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Basic Book Recommendation
Old 12-01-2006, 02:06 PM   #1
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Basic Book Recommendation

I am looking for a good into book to give as gifts to my two sons to get them on the road to saving and planning for their retirements. One is 29 and the other 24, a good time for them to start to get serious. I am interested in any recommendations that folks can make for something that a) they will read, b)be basic enough to hold their interest as well as educate, and c) contain good advice for them.

Thanks for any suggestions you can make -
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation
Old 12-01-2006, 02:08 PM   #2
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation

The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing

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Re: Basic Book Recommendation
Old 12-01-2006, 02:10 PM   #3
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation

The coffeehouse invester. Easy to read in a long afternoon, good advice. May lead to other more involved reading......Shredder
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation
Old 12-01-2006, 02:37 PM   #4
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation

Rather than a book on investing, how about a book on personal finance? You know, a book with info not only on saving and investing, but on taxes, insurance, wills, estate planning, buying big ticket items, mortgages, other loans, paying for college, credit cards, etc.

I know when I was younger, my folks had a Sylvia Porter book and a Jane Bryant Quinn book (both big thick paperbacks) that were very valuable to me in getting going.

I don't know who the current personal finance gurus are, but such a broader book may be more useful to younger folks than just a book on investing.
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation
Old 12-01-2006, 02:51 PM   #5
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation

I just finished The Millioniare Next Door, and wished I had read it when I was younger.

Coach
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation
Old 12-01-2006, 08:16 PM   #6
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation

I suggest you start with, The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason. Then the Bogleheads Guide, then, Work less Live MOre.
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation
Old 12-01-2006, 08:54 PM   #7
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coach
I just finished The Millioniare Next Door, and wished I had read it when I was younger.

Coach
That is one of my all time favorites. I just drug it out for some reading on a cool day here.
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation
Old 12-01-2006, 09:03 PM   #8
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation

Justin's got it right.
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation
Old 12-01-2006, 09:06 PM   #9
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coach
I just finished The Millioniare Next Door, and wished I had read it when I was younger.

Coach
Here is a funny story about that book. When it was first published I bought a hardcover copy, devoured it that night. Then I returned the book the next day! I have never done anything like that before or since. I suppose I was so hyped to save money that the book was a casualty!!
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation
Old 12-01-2006, 09:33 PM   #10
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation

I would agree with LOL!'s recommendation of a book on personal finance rather than just one on investing. Most of these will explain the basics of investing and outline simple systems, like indexing, that are easy to understand and work very well. But they also cover mortgages, insurance, credit, spending and all the other things that are usually bigger problems than investing for most people in their 20's and areas they are equally ignorant of.

I happen to like Ric Edelman's books (he has several, The Truth About Money is the only one I recall) but there are lot's of other good ones.
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation
Old 12-01-2006, 09:44 PM   #11
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation

Lots of good suggestions so far.

It may depend on where they currently are with respect to the planning, saving and investing process.

For example if they are already interested in saving and investing but don't really know how to start them somthing like The Four Pillars of Investing would be good.

Whereas if they need something to motivate them to start then something like The Millionarie Next Door or Your Money or Your Life may be better.

MB
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation
Old 12-01-2006, 09:49 PM   #12
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation

Quote:
Originally Posted by wheel9
I am looking for a good into book to give as gifts to my two sons to get them on the road to saving and planning for their retirements. One is 29 and the other 24, a good time for them to start to get serious. I am interested in any recommendations that folks can make for something that a) they will read, b)be basic enough to hold their interest as well as educate, and c) contain good advice for them.
wheel9, my comments below are not directed toward you because I don't know anything your about your specific circumstances. I'll just throw out a couple of thoughts about this general topic, for what it's worth (not much)...

--The investing/financial/ER things we talk about here can be almost like a religion in the sense that we want to "spread the gospel". I think we run the risk of turning people off on the subject; especially our own kids. My daughter was 30 before she came to me to inquire about this "investment stuff" (her words). What triggered her interest was a job she hated combined with the observation of our ER lifestyle. And this was a kid who grew up over-hearing her Mom and Dad talk about the wonders of personal finance, and in a house that was knee deep in financial books. Her lack of interest until then was normal. More importantly, she came to me - I didn't go to her - an important distinction.

--Depending on the kid (or I should say young adult), I don't think it's necessarily a good thing for 20-somethings to spend much time thinking/planning about retirement... for many reasons.

--When they're ready, they won't need a financial book that will "hold their interest". They'll wade through a dry one.

So I'll go against the tide and say this: buy them each a good novel.
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation
Old 12-01-2006, 10:05 PM   #13
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation

I will respectfully disagree with Bob's previous post and offer a somewhat counter viewpoint.

Personal finance is not taught in our schools, and our kids are bombarded daily with advertisements and images that encourage them to spend all of their money on consumer goods, and then borrow (credit cards, car loans, etc) to spend more. I have yet to see one single ad of any kind which encourages young people to save. Our society is built around the concept of spending and borrowing to spend more. For example, if you ask someone how much their car costs, they will probably say something like "it's only 300 per month" because society fosters a monthly payment/debt mentality. I will never forget when I was a late teenager speaking with my uncle about buying a car, and saving for the purchase, and planning to pay it off as soon as possible so that I won't have car payments, and he made a comment to the effect that "you will always have a car payment, so just get used to it."

