The Richest Man In Babylon
George S. Clason’s faux-biblical parables about acquiring wealth have inspired investors since the 1920s. Like most of the personal finance books that followed, The Richest Man In Babylonemphasizes saving over spending. However, the book also insists that charitable giving is equally as important, provided you don’t allow those two whom you give to become dependent upon your gifts.
The Science of Getting Rich
Even though it contains nothing that even vaguely resembles “science,” this 1910 book provided the intellectual framework for thousands of personal wealth-building seminars. Author Wallace Wattle believed that your ability to accumulate wealth is directly dependent upon how you think about it. In other words, if you believe that money is the root of all evil, you’ll never be wealthy.
Best quote: “No man can rise to his greatest possible height in talent of soul development unless he has plenty of money.”
The Millionaire Next Door
Through research into U.S. households with a net worth of $1 million or more, authors Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko identifies most individuals as Under Accumulators of Wealth (UAW) who have a low net wealth compared to their income. They then provide advice (like take skimpy vacations) to help people achieve a higher net worth compared to their income.
Best quote: People whom we define as being wealthy get much more pleasure from owning substantial amounts of appreciable assets than from displaying a high-consumption lifestyle.
Secrets of the Millionaire Mind
If you’re poor, it’s because you think like a poor person and if you’re rich, it’s because you think rich, according to author (and multi-millionaire) T. Harv Eker. To make matters worse, poor people essentially program their children to be poor, by providing them with a worldview that makes wealth accumulation impossible. Not to worry, though. If you start thinking like a mogul, you can be one, too.
Best quote: “The vast majority of people simply do not have the internal capacity to create and hold on to large amounts of money and the increased challenges that go with more money and success.”
Think and Grow Rich
Way back in the 1930s, author Napoleon Hill interviewed a series of millionaires and philanthropists, starting with the steel magnate Andrew Carnegie. The result was a perennially best-selling work of self-development that encourages the notion that “greed is good”–as long as you’re willing to share your wealth.
Best quote: “If you truly desire money so keenly that your desire is an obsession, you will have no difficulty in convincing yourself that you will acquire it. The object is to want money, and to be so determined to have it that you convince yourself that you will have it.”