When it comes to consistently building long-term wealth and reaching financial freedom, the biggest asset you have isn’t your bank account, it’s your mind.
Ensuring you have the right money mindset and increasing your financial literacy will be the keys to reaching financial freedom. Too many want to jump straight into the technical details, asking for what stocks to buy or what accounts to open and refuse to read wealth building books. But what do you do after? How do you adjust advice to match your situation? How will you find your personal path to wealth if you are only trying to do the exact same things someone else did?
The new year is a great time to recommit to your financial goals and start filling your head with knowledge from wealth building books. If you’re making resolutions to work out more, eat better, or lose weight, you should add something related to your financial health and wealth-building as well.
Below are a set of books I’ve read or reviewed and can confidently recommend. Depending on what your goals are for the new year, there are different books to cater to your different needs. Scan the list and the different sections and find something that especially resonates with you. Personally, I still have a lot to learn and continue to read and listen to books to increase my knowledge. And last year I made the switch to audiobooks, which has increased how many books I get through in a month significantly. Think about giving them a try in the new year.
Take another step towards financial freedom and generational wealth by committing to complete a wealth building book in January, and then one more each month for the rest of the year.
If your mind isn’t in the right place, becoming wealthy will be close to impossible. Wealth is more than just a specific net worth-it’s a lifestyle and mindset. You have to think about money in a special way if you want to achieve outsized wealth for yourself. These books focus on more than just the specifics and help you understand money in a way which will help you build wealth.
Rich Dad Poor Dad
What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!
by Robert Kiyosaki & Tim Wheeler
I still recommend this classic wealth building book and recently re-read it after over 10 years from my first reading. The book is an interesting and easy read, told through the eyes of a child learning from his “poor” biological dad and his “rich” adopted father. I first read this book in high school and I think it had a profound impact on my lifetime relationship with money and the wealth I have accumulated today.
The Millionaire Next Door
The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy
by William Danko
What images pop into your mind when you hear millionaire? Do you instantly think of Lambo’s, Louboutin’s and luxury vacations at Five-Star hotels? What if I told you used cars, modest purchases, and an average salary of $80k are common characteristics for millionaires? I love this book because it gave me a very real portrait of millionaires in America and just how within reach this objective is. Becoming a millionaire went from a lofty goal to something realistic and attainable after reading this book.
Think and Grow Rich
For Men and Woman who Resent Poverty
by Napoleon Hill
Published in 1937, this is a classic in the area of money mindset. If you really are focused on gaining outsized wealth, this is a great book to get your mindset right. I would describe this book as an explanation on the philosophy of wealth in America. You will be exposed to people of great wealth in Napoleon’s time and many timeless thoughts and opinions on building wealth.
Entrepreneurship & Side Hustles
One important way to accelerate your ability to grow wealth is to maximize your income. You MUST learn to save first, but increasing your income is also important for your wealth journey. Side hustles are a great way to quickly supplement your salary or core income and can rapidly increase your savings. And for those built for it, becoming a full-time entrepreneur can lead to higher income and a new worthy asset, a business. These books will help you in your journey.
The $100 Startup
Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future
by Chris Guillebeau
If you are looking to monetize your skills and interests, this is the wealth building book for you. What you will find are realistic examples of people creating part-time and full-time businesses based on their skills and passions. It’s a great primer to creating a small to medium digital business and demystifying the technology and tactics you can use to get started. Whether you are looking for an extra $500 a month or looking to quit your day job, there is something here for you.
The 4-Hour Workweek
Escape 9-5, Live
by Timothy Ferriss
I am a big Tim Ferriss fan as I love his holistic way of thinking about life and work . This book was one of the major motivations in creating Wealth Noir and moving to Spain. If you are thinking about becoming an entrepreneur and you’re thinking through the type of lifestyle you want (which might include living abroad) this book is a great overview of designing the lifestyle you want while not sacrificing your wealth goals.
The same issues I see with managing personal money seem to come up a lot for new entrepreneurs. The way to kill a company is to run out of money. Even worse, you may kill the company and leave your personal finances in ruins with debt and bad credit. Profit first is a very pragmatic and simple system for managing your finances and is how I run Wealth Noir and my consulting company, The Victoriam Consulting Group. This book is written in an engaging format and makes for an easy, but impactful, read or listen.
Real Estate Investing
You may know that I am an avid real estate investor and a huge proponent of using real estate to build your wealth and net worth. There are strategies available for every different situation and level of capital availability that can provide passive income in addition to asset accumulation. These are some of my favorites.
The Book on Rental Property Investing
How to Create Wealth and Passive Income Through Smart Buy & Hold Real Estate Investing
by Brandon Turner
I am a big believer in investing in rental properties and a huge fan of BiggerPockets. This BP book is a great resource for anyone starting or already running rental properties. The book is very approachable for anyone at any level. From picking the right location, managing repairs, finding a tenant, to handling the accounting, this book has it covered.
The Millionaire Real Estate Investor
by Gary Keller, Dave Jenks, Jay Papasan
Creating outsized wealth through real estate investing involves more than just the technicals of which property to buy and at what price. A large part is understanding your own motivation and altering your mindset. Gary Keller, as in Keller from Keller Williams the huge real estate firm, goes through all of this in addition to the different ways to build wealth with real estate. If you want an overview of strategies to build wealth with real estate, start here.
Investing in Real Estate Private Equity
An Insider’s Guide to Real Estate Partnerships, Funds, Joint Ventures & Crowdfunding
by Sean Cook
Do you have significantly more time than money, but still want to invest in real estate? Consider investing in other peoples’ projects, which can range from a local fix and flip to a 400-unit apartment building on the other side of the country. This book is more advanced than the others, but for accredited investors and real estate investors, this is one book I’ve used to understand these types of real estate deals and how to evaluate them.
Stocks & Bonds
This is a growth area for me personally, but it’s important to understand the basics of stocks, bonds, and portfolio allocation. I personally use
The Intelligent Investor
The Definitive Book on Value Investing
by Benjamin Graham
This classic will help you understand why a basic portfolio with a good low-cost stock fund (like VTI) and bond fund (like BND) are all you need in your portfolio. Considered “the best book on investing ever written.” by Warren Buffet, you will find everything you need to come up with a good long-term investment strategy. It’s not a book about picking stocks, reacting to the market, or speculating. Instead, Graham focuses on a strategy to adhere to at all times to build long-term wealth.
Start the New Year Right!
Investing in yourself and your own financial knowledge is one of the best investments you can make in yourself. Depending on where you are in your journey to wealth, find the book that applies to you. As you continue, never stop learning.
Another great way to start the new year is by understanding your net worth-the actual measure of your wealth. We’ve put together a 10-day Challenge that will quickly teach you the basics of net worth and show you how to calculate yours and then put it on auto-pilot. Don’t wait. Take our challenge today.
Have a recommendation that didn’t make our list? Leave a comment and share it with our community.
Damien is a Personal Finance Nerd and former Facebook Product Manager who started Wealth Noir to help others find wealth. He actively invests in stocks, robo advisors, and cryptocurrency … but loves real estate investing. He holds an MBA from MIT and a Comp Sci & Econ degrees from Unv. of MD. He’s a proud dad, which is his biggest accomplishment.