The 10 best personal finance books (because nobody likes financial damnation)

Whether you need advice to free yourself from the debt trap or are searching for an investment that’ll pay for itself, these are the 10 best finance books to get you there.

Managing your finances is never an easy task. That’s the truth. With bills to pay, mortgages to consider, and everything else that life can throw at you (percentage off sales make us happy too), falling into a financial situation that less than ideal can happen.

If you’ve found yourself in the red, don’t despair. You’re not the first, and you certainly won’t be the last, to wind up here. But, like those who have gone before you, you too can climb out of debt and into a wealthy place. Use these books of triumph and advice, to inspire you to take control of your finances, and watch your money grow.

Even if you do consider yourself to be financially savvy, we can all benefit from a little advice and insight into the world of investment. The knowledge of experts in the field of property, superannuation, share-market investment, and debt-control, can be invaluable to securing a healthy nest egg in the future, and overcoming any financial hardship you may have to tackle along the way.

So enough on where you are at the moment, and more on where you could be in the future. Here is our list of the ten best finance books to keep you on the financial path to success (and away from that dreaded road to financial damnation):

Best books on the secrets to becoming a millionaire? (Plus, some spiritual guidance)

Kindle | Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki from Amazon US site

This New York Times best seller has spawned a whole series of Rich Dad books and is a lot friendlier than your financial textbook counterparts.

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The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko from The Book Depository

Originally penned in 1998, this is the revised 21st century version of the best-selling financial help-book. It teaches you that so long as you have a steady job, you too can amass a wealth. The answer is in seven simple rules, what they are, you'll have to read this to find out.

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Jim Cramer's Get Rich Carefully by James J. Cramer ($28.24) from The Book Depository

For those skeptic about "get rich, quick" schemes, or harbour a fear of financial failure, Jim Cramer's Get Rich Carefully is a substantial read to lead you into financial fitness without the stress and worry of the money gamble. His high-yield, low-risk investment strategies are the product of over 35 years of being a Wall Street veteran, and is written in a simple and entertaining way. No waffling, here. Just the straight facts and techniques you need to employ to get rich.

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The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason ($9.34) from The Book Depository

One personal finance book that is notorious for dominating the "best finance book" lists, is George S. Clason's The Richest Man in Babylon. It reads of inspirational stories and Babylonian principles still relevant to modern-day financial planning. This is an easy-to-read modern classic, and a staple for every investor's bookshelf.

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The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ deMarco (eBook, $6.70) from Amazon US site

The idea behind this guide is not to let yourself rest in the slow lane. The slow lane leaves you hoping and placing your trust in uncontrollable and predictable markets. Turn on your indicator, take charge, and move into the fast lane. It's here that where you'll discover your wealth. It's likely going to take you 5-10 years of damn hard work, but with DeMarco's guidance, you'll get to the finish line, with some pretty prize money in your hands which you'll get to keep. For a lifetime.

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Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T Harv Eker ($9.62) from The Book Depository

The idea behind this one is that millionaires think differently from those who don't have as much money, or are incapable of holding onto money. Eker calls this a person's money "blueprint". This is something embedded into us from childhood, and dictates how we handle money. With his help, Eker teaches you to tap into and discover your blue, and inevitably, learn how you can change it, for your financial benefit.

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Best books on how to manage your personal finances (and obtain financial freedom)

The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, and Broke by Suze Orman from The Book Depository

Sound a bit like you? It's kind of a right of passage to be a poor student, but it's never too early to start paving your way to being young, fabulous, and wealthy.

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Free Schools by David Gillespie from Amazon US site

Are you a parent looking to put your kid through the best education possible? Stupid question of course you are. And so was father of six, David Gillespie. When it came time to choose a high school for his kids, Gillespie, like many parents, thought private school was the way. And then he began to do some research...

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How to Get out of Debt, Stay out of Debt and Live Prosperously ($14.67) from The Book Depository

The title alone sounds pretty good to us. If you think so too, then read on. Mundis uses tried and tested techniques of the national Debtors Anonymous program to pull you out of the debt trap in a sound and logical manner. Some of the techniques he discusses includes: designing realistic and painless payback schedules, coping mechanisms for debt-related anxiety and stress, and negotiation tactics to help deal with collection agencies.

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Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominquez, Vicki Robin, Monique Tilford & Mark Zaifman ($14.90) from The Book Depository

The answer to those niggling questions e.g. How can I reorder my material priorities to life big for less? Can I save the planet AND save money, too? And that all important: how can I get out of debt? They're all resolved here in a nine-step program that aims to transform your relationship with money into a healthy bank account and a wealthy future.

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The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn ($29.03) from The Book Depository

The term "tightwad" doesn't have to uphold the negative connotations its so privy toward. Think of it more in terms of a savvy saver who knows how to prioritise without compromise and you'll be on the mark. Dacyczyn's read is full of sensible advice, tips, tricks, and strategies to cut down your bills, reuse and recycle old materials, and save those pennies for the big and important things.

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Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes by Gary Belsky and Thomas Gilovich ($14.47) from The Book Depository

While other personal finance books teach strategies and outline plans to save and bury your love affair with debt, Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes! and How to Correct Them takes a varied approach, preferring to look at the psychology behind irrational economic behavior and breaking common patterns of thinking that are financially unviable. By understanding our money behavior, we can better understand and rectify our responses and actions to make good, rational financial decisions that lead to profitable futures.

