People I’ve met are always interested in taking control of their finances but they have no idea where to begin. I believe that if you read just two books on personal finance that you would probably know more than 80 percent of the population, it’s that easy. You obviously won’t understand everything right away after reading a book, but you’ll quickly realize how many of the fundamentals overlap. Things that seemed foreign to you before will all of a sudden make sense and you’ll understand how thing happening around the world affects your finance. To help you get started, here’s my list of the best personal finance books for Canadians.
House Poor No More
There are plenty of books on how to buy, sell, or invest in real estate. There isn’t one that brings together homeownership with money management, investing and retirement planning. House Poor No More is that book. This handbook for smart homeownership explains how to proactively maintain your home, increase property value with smart renovations, reduce monthly expenses, take advantage of debt, and live life as a happy homeowner. Romana King, the award-winning personal finance columnist and Director of Content at Zolo, argues that we need to stop the culture of blaming and shaming people for choosing to buy a home. Instead, she says that becoming a homeowner is a personal decision and, often, it’s a decision led by the emotional desire for safety and security. Instead, Romana provides the stepping stones for Canadians to become smart homeowners.
Hands up if you didn’t learn a single thing about personal finance in school? The author Andrew Hallam takes us on a personal journey and covers just about all the scenarios that we need to be prepared for. The Millionaire Teacher is a personal favourite of mine because I honestly agree that these rules should be taught in school. This is a very easy book to read and I consider it to be almost like a modern-day version of The Wealthy Barber. It was recently updated with a ton of new information, read my full review of the book now.
The Rule of 30
In The Rule of 30, personal finance expert, Frederick Vettese, introduces a new way of saving for retirement that takes into account the demands on our income at various stages of life. Aimed at Canadians aged 30-45, he explains that we should be saving different amounts throughout our pre-retirement years instead of one arbitrary and constant amount (typically 10-15%). Essentially, the rule involves saving 30% of your yearly gross income, minus mortgage payments/rent, and minus short-term, necessary expenses such as daycare. So for many readers, this means less saving early on while mortgage payments are high and children are costly, and more saving later once those expenses are gone.
Told in a similar style as The Wealthy Barber, through conversations between a young couple and their neighbour (a retired actuary), it’s an accessible read that offers a fresh perspective on saving and investing for retirement.
The Money Master
The topic of money makes many people feel anxious and overwhelmed. And they often manage their finances based on these emotions, not confidence and knowledge. If that’s where you find yourself, The Money Master can help you take charge of your financial situation. Author Sandy Yong gives you the tools you need to be a clear-sighted investor. Drawing from her own background and passion for investing, she strips away the jargon and shares common-sense principles for making your money grow.
In workbook form, The Money Master takes you step by step through a system for mastering your finances and puts you on the road to financial prosperity. Transform your outlook on money to think like a wealthy person—the results will follow! Replace your old money habits with new ones that help you reach your goals. Discover ways to protect your wealth. Consider where to put your money, whether it’s the stock market, real estate or your own business, to achieve financial freedom. With Sandy’s sage advice, you can become a Money Master today!
Happy Go Money
As you scroll down my list of the best personal finances books in Canada, you’ll quickly realize that many of my picks have a strong focus on managing your money and investing, Melissa Leong of CTV’s The Social talks about how to invest too, but her book, Happy Go Money focuses more on your relationship with money. It’s an interesting take since she uses a lot of research to show that people aren’t necessarily happier when they have more money. Many people who were also trying to reach certain milestones are less happy once they reach their goal so this book really forces you to think about what matters to you and how money plays a role.
Wealthing Like Rabbits
Robert R. Brown is a relatively new player in the personal finance world and I recently compared him to Star Lord in my book review. As the subtitle suggests, this really is an original introduction with references to zombies, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Mario brothers. This is a good read for those who want to be entertained while learning about their personal finances. Wealthing like Rabbits is a nice easy introduction to personal finance.
Stop Over-Thinking Your Money!
Stop Over-Thinking Your Money! is a book I read and reviewed and I highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in learning more about personal finance. Do you find it difficult to take control of your finances because the fancy lingo intimidates you? Fear not as Preet Banerjee is able to breakdown all the terms in a conversational way. After reading this book you’ll have a clear understanding and you’ll be ready to tackle your finances. Preet is one of the original personal finance stars in Canada and continues to do a podcast so getting his insights on money isn’t a bad thing.
Certified Financial Planner, Shannon Lee Simmons has two books, but the one I read was Worry-Free Money. What makes this book unique is how Shannon is able to share stories that she has encountered with her clients (with their permission and names changed). It’s crazy to think that some of these things even happened, but then you quickly realize that it’s not hard to imagine yourself in a similar situation. Shannon talks about why we spend and why a traditional budget may not work for us. In the end, she shares how it’s about recognizing moments where you’ve screwed up and now you can get your money back in order.
Personal Finance for Canadians for Dummies
I consider this to be the ultimate primer when it comes to personal finance for Canadians. The Dummies series of books is often ignored for their name but I find they are simple reads. Eric Tyson covers literally everything you need to know, the book does come in at over 400 pages so use this more as a reference book. Personal Finance for Canadians for Dummies was updated in 2018 so it covers all the recent trends such as robo-advisors.
The Millionaire Next Door
I read The Millionaire Next Door a few years back and haven’t touched it in a while but it had a pretty big impact on me. The book basically tells us that millionaires don’t drive fancy cars, have big houses or take expensive vacations; they became rich by simply living within their means. I’ve always been frugal with my money so it was nice to hear that I shared similar characteristics to millionaires. Spending less than you make is the key to financial success so don’t concern yourself over what other people are doing, there’s a good chance it’s just all appearances. Note that this book focuses on Americans but it’s still one of the best personal finance books for Canadians in my opinion.