evolve629 (Feb 18, 2007 02:50PM)
No sugar coating in this investing book - The Only Three Questions That Count: Investing by Knowing What Others Don't by Kenneth L. Fisher.
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Feb 18, 2007 08:40PM)
You are in dangerous territory, and asking just anybody is as likely to yield bad guidance as it is to yield good guidance.

You should understand one key concept first: the old, boring, conservative advice is "old and boring" because it works - it works now as it always has.

I'd be wildly suspicious of ANYTHING that has "Millionaire" or "Rich" in its title. Anything touting "investment strategies" is also probably suspect - the way to invest is NOT to try to "outguess the market" or get "insider secrets," the way to get rich is to get rich SLOWLY, so you STAY rich.

Go to the basics - [url=http://www.amazon.com/Personal-Finance-Dummies-Fourth-Tyson/dp/0764525905/ref=cm_lmf_tit_1_rsrsrs0/002-1687636-7470437]PERSONAL FINANCE FOR DUMMIES[/url] isn't bad, and there's some plain talk in [url=http://www.amazon.com/Journal-Complete-Personal-Finance-Guidebook/dp/030733600X/sr=1-3/qid=1171852389/ref=pd_bbs_sr_3/002-1687636-7470437?ie=UTF8&s=books]THE WALL STREET JOURNAL PERSONAL FINANCE GUIDEBOOK[/url]. In my view, the Motley Fool advice sounds a lot better than it works.

I'll give you the "boring basics" in a nutshell: Save and add to your investments programatically (automatically if you can) - start NOW - diversify (stock funds rather than individual stocks, a variety of funds rather than a select few) - don't "pick stocks" or "pick funds" because last month's superstars become this month's disasters - take the long view, because the market as a whole returns a reliable and generous percentage over a twenty-year or greater period. And NEVER listen to advisors who have something to sell you.
Message: Posted by: LobowolfXXX (Feb 19, 2007 12:18AM)
Sorta makes me wonder how much Motley Fool you've read, or what it is you disagree with, Ross, since their underlying philosophy is long term buy & hold, periodic & consistent investment, living beneath your means, and diversification. They do advocate a balanced portfolio of individual stocks, it's true, but it has nothing to do with "last month's superstars," and everything to do with the "old and boring" methodology of Warren Buffet & Benjamin Graham before him --- good earnings, low P-E ratio, solid business models. Over 90% of fund managers don't beat the average S & P returns, so if you don't want to do the homework as far as looking at companies' financial statements, then you should buy an index fund and get the return of the market as a whole. The guys who will be taking a percentage of your earnings in a managed fund generally do a pretty bad job at it.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Feb 19, 2007 09:41AM)
I liked "Financial Peace" by Dave Ramsey. In fact, I have his "Financial Peace University" kit, which is the book, workbook, cassettes (CDs are available alternately), envelope system, etc.

I also liked "The Richest Man in Babylon" by George S. Clason. It has some great teaching in it, told as a parable.

- Donald
Message: Posted by: docmagik (Feb 23, 2007 04:28PM)
I'm with Dunphy. Go with ANYTHING by Dave Ramsey. Financial Peace and Total Money Makeover are fantastic.

They are NOT get rich quick books. They are low-risk, logical strategies for dealing with money issues.

As Dave says, "It's the kind of advice your Grandma would give you, but we keep our teeth in."

Can't reccomend it, or his radio show, strongly enough.

http://www.daveramsey.com
Message: Posted by: cgscpa (Feb 24, 2007 06:07AM)
The first book on personal finance I purchased is still one of my favorites and I purchased it over 20 years ago.

[i]The Only Investment Guide You Will Ever Need[/i] by Andrew Tobias. It's been updated several times I believe.
Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Feb 24, 2007 09:07AM)
[quote]
On 2007-02-24 07:07, cgscpa wrote:
[i]The Only Investment Guide You Will Ever Need[/i] by Andrew Tobias. It's been updated several times I believe.
[/quote]

If it's truly "the only investment guide you'll ever need", why has it been updated? ;)

Seriously, Dave Ramsey always gives hard-nosed, practical advice, involving first getting out of debt and being a good steward of whatever you have. Everything else stems from that.
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (Feb 24, 2007 12:01PM)
[url=http://www.s2ki.com/forums/index.php?showforum=179]Here[/url]'s a link to an investment forum that I moderate on a site dedicated to the Honda S2000.

