Can there be an investment which will always return a positive Return on Investment (ROI) ? In my understanding the answer to that question is a resounding and a simple yes, invest in yourself.
Investment in oneself or self improvement as the name suggest is to invest time and effort into learning a skill or gaining knowledge about a particular discipline which benefits you in some way. In my opinion, financial literacy is one such discipline which just keeps giving.
The lack of financial literacy is an endemic problem which not only affects one’s monetary standing but also their health. A report by Thriving Wallet published on BestMoneyMoves.com indicated that 90% of Americans say that money has an impact on their stress level. This is a concerning fact and similar statistical averages hold true for India as well.
Assuming that I successfully convinced you to subscribe to the financial literacy bandwagon, let me stop you before you go on Amazon and rummage through the thousands of book in its listing. There’s more than 1 Lakh options on Amazon just under the Business & Money section which is difficult to wade through particularly so if you are a beginner. Instead, you should go through our curated list and pick your book of choice-
Reccomended For Beginners: Broke Millenial Takes on Investing
Author Erin Lowry’s Broke Millenial Takes on Investing is the equivalent of investing for dummies. Breaking down investment terms is something she tremendously excels at and her explanation of “the why” behind every investment concept makes the book an easy yet informative read.
In my experience, this is the perfect way to start off learning about such complex concepts. One of the strongest suites of Erin’s authorship is definitely the innate relatability in this book. For instance her comparing asset classes to craft beer, explaining business cycles through historical events such as the Dutch Tulip Bubble, etc.
If this is your first foray into the world of finance, this is a blind steal and will educate, entertain, and arouse your interest to help you learn more nuanced topics.
Best For Inspiration: Rich Dad, Poor Dad
To an extent Rich Dad, Poor Dad updated in 2017 and orignally written 20 years earlier was one of the pioneers when it came to popularising the financial literacy genre in the first place. In essence it a memoir where author Robert Kiyosaki recounts his childhood memories. I consider the book particularly special because of how relatable it is for most of us, Robert is the son of a not-so-wealthy father who was very educated.
However, the contrast in the story appears when Robert talks about his friend’s father who was not at all educated yet had a better financial position owing to his prudent management of money. Robert puts this idea on the table that you do not need to have a very high inheritence, nor do you need to be a try hard academic in order to get financial success.
Concepts such as all debt not being bad debt is presented wonderfully and this book although requires little knowledge going in is perhaps one of the most inspirational literary piece in the financial self-help genre.
Timeless Classic: The Intelligent Investor
Being an author is in itself quite an achievement, being the founder of an entire economic philosophy however is a feat in itself. Benjamin Graham, the father of the Value Investing school published The Intelligent Investor in 1949 amidst relative economic boom as post-war America relled back from the darkest hour of humanity.
The book teaches investment strategies and stresses on the meaning and importance of fundamental analysis in an effort to truly understand your investment not only from a purely numerical point of view but from an overall holistic perspective.
Now the more astute amongst you might have realised that this investing style is reminiscent of Billionaire Investor Warren Buffet’s investment style. You’d be correct. Buffet has gone out on a limb and proclaimed that The Intelligent Investor is the “Best book on investment ever written”. If the richest investor in the world subscribes to this philosophy, who am I to say otherwise.
With that said, I must also quote that reading books on personal financial development is only going to take you so far. One of the most important ways to hone your skill in any discipline is to actually practice it. Practicing financial discipline as I have previously mentioned as well is not an easy task. It requires consistent habit building and strict self control. Only then can one progress on the path of financial independence.