Learning how to manage and invest your money well can be intimidating, but it’s one of the best ways to stop trading time for money. Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a list of the best investing books for beginners to help you self-educate so you can get started without delay. To make things easier for you, we grouped the books by category so you can skip to the section that most interests you.
- Best Beginner Finance Books – Clear fiction and non-fiction to give you the building blocks of financial literacy. From basic terms and ideas, to how you think about personal and business finances, and investing basics.
- Best Beginner Investing Books – These will give a solid beginner strategy to begin investing in the stock market.
- Best Advanced Investing Books – For those exploring “Finance 201” and want to read the best ideas from those who challenge conventional wisdom, jump into these!
- Best Real Estate Investing Books – Anyone that wants to rent or buy and flip houses should check these books out!
- Best Millennial Investing Books – If you’re a Millennial, these are for you. There’s no doubt Millennials have faced some unique challenges and these approachable books aim to address those and help you get on track.
Best Beginner Finance Books
If your relationship with money is bad, you’re dead-on-arrival for investing. It’s hard to invest, hard to survive, and almost impossible to thrive. Before you start reading the best investing books for beginners, it will help significantly to change your thinking and grow your personal finance muscles.
These beginner books will educate you on the basics and help you establish a strong foundation for your investing future!
This book by George Samuel Clason is an effortless read. It is a fictional story about a young man learning from the “Richest Man in Babylon” – a man so rich that he has more than the king! It shares the simple lessons this rich man learned as he grew up.
It chronicles how the young man gradually increased in wealth with habits and mistakes that he made. The principles are timeless, which is why this book from the 1930s is still a best-seller today.
This book is a unique. It’s a passion project by Eric Jorgenson, who took the collective wisdom of Naval from his blog posts, podcasts, and interviews and compiled it into a book. Naval is the founder of Angellist, Epinions, and Vast.com and an angel investor in Twitter, Uber, Yammer, and 100+ more startups. Naval has become widely followed for his thoughts on startups, investing, crypto, wealth, and happiness.
The book is broken into two parts: “wealth” and “happiness” and teaches more than just a good mindset for finances. If you’re looking for a great read with simple wisdom on every page, check this one out.
As a bonus, you can download this book for free, or support the project by purchasing it.
Napolean Hill wrote this book in 1937, claiming it was inspired by a suggestion from Andrew Carnegie that turned into Hill’s life work. For over 20 years, he sat down with over 500 of the richest individuals to learn their methods. These interviews produced his system for how the rich think differently and how you can become rich too, hence the title.
The foundational ideas are timeless, so you’ll drown this book in notes from cover to cover. This book has value outside the realm of personal finance. It will also help you develop a mindset to achieve anything important to you.
A classic and an easy read for any beginner. In this book, Robert shares the story of how his poor dad (birth father) and rich dad (friend’s father) treat their finances. You’ll see what it means to have a rich mindset, learn the difference between an asset and a liability, and how those that are wealthy keep making more money. It stresses growing skills, financial literacy, building cash flow, and ultimately financial independence as the way to get out of the “rat race.”
While some of the strategies he describes to make money don’t work anymore, the way to think about money is timeless. This book is especially beneficial if you intend to go into real estate.
Dave Ramsey's book outlines a clear and proven process for you to crush debt and build wealth. He identifies “7 Baby Steps” that move you from drowning in debt to financial independence. His easy-to-follow steps are like a beacon of hope for anyone struggling financially. He writes primarily to those struggling to pay off debt and has helped millions. Ramsey teaches how to rethink how about budgets and debt with the ultimate goal of living debt-free and building financial independence.
Morgan Housel translates complex concepts into simple, easy-to-digest narratives. Stories are powerful because they allow us to relate as we say, “I do that too.”
When reading this book, you can decide how you want to live your life, what you want to do with your money, find heroes to model, dispel financial myths, and hopefully laugh at yourself when you say “I’ve done that before.” As a bonus, this book is a quick, enjoyable read!
Daniel Kahneman teaches us to understand our choices. He uses examples to illustrate the difference between thinking fast, our intuition and emotion and thinking slow, our deliberate and rational side. Each person has both.
The concepts are presented in an easy-to-understand method but the examples can be redundant. Our advice, once you understand the idea, move to the next chapter!
The book is primarily about investing, but Kahneman expands his biased thinking lens to business and our everyday lives.
Best Beginner Investing Books
When starting to invest, you need to know which games you’re playing and what their rules are. It may seem like buy and hold investors, day traders, commodities, and penny stock investors are playing the same game, but they’re not. Each is playing with money, but the “rules” that govern them are different. These will help you decide which games you want to play and how to allocate your money.
J.L. Collins is all about the straight-forward, boring way to wealth: investing a lot, consistently, with index funds. It is against the appeal of day-traders, hedge fund managers, active management strategies, or individuals who claim they can successfully speculate and win big.
Patience and persistence are challenging to sell as a strategy, but as Collins masterfully argues, they’re more reliable in the long-term. If you don’t have a ton of money to “risk,” start applying these lessons immediately.
Bill Schultheis is easy to summarize in three statements:
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
- There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
- Save for a rainy day.
From this book, you will stop trying to beat or time the market and instead choose to invest regularly. Beyond the basic strategy, it wants to improve your quality of life, not just the quantity of money in your life. For those pursuing the Wealthy Life, like we are, this book is for you.
“With relatively little effort, you can design and assemble an investment portfolio that, because of its wide diversification and minimal expenses, will prove superior to the most professionally managed accounts. Great intelligence and good luck are not required.”
This down-to-earth book lays out in easy-to-understand prose the four essential topics that every investor must master:
- The relationship of risk and reward,
- The history of the market
- The psychology of the investor and the market
- The folly of taking financial advice from investment salespeople
Use these building blocks as the foundation for financial knowledge and investing. If you do this well, great intelligence and luck aren’t necessary to be successful!
