Whether you are looking to transform your personal finances, get out of debt, save more money, invest or build wealth, the best personal finance books in Canada can be of help.
Summer is here and among the multitude of books out there vying for your attention, I have picked some of the best ones to add to your library.
This list encompasses some of the best money books written by Canadians to improve your financial literacy, finance book for beginners and millennials, and even two “oldies” that I classify in the ‘best of all time’ category.
1. The Wealthy Barber
By David Chilton
A no-nonsense guide that takes a commonsense approach to tackle the every day financial issues that Canadians face. The storytelling format used by Dave in this book brings the lessons close to home.
The Wealthy Barber: The Common Sense Guide to Successful Financial Planning was first published in 2002 and sold more than 2 million copies.
The book delves into how to pay yourself first, use credit wisely, max out your RRSP, invest with a long term mentality and other money lessons in a fun and entertaining way.
In 2011, David Chilton released a sequel to this book in the Wealthy Barber Returns.
2. Millionaire Teacher
By Andrew Hallam
As a school teacher who married a million-dollar-plus investment portfolio, Andrew Hallam shows us how everyday people can retire rich.
Keep your investments simple using index funds, cut fees, don’t go chasing returns, save, spend on assets that appreciate, control your emotions, and more. Andrew uses realistic data to support his arguments.
Couch Potato? No problem. In fact, the investment style known for adopting this lazy approach to investing may be your ticket to millionaire status.
Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School was first published in 2011. A second edition was released in 2017.
3. Wealthing Like Rabbits
By Robert R. Brown
A must-read for millennials, Wealthing Like Rabbits gets the point across using pop culture and other anecdotes that make you want to get up and become financially independent right now.
Written by a Canadian for Canadians, the book covers all the important stuff including investment accounts (RRSP and TFSA), debt repayment, frugality, credit cards, mortgages, opportunity cost, and more.
Rabbits reproduce really fast and Wealthing Like Rabbits: An Original and Occasionally Hilarious Introduction to the World of Personal Finance shows how you can apply the same idea to your wealth.
4. Stop Over-Thinking Your Money!
By Preet Banerjee
The first part of the book covers five simple rules for financial success:
- Disaster-proof your life
- Spend less than you earn
- Aggressively pay down high-interest debt
- Read the fine print
- Delay consumption
In the second part of the book, Preet covers the basics of investing, financial advisors, investment fees and all you need to know about insurance.
This book holds lessons for all age groups, however, if you are a twenty-something, it is a must-read for your summer reading list.
Stop Over-Thinking Your Money: The Five Simple Rules of Financial Success was published in 2014.
5. Debt Free Forever
By Gail Vaz-Oxlade
Wondering if you are going to ever be free from the burden of debt? Gail shows you how using a clear-cut direct approach that does not allow excuses to get in the way.
Take a look at your financial picture, build a budget, update your habits, pay off debt, automate your savings and plan for the future.
Debt-Free Forever: Take Control of Your Money and Your Life was published in 2012.
6. Worry-Free Money
By Shannon Lee Simmons
People often say personal finances are all about common sense. Maybe they are, but there are often other reasons why people do not have a handle on their money.
Suffering from a severe bout of FOMO? Can you save, invest, and live a happy life at the same time? Can you feel poor with a salary of $150,000 just as you could if you were earning $40,000?
Shannon lends a new modern-day voice to the art and science of budgeting, saving, spending and more. it is a non-judgemental read and above all, uses highly relatable Canadian scenarios.
Worry-Free Money: The Guilt-Free Approach to Managing Your Money and Your Life was published in 2017. The author recently published a second book, Living Debt-Free.
7. Happy Go Money
By Melissa Leong
Combining personal finances and psychology, Melissa helps the reader to see how they can lead happy lives while being responsible with money.
Spending, budgeting, investing, mindfulness, happiness, laughter…this book has it all.
Melissa is a popular on-air personality and is the resident money expert on the CTV show, The Social. Happy Go Money: Spend Smart, Save Right and Enjoy Life was published in 2019.
8. Beat The Bank
By Larry Bates
In his book, Beat the Bank: The Canadian Guide to Simply Successful Investing, Larry shows how you can simplify and optimize your investment portfolio, cut fees, maximize your tax-sheltered accounts, and increase your long term returns and wealth.
You can check out his T-Rex Score calculator which shows how much of your money goes to annual fees and how much you actually get to keep. Beat the bank was published in 2018.
9. The Value of Simple
By John A. Robertson
In this book, John takes you through the world of Canadian personal finance and investing. You learn about how to take the reins and masterfully implement low-cost indexing strategies in your TFSA, RRSP, RESP and non-registered accounts.
Traditional mutual funds in Canada are the most expensive in the developed world and you can certainly do without them in your portfolio. John shows how you can purchase index funds in a step-by-step format which makes the book a great starting point for would-be DIY investors.
The Value of Simple: A Practical Guide To Taking The Complexity Out of Investing was published in 2018.
By Bruce Sellery
Bruce Sellery is a well-known business journalist and personal finance expert. His book, Moolala: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things With Their Money and What You Can Do About It, shows how you can get a handle on your money and improve your financial life.
The five steps to achieve your financial goals are:
- Lay the foundation
- Determine what you want
- Develop the plan
- Take action
- Stay engaged
Moolala was published in 2011.
11. Victory Lap Retirement
By Jonathan Chevreau and Mike Drak
I’m looking forward to retiring at some point, however, my plan is to keep busy pursuing my passions when that time comes.
In Victory Lap Retirement: Work While You Play, Play While You Work, the authors present a holistic approach to retirement. The book will help you find purpose, balance and fulfillment during your retirement years.
Getting close to retirement? This book is a must-read.
12. The Year of Less
By Cait Flanders
The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings and Discovered Life is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store is a great read.
This self-help memoir chronicles how Cait took a 12-month break from the soul-sucking emptiness that is the bane of today’s consumeristic lifestyle.
Interested in how minimalism, mindfulness, and how money cross paths? This book gives you the bare details. You can live a life of fulfillment with much less.
The Year of Less was published in 2018.
There you go with my list of some of the best personal finance books you can read this year. You can buy a physical copy, get the audiobook, or if you are anything like me, borrow them from your local library.
Educating yourself by reading great books is one of the best investments you can make. Like the great Jim Rohn once quipped:
Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.