Want to Learn About Investing? Our Recommended Holiday Reading

From time to time, some of you have expressed interest in educating yourselves and your loved ones about investing, the markets, and general financial management. With the holidays approaching, and COVID-19 helping to scale back our social plans, now seems like a great time to start that education process. (Remember, books make great holiday gifts, too!) We’ve put our heads together to come up with some recommended reading to get you started.

NOTE: We have included Amazon links for your convenience, but AMDG Financial does not have an affiliate marketing relationship with Amazon and does not earn commissions if you purchase from these links; however, Wayne Titus does receive royalties from sales of "The Entrepreneur's Guide to Financial Well-Being" at We encourage you to support your local independent bookstore, used bookstore or library!

Recommended by Ken Porter, operations associate:

Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! (Robert T. Kiyosaki): Author Robert Kiyosaki tells the story of growing up with his real father and the father of his best friend, and how each shaped his thinking about money.

Recommended by Molly Wallace, operations associate:

Smart Couples Finish Rich: 9 Steps to Creating a Rich Future for You and Your Partner (David Bach): A great gift for engaged couples or the newlyweds in your life! Bach walks couples through best practices for aligning values and money decisions, like credit card management and investments.

Recommended by Chris Carlson, CFP®, C(k)P®, AIF®, partner and adviser:

The Wealth of Nations (Adam Smith): Smith is cited as the father of modern economics, with The Wealth of Nations as his magnum opus. Written in 1776, this book is considered essential reading for those interested in economics, finance and capitalism. While not particularly easy reading, it’s considered foundational to understanding the global modern economic system.

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Recommended by Ramey Becker, partner and director of communication:

Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence (Vicki Robin, Joe Dominguez, et al.): This is an oldie, but goodie, which was recently revised by Vicki Robin after the death of her co-writer, Joe Dominguez. This book offers some practical methods for getting out of debt, saving, decluttering, investing, and leaving a smaller footprint on the earth in the process ­­— a perfect gift for young people just starting out.

The Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money (Carl Richards): A financial planner and contributor to the New York Times, Carl Richards is famous for his “back of the napkin” drawings to explain financial concepts. In this book, he delves into behavioral finance to help the reader make sense of bad money decisions.

The Coffeehouse Investor’s Ground Rules: Save, Invest, and Plan for a Life of Wealth and Happiness (Bill Schulteis): A follow-up to Schulteis’s first book, The Coffeehouse Investor’s Ground Rules focuses on the stories of investors who applied the rules of financial planning to what matters most to them.

Quit Like a Millionaire: No Gimmicks, Luck or Trust Fund Required (Kristy Shen, Bryce Leung): Kristy Shen shares the story of how she was able to retire with a million dollars at the age of 31, simply by cutting spending, building a disaster-proof portfolio, and making practical money decisions.

Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living (Elizabeth Willard Thames): This is the story of a young couple who embraced the extreme frugality, scrimping and saving until they had enough to retire to a homestead in the Vermont woods in their early 30s, where they are raising their two daughters today.

Recommended by Wayne Titus, CPA/PFS, AIFA®, founding partner and adviser:

The Elements of Investing: Easy Lessons for Every Investor (Burton G. Malkiel, Charles D. Ellis): Perfect for young people and those new to investing, this book explains the importance of saving, the basics of index funds, diversification and some other simple rules of investing in a down-to-earth, jargon-free way.

The Intelligent Investor (Benjamin Graham): Originally published in 1949, The Intelligent Investor is still relevant today. In fact, as the Wall Street Journal’s Jason Zweig notes in the updated commentary, Graham’s ideas remain valuable and can easily be applied to today’s financial markets. This book appears on many required finance reading lists, and many consider it to be the “bible” of investment books.

The Four Pillars of Investing: Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio (William J. Bernstein): This book lays out four essential topics: the relationship of risk and reward, the history of the market, investor psychology, and taking advice from salespeople.

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns (John C. Bogle): The late mutual fund pioneer John Bogle explains how low-cost index funds present an opportunity to build wealth over the long term.

Your Complete Guide to Factor-Based Investing: The Way Smart Money Invests Today (Andrew L. Berkin, Larry E. Swedroe): Berkin and Swedroe offer an accessible guide to applying evidence-based approaches to outperforming the market.

And finally, a recommendation from Becky Stroud, partner and director of operations and client service:

The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Financial Well-Being, by none other than our own Wayne Titus. (See what she did there?) The book, which is full of stories and examples from Wayne’s practice as a CPA and financial adviser, walks entrepreneurs through how to develop a dependable, communicative relationship with a holistic financial adviser.

And there you have it ­­— our list of educational (and sometimes, fun!) reads for your holiday and gift-giving enjoyment. Happy reading!

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