Financial books for a college graduate
April 30, 2008 12:10 PM   Subscribe

My bro is graduating from college this month and is asking a lot of financial questions regarding investment/savings/etc. As the first college graduate in the "real world" he's asking me for some advice. I am looking to get him some books that I liked ( by Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman ) that have helped me out. I was seeing if there are other tomes of financial wisdom that I should get him for graduation (there are other gifts.. don't worry I'm not that lame;)
posted by aggienfo to Work & Money (24 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Scott Adams wrote a very good book on personal finances. Unfortunately, he couldn't get it published because it was only 129 words long. Fortunately, it got included in another book he wrote. You can read it here and read mefites (overall positive) reaction to it here.
posted by alms at 12:20 PM on April 30, 2008

Random Walk Down Wall Street
posted by 0xFCAF at 12:31 PM on April 30, 2008

this and this are two kick*ss sites for the common young/poor like me:)
posted by femmme at 12:31 PM on April 30, 2008

I was surprised to enjoy Getting Loaded: 50 Start-Now Strategies for Making a Million While You're Still Young Enough Enjoy It. It's aimed at people in their 20s, starts very simple, and explains the ins and outs of investing, taxes, starting a business, etc. It's not afraid to give you the hard truth, that you'll have to work hard and save/invest hard if you want to have lots of money. But it's still very optimistic. Everything's broken up into short sections with random info-graphics and whatnot, so it's easy to get through despite all the information. And the author makes a lot of lame jokes. I'll leave other readers to decide whether they jokes are plain-lame, or so-lame-they're-funny, but they at least kept me entertained while learning about a subject I don't naturally care about.
posted by vytae at 12:32 PM on April 30, 2008

The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham is the book Warren Buffett recommends to noobs. If it's good enough for Buffett...
posted by paulsc at 12:33 PM on April 30, 2008

In the same vein as Random Walk, I always end up recommending the Diehards book list -- of those, The Four Pillars of Investing is perhaps the best start. A little more advanced than those "everything you need to know about money now that you're an adult" books, but a lot more skeptical too.
posted by xil at 12:34 PM on April 30, 2008

I enjoyed reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad as an undergraduate.
posted by peacheater at 12:50 PM on April 30, 2008

The Wealthy Barber is great: short, simple, to the point.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 1:00 PM on April 30, 2008

I'm a big fan of Your Money or Your Life
posted by stuboo at 1:02 PM on April 30, 2008

Seconding xil's list, especially The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing and A Random Walk Down Wall Street.

Also, as femmme mentioned, there are many great personal finance blogs out there that have up-to-date info about all kinds of financial issues. Get Rich Slowly is one of my favorites. is also a great resource for getting a broad range of finance related blog posts and finding good blogs.

Also, no offense to peacheater, but I dislike Robert Kiyosaki and his advice enough to warn not to buy Rich Dad, Poor Dad. A good summary of why I and others don't like it is on Wikipedia.
posted by burnmp3s at 1:04 PM on April 30, 2008

Seconding Your Money or Your Life.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad is not really a "how-to" book, but a lot of people find it inspirational.

I also recommend The Millionaire Next Door.
posted by Ostara at 1:11 PM on April 30, 2008

The Millionaire Next Door is excellent but The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need really is the only investment guide you will ever need.
posted by thomas144 at 1:21 PM on April 30, 2008

+1 against Rich Dad / Poor Dad. Everyone I know who drank the Kiyosaki Kool-aid is constantly moving from one get-rich-quick scheme to another and asking for money to finance some harebrained 'business' idea.
posted by 0xFCAF at 1:28 PM on April 30, 2008

I would highly recommend "The Little Book of Common Sense Investing" by John Bogel of Vanguard. It's a short read an easy to understand. It's slanted toward index fund investing over managed mutual funds. But I think that's a good thing. One thing every new investor has to understand is the difference in philosphies between index fund and managed fund investing.
posted by bananafish at 1:52 PM on April 30, 2008

How to Buy Stocks
posted by charlesv at 2:26 PM on April 30, 2008

"The Richest Man in Babylon" is the classic book for dealing with finances and would be great for a graduate new to the workforce. I'd also recommend "The Millionaire Next Door".
posted by btkuhn at 3:12 PM on April 30, 2008

Response by poster: thanks for all the advice... I'm picking out a few books for myself too. I leaning towards "Getting Loaded' and "The Only Investment Guide You'll Need"
posted by aggienfo at 7:39 PM on April 30, 2008

Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties starts with the absolute basics of organizing your finances and progresses from there. It's a good primer for someone just starting out in personal finance.
posted by 26.2 at 7:52 PM on April 30, 2008

Since no one's mentioned it, I'll suggest Making the Most of Your Money by Jane Bryant Quinn. To me it reads as an anti-hype finance book, i.e. it stresses prudent money management and fiscal responsibility over "getting rich". In some ways it's more of a reference book than a guide or planner, but sometimes that's what you need. If you're in a bookstore, check out a copy and see if it fits your sensibilities. (Also, I see it in used bookstores all the time, so you could get a copy on the cheap as a supplementary gift... )
posted by alb at 6:29 AM on May 1, 2008

I'm going to go with a different tack- personal finance websites. The Simple Dollar and Get Rich Slowly are both fantastic, well-written, frequently updated blogs. I Will Teach You To Be Rich isn't bad either, but those first two are an absolute must-read.
posted by Tamanna at 8:09 AM on May 1, 2008

I would recommend ignoring Rich Dad Poor Dad. It's full of fluff, babble and questionable advice. I highly recommend Eric Tyson's Personal Finance for Dummies, as well as Millionaire Next Door. A Random Walk Down Wall Street makes interesting reading, but it's neatly summed up by rule #8 in Scott Adams' guide.
posted by lsemel at 3:48 AM on May 2, 2008

He should also watch this video. It's free.
posted by stuboo at 1:25 PM on May 2, 2008

Along the lines of the Scott Adams book, a couple of years ago there was a very good short article in the Wall Street Journal describing the fact that a very simple investment strategy will usually win. You can read it here: Limited Menu: Choose Only 3. I saved it as a PDF when it was written in 2006, and since then it's one of the standard pieces I give to friends struggling to figure out what investing is all about.
posted by alms at 2:03 PM on May 2, 2008

Thanks for all the warnings against Kiyosaki's books. I now have something to say to my parents when they ask me to read his books. Will recommend some of the other books mentioned here to them.
posted by peacheater at 1:42 AM on May 15, 2008

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