The second thread down is a list of recommended books on investing.

Browse the threads there; we have a lot of savvy investors with tons of useful advice.
Message: Posted by: Danny Diamond (Mar 15, 2007 01:01PM)
Well I am just about finished with Rich Dad, Poor Dad - and I really fail to see what all the controversy is about. Although the author apparently made his fortune from high-risk stocks and real estate, he makes a point of NOT recommending his actual approach.

The main focus seems to be on building an asset column, and eliminating liabilities. That makes sense, no? He also stresses the importance of having your money work for you. My wife worked in a bank for a while, and it amazes me how many people have SO much money sitting in their 0% interest checking account, or their 1% (or less) savings accounts. The ending of the book is motivational in helping me realize my fear of losing money and fear of losing in general.

I really enjoyed the book very much. It's an easy read and it really got me excited and ambitious about managing my money and growing my assets.
Message: Posted by: elmago (Mar 15, 2007 03:24PM)
Hey Danny, the next two books are really good. The Cashflow Quadrant and Rich Dad's Guide to investing.

I looked at the website with the links to the arguments against him. Like anything, you can make an arguement for anything, for or against. A lot of the arguments against write misreprentations.

For example, the one about hiring people who are smarter than you. One guy partnered himself with someone and expected him to do all the work because he is smarter. Someone missed the point. You hire people who are smarter than you in their own specialied, specific area. Accountants, lawyers, managers, stock brokers, all do specific jobs. They will do that specific job better that you because they have training, education, certifications, and degrees. They do not and should not run your business. You ultimalty make the final desicion based on the info they give you. They may disagree with you and advise against it, but you look at the overall business and become a leader and make the decisions.

Kiyosaki never claims it is easy to become rich. The concepts are easy to understand, but you still have to work. The question is do you work harder or smarter? Do you work for money or learn how to make money work for you?
Finacial education is always important. The question is in the method you get that education, and yes, it is well within reach of anyone who wants it bad enough. No, you do not need a university. He has a recomended reading list which are not his books.

The web page is full of stuff like that it made my head spin.
Message: Posted by: Danny Diamond (Mar 15, 2007 04:13PM)
Exactly elmago,
The main points I came away with, were as follows:

work smarter, not harder
become financially literate/educated
increase your assets, reduce/eliminate your liabilities
do not fear losing/failure
be creative with your financial investments
make sure your money is working for you all the time

I don't think there is anything too shady with these ideas. They are sound and basic pieces of advice, and they are reinforced in the book a lot. I also like his views on education. I think more financial education should be taught in schools.
Message: Posted by: kregg (Mar 15, 2007 05:39PM)
The Millionaire Next Door is said to be a good book.
Mike Kavanagh has a great website http://www.moneybulletin.com
Message: Posted by: Dorian Rhodell (Mar 15, 2007 05:53PM)
[quote]
On 2007-03-15 16:24, elmago wrote:
...For example, the one about hiring people who are smarter than you. One guy partnered himself with someone and expected him to do all the work because he is smarter. Someone missed the point. You hire people who are smarter than you in their own specialied, specific area. Accountants, lawyers, managers, stock brokers, all do specific jobs. They will do that specific job better that you because they have training, education, certifications, and degrees. They do not and should not run your business. You ultimalty make the final desicion based on the info they give you. They may disagree with you and advise against it, but you look at the overall business and become a leader and make the decisions.
[/quote]
Which is exactly what Henry Ford and Walt Disney both did.
Message: Posted by: kregg (Mar 15, 2007 05:53PM)
Danny,

SAVE MORE MONEY THAN YOU SPEND.

