Books are just brilliant. Just think about. Someone has spent years, perhaps even a lifetime carefully writing down their thoughts on a particular subject they are passionate about. They then publish it and charge (most of the time) no more than a few pints of beers for all their wisdom. It’s an absolute bargain and the next best thing to actually having a personal mentor. The books might not even cost you any money if you can borrow it. If you do end up buying it though, remember to lend it to a family or friend once you’re done with it to pass the knowledge on.
This list is a work in progress, so check back every so often for new books I recommend.
FI (and loosely FI) Related Books
This is a classic book providing financial advice through a collection of parables set in ancient Babylon. The book was first published in 1926. Some may find the style of writing to be difficult (think bible), but that’s part of its charm. I remember buying this for my younger sister when she was about 13 and even she liked it!
I was fortunate enough to receive a draft preview edition of this book. It lays out step by step and in simple language what is involved when being a landlord. It is not technical and provides an excellent introduction if you’re interested in property as part of your asset allocation.
The Intelligent Investor – by Benjamin Graham
The author taught Warren Buffett. That in itself should be enough to catch your interest. Although this teaches a value investing approach for active investors, its teachings are equally important to understand for anyone who invests in passive index trackers. Not the easiest of reads and not one I’d recommend someone completely new to personal finance to start with. However, it packs a lot of useful information.
I know this book can be controversial. Even the title itself was a turn off for me so it took me quite a few years before reading it. The lessons he provides are similar to The Richest Man in Babylon. Putting aside personal views on the author, I still find valuable lessons could be learnt from the book.
I’ve been listening to Pete’s Podcast for many years now and have found it to be an invaluable source of UK specific personal finance information. It is not FI specific, but lessons from it can be applied to those pursuing FI/RE. The book is targetted towards someone completely new to personal finance. Even though I’ve been on my FI journey for a few years now, I’ve found some really useful nuggets of information in there.
Yet another book recommended to me through work. Seems like Policing is going through a phase of self-help personal development right? The premise of this book is that talent is over-rated and that grit is more important for success. The author has studied thousands of children, adults and entrepreneurs in all walks of life. It is as much a parenting book as it is a personal development one. In my opinion, grit is essential to reach FI/RE and to help nurture your grit, determine your ‘why’.
I was introduced to this book through work. The author is an economist and Nobel Prize winner who has devoted his life to behavioural economics. How do we make decisions? Why is it that some of our actions can make perfect rational sense, whilst others are so irrational? This is a book worthy of reading several times. You can leave it and come back to it a year later and learn something you missed the first time round. Every time I read it, I discover new flaws in how I think and make certain decisions. I find some of the lessons are really useful for investing. If I had to choose one book, this is it.
I found this book invaluable in helping me prepare to be a father. Whilst a lot of the advice in there is obvious to anyone who is decent and kind, there were still little gems which helped me understand the psychology of raising a boy. It has made me become more aware that my words and actions have an impact on my children. They may not know it and I may not even recognise it now, but it will determine if they will grow up to be confident and kind men (book specific to boys).
Another book introduced to me through work, this time from a very senior officer who I respect. I’m not usually too keen on self-help books. Mainly because a lot of the ideas can normally fit on a couple of pages, but the authors tend to drag it out into a book, repeating the same ideas in different ways. I found this book really impactive in understanding myself, dealing with stress and figuring out how I think and feel. I wrote a post about some of the ideas here.
I have been trying to improve my writing. I’m not great at it and I hope the process of writing this blog will assist. I’ve decided not to go back to my old posts to re-write because I want to look back in the years ahead to see if I had improved at all. I found this book short, to the point and says things as it is. The things to remember is as the title suggests – nobody wants to read my sh*t. So I need to keep improving, be concise and precise on what I write and practice the art of story-telling, even for finance related topics. Easier said than done. This short review could easily be half the length! Crap.
An extremely insightful audiobook about vulnerability and shame by someone who has researched it extensively using qualitative methods. She is an excellent public speaker and very funny for such a serious topic. The book has helped me be more accepting of myself and see the world more positively. This isn’t for everyone, but many who have listened to it have found it life-changing. Having said this, I wasn’t a fan of the short over-dramatic musical interlude (think meditation type style sounds) with the overly soft voice introducing each chapter. I found it very off-putting.
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