A calm and humble life will bring more happiness than the pursuit of success and the constant restlessness that comes with it.
These are some of the books that I found most helpful:
- Man’s Search for Meaning / From Death-Camp to Existentialism – Viktor Frankl
- One of the best books I’ve ever read. I can’t recommend it enough.
- The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing
- Don’t let the goofy cover scare you off, it’s a solid primer for first-time investors.
- Common Sense on Mutual Funds – John (“Jack”) Bogle
- The Godfather of index funds himself–If Jack can’t convince you that low-cost index funds are the way to go, I don’t know who can.
- The Intelligent Asset Allocator – William Bernstein
- Bernstin is one of the greats–smart as a whip, and still accessible.
- The Four Pillars of Investing – William Bernstein
- An even more accessible read from Bernstein
- If You Can – William Bernstein
- It’s not a book, but it’s a great little primer for young investors.
- The Simple Path to Wealth – J.L. Collins
- The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing – Benjamin Graham
- This book helped me understand value investing. I wouldn’t start here, but if you’re interested in understanding value investing, this is the work to start with.
- The Total Money Makeover – Dave Ramsey
- As they say, “You’ve got to dance with the one who brought ya'”–Dave’s hard-line stance on credit card usage helped us get out of debt quickly. I think he fudges on his investment numbers–I like to use real after-inflation numbers rather than “nominal numbers” which is far less helpful. If you want to know how to get out of debt, Dave’s your guy. But if you want to learn how to invest, I would stick with the Bogleheads.
- Your Money and Your Brain – Jason Zweig
- An excellent book on the psychology of investing.
- Your Money or Your Life – Vicki Robin
- Many consider it the classic text and birthplace of the FIRE movement.
- Early Retirement Extreme – Jacob Fisker
- An “extreme” philosophical and practical guide to financial independence
*Please note: in hopes to make up for the ongoing costs of running this website, I use affiliate links.
- Mr. Money Mustache–The Evangelist for Early Retirement Himself — If anyone can get you excited about personal finance, MMM can! (A word of caution when reading MMM, unlike MMM I believe it’s prudent to account for (1) the need to budget for a high-deductible healthcare plan plus the annual out of pocket maximum expenses, and (2) the fact that the “4% rule” works for normal retirees but a more conservative 3.25% safe withdrawal rate is wise for those expecting a retirement for longer than 30 years.) I think Mr. Money Mustache is a great launching point for those starting out on the Path to Financial Freedom.
- J.L. Collins Stock Series – A must read!
- The Mad FIentist – One of the best for learning how to optimize your path to FI. His podcasts are a treasure trove for those wanting to learn about Personal Finance and Early Retirement.
- Early Retirement Now Safe Withdrawal Series – Argues persuasively for Early Retirees to use a 3.25% “safe” withdrawal rate instead of the normal 4% rate.
- J. D. Roth: Financial Philosophy – loads of resources and wisdom here!
- Our Next Life: One of the best resources for Healthcare for Early Retirees (All my Financial Freedom numbers have accounted for a high-deductible healthcare plan plus the annual out of pocket maximum expenses–for anyone who has dealt with long-term health concerns, they can appreciate the paramount necessity of addressing this real cost). See Big ERN on this matter as well.
- Go Curry Cracker — Is a genius when it comes to legal tax avoidance for those who have found Financial Freedom. His post on Never Paying Taxes Again is an excellent resource on how living a modest lifestyle really does pay in tax-free money!