When discussing money and finances with clients, I get personal. I want to know their goals so I can help achieve them. I also share insights about investing and financial planning, often highlighting articles and books, to provide them with useful perspectives about how to manage their money.
I often stress the importance of reading some of the best books written about or related to financial planning and investing during these conversations. Nothing beats an old-fashioned book when it comes to learning about a specific topic – and sometimes the author can dig deeper into ideas and present information in a fresh way that helps others understand. Several books offer a wealth of takeaways, but there are three that I recommend because the wisdom holds true, even in the toughest of times.
One of my first favorites is “The Next Millionaire Next Door” by Thomas J. Stanley and Sarah Stanley Fallaw, which discusses how individuals need to be aware of their financial situation in order to make a plan to move forward. The authors emphasize the importance of not comparing the way you view, spend and save money to others because everybody’s situation is different. There are many unique factors that contribute to the way we behave with and around money – for example, if you grew up in a poor household, you may be more frugal.
Wealth is the product of a lifetime of good habits – but what exactly are those habits, and how do you make a plan to reach your goals? Things like living within your means, committing to a budget and paying yourself all fall into the bucket of good financial habits, and there are plenty more. Working with a trusted professional is a great way to start developing proven money management habits that will help you achieve financial independence.
“The Psychology of Money” by Morgan Housel also discusses behavior. The author says that, when striving for financial success, your behavior is more important than what you know. Throughout the book, Housel tells several short stories to convince the reader why this approach will help in the long run. “Physics isn’t controversial,” he writes. “It’s guided by laws. Finance is different. It’s guided by people’s behaviors.”
Your personal experience with money plays a lot into how you behave. The generation, the place, the parents you were born to all teach you lessons about financial planning and money that are different from others’ ideas or beliefs. Make decisions based on your current situation and the best option for you at that time. Soon enough, you’ll reach a point where you have control over doing what you want – that’s freedom.
Books about finances and money aren’t the only ones that have advice you can apply on your journey to financial independence, though. Earlier this year, I read “Think Again” by Adam Grant, which encourages readers to challenge their assumptions to adopt a new perspective. Oftentimes, questioning ourselves and our beliefs can feel threatening to who we are as people – our core identity – but it’s one of the best ways to grow.
Financially, we can have this grand plan about building wealth or how we’ll reach our financial goals. But the reality is that things change. We will meet unexpected challenges and circumstances that we didn’t even think about. “Think Again” embodies our company philosophy of “humble confidence,” which we strive to live out every day.
Ultimately, these three books offer advice and tips that you can relate to your financial planning journey, but there are different perspectives from each author that may resonate more with your beliefs. As long as you continue to learn, keep an open mind and stay the course, you’ll be on your way to achieving financial independence.