Hugh's Recommended Reading List

Here are some good books to read on personal finance:
My Favorite Financial Books
  • The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko. - A very enlightening book who tells you exactly who the real millionaires are in the world. There is a big difference between those who look rich and those who really are.
  • Shattering the Two Income Myth by Andy Dappen. - I love this book too since it breaks that concept that two earner households are really better off. I know our family is much "better off" and definitely much happier now that we live on one full-time income, than when both my wife and I worked and we had "all that extra income". I have even written a calculator based on one from USA Today to help illustrate the point.
  • Cheap Tricks by Andy Dappen. - Another great book from Andy Dappen on a whole bunch of ways to save money on just about everything. It is very entertaining.
  • Rational Simplicity by Tim Covell. His basic concept is "The more you have, the more you have to worry about". Lots of stuff does not make people happy. The amount of "stuff" and money one truly needs to be happy and fulfilled is actually not as much as many high priced financial planners would like for you to believe. This is a short book, well written, and an easy read. He tells his story on how he attained his goals, and gives plain advice on achieving your own.
  • The Common-Sense Mortgage by Peter G. Miller. An "everything you need to know" book about mortgage loans. Comprehensive, yet easy to follow and read.

For the Novice or Person just starting out
Every high school graduate should be forced to read and re-read one of these. The basic premise is to start the habit early not to waste money on small expenses, and instead to force yourself early to start saving and investing regularly and automatically. There that's it. If everyone followed this simple concept we would all retire comfortably. The amazing fact is that most people do not.
  • The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach. His book is short, an easy read, and incredibly plain and obvious as the easy path for long term success.
  • The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton. Another easy read, that spells it out very similarly to Bach's book. It speaks from the point of view of a wise barber who doles out the "secrets" of his success. In reality his secrets are all a lot of common sense, if people would just follow it.

For Freelance Artists, Self-Employed and Part-Timers
Here is a personal finance book just for all of you trying to make it on your own! It is an easy read with specific suggestions for people who earn income without working at a conventional employee job.
General Purpose Personal Finance
These thick and substantial books are bit more daunting for your novice investor, but they are all chock full of all the latest information on all the investment, insurance, tax and estate planning topics you can think of. My suggestion is to read as many of these as possible and come to your own conclusions, since all authors add their own weird biases to every topic. The more different views you read, the better off you become. They all agree on 90% of all subjects, but that extra 10% difference can be quite interesting (and entertaining!).
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Hugh Chou