Recommended Reading

Over the years, I have read many of the popular books on finances and here is a short list of books that I highly recommend. You may want to check your local library first but I found that I refer to many of these books often enough that they will be make a nice addition to your bookshelf. You may also consider these books for someone in your gift list with an interest in personal finance.

In the interests of disclosure, pays a referral fee for some of the books purchased through this page.

Getting Started or Saving Money

The Wealthy Barber: Author David Chilton demystifies the basics of financial planning in this easy-to-read book, which deals with all the basic stuff: saving, investing, retirement, home and mortgage, wills and insurance etc.

Spend Smarter, Save Bigger: A well-written, easy-to-read, book packed with solid financial advice that is of relevance to a Canadian audience. (Full Review)

The Millionaire Next Door: The authors Thomas Stanley and William Danko paint a surprising portrait of wealthy Americans that is at odds with the image of the rich portrayed in the mass media. The authors also show that it is not what you make but what you keep that really matters.


Stocks for the Long Run: Prof. Jeremy Siegel researched financial markets going back to 1802 and shows why most of a long-term investor’s money should be in stocks and not in bonds or cash or gold. Parts of the book are technical and complicated but this book is the bible for buy-and-hold investors.

A Random Walk Down Wall Street: It is tempting to play “beat-the-market” and invest in equities directly because, well, it is exciting! This book debunks the claims of both fundamental analysis and technical analysis and even if you do not buy the hypothesis that markets are efficient, beating the market is extremely hard to do. Read this book before you buy a single stock.

The Warren Buffet Way: Mr. Buffett scoffs at the Efficient Market Hypothesis and thinks Modern Portfolio Theory is bunk and has a stellar record to back up his claim. How does he do it? Robert Hagstrom mines the Berkshire Hathaway annual reports and captures the investment strategies of the master investor. Be warned though that Mr. Buffett’s methods are simple to explain but incredibly hard to practice.

The Future for Investors: Prof. Siegel finds that stocks of old, slow- or no-growth industries have done extremely well compared to the new, high-octane companies that operate in rapidly growing markets and recommends that investors stick with the tried-and-true rather than the bold-and-new, whether it is in stocks or entire markets.

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: John Bogle has written an easy-to-read book, preaching the virtues of low-cost indexing. (Full Review).

The Four Pillars of Investing: William Bernstein’s book contains important “lessons for building a winning portfolio”. (Full Review).

Canadian Content

The Investment Zoo: Stephen Jarislowsky is a legend in Canada and in this book written in a conversational style, describes his philosophy of investing in dividend-paying, steady-growth equities and holding them for the long-term. (Full Review)