A Festive Financial Planning Reading List

17th December 2014

With Christmas approaching what better gift could you give a close friend or loved one than a book that will provide them with insights on how to make smart decisions about money in order to achieve their financial and lifestyle goals?  So we have put together a selection of titles which will do just that and there should still be time to get these delivered from your favourite online bookstore.

If you are planning to invest you should invest in planning and the first two titles on the reading list will help you to do that.

The Seven Stages of Money Maturity: Understanding the Spirit and Value of Money in your Life by George Kinder

George Kinder is recognised as the founder of the Financial Life Planning movement.  His book is designed to help us explore the origin of our attitudes about money and to understand how those attitudes can influence our lives.  George argues that we can transform our lives, both emotionally and financially, if we take the necessary steps to achieve “money maturity” and his book provides guidance about how to take those steps.  It is not an easy read, some find the more spiritual elements a little bit too “American”, nevertheless (like many good things) the effort is worth it.

Values Based Financial Planning: The Art of Creating an Inspiring Financial Strategy by Bill Bachrach

Bill runs a successful business coaching Financial Advisers.  He argues that “In the grand scheme of things, money’s not that important.  It’s important only to the extent that it allows you to enjoy what’s important to you.”  His book is intended to help the reader to understand what it is that is truly important to them so that they have a context for their financial decisions and includes a number of useful planning tools.

With your plan in place it is likely that you will need to do some investing, so the following titles are intended to help with that.  There are many different approaches to investment, so it makes sense to understand the different points of view so that you can make an informed decision about what is right for you.  The following selection should cover most of what you need to know.

The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing – A Book of Practical Counsel by Benjamin Graham

First published in 1973 this book has been described as “By far the best book on investing ever written.” by Warren Buffet.  It has sold over one million copies, although at 640 pages one wonders how many of those copies have actually been read.

The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Investors and Managers – edited by Lawrence Cunningham

Timeless wisdom from the man known as “the sage of Omaha” who has been described as the world’s greatest investor.

When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long Term Capital Management – Roger Lowenstein

An analysis of what happened when some very clever people got a bit too cocky.

Smarter Investing: Simpler Decisions for Better Results  – Tim Hale

One of our favourite books about investment because it applies the KISS principle and explains “a simple and powerful set of rules for successful investing, helping you to build an investment portfolio that suits your needs, stays the course when markets get rough and quietly gets on with the job of generating better results.”  We use similar principles when constructing the Fortitude Model Portfolios.

No Monkey Business: What Investors Need to Know and Why – Stuart Fowler

David Lascelles, Co-director, Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation described this as  “An excellent blueprint for modern wealth management. Financial advisers would do well to read it before their clients do.”  So we did and we agree.  Stuart can be abrasive, but that doesn’t make him wrong, and his book will help you avoid many investment pitfalls.

A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing – Burton G Malkiel

An oldy but goody that has been brought up to date with new material on the global credit crisis.

The final book on the list will help you to use your new found information more effectively.

Thinking Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahnemann

Mr Kahnemann reveals “how our minds are tripped up by error and prejudice (even when we think we are being logical), and gives you practical techniques for slower, smarter thinking. It will enable to you make better decisions at work, at home, and in everything you do.”  This sounds a bit dry however it is a fascinating and entertaining read.

So there you have it, a reading list that will help your friend or loved one to enjoy a prosperous New Year. Alternatively you could simply direct them to our website and suggest that they make a resolution to contact us and find out what it means to “Plan with Fortitude”.

Merry Christmas!