Most people are not financially educated.
I certainly wasn't until I reached my mid-20s and realized I was on the hamster wheel of money for time (a day job) and I needed a way to get off! That's when I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and my life changed. I started a business and began investing.
I'd like to say I was set for life at that point, but in my mid-30s, I decided to ditch my six-figure day job and start again as an author-entrepreneur. We sold everything and downsized — essentially starting from the bottom once more.
A decade on from that decision, I run a multi-six-figure creative business as an author, and through my investments, I am well on the way to financial independence. But only because I learned about money and put that knowledge into action.
I'm creative, I'm an author — and I also love money and the wonderful life it can provide. I want more authors and creative people to understand how money works and to build wealth and success for themselves and their families, as well as helping those who need it. Wealthy creatives can change the world!
I have read countless books on money over the last few decades. Seriously, I buy pretty much every new one that comes out just in case there's something new I can learn! I also subscribe to Money Week and the Financial Times here in the UK so I stay up to date on financial news. Here are some of the books I recommend and a few lines on what I learned from them, as well as some podcasts, although of course, these are just a place to start.
Many of these books and podcasts are US-centric, so you have to do some extra research to apply them to your country-specific situation, as I have done in New Zealand, Australia, and the UK over the last twenty years. Generally, the principles still apply but the language and tax laws will change.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! – Robert Kiyosaki. I come from a family that is very similar to Kiyaosaki's Poor Dad. We are very educated with lots of degrees — but in the main, we have no financial literacy. This book helped me see the reality of the ‘rat race' of the day job and how I might escape it. If you have little financial knowledge, definitely start with this. It's great as an audiobook, too.
Cashflow Quadrant: Rich Dad's Guide to Financial Freedom – Robert Kiyosaki. Totally blew my mind in terms of what side of the quadrant I should be on. I went from an employee mindset to starting my first business and then moving into being an investor.
Rich Dad's Guide to Investing: What the Rich Invest in that the Poor and Middle-Class Do Not – Robert Kiyosaki. More practicalities on business and the different kinds of investments you can consider. Read this after the other two books as they form a great pathway. Kiyosaki has a ton of other books on money, but these three cover the basics and give a great foundation.
I got into property investing for a few years in New Zealand and Australia, so I read a lot of books and went to a lot of seminars about that. But it was not something I was passionate about, and I learned my lessons the hard way! I much prefer intellectual property assets and investing in funds and companies, rather than physical property. Everyone has to decide what works best for them! I won't recommend any property books as I am not in that niche anymore.
Unshakeable: Your Guide to Financial Freedom – Tony Robbins. This book taught me the importance of low-fee index funds and took away my fear of the stock market. After reading this, I really began to super-charge my investments. I often buy this book for people who are interested in investing and don't know where to start. [For his much more in-depth book, check out Money: Master the Game.]
How to Own the World: A Plain English Guide to Thinking Globally and Investing Wisely – Andrew Craig. This has been re-released in a new 2019 edition and is a great book to read if you don't want to keep all your money in the USA. I live in the UK, but I invest all over the world. This book also reassured me about index funds, automatic investments every month that compound over time, and managing my own money for retirement.
The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness – Morgan Housel. I listened to this audiobook in September 2020 and it is a fantastic reminder of some of the principles of long-term thinking with investments in a roller-coaster year in the markets due to the pandemic. I will be re-listening to this, for sure.
The Simple Path to Wealth: Your Road Map to Financial Independence and a Rich, Free Life – JL Collins. When JL's daughter didn't want to listen to his tips on money, he decided to put it all in a book. JL is a little too frugal for my kind of life, but his principles are the foundation of the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement.
Quit Like a Millionaire: No Gimmicks, Luck or Trust Fund Required – Kristy Shen and Bruce Leung. I love this book! Kristy's Chinese-Canadian Millennial voice is so different to the other books on personal finance, and it's got some great no-nonsense tips on getting to your financial freedom number, but also on what to do in the drawdown period, which is missing from so many books.
RESET: How to Restart your Life and Get F.U Money. The Unconventional Early Retirement Plan for Midlife Careerists who want to be Happy – David Sawyer. If you think it's too late to sort out your money and your life, then read this. Also, it has UK equivalents to the US financial system so it's super useful for Brits, although the principles are also international.
Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence – This is a new book and nicely rounds up the principles of spending less than you earn, making more money, and investing wisely, in order to create financial independence. I also like the approach of Fat FIRE vs Lean FIRE, because I like to spend money on travel and eating out and my health. I am not frugal, and I prefer to make more in order to invest, which is a completely acceptable way forward, especially if you have your own business, as I do.
All the practical knowledge in the world won't help unless you change your mindset around money. This might be a little woo-woo, but if you're not making the money you want to, then maybe your mindset is the problem.
The Secret – Rhonda Byrne. The Law of Attraction became such a phenomenon that it went way too far into crazy! I suggest you take the good bits that work for you and disregard the rest. I started using affirmations because of this book (and the film) and that certainly changed my life. My first affirmation was “I am creative, I am an author,” and that has certainly come true! Of course, the Law of Attraction is about setting intentions, being clear on what you want to achieve, and grateful for what you have and what it is to come. It is also about ACTION. It's the law of attrACTION — so don't just think about it, do it!
Get Rich, Lucky Bitch: Release your Money Blocks and Live a First Class Life – Denise Duffield-Thomas. This is definitely for women and I'd recommend the audiobook read by Denise, who is an Australian. No-nonsense tips on mindset with practical application — with some good Aussie attitude!
Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Think Rich to Get Rich – T Harv Eker. This can get a little ‘American' in terms of upselling to a live event, but it is a great book around mindset with some challenging questions and new money files that can help you change your perspective. I've listened to the audiobook a number of times as I get something different each time.
Money Podcasts and Films
Interview with Mr Money Moustache on the Tim Ferriss Podcast about Financial Independence Retire Early
Playing with FIRE film – A couple with a new baby decide to downsize and change their life in order to pursue financial independence
Obviously, there are so many more books and podcasts and resources out there, but these are a few of my favorite. Happy creating!