This book is a collection of Warren Buffett's annual letters to Berkshire Hathaway Investors (his company). They are full of humor, wit, principles for life, and read more like a diary of his company than an investing book.
Buffett is renowned as one of the greatest investors of all time. Instead of reading a biography of his life, read directly what he thinks about investing and create your own best practices.
John Bogle criticizes the industry practice of selling high-cost mutual funds to people. If you’ve never heard of a mutual fund, Bogle will educate you and point you in another direction – toward passively managed index funds that track the market. If you didn’t understand that sentence, have no fear, you will learn!
Though the book is now 20+ years old, the principles are true today. It remains a classic for those educating themselves on where they should put their hard-earned money!
Ray Dalio's book is part biography and part the principles that have made him successful.
Dalio is thorough as he attempts to explain and share each step in implementing what he does at scale. There is lots of wisdom beyond finances, so check it out!
This book teaches you how to think more than giving you a formula for success. Reading this, you’ll be able to use available data to make your own market bets.
For those unfamiliar with Peter Lynch, he headed Fidelity’s flagship Magellan Fund from 1977 to 1990. Today, his track record is still a legend, and gave investors a nearly 30% compounded return during his tenure, twice as good as what the market delivered at the same time!
Best Advanced Investing Books
These investing books aren’t for beginners. The books here will challenge financial assumptions and force you to think deeper about what you believe and why.
Benjamin Graham teaches the basics of “value investing” – finding and buying stock in underpriced companies. Some of the charts and examples are outdated, but the fundamentals are sound. Through this book, you can learn how to minimize catastrophic losses, maximize the opportunity for gains, and practice discipline in investing.
It is not an easy read – it’s more like a college textbook. You may not need to read all 550+ pages of this, but you for sure need to understand the concepts and apply them to your investing strategy.
Daniel Crosby aims to be the “most comprehensive guide to the psychology of asset management.” It focuses on collecting and synthesizing the major psychological and sociological studies of finance. The first half of the book is studies, and the second half is what to do with that information.
If you finish this book, you’ll be armed to face the behavioral biases that you have and use them to make you even more successful.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb points out the role of randomness in markets and illustrates that tremendous gains in mutual funds can be driven by randomness more than skill.
Nassim also spends a lot of time defining risk and “asymmetrical results” – moments in time where short windows result in massive gains or losses. It shows just how much of the media’s obsession with data and daily ups and downs is entertainment, not information to base decisions on.
Best Real Estate Investing Books
Real Estate investing is a finance niche. If you are someone that is DIY royalty, this is the route for you. This will get you going as you think about cash flow, refinancing, 1041 exchanges, and more.
Brandon Turner and Joshua Dorkin give us an honest book. There are no simple, easy, one-size-fits-all real estate investment paths. Instead, it highlights forty (40!) stories of how people are using their skills to make money in the real estate business.
There isn’t a lot of fluff, and it will highlight “rules of thumb” for getting into real estate. You won’t become an expert after reading this book, but it’s perfect for an introduction to pick a path toward financial freedom. The authors also host the Bigger Pockets podcast, the #1 real estate podcast, so the learning doesn’t end when the book does.
John Schaub plays the role of your wise uncle sharing his real estate empire with you. Schaub offers down-to-earth advice from more than four decades of business as a landlord, flipper, and lender.
If you’re looking for something “sexy or fast,” this isn’t that book – it’s all about fundamentals. How to buy, sell, finance, rent, and build a fortune from single-family homes to small multi-units.
The main takeaway from this book is the author's 10/10/10 plan for acquiring and profiting from real estate.
Janet Portman arms you to rent out a property. It deals with how you run your property and cover legal obligations. You'll learn who pays for what, how to write renter’s agreements, your state's code for leasing a house, tax implications, and eviction strategies. Grab this if you’re about to purchase a property and want to cover your bases!
Best Millennial Investing Books
These investing books target the millennial audience. They will get you moving toward financial health in as little as six weeks! Each has a slightly different tone to it, so find an author that you enjoy. Otherwise you’ll find their writing style patronizing instead of encouraging.
Erin Lowry delivers entertaining, engaging, and whimsical wisdom for your finances. If you like books that take their content seriously, but not themselves, this is for you.
Within these pages, you’ll learn the basic mindsets you need, benchmarks to hit, how to handle different situations, and investment basics. This is not advanced-level retirement planning or portfolio creation; it’s a solid book to go from “I don’t know” to “I have a simple plan!”
This is Erin Lowry's sequel to Broke Millenial. It's written in a conversational tone and answers new questions like:
- Should I invest while paying down student loans?
- How do I invest in a socially responsible way?
- What about Robo-advisors and apps–are any of them any good?
Read this only if you already know the basics, as the author frequently references lessons from the first book.
Ramit Sethi simplifies finance so you can handle them in less than an hour each month. He outlines a six-week program to better your finances, automate saving and investing, and get debt-free. One thing separates Ramit from other books. He teaches how to negotiate income raises, vacation days, the cable bill, and get a car for cheaper.
Be aware: this book serves a double purpose for Ramit to sell his “advanced courses” online. Know that you’re getting advice, but also being sold the next product.
Wrapping Things Up
This list of the best investing books for beginners will give you a running start to investing. They cover everything from your behaviors and mindsets to habits goal setting. Start with one book from the list and when you’re done, come back and pick another (you can bookmark this page to keep the list handy).
We believe that finances are a piece of pursuing the Wealthy Life – a full, satisfying life worth living. Take charge of your money today. A stable financial future is just around the corner!
P.S. We encourage you to read a book with a friend. This helps you have great conversations and propels you forward together.