Six must read books to learn about money

IN THIS day and age of blogs, chats and instant messages it’s sometimes hard to find the time and peace of mind to read a whole book. 

Yet, I still love them for the wisdom they can hold. Here are six books and authors that I would recommend to anyone wanting to beef up their financial literacy and investment acumen.

There is no investor who is held in higher regard than Warren Buffet. I would recommend any of his books, truth be told. But an especially nice introduction are his famous letters to the shareholders of his investment fund, Berkshire Hathaway. These can be found online and have been compiled in several books. 

No one writes more sensibly and is less moved by the daily hype than Warren Buffet. In the letters, you will read pearls, such as “Forget what you know about buying fair businesses at wonderful prices; instead, buy wonderful businesses at fair prices”.

Wondering, from whom Warren Buffet learned investing? He was actually a student and employee of Benjamin Graham, pretty much the inventor of value investing. His book “The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing” is considered the standard work on value investing. 

“Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki dissects how differently the rich teach their kids about money, compared to the poor and middle class. 
He wrote the book, based on his observations of how differently his two ‘dads’ – one rich (actually his best friends’ dad), one poor (his own dad) - thought about money. 

Though this won’t teach you how to get rich, it does a nice job in illustrating two very different mindsets. For example, one dad would say “I can’t afford that”, while the other dad would say “How can I afford that?”.

“Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman is surely the book to read about all of the biases the human brain constantly makes. 

These biases especially come into play when making long-term financial decisions. Being aware of them is the first step in preventing falling for them. 

Other recommended books about these biases are “Stumbling on Happiness” by Daniel Gilbert, “Predictably Irrational” by Dan Ariely, “The Invisible Gorilla” by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons, “Nudge” by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, and “The Behavior Gap” by Carl Richards.

For young professionals who are working on getting rid of their PTPTN loans, or who already have collected a massive credit card debt, even just a few years after graduation, read “Debt-Free By 30” by Jason Anthony and Karl Cluck.

In case you are looking for a book which offers a bit more of a local perspective, consider KCLau’s “Funny Munnee”, “Top Money Tips for Malaysians” and “Teaching Your Kids About Money”.

Most books should be available online as eBook formats. Enjoy reading!

Mark Reijman is co-founder and managing director of dedicated to increasing financial literacy and to help you save time and money by comparing all credit cards, personal loans and broadband plans in Malaysia.

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