Best Finance Books List For Beginners


35 books
57   votes


The Wealth of Nations


3.84 rating

Comment 1: This book made Adam Smith The Father of Economics. He created a whole science in this book. Ironically he is critical of new cult of scholars of his times who used to call themselves 'economist'.Morality and greed Most moralists call greed a sin, Smith points out necessity of civilization:It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.This though doesn't mean he is greedy or well capitalist - he believed in free trade because any laws constraining free trade are giving unfair advantage to a part of society at cost of discomfort of whole. Profits he says at point are highest in the countries that are fast going towards ruin. He is against all kinds of coalition among businessmen:People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.” He condemns businessmen for wanting protection against workers union:“In regards to the price of commodities, the rise of wages operates as simple interest does, the rise of profit operates like compound interest. Our merchants and masters complain much of the bad effects of high wages in raising the price and lessening the sale of goods. They say nothing concerning the bad effects of high profits. They are silent with regard to the pernicious effects of their own gains. They complain only of those of other people.” He is equally critically of governments of his time and specially British empire's approach towards colonies. I guess he must have made a lot of powerful enemies.The need for a summary bookOf all the books that I have read, Wealth of Nations is the one that needs editing most. The word 'corn' is used about 450 times and this is not including the indirect references. The author goes on rambling about all sorts of things much of which is a trash relevant to his own times but times even more ancient, but amid all this rambling there are gems of great observations - not only only on issues relating to economics but that of general humanity. that make it difficult to skim despite the obvious provocation.P.J. O'Rourke does a great job summarizing the book and provide a good enough analysis in his much, much smaller book On The Wealth of Nations There are though a few points he fails to point but he compensates for that by saving time and providing an interesting commentary. Rourke points out that Smith had his own reasons for writing so large a book and in a way his summary makes you want to read it all the more. It is only after reading that commentary that I gathered courage to read the big book.Some more words of wisdom from the great genius:Virtue is more to be feared than vice, because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience.Nobody ever saw a dog make a fair and deliberate exchange of one bone for another with another dog.The difference between the most dissimilar characters, between a philosopher and a common street porter, for example, seems to arise not so much from nature, as from habit, custom, and education. Money, says the proverb, makes money. When you have a little, it is often easier to get more. The great difficulty is to get that little.Wherever there is great property, there is great inequality.Happiness never lays its finger on its pulse...........I could go on but I think you get the idea and anyway they are just one google search away.


The Intelligent Investor (Collins Business Essentials)


4.25 rating

Comment 1: Why I Read this Book: Warren Buffet became the successful man he is today greatly as a result of what he learned from the man who wrote this book. We have the chance to read exactly what he read.Review:Whether you are an avid investor with a complex understanding of the markets or a beginner who is yet to start learning, there is little doubt that you have heard of Warren Buffet. He represents a level of success that very few people ever reach. Most of us know Buffet as the second richest man in the world, but many of us do not stop to think that he has build his great fortune solely off of investing. He has not invented anything or built any specific business. He has gotten to where he is by nothing more than diligent value and principle based investing (with very little debt I might add).I apologize for the long rant on Buffet especially since he only wrote the first few pages of this edition. The man behind this book’s genius is Benjamin Graham. It was many of his fundamentals and principles that got Buffet started with a foundation that soon grew to be insurmountable. The amazing thing is that anyone interested in these principles has the opportunity to buy a copy of this book for less than twenty dollars. It continues to blow me away; the amount of success-related knowledge that is available to us for the learning.To be very honest up front, this is not the easiest read. It is written by a 20th century economist and quite frankly it often reads just like that. But to that note one should not pick this book up for humor and entertainment as much as he should to learn. Although there will be times when you will find yourself laughing or smiling at some of the stories told and how they ring true even today in our ever more sophisticated world. One such example is the concept of emotional investing, one of which most all of us have been guilty at one time or another. It is worth mentioning that for every bit of hard theory, this particular revised addition of the book has just about as much digestible commentary (courtesy of Jason Zweig) to help the reader through. This commentary is crucial to the level of satisfaction of the read.I would not dare to get into the specifics of this book as I would not do them justice and I feel that the above should be more than enough reason to read the full edition. However I will comment on the over all tone of it. The book (as well as Buffet’s proven strategy) is based on a fundamental set of principles. These principles are something that, no matter what the circumstances, is never to be broken. This is how the rigor of an “intelligent investor” is maintained. I believe this to be the real difference between Graham and Buffet and the rest of the investment community (If you have not already, you should be sure to read Buffet’ s 13 principles on Berkshire’s website). Both these men display an inhumane level of disciple to stick to the very principles they have developed.Having a principle-based investment strategy is something that will prove to be of much value as one progresses along his career (or hobby) of successful investing. If you are able to decide on a set of principles (be them your own or those of others) and stick to them at all costs, decisions suddenly become much more fluid and easy to make. How else do you think Buffet can make a $4 billon investment before lunch time?The real reason I mention this is that it has a much greater underlying message. If principle based investing has proven so successful (provided your principles are sound of course) then imagine what can be accomplished in the overall success of ones life if you live by a firm set of principles and core values. This quickly becomes clear once you read through some of the top rated books in my personal development section. By now I hope you have already developed your set of core values by which to live. Now take advantage of this book to establish a similar set of values by which to judge personal investments. The added long term financial success will be explicit. Then again I guess you could just buy Berkshire, but perhaps you should make that decision for yourself after reading the book that helped create it.-Reading For Your Success


