5 Personal Finance Books You Should Read This Year

The finance world has provided many newsworthy financial crises, mergers, acquisitions, and other dramas that have captured news headlines and movie storylines over the years. Listed below are 5 personal finance book suggestions to help finance professionals get the history and information on their industry’s topics that may help improve their knowledge and their service to their clients.


This book was written in 2005 and is the collaborative work of an economist Steven D Levitt and Stephen Dubner, a journalist. It deals with a wide range of topics and discusses the true nature of how things really work. As an example, it looks at an everyday decision a homeowner may ponder such as will it be better for him to contact a realtor to sell his house, or should he sell it himself?

Other topics covered include the economic aspects of the sport of Sumo wrestling and drug trafficking and drug dealing activities. The book presents an interesting and fun way to look at many things you thought you understood and knew about money. An interesting book to read about everyday topics, but seen through the eyes of an economist.

Barbarians at the Gate

In 1989, John Helyar and Bryan Burrough initially broke this story while working as reporters for the Wall Street Journal newspaper. Helgar and Burrough documented the historical issues encountered in the use of the risky investments known as junk bonds coupled with the financial transaction of a leveraged buyout to acquire RJR Nabisco company, a corporation selling food and tobacco products.

At that time, the leveraged buyout was looked at as a prime example of executive and corporate greed. The events were later made into a made for tv movie. The book will make interesting reading to those interested in the role of junk bonds and leveraged buyouts in the finance industry.

Thinking Fast and Slow

Daniel Kahneman is the author of Thinking Fast and Slow. In the book, he explains two thought systems he calls fast and slow, that are responsible for the way people think. He describes the fast system as emotional and automatic, while the slow system is premeditated and logical. Kahneman also investigates how corporate policies are often too simplistic and fall short by presuming to know what is in the best interests of people. For him, a person’s mindset influences every aspect of his life, from arranging family activities to investing in the stock market.

Kahneman feels that an understanding of the fast and slow methods of thinking will show how decision making and reasoning come about.

Common Sense on Mutual Funds

In 1999, John Bogle published a practical mutual fund investment guide to promote index-based investing. The guide outlines good sense approaches to better manage and keep more of your invested money. One example of this is by using index funds, as opposed to using actively managed funds; you will lower your management expense ratio since index funds managers are just following the performance of a benchmark index, and do not need to hire research analysts and other specialists.

As an investor in index funds, you will keep more of your money since you are paying less to your fund managers. Bogle founded the Vanguard Group, and his book is a straightforward approach to selecting the right investment strategy from the vast array of alternatives currently available.

How to Master the Art of Selling

Tom Hopkins is the author of this book, in which he elaborates on hundreds of tried and tested strategies and techniques that will help to improve your ability to sell to your target market by getting them to accept and trust you and then buy the idea or products you are promoting. Hopkins provides tips to accelerate sales and also provides techniques for effective persuasion. Hopkins does not restrict the use of the techniques in this book to the selling of goods, services, and ideas only. The art of persuasion and mastering the art of selling can also be applied to your personal life, to gaining greater influence on your family, to generate more money, and have a greater impact on your community.

Topics on the world of finance vary widely and provide a great deal of information from which writers can create books and historical perspectives on issues in the financial world. Financial professionals may use these for their continued education, to improve their business and management skills, increase their selling abilities and to provide better service to their clients. Grab a few of these recommended books to add to your financial library.

Mark Angelo is the President of Yorkville Advisors

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