My point is, as parents, I think we OWE it to our children to provide a small amount of financial education regarding frugality and the importance of LBYM and investing to counteract the daily societal bombardment to the contrary.

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Re: Basic Book Recommendation
Old 12-02-2006, 12:05 AM   #14
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation

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Originally Posted by JustCurious
My point is, as parents, I think we OWE it to our children to provide a small amount of financial education regarding frugality and the importance of LBYM and investing to counteract the daily societal bombardment to the contrary.
You are addressing a whole different issue! Sure, as they're growing up we need to make them aware of the things you mention. But that's an entirely different matter than deciding that it's "a good time for them to start to get serious" about "saving and planning for their retirements". We're talking about adults in their 20s here, right? I'm afraid I don't entertain any illusions about my role in determining what my adult children will or will not get "serious" about. And I prefer it that way - for their sake and mine. I'm here if they need me; they know that. And they seek our input when they need it. But I trust them to manage their lives, their time, their relationships, their kids, and their money. They know what's best for them far better than I do.

So all I was saying is this:

1) ERs who eat-drink-sleep this stuff run the risk of turning off their adult children (or other family, or friends) by such things as expecting them to focus on retirement in their 20s, when they may very well not want to do that (I sure didn't want that when I was in my 20s).

2) It's perfectly reasonable (and maybe even desirable) if my kids aren't thinking about retirement in their 20s.

3) While there's certainly nothing wrong with buying financial books as gifts, it could be construed (by the giftee) as criticism, or a push in a direction he/she may not want to go (or need to go) at this stage in his/her life - especially if the gift is given by someone who had great success in all matters financial.

As ERs who frequent a board comprised of other ERs, we run the risk of developing a rigid view: that if only the rest of the world would see the wisdom in our path, they would all want to do what we do... and would be better off for it. Kind of like a religion. There's a fine line we must walk, lest others will view us to be overstepping our bounds. Where to draw the line is debatable, but for me, I don't push retirement planning advice (or books) on anyone, and I won't discuss it with anyone, unless they ask. And that includes my adult children.

Again, none of this directed toward the OP - who is just asking for some book recs for her kids (who may be thrilled to get the books). I'm just making a general comment about what I view as a risk we face as financially successful ERs interfacing with people whose lives may not be nearly as organized, focused, or pleasant as ours. They may not always appreciate unsolicited advice about how they can become more like us.
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation
Old 12-02-2006, 12:24 AM   #15
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation

Bob, I think we agree more than we disagree.

There are two extremes... on the one hand, there are people who have no financial discipline and don't know the difference between a mutual fund and a ham sandwich, and do not plan or invest for their future until well into middle/old age, if at all, and by then there is little they can do. On the other extreme, there are the people on this board.

My point was not to suggest that you or I should browbeat our kids into planning for an early retirement while they are still in college. I agree that would be extreme, and for most people, early retirement is never a goal at any age, much less during their 20's. My point was to try and educate our kids to innoculate them from some of society's influences so that they at least fall somewhere in the middle of the two extremes, and where they have some basic understanding of the need to live within their means and the importance of saving and investing and to avoid debt. I think the OP was asking about basic books along those lines, not necessarily about ER.
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation
Old 12-02-2006, 08:31 AM   #16
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation

The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton - easy to read.

Then next year its Bogles "Common sense on mutual funds", followed by Bernsteins "Four pillars of investing".
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation
Old 12-02-2006, 08:59 AM   #17
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation

Another book that has had personal impact for some of my friends has been Credit Card Nation. While a dry read for the most part, it is very educational regarding the personal resposibility of the individual and the profiteering of the lending industry. Nothing blinding here but it does sum up the issues nicely.
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation
Old 12-02-2006, 09:14 AM   #18
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation

Your Money Or Your Life is a great book to get the savings bug - it is the one that jump started me - but the investment advice is dated and poor.
I would say get them the YMOYL book AND the Four Pillars for the investment savy
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation
Old 12-02-2006, 09:24 AM   #19
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation

Quote:
--Depending on the kid (or I should say young adult), I don't think it's necessarily a good thing for 20-somethings to spend much time thinking/planning about retirement... for many reasons.
I really understand what you're saying, Bob, but the advantages of starting early outweigh those reasons. If they can learn enough to be convinced to throw money regularly into a low expense fund, they can still spend lots of time being kids and not thinking about old age.

I still haven't seen a recommendation for a good how to organize your finances, pay your mortgage type book (except maybe YMOYL).

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Re: Basic Book Recommendation
Old 12-02-2006, 01:15 PM   #20
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Re: Basic Book Recommendation

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
II still haven't seen a recommendation for a good how to organize your finances, pay your mortgage type book (except maybe YMOYL).
If someone has unsecured debt, I would highly recommend the author Dave Ramsey, and his book called The Total Money Makeover.

Once the unsecured debt is gone, I would recommend the author David Bach and the book The Automatic Millionare for a primer on the mechanics of setting up payment plans to invest and pay off debts.

Once the mechanics of investing are in place, I would recommend Larry Swedroe and the book "The only guide to a winning investment strategy you will ever need" in combination with "The Boglehead's guide to investing" by Taylor Larimore, and the book "All About Asset Allocation" to determine the appropriate investments to select.
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