The best books to read to get smarter about your money

There are thousands of resources online to learn about personal finance, a staggering amount of financial information, from free courses offered by colleges and education platforms to TikTok influencers and expert newsletters. This can make it hard to identify the best sources on budgeting, saving and investing, but the earlier in life an individual begins their financial education, the better the chances of wealth and success.

During the CNBC Invest in You virtual event, Finding Your Financial Success, back in April 2021, a Rutgers University student asked a panel of personal finance experts for their picks on the best books to improve one’s money skills. Here is their recommended reading list.

Books on relationships and money

Anthony Chan, managing director and chief economist at JPMorgan Chase, cited two books, both focused on personal relationships and finance.

“Broke Millennial” by Erin Lowry is a step-by-step guide that illustrates how to evaluate your own understanding and relationship with money. Lowry takes readers through how to get “financially naked” with their partners.

Chan also recommended “The Big Payoff” by CNBC’s Sharon Epperson.

“I’m going to embarrass Sharon, but ‘The Big Payoff’ is one of my favorite ones,” he said.

In her book, Epperson lays out how couples of all ages and all stages can realize their financial dreams together.

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Books on the money mindset

A member of CNBC’s Advisor Council, Lauryn Williams knows the right mindset is fundamental to performing well. Williams was the first American woman to earn a medal in both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

“You know, as a sports enthusiast, we have to get our mind right to make our body do what we want. In order to organize our finances accordingly, we first have to get our mindset correct. So ‘The Psychology of Money’ by Morgan Housel is a great book to read,” she said.

In “The Psychology of Money,” Housel shares 19 brief stories exploring the unique ways people think about their money and how they behave with it.

Books on Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett and value investing

Shark Tank investor and best-selling author Daymond John recommends Benjamin Graham’s “The Intelligent Investor.” Graham, who was a mentor to billionaire Warren Buffett, teaches readers strategies on how to use value investing in the markets successfully.

Value investing is a strategy for picking stocks that investors believe are trading below their intrinsic value and therefore considered inexpensive. Eventually, these stocks will increase in value, and the investor will profit.

Disciples of Benjamin Graham and two of the most successful investors ever, Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett’s annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders has become mandatory reading for many investors.

Since 1977, Berkshire has released a letter to shareholders in which Buffett candidly discusses investments, mistakes he has made, and broader views on the good and the bad about the stock market and Wall Street. These letters can all be read online.

If you want to learn more about value investing, author and investor Phil Town recommends Mohnish Pabrai’s “The Dhandho Investor,” a book that lays out his framework of value investing.

Pabrai’s book tells the story of how the Patel family from India came to own over 40% of motels in the US, expanding on principles of value investing.

In 2007, Pabrai and Guy Spier bid $650,000 on the chance to dine with Buffett. This turned out to be a bargain: last year’s winner paid over $4 million for the honor of dining with Buffett.

After lunch with Buffett, Spier wrote his own book, “The Education of a Value Investor.” Spier’s memoir is candid and takes readers from the darkest corners of Wall Street to a practical guide on what it takes to become a successful investor.

Both Pabrai and Spier continue to post musings on personal blogs.

CNBC’s Warren Buffett Archive is another great resource for everything Buffett. With 130 hours of searchable video and 2,800 pages of transcripts, readers and viewers can get a full Buffett education.

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