The Best Books for Armchair Millionaires

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Your education as an investor should never stop. The right books will make all the difference in your continuing education.

The right books can certainly change how you approach your money, and can even change your life. Here is how just two books did that for members of the Armchair Millionaire community:

"Your Money or Your Life, by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin, is our favorite personal finance book … The best lesson from the book is 'Don't go shopping.' What you don't spend, use to eliminate your debt. If you don't owe anyone any money, it doesn't cost a lot to live. Worked for us--we retired at 52/51 years of age. If we had started earlier, we could have retired earlier." --Alan and Kay

"The Millionaire Next Door taught us that even though we are not high-level professionals, we can still achieve millionaire status by maximizing every dollar we earn. A huge part of this is not 'keeping up with the Joneses' --who are probably up to their ears in debt and have very low net worth, anyway." --M. Tiongco

Given the sheer number of financial books crowding the shelves these days, your primary challenge is separating the real winners from all the rest. Here's what to look for:

•    Timeless lessons you can apply throughout your whole life, not just flash-in-the-pan investment strategies.

•    Actionable strategies you can actually use. The best advice in the world is useless if you can't implement it in the real world.

•    Understandable concepts. The most important concepts are often the simplest. If a book is written over your head, it may be because it doesn't have anything truly important to say.

•    Enjoyable. Does it pass the "I want to lend this to my friend/neighbor/kid brother" test? If so, you've got a winner.

No one single book will provide you with all the tools you need to manage your money wisely, but you'll find an incredible amount of collective wisdom in just a few select books. My guide provides my top recommendations.

The Armchair Millionaire's Favorite Financial Books    

The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton teaches the enduring lessons of personal finance through the story of a barber named Roy who gained great wealth by following a few simple rules.

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason. The parables in this short but powerful book ring true across time: Save a portion of what you earn, use powerful investments and protect what you have.

A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel provides one of the most convincing arguments for common sense, index investing that you'll find anywhere.

The Prudent Investor's Guide to Beating Wall Street at Its Own Game by John Bowen (the Armchair Millionaire portfolio advisor) and Daniel Goldie shows you how to use proven principles to build a smart portfolio.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Education never stops, and Armchair Millionaires never stop learning about better ways to manage their money. The right books will make all the difference in your continuing education.

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Lewis Schiff
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