The Art of Startup Fundraising


4.4 rating

Comment 1: "The Art of Startup Fundraising" by Alejandro Cremades is a great read for all starting entrepreneurs. The business startup is perhaps the biggest and most daunting hurtle for those who wish to start a business. You’re excited, you have an awesome business idea, but you do not have the money to fund the growing business. What now? Alejandro Cremades will tell you exactly what to do in this book. Furthermore, this book will teach you how to document your way to success and use technology to your Comment 2: This is a must read for anyone serious about raising capital as a startup entrepreneur. Alejandro did a wonderful job creating a this fundraising handbook for entrepreneurs. It provides a look inside the the world of angel investing and fundraising from one of the most qualified minds in the industry. Alejandro has a proven track record of startup investment on both sides of the negotiating table. The book includes practical examples for accurately analyzing capital needs, identifying the best p Comment 3: I felt that this book was written in a language that is clear and concise. It's easy to understand and makes some parts of fundraising (which for me is quite difficult) that are actually pretty complex seem much more clear. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to take on the task of fundraising. Convincing other people to part with their money is not the easiest thing in the world and when you have a good cause to raise money, you have to do it in a way that appeals to them and makes them fe


The Millionaire Next Door


3.95 rating

Comment 1: Despite the fact that it takes scores of pages to communicate a few basic points and that the author offers excruciating detail on things such as the car-buying habits of millionaires, I believe this is an important book that should be read by anyone who mistakenly believes that the long-term accumulation of wealth is determined almost entirely by income or that the majority of millionaires become wealthy through inheritance or pure luck. We tend to think of the “rich” as people with flashy cars, newly built houses, and expensive clothes, but this does not describe the average millionaire, who manages to become a millionaire precisely because he does not engage in such conspicuous consumption. The Millionaire Next Door will cause some to rethink their definition of what it means to be rich and others to consider whether or not they really want to practice the self-discipline and relative austerity that is required to accumulate (rather than spend) wealth. While becoming a millionaire may ensure your financial independence and security, it does require living consistently below your means. While almost any American with a college education can theoretically become a millionaire by the time he is sixty, few will consistently choose to do what it takes to become one. The author defines a millionaire as the head of any household that has a net worth of at least $1 million dollars. Of this group, upwards to 85 percent are self-made, “first generation rich” millionaires. The author’s research on the characteristics of this group did not surprise me because I saw my own parents gradually accumulate wealth by the time they retired. From them, I had already drawn my own conclusions about how one creates a millionaire household: (1) Get married and stay married. (2) Work for about 30 years, full-time, at a middle-class job. There is no need to pursue a profession (such as doctor or lawyer) that requires a graduate degree. A typical middle-class job will do. My father was an editor, and my mother was a school teacher. (3) Don’t buy a house until you have saved enough for a reasonable down payment. (4) Live consistently below your means. For example, don’t go on vacations unless you will be staying with relatives or in a free cabin a friend has let you borrow. Buy cheap clothes. Don’t buy dust-collecting trinkets or art. Limit jewelry. Drive your car into the ground before you buy a new one. (5) Don’t finance anything other than your house. If you can’t pay cash, don’t buy it. (6) Be generous with your children, especially when it comes to supporting their educations, but teach them about the importance of financial discipline by making them work to buy many of their “wants” for themselves. (7) Save and make regular long-term investments in tax deferred retirement accounts, mutual funds, municipal stocks, and bonds. Stanley has his own seven factors to characterize millionaires, and while they differ somewhat from my anecdotal, personal observations above, in essentials they are the same. Work hard, invest wisely, spend little. The choice is yours –you can be a PAW (prodigious accumulator of wealth) or a UAW (under accumulator of wealth). If you don't have enough income, no matter how much of a PAW you are, you may never be a millionaire, but you'll be much better off than your peers in the same income group. And no matter how great your income, if you're a UAW, you will likely never become a millionaire. By Stanley’s definition, whether you are a PAW or UAW is not determined by your net worth (“wealth”), but rather by your net worth in relation to your income. Basically, you multiply your income by your age, divide by 10, and you get the average net worth for someone in your age and income group. If your own net worth (minus any inheritance, which doesn’t count since you didn’t accumulate it yourself) is a ways above that, you’re a PAW. If it’s much below that, you’re a UAW. There is a very interesting chapter on the positive and negative (mostly negative) effects of EOC (“economic outpatient care”). EOC is when wealthy parents give gifts to their adult kids and grandkids, which they often do in their later years to decrease the value of their estates and therefore avoid inheritance tax. Stanley says that some EOC (payment of tuition, for instance) has a positive impact on the long-term wealth accumulation of the recipient while arguing that other forms of EOC (cash gifts earmarked for consumption) have a negative impact. He compares the net worth of similar occupational groups to show that those millionaire's kids who receive EOC actually have a lower net worth than those who do not receive EOC. He suggests such gifts encourage many adult children to develop habits of consumption and to incur additional costs they would not have incurred in absence of the gifts. For example, the middle-income couple who is given cash for a down payment on a house in an upscale neighborhood will then try to keep up with the Jones on that middle income, purchasing fancy cars and country club memberships, whereas if they had just stayed in a middle-class town house, they’d presumably feel the need to buy less stuff. I don’t think he takes personality and personal priorities into account enough when drawing such conclusions about the effect of EOC, though he does concede that EOC does not always have this effect, especially on two particular groups: teachers and “Type A” housewives acquire more wealth if they receive EOC than if they don’t, because these groups tend to receive the gifts without increasing consumption habits and to save some portion of the gifts. Things I wish the author had discussed more:INFLATION. Given that the average age of millionaires is 57, and most are acquiring this fortune over a thirty to fifty year period, I don’t think Stanley has enough to say about the affect of inflation or how that might alter the future number of millionaires. In fact, I don’t recall him mentioning inflation at all. The woman who buys a house at the age of 21 could be a millionaire by 70 based almost exclusively on the increase in the value of her house. Millionaires are only 3.5% of the total population, but what percentage of the population over 50 are they? CHARITY. How much do millionaires give to charity, on average, compared to others as a percentage of income? How does giving to charity affect the ability to accumulate wealth? He only briefly mentions charity, admitting that children of PAWs who receive EOC do tend to give more to charity than those who do not receive EOC. THE EFFECTS OF SHIFTING GENERATIONAL VALUES ON WEALTH ACCUMULATION. For Stanley, under accumulation of wealth largely accounts for the fact that few of the children and grandchildren of millionaires become millionaires themselves. Stanley says, basically, that the hard-working and frugal ethos of self-made millionaire parents is lost as their children and grandchildren become increasingly “Americanized” and thus become status-conscious, materialistic, undisciplined consumers. I’m not ruling out that possibility. I’m sure it’s true for some, perhaps many. But I think there’s another possibility. Maybe some of the children and grandchildren of millionaires simply have competing values that, while different, are quite possibly also good values. The reality is that life is full of competing goods. Unfortunately, we can’t fully realize all goods simultaneously. Being at home for your kids is a good; but being able to one day pay for their college tuition so they can have a debt-free start in life is also a good. Few mothers can realize both goods. Supporting your child’s love for music by getting him an expensive instrument and private lessons so he can grow as musicians and explore his talent is a good; but having financial independence in old age so your kids don’t have to support you financially is also a good. Having more money than you need in the bank, in case you one day do need it, is a good. But paying a babysitter so you can experience regular, marriage-building date nights with your husband is also a good. We sometimes have to choose between two good things. And which goods we choose may depend more on our personalities and preferences, on our individual fears and hopes, than on our moral fortitude. Stanley’s assumptions about why millionaire kids do not become millionaires are a bit harsh. Some of these “kids” no doubt are irresponsible spendthrifts, but perhaps others are saving *enough* to meet their own personal, long-term life goals and are realizing other positive values instead of wealth accumulation. I may be wrong about this, but it’s not even a possibility Stanley explores. One final note - this book should be read in conjunction with The Cheapskate Next Door.


Broker Executive


4.5 rating

Broker Executive is a strategic guidebook for business owners and executives to help them get the most out of their insurance and insurance broker. It also describes a new type of insurance broker - the broker executive - as one who adheres to the highest standards of customer service and business ethics. This book gives business executives an understanding of the thought process their broker should go through to find the right solution for them, with an emphasis on the usage of life insurance as a business tool. It identifies some of the hazards of the insurance world, and ways to avoid them. It also uncovers techniques top brokers can use to create additional value using insurance, including succession planning and key personnel retention strategies.

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