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Best books on how to play the sharemarket for big market returns

Online Investing on the Australian Sharemarket by Roger Kinsky from Booktopia

The wide and public availability of market data coupled with the low cost of online trading makes for an inviting investment opportunity. But while the data is there, strategies do need to be implemented to work it to your advantage and avoid deals that could turn sour for you.

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The Intelligent Investor from The Book Depository

Over a million sold copies can't be wrong, as Benjamin Graham delivers advice on value investing. Although penned in the 1940s, his long term strategies on how to be profitable on the stock market are still very much relevant for today's investor.

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A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton G. Malkiel from The Book Depository

Those not quite up for Common Sense on Mutual Funds quite yet should buy into A Random Walk Down Wall Street. Consider it your introduction to the market, teaching you how to build your first investment portfolio.

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The Inefficient Stock Market: What Pays Off and Why by Robert A. Haugen from The Book Depository

Author of some of the most fundamental textbooks for financial courses (e.g. The New Finance: the Case Against Efficient Markets, and Modern Investment Theory - both highly recommended reads), The Inefficient Stock Market follows Haugen's theory that today's markets are inefficient. It's witty, it's humorous, it's inciteful, and it'll make your noggin work overtime considering just how rational economic behaviour truly is.

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The Equity Risk Premium: Essays and Explorations by William H. Goetzmann and Roger Ibbotson ($95.01) from The Book Depository

Written with the serious investor in mind, Goetzmann and Ibbotson explore historical data over the last two centuries to provide a well-rounded assessment of equity risk premium. The authors look at critical issues in stock market investing, contribute advice on how (if at all) history can predict future equity returns, and the importance of influence of emerging markets on equity risk premia.

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Best books for alternate investments (and investing in general)

Common Sense on Mutual Funds by John C. Bogle from The Book Depository

Investors, consider this your bible. First released in 1999, this updated edition of Common Sense on Mutual Funds discusses the structural and regulatory changes that have developed over the decade in the mutual fund industry.

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Control Your Own Super Fund by Paul Clitheroe from Amazon US site

Let's talk super. We haven't done that yet in this list, and everybody who's had a job in their life has some super to their name. As the cover of Clitheroe's book suggests, this is your nest egg and you should treat it well so that come retirement age, you'll have a healthy bit of gold to live on.

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From 0 to 130 Properties in 3.5 Years by Steve McKnight from Booktopia

So you've decided to invest in property. That's a great start. Now what? Ask Steve McKnight. He's the author of Australia's highest selling real estate book and if his track record of owning 130 properties in 3.5 years is anything to go by, he knows the real estate market.

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Value Averaging- The Safe and Easy Strategy for Higher Investment Returns by Michael E. Edleson (eBook, $13.09) from Amazon US site

Edleson first penned his guide to Value Averaging in 1991, where it quickly became a rare and unusual find. The value of this investment guide was not lost for long, however, and was reintroduced to the world in 2006, complete with advice on how to deploy lump sums of money into investments for heady returns and financial success.

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The Investment Answer by Gordon Murray and Daniel Goldie ($14.33) from The Book Depository

The approach that Murray and Goldie take is that each investor must make five fundamental decisions before investing. By considering your options and making the correct decisions for you, regarding (amongst other things) whether to invest alone or with a professional, and when to sell and buy assets, you'll be on your way to a profitable investment portfolio in no time.

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Work Less, Live More: The Way to Semi-Retirement by Bob Clyatt ($19.21) from The Book Depository

Otherwise sub-titled: The New Way to Retire Early, Clyatt proves that early retirement is a possibility - with the right mindset and spending habits, naturally. His pointers include: sticking to index funds in your retirement accounts to let it work for itself, and strategically withdrawing a certain percentage from your account to save enough to see you through your retirement years.

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The Random Walk Guide to Investing by Burton Malkiel ($15.06) from The Book Depository

From the genius who brought us the financial classic: A Random Walk Down Wall Street (see above) comes another fundamental financial read: The Random Walk Guide to Investing. This is a ten-step guide to investing, and a great starting point for anyone seeking to plant the seeds of a healthy investment portfolio.

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Where to get the best personal finance books without breaking the budget

The Book Depository

The Book Depository offers a wealth of books online at bargain prices. They deliver absolutely free, so no matter how many or how few books you order, you’ll never have to pay more than the advertised book price for your financial development.


The good thing about Booktopia is that they’re an Australian website, so if you’re looking for some advice specific to the Australian market, they’re a good place to start. They offer flat-rate shipping, so again, you can buy however many books you wish, and never pay more than $6.50 for postage within Australia. They also offer express post, for those in need of speedy advice.

Amazon Kindle

Most kindle books are cheaper than the physical thing, and buying them online means you can get them virtually straight away, so you won’t have to keep nagging your local postie wondering if your package has been lost or left at the post office for you to collect within the next five working days, or it will be returned back to sender. They’re also lighter than the physical thing, making them miles more portable so you have all the information you need whenever you may need it.

For more great ways to shop and save, check out

Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is the travel editor at On top of being an avid traveller, she's an all-round bargain hunter. If there's a deal on hotels or a sale on flights, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too. Though probably not before she buys her own ticket.

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