In the event that you hit pay dirt, learn how to best manage your taxable income. Real estate is a great way to make money. Buy a house, live in it for two years and sell it if the market goes up (Singles can write off 250K, married couples 500K tax free). You can sell a house before two years, however, you need to put all of the gains back into another property to avoid penalties.

Kregg
Message: Posted by: Andy the cardician (Mar 15, 2007 08:30PM)
The RICH DAD series are good introductions, and easy to read as well.
Message: Posted by: balducci (Mar 15, 2007 11:27PM)
[quote]
On 2007-03-15 17:13, Danny Diamond wrote:
Exactly elmago,
The main points I came away with, were as follows:

work smarter, not harder
become financially literate/educated
increase your assets, reduce/eliminate your liabilities
do not fear losing/failure
be creative with your financial investments
make sure your money is working for you all the time
[/quote]
Isn't all of that just common sense? Certainly it was when I was growing up. Maybe I'm dating myself.

Anyway, funny you posted about RDPD today as one of RDPD's students, Casey Serin, also mentioned it over on his blog:

http://iamfacingforeclosure.com/176/my-view-on-college/
Message: Posted by: elmago (Mar 16, 2007 03:30AM)
[quote]
On 2007-03-16 00:27, balducci wrote:
[quote]
On 2007-03-15 17:13, Danny Diamond wrote:
Exactly elmago,
The main points I came away with, were as follows:

work smarter, not harder
become financially literate/educated
increase your assets, reduce/eliminate your liabilities
do not fear losing/failure
be creative with your financial investments
make sure your money is working for you all the time
[/quote]
Isn't all of that just common sense? Certainly it was when I was growing up. Maybe I'm dating myself.

Anyway, funny you posted about RDPD today as one of RDPD's students, Casey Serin, also mentioned it over on his blog:

http://iamfacingforeclosure.com/176/my-view-on-college/

[/quote]

You would think it is common sense. We are not thought to think that way. Go to school, get good grades so you can go to a good college. Get good grades there so you can graduate and get a good job. This is what we are taught from birth. The few that break out of the mold are the people who think different and become rich. Schools do not teach kids finacial literacy so everyone is lost. When people follow the formula and are "Successful", they never seem to be making enough money. They learned how to make big salaries, but not how to become wealthy with it.

RDPD opens your eyes to the possibity that being rich and wealthy is within you grasp and realistic if you are willing to work for it. You could be a janitor, (Cashflow Game) and become wealthy.

I like to think the book gives you permission to think different and go againts the grain. And trust me, most people will not understand. It is like taking the red pill in the movie The Matrix. Anyone who is not unpluged depends on the system that supresses them to survive and cannot handle the truth. :)

MR
Message: Posted by: Danny Diamond (Mar 16, 2007 08:10AM)
[quote]
On 2007-03-16 00:27, balducci wrote:
[quote]
On 2007-03-15 17:13, Danny Diamond wrote:
Exactly elmago,
The main points I came away with, were as follows:

work smarter, not harder
become financially literate/educated
increase your assets, reduce/eliminate your liabilities
do not fear losing/failure
be creative with your financial investments
make sure your money is working for you all the time
[/quote]
Isn't all of that just common sense? Certainly it was when I was growing up. Maybe I'm dating myself.
[/quote]

Well you are lucky that all of those points were common sense for you growing up. I sure wish these points were drilled into my head when I was much younger. I don't think your average teenager, is all that concerned with building assets and being cautious with liabilities. I mean, I admit that while I knew what liabilities/assets were - I have never really thought about my possesions with an asset/liability column in mind.

Yes, it is pretty basic, but SOUND advice. The book did not really expose any mind-blowing new ideas to me - it simply drilled the basics into my head by illustrating things in an easy-to-digest manner through the story he told of his two dads.

After reading the book, I have no intention of purchasing real estate or high-risk stocks, as the author apparently did/does. But the book has motivated me to just start thinking more about finances and what I can do to make my money work for me better.

I am moving on to other books now, and I think RDPD was a nice little book to start with.