Looking to add a little money research to your bookshelf this year? These are my pics for the only personal finance books you need to read in 2015. Want last year’s list? Click here. This post is a little late with the end of February just next week, but there’s still plenty of time to add the following titles to your reading list this year!
The Only Personal Finance Books You Need To Read In 2015
1. Griftopia by Matt Taibbi
Taibbi devotes a whole chapter to how much he hates Alan Greenspan, but if you can get past his rant you’re in for an interesting journey through Wall Street, the Financial Crash of 2008, and a clearer perspective of what’s happening now. Taibbi is hilarious and intelligent in his critical analysis of the corrupt American financial markets. He is frank about the consequences of selling america piece by piece to foreign investors, and while the perspective is bleak, it is honest, and a worthy read of anyone thinking they can make it in the land of the free. Of all the personal finance books I recommend, ones about wealth disparity top my list — because, unlike many PF bloggers, I know financial literacy won’t solve all our problems.
2. The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau
I loved this book so much it probably deserves a post of its own, but for now, it’s place at number #2 in this list will have to do. Guillebeau explores a variety of entrepreneurs in all kinds of startups, each of which took $100 or less to establish and now earn over $50,000 annually. This is an inspirational read that provides you with actionable advice to get started on your own side hustles. This book pushed me to keep developing as an entrepreneur, and helped reassure me that you don’t need to start with big investments to create something create. This personal finance book is a must read if you want to earn more by being your own boss, but don’t know where to start.
3. Buying In: What We Buy and Who We Are by Rob Walker
I read this book more than a year ago but I thought of it recently because of one of Cait’s posts. Fundamentally, all any of us are doing when we make a purchase is buying into the narrative within our own head. We’re never really buying stuff, we’re buying a story. We want our stuff to communicate our own hopes, dreams, and beliefs about our lives and ourselves — whether that is our wealth, political affiliation, opinions on envriontmentalism, and so on. We know who were are, or who we want to be, and we keep spending to feed that image. Of all the personal finance books, this one might reveal the most about yourselves.
4. The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
I fell in love with The Black Swan last year, even though it’s a weighty read (so prepare yourself!). I even wrote a post about Financial Black Swans. Interestingly, black swans have become a popular topic in my finance classes this term. What is a “black swan”? An unexpected single event that turns everything on its head. Expecting the unexpected has changed everything from my savings and investing philosophy to my career perspective. Of all the personal finance books I suggest in this post, this might be the one that actually changed my life. A worthy read for anyone willing to slug through the technical and sometimes dry (and dare I say arrogant?) writing of Taleb. His intelligence is worth suffering for, it will change everything you do.
5. Understanding Options by Michael Sincere
I took a course last term on financial derivatives, and it was the best/worst thing to happen to me in the MBA. I learned not merely how to trade options, but how to price them. By hand. While I’ll probably never have to calculate an option greek ever again, trading options has become a weekly part of managing my finances. Understanding Options is my options training “cheat sheet”. It lays out the simplest methods for these advanced trading strategies, without leading you to destructive over-confidence. I still recommend The Intelligent Investor as the fundamental, must-read of all investing personal finance books. But for those of you looking for something a little meatier and more challenging, Sincere’s book is the best introduction to options trading.
Hope you enjoy my recommendations for 2015! What personal finance or money related books are on your to-read list this year?