5 Books About Money That Can Teach You How to Build Wealth

By AAwosika07 | Careers

Feb 10

Reading more books is the cheat code to getting what you want from life. Some of the smartest people in the world take the time to share their hard-earned wisdom with you. And you get to digest it all in a few hours.

When you start to read more, especially when the books are about how to succeed in the real world, you almost feel a bit cheated.

You wonder why nobody taught you this information in school. All the steps to live the life you want are hidden in plain sight. Just study what works, implement it in your own life and watch the magic happen.

What if I told you that a shift in your mindset about money could change your life? What if I told you that it could help you not just make more money, but continue to grow it over time?

This isn’t about getting super-rich and driving a Lamborghini. It’s about using the money for ends that matter to you, mainly your freedom to live your life the way you see fit without having to listen to anyone.

It’s sad. So many people are either misinformed about money or they have such a negative relationship with it that they limit their ability to make it. I look at money as a tool. It’s not the end all be all. I’m not a slave to it. I make it work for me.

The following books provided the education that helped me build financial flexibility and keep me sharp and focused when it comes to growing my wealth over time.

The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel

“The finance industry talks too much about what to do, and not enough about what happens in your head when you try to do it.”

The book opens with a story about two people. One person was a hotshot extremely bright investor who got overconfident with his trades and ended up losing all of his money. The other person was a janitor who died a multi-millionaire after investing in solid bluechip companies for decades.

Investing and growing your wealth is mostly about your emotions and psychology. This is why investing can be so difficult. The book talks about a ton of different emotions, insights, and psychological biases that come with finance.

Here are some of my favorites:

  • Risk – More risk equals the potential for more reward, but it also increases your odds of going bust.
  • Fear – It’s all fun and games when the stock market is going up, but will you panic sell when your investments suddenly drop 30 percent, or will you hold?
  • Greed – Your brain can trick you into thinking stocks are just going to go up, which can lead to you making FOMO trades and continuing to chase gains. Again, remember the risk.
  • Time in the market – Time and compounding are your friends when it comes to investing. The earlier you invest, the easier it is to grow your money down the road.
  • Luck – So much of success in business and finance can be attributed to pure luck. Sometimes you’re just in the right or wrong place at the right or wrong time.
  • Quitting while you’re ahead – If you can grow your wealth without continuing to level up your lifestyle, you’ll be free.

These sound like basic concepts. And they are. That’s the point. Morgan’s recommendation? Don’t get cute. He invests one hundred percent into basic index funds and keeps a heavy cash fund for a rainy day.

He uses compelling stories to share the concepts and he’s a fantastic writer. This is the most entertaining finance book I’ve ever read.

Rich Dad Poor Dad By Robert Kiyosaki

I mention this book in damn every book list I write because it was such a paradigm-shifting book for me. I read it in college. I remember staying up until the library closed reading the book. Couldn’t put it down. The ideas in the book made me feel like I’d accessed some holy grail for information.

The premise is simple, ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ people have a totally different understanding of how money works. In short, rich people build businesses and assets to pay for their liabilities and luxuries. Poor people make money through one source, income, stack up a bunch of liabilities and end up in a cycle of working for money their entire life.

In my life, I only pursue opportunities to build assets that scale — products I can sell to many people at once, networks to promote and continue to grow sales over time, and investment vehicles to help my money make more money.

The book is packed with lessons, but some of my favorites are:

  • Rich people buy assets first and liabilities second
  • Always focus on increasing cash flow. You want assets that continually put money in your pocket
  • You can’t build wealth by renting out your time for money
  • Assets put money in your pocket and liabilities take money out of your pocket.
  • The most controversial stance in the book is that traditional homeownership is a liability.
  • Work to learn, not for money. People who build wealth focus on building profitable skills first and making money second

The Millionaire Next Door

This book shatters the illusion that most millionaires are lazy trust fund babies who inherited their wealth. This is simply not true. The vast majority of millionaires are self-made.

The book also dispels the myth that wealthy people are greedy, ostentatious, and flashy people. Often, the people who tend to be flashy are the ones who aren’t actually wealthy but use the money they do have to look rich.

