Not long after I wrote The Only Five Money Books You’ll Ever Need, I ran into a book that’s worthy for consideration into the top five (which, as you know, doesn’t happen that often).
It’s one of the best new books on finances I’ve read in a long time, so I thought I’d tell you a bit about it.
I’d also love to hear your thoughts if you’ve read it.
The Simple Path to Wealth
The book is The Simple Path to Wealth: Your road map to financial independence and a rich, free life.
It’s written by JL Collins who has a blog of his own.
The book originates from a series of investment posts Collins initially wrote on his blog. I’ve seen many people describe them as the best series on investing they’ve ever read.
It is mostly an investing book (which may limit its attempt to crack the top 5 — see below for comments) but also has tons of general personal finance tips that are right on the money.
The book covers two main topics:
- General tips for personal finance success (control your spending, eliminate debt, save and invest for wealth, etc. — this section is in the introduction and the first couple of chapters)
- How to grow your wealth through investing (what the book is really about — gives a long, well-reasoned argument for using Vanguard index funds)
It’s a VERY easy read (the author is very personable in his writing) at just over 250 pages. It took me a few hours to make it through the whole thing, though I did skim many parts that reiterated facts that I already knew and have applied.
From the Author
Here’s what the author himself says of the book on Amazon:
This book grew out of a series of letters to my daughter concerning various things—mostly about money and investing—she was not yet quite ready to hear.
Since money is the single most powerful tool we have for navigating this complex world we’ve created, understanding it is critical.
“But Dad,” she once said, “I know money is important. I just don’t want to spend my life thinking about it.” This was eye-opening. I love this stuff. But most people have better things to do with their precious time. Bridges to build, diseases to cure, treaties to negotiate, mountains to climb, technologies to create, children to teach, businesses to run.
Unfortunately, benign neglect of things financial leaves you open to the charlatans of the financial world. The people who make investing endlessly complex, because if it can be made complex it becomes more profitable for them, more expensive for us, and we are forced into their waiting arms.
Here’s an important truth: Complex investments exist only to profit those who create and sell them. Not only are they more costly to the investor, they are less effective.
The simple approach I created for her and present now to you, is not only easy to understand and implement, it is more powerful than any other.
By the way, as of this writing the book has 280 reviews and 4.8 stars out of 5 on Amazon.
Why I love the Book
There are three main reasons I love the book:
- It covers the basics of what it takes to become wealthy.
- It’s written by someone who obviously knows what he’s talking about (which differs from many authors).
- It’s very practical in its advice.
I strive to hit these three here on this blog, so you can see why I like the book.
Worthy of the Top Five?
Now, let’s get to the hard part. Should this book be in the top five best personal finance books of all time? Here are some reasons why it may or may not make the list:
- Why: If someone read just this book, no other, and applied what it said, would they be wealthy in 20-30 years? Yes, I believe they would.
- Why: It offers both basic personal finance guidance as well as investing plans.
- Why not: The book is an investing book so it most closely compares to The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing on my list. Is it good enough to knock this book off and replace it? It’s certainly close, but I would say no at this point.
- Why not: It’s short on the general personal finance tips when compared to other books like The Millionaire Next Door, The Richest Man in Babylon, and Your Money or Your Life
So at this point I’d say it probably would not make my top five, but it’s ever so close, which is a truly amazing feat for a new book. My top five are tried and true classics, so to write a book anywhere close to the caliber of these is something to be very proud of.
Believe me, if I ever wrote a book worthy of being discussed as part of this list, I would be ecstatic!
That’s my take. What do you think? Anyone out there read The Simple Path to Wealth? What are your thoughts about it?
photo credit: Paul Stainthorp Shelves via photopin (license)
Erik @ The Mastermind Within says
I haven’t read it but am interested in it, so thanks for sharing.
I finished The Richest Man in Babylon over the weekend – great read! I’m reading Think and Grow Rich and The Automatic Millionaire in April… super excited for those.
I read it and I agree. Collins Rocks!
I haven’t read the book yet, but I think his stock series is fantastic!
Max Your Freedom says
I’ve read the book, and agree with your summary. Since I haven’t read some of the other books you mentioned it’s hard for me to argue whether it deserves to bump another one off the top 5 list. I would be comfortable telling my wife and daughter (eventually) to follow the advice in the book, in case I’m not around to help guide them on finances. I also think they would be able to read it without complaining too much.
I love The Simple Path to Wealth. It sits firmly in my top 5.
What book/s would you recommend for a 2017college graduate?
I currently have a 24 year old graduate student finishing an internship with me on Friday. He excels professionally but will graduate with almost $200,000 in student loans. He should not have a hard time getting a job, he is currently interviewing around the country but his starting salary will be less than $80,000. He is single with no other debt.
During his internship he has observed several of my coworkers consult me about personal finances as I am known as the one to ask. As a result, I have had the opportunity to discuss personal finances with him. I thought it would be nice to give him a book or two on Friday as a departing gift.
I would appreciate any suggestions.
I would start with these five:
If you asked me to narrow them down, I’d go with The Richest Man in Babylon, Your Money or Your Life, and The Bogleheads Guide to Investing.
I’d also recommend he get my free ebook on financial independence for a good, short overview. It’s here:
I liked The Simple Path to Wealth book so much that I not only have it on my Kindle but also listen to it via Audible. When I mentor students during their clinical rotations at work, I have added this book for them to read. Also, recommend Automatic Millionaire by David Bach. Newbies need simple explanations written in a conversational way that gives them a solid blueprint plan.