With Memorial Day behind you, beach season has officially kicked off. Your vacation plans are in place: the deposit on the beach house has been made, your week away from the office has been approved, and you’ve got that new swim suit ready to go. Now it’s time to think about how you want to spend those lazy hours in the sun and sand.
You could grab a few of this season’s most popular ‘beach reads’ – all of which are undoubtedly light, fluffy and fairly mindless. Or you can take full advantage of your time off by selecting a book that will help brighten your financial future, yet is still easily digestible.
If you choose the latter, some of our CFP Board Ambassadors – many of whom are accomplished authors themselves – have recommendations:
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Cary Carbonaro, CFP®, Long Island Ambassador: “A classic book from 1937 that was the first of its kind, Think and Grow Rich is a motivational book about creating a rich mindset. Hill emphasizes that positive thinking is key, and draws upon all the lessons he has learned from studying successful people for several years.”
Does This Make My Assets Look Fat? by Susan Hirshman
Carina Diamond, CFP®, Akron, OH Ambassador: “This book uses a familiar dieting analogy and applies it to financial planning and investments, so it’s great for both female consumers and advisors of either gender who work with women. The author refers to aspects of behavioral psychology that really resonate with the reader, and has a great sense of humor. Her writing style is very motivating, keeping it simple – which is often the key to success.”
The Money Code by Joe Duran
Paul Jarvis, CFP®, Fargo, ND Ambassador: “This book is a super easy read and focuses on what you can control and how to make good decisions around money. It helps anyone understand that money is really only good for three things: avoiding pain; feeling good; and taking care of those you love.”
Winning the Loser’s Game by Charles Ellis
James Watkins III, CFP®, Atlanta Ambassador: “Ellis was one of the first writers to emphasize that risk management, not management of returns, is the key to successful investing. He was also one of the first to advocate use of incremental costs and incremental returns – a simple, yet very effective, method of evaluating a mutual fund's performance. Just a classic!
Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes and How to Correct Them: Lessons from the Life-Changing Science of Behavioral Economics by Gary Belsky and Thomas Gilovich
David Zuckerman, CFP®, Los Angeles Ambassador: “This is the best introduction to behavioral finance that I've found. The authors provide helpful perspective on common behavioral biases and illustrate how those biases can lead to counterproductive decisions. The book helps readers spot instances and situations where they're susceptible to ‘being their own worst enemy’ and provides guidelines for avoiding behavioral pitfalls."
A few of our Ambassadors also think highly of books authored by their CFP Board Ambassador peers, as well as CFP Board’s Consumer Advocate:
The Other 8 Hours: Maximize Your Free Time to Create New Wealth & Purpose by Robert Pagliarini, CFP®, Orange County, CA Ambassador
Cary Carbonaro, CFP®, Long Island Ambassador: “Most personal finance books focus on saving more and spending less. The Other 8 Hours approaches personal finance differently, focusing on creating more wealth by doing things in your free time. It’s a fresh take on wealth building applicable to anyone who wants to make more money and create a better life.”
Women’s Worth by Eleanor Blayney, CFP®, CFP Board Consumer Advocate
Marguerita Cheng, CFP®, Washington, DC Ambassador: “Eleanor presents financial information in a helpful, engaging manner. There is no shortage of books on women and personal finance, but Women’s Worth is replete with clear, concise, and practical advice. She does an outstanding job of engaging her readers and empowering them with financial confidence. Consumers and financial advisors alike can benefit from her thorough explanation of gender differences and how they apply to personal finance.”
The Money Queen's Guide: For Women Who Want to Build Weath and Banish Fear by Cary Carbonaro, CFP®, Long Island Ambassador
Kate Holmes, CFP®, Denver Ambassador: “This should be an instant go-to for women this summer! What makes this book a stand out is Cary’s authenticity: it's not easy sharing our personal struggles, and I salute her for being so open. The book has no jargon, instead making things simple and relatable. She addresses different needs during different life stages, so this is a book you can get in college and keep with you for decades to come.”
Of course, a book can never take the place of sitting down with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional who can pull all aspects of your finances together and make a plan tailored to your personal financial situation. But boosting your financial literacy will always put you in a better position to put those money worries to rest, and allow you to truly enjoy your time in the sun.