Finance books for recent grads

I have two cousins graduating high school this month. I was wondering what I should get them for graduation. There is always the gift card which is quite lame in my opinion. Might as well give them cash. There is a personalized clock from Things Remembered. I have about 20 of these sitting in a bin in the garage. No thank you! So what do you get them?

Well what about a head start on their financial futures? What about teaching them something about finances. Something I never had at that age. Heck I did not have it until I was in my late 20’s! So why not give them financial books?

I have read a few in my day but was unsure about what would be the best for an 18 year old. So I got onto Rockstar Forum (you should check it out here if you never have before) and asked my co-finance nerds their thoughts.

Nine people replied. Not bad. So what was the list of books these financial bloggers recommend?

Well here it is and if you click on the links below to buy it I make a little cash:

#1 coming in with 5 votes was:

The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley

This is a personal favorite and one I thought of on my own. I really enjoy Stanley’s explanation that rich people are everywhere. That typically stealth wealth is what wins out and not being fancy or flashy.

Tied at #2 with 3 votes were:

The Richest Man in Babylon by George Samuel Clason

I have never read this one but I heard it is great. With 3 votes I may have to check it out.

I will teach you to be rich by Ramit Sethi

Another book I have yet to read, though I follow Ramit on Twitter. He seems to have made himself a successful businessman and it all started from this book.

Tied at #4 with 2 votes was:

Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin

I have heard many great things about this book. For some it was the catalyst to a journey towards FIRE (Financial independence retire early).

Simple Path to Wealth by J. Collins


And to round up the list:

Findependence Day by Jonathan Chevreau

Unshakeable by Tony Robbins

The Behaviour Gap by Carl Richards

The only investment guide you’ll ever need by Andrew Tobias

Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in your 20s’ and 30’s by Beth Kobliner

Millionaire Teacher: The nine rules of wealth you should have learned by Andrew Hallam

Truth about money by Ric Edelman


There was also a recommendation for a podcast:

Welcome to the better off podcast run by Jill Schlesinger


Finally the best idea I heard was from Chief Mom Officer who recommended bribing my cousins. If they read the book and write a book report, they get a cash prize at the end.

Thanks to all of the people who chimed in. Also, check out Mama Fish Saves recent book list here and ESI money’s list here.

I have decided to buy them both The Millionaire Next Door and I Will Teach You to be Rich. I am also going to get him The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. While not a personal finance book it is a fictional book about chasing your personal dreams, which  I think goes with finding financial independence. It is also my favorite book.

What are your thoughts?

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Also published on Medium.


I am a Dad and Doctor trying to find financial freedom by owning my dollars and debts. Helping dads with their finances so they can focus on the family.

10 thoughts on “Finance books for recent grads

  • May 28, 2017 at 7:28 am

    Nice roundup! I’ve only actually read The Richest Man in Babylon from this list, but I’m going to definitely check out some of these others.

    I also recommend Shoe Dog. Great read and quite inspiring.

    • May 28, 2017 at 10:41 am

      Thanks. Definitely worth checking out some of the other books! Look forward to checking out your site.

  • May 21, 2017 at 9:42 am

    For the medical students or doctors, I recommend Jim Dahle’s book, The White Coat Investor:


    • May 21, 2017 at 4:33 pm

      Yes. The WCI books is a great read and one of my go to personal finance book. Definitely good for the med school grad or even college.

  • May 20, 2017 at 7:45 am

    I still need to read I will teach you to be rich.

    Those are all great choices. And CMO’s suggestion to get them to actually read the book is nice too. You should make them give you a PowerPoint presentation about the book for an even bigger cash prize. That is if you can tolerate that. 🙂

    Tom @ HIP

    • May 20, 2017 at 1:52 pm

      Ha- A power point presentation- get them ready for the corporate world. I sure hope in 4 to 10 years when these youngens are hitting the work force we have something less grueling then powerpoint presentations…

  • May 20, 2017 at 7:30 am

    Awesome list! The Millionaire Next Door was one of the first personal finance books I ever read and it was a real eye-opener. I recommend it all the time to people. Another one of my favorites specifically geared towards investing is A Random Walk Down Wallstreet by Burt Malkiel. It’s a classic and it explains why Index Funds are the best choice for most investors.

    Thanks for putting together this list! 🙂

    • May 20, 2017 at 1:51 pm

      Thanks for that addition- Will have to check it out. I really enjoy The Millionaire Next Door and try to keep it in mind as I go through this life.

  • May 20, 2017 at 7:16 am

    Hey Dad!

    Great list – I have read many and would agree. You can never have too many options so here’s one more that I have been hearing a lot about recently:

    I haven’t read it but I’ve been hearing Dave Ramsey speak about it for weeks and am thinking about getting it for my BFs kid. I have heard Anthony speak and he is really good relating to the adolescent voice. If I get it I’ll let you know!

    PS – this dog pic looks JUST like the one I took with my dog years ago. She had a different colored cape but otherwise I would swear it was my old girl Buca!!

    • May 20, 2017 at 7:20 am

      That is awesome- regarding Buca. Dogs are such funny things and I have run into quite a few that look like my girl.

      Thanks for adding one more to the list. I am going to check that one out too.


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