Five Books to Get Your Finances in Shape


Now I myself am an avid lover of business books. Banking and money management is not something that you “sort out” in one year and then expect that to suffice for the rest of your life; although, admittedly, this is the chief verdict on the topic.

Your money goes so much further when you are more clued into what’s happening in the financial climate and more importantly what you can modify to adapt to these changes. There are a silly amount of books out there, especially since the explosion of self-publishing that puts you in danger of getting unsound advice. So here is a list of the books that are worth the read and make a lot of financial sense.

Four Hour Work Week

By Tim Ferris

four hour work week

Timothy Ferris has famously labeled himself to be a “self-proclaimed guinea pig.” Much of the content concerns time and resource management which lend themselves to increased wealth. If you feel as though you are currently in a rut with your finances, then this is the first book I’d recommend to you.

The most significant point to take from this book is the DEAL acronym. Ferris shows us, backed up by his own personal achievements, that you can better your financial position by working smart rather than toiling away and endlessly finding yourself clocking up an insane level of overtime. I have no hesitation in prescribing this book to anyone looking to improve their financial position. He shifts the perception that only the rich or the lucky can skyrocket themselves to success; whatever that means to each individual. He also gives concrete tips on how to manage these finances and prevent you from heedlessly squandering the fruition of your new found success.

The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

By Dave Ramsey

The significant aspect I have to fault with this book is the “quick-fix,” over-marketed title. Once you open the cover though it’s full of really sound advice to attain financial security. First-hand stories from families fill the chapters with real-life evidence of the effectiveness of Ramsay’s guidance. I found this story-like format to make the book much more readable. If you’re looking for something to help you with your debt management, this is a particularly good option.

The book is also loaded with valuable content on everything from buying your first car, to options available to you when you file a divorce. These are life events that happen to a lot of people, but one thing he doesn’t skimp on a particular subject, that this book’s contemporaries avoid, is your funeral. He makes the simple point that everyone will die eventually and so gives guidance on how to make a will and the soundest ways to go about financing your funeral.

The major step I was impressed by is his debt snowball technique. Dave Ramsey discusses this in great detail in his book, but basically, it is a method of paying off your debts and getting to a place where you will be debt-free. He makes this a step by step guide, and I have to admit that it’s one of the better models I have seen over the last few years. For these reasons, it’s an enlightening and enjoyable read that just misses out on the top spot.

Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook

By Tony Robbins

Let me start by giving you an extract from the blurb: “No matter your salary, your stage of life, or when you started, this book will provide the tools to help you achieve your financial goals more rapidly than you ever thought possible.” Sounds pretty good, right?

Anyone who likes to structure their lives and create plans will find not only powerful strategies but will also have a bit of fun in the process of becoming in charge of their finances. This book was released just last year and has a lot of current information on how to invest your cash and get a good return. He takes the essence of what highly successful investors have done to garner their wealth and boils it downs to suit the smaller scale of personal wealth. What I like about this book is that it assumes that the reader has very little, or even zero, knowledge on investing without exuding a patronizing tone. There are many books on investing that offer good advice, but people tune out because of their inferior inclination. Robbins skilfully crafts this book to teach you how to gain financial freedom without you having to feel like you are back in school.

Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money – That The Poor And Middle Class Do Not!

by Robert T. Kiyosaki

I have read and reread this book countless times, and with 36 million copies that have made their way around the English speaking world. This book is remarkably successful and for a good reason. There are two major points he makes in this book that opens people’s mind. The first is that to become rich, you have to earn a high income. The second is that your house is an asset.

These two points alone are likely to pique your interest as it goes against everything that society tells us. Kiyosaki turns what we conceive to be “financial success” on its head. He also clarifies our conceptions of debt and what is worth going into debt for (you’ll find your eyebrows raising in this chapter). Unlike most books on this list, it is not a step by step guide but rather a narrative that seeks to shift how we think about our finances.

How to Remove ALL Negative Items from your Credit Report

by Riki Roash

This book is tidy but very dense in the advice it gives. This book is empowering and centered around getting rid of the less favorable items on your credit report. It explains the best way to deal with credit bureaus and collection agencies. This book is what you need when you are struggling with your credit, even on the verge of bankruptcy.

The approach that Roash encourages acts as a lifebuoy for many people grappling with their debt. It’s also useful for those who are simply looking to start work on their credit rating. This book isn’t as well known as others on this list, and the big reason for this is that it’s not as flashy as its competitors. The premise of this short book is to impart honest, usable and practical advice to its reader and it does this notably well.

Side note: Although this book is written for the US market, the tools also work in the Canadian credit system.

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Ryan Sharma, CIM

Ryan Sharma, CIM

Co-Founder & CEO/CIO

Ryan has over 15 years of experience in Information Technology, within the global financial services industry. His career has primarily focused on leading strategic initiatives within various retail and corporate business areas to innovate and future proof financial institutions for the long term.

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