The millionaire next door is someone who either worked at a job that paid well or owned a small business. Like the janitor mentioned in the psychology of money, they invested their money patiently and got rich slowly. Most millionaires don’t become millionaires until their 50’s or 60’s.

Here are some other interesting tidbits from the book from the perspective of the millionaires:

  • Our household’s total annual realized (taxable) income is $131,000 (median, or 50th percentile), while our average income is $247,000. Note that those of us who have incomes in the $500,000 to $999,999 category (8 percent) and the $1 million or more category (5 percent) skew the average upward.
  • On average, our total annual realized income is less than 7 percent of our wealth. In other words, we live on less than 7 percent of our wealth.
  • Many of the types of businesses we are in could be classified as dull/normal. We are welding contractors, auctioneers, rice farmers, owners of mobile-home parks, pest controllers, coin and stamp dealers, and paving contractors.
  • We live well below our means. We wear inexpensive suits and drive American-made cars. Only a minority of us drive the current-model-year automobile. Only a minority ever lease our motor vehicles.
  • Most of us have never felt at a disadvantage because we did not receive any inheritance. About 80 percent of us are first-generation affluent.
  • We are fastidious investors. On average, we invest nearly 20 percent of our household realized income each year. Most of us invest at least 15 percent. Seventy-nine percent of us have at least one account with a brokerage company. But we make our own investment decisions.

The lesson here is simple — you don’t have to be a hotshot genius to build wealth. You can do it slowly, patiently, and modestly.

The 10x Rule By Grant Cardone

The 10x Rule isn’t specifically about money, but it teaches a valuable lesson you can use to make more money. This book had a take that I’d never seen anywhere before.

The book teaches that it’s your ethical duty to get 10x results in your life. Look at this section from an older piece I wrote about the book:

There’s nothing wrong with average thinking, average planning, and average amounts of action…as long as everything goes smoothly. But as soon as situations go south, failure to set big enough targets causes massive pain.

Just look at these examples:

  • Most Americans grossly underestimate how much money they need to retire.
  • Many are living paycheck to paycheck and have no savings.
  • The average household has piles of debt (would you survive a repeat of 2008?)
  • Most businesses fail because they underestimate how much cash they’ll need to survive lean times
  • Almost all people with ‘revolutionary’ ideas severely underestimate how much effort it will take to execute those ideas

Living an abundant lifestyle isn’t just pleasurable, it protects you. Society emphasizes the virtue of mediocrity, but all morality aside, mediocrity is mathematically and pragmatically not good because it can all be swept away in the tide of circumstances.

Most people don’t have a savings problem. They have an income problem. When you’re able to grow your income, it’s much easier to save. Shooting for 10x goals doesn’t mean you’ll reach them, but it increases your odds of doing much better than you would have if you set a lower target.

My favorite insight from the book: never reduce your target, increase your activity. If you can’t afford the lifestyle you want to live, don’t just settle. Make a 10x effort to get there.

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Ecker

This is another book that kept me up into the wee hours of the night back in my college days. It’s another book that talks about the differences between the mindsets of the ‘rich’ and the ‘poor.’ I put quotes around these words because I’m not a fan of the connotation.

As our friend Morgan Housel put it:

“Realize that not all success is due to hard work, and not all poverty is due to laziness.”

Building wealth isn’t one hundred percent a product of hard work and your mindset, but let’s not also pretend that these factors don’t matter at all. In my life, I’ve come to adopt mindsets that help build wealth while knowing how heavily luck and randomness come into play.

Let’s take a look at some of the differences highlighted in the book:

  • Rich people invest and poor people put money into savings accounts
  • Rich people continually learn and poor people stop learning
  • Rich people think long-term and poor people think short term
  • Rich people spend money on self-education and poor people don’t
  • Rich people are innovators and poor people are consumers
  • Rich people make income work for them and poor people work for money

Mindset shifts are powerful. Until you change your mindset about money, you’ll stay stuck in the same paradigm and income bracket.

Study these insights, read these books, and implement the information to the best of your ability so that you can build a life with more wealth and abundance.


About the Author

Ayodeji is the Author of Real Help: An Honest Guide to Self-Improvement and two other Amazon best-selling titles. When he's not writing, he enjoys reading, exercising, eating chicken wings, and occasionally drinking old-fashioned's.