Q & A – My top 10 personal finance books

By Randell Tiongson on August 3rd, 2012

I’m starting a series of blogs about questions in the mind of many of my readers. I will try to answer all the questions in short form and post it in this blog site.

The first question was asked by Ray Cuta via Facebook:

Question:  What are your top 10 personal finance book?

Hi Ray.

A few months ago, I wrote about the top books I recommend in my Inquirer column but it’s not 10 books. Let me put those books I recommended in the column plus others to make it 10. Personal Finance books are really helpful but not all are really sound. The following books are those that I personally like:

1)      Total Money Make Over by Dave Ramsey – I love this book as it is a no nonsense book on helping us get on the right track. It is instructional and very sound financial advices.

2)      Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey – Yes I am a Dave Ramsey fan and for a good reason. This book lays the foundation of achieving real financial security – very basic and yet very real.

3)      Pwede Na! The Complete Pinoy Guide to Personal Finance by Efren Cruz – This for me is the best personal finance book written by a Filipino. Very concise and yet full of information. What makes me like this book a lot is that it is written in the Filipino context.

4)      Pwede Na! The Complete Pinoy Guide to Retirement & Estate Planning by Efren Cruz – the follow-up book when you are ready to grow your money and plan your estate. I also like this book because it is factual, concise and written in the Filipino context.

5)      Millionaire Next Door — by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko. This is an iconic book that discusses the behavior of Millionaire in the USA. It is not only insightful, it will actually shatter many of our misconception on wealth and wealth accumulation. I particularly like this book because it is based on solid research. This is a good financial behavior book that may help you make a paradigm shift.

6)      Automatic Millionaire by David Bach — this book by a best-selling author gives you an overly simplistic view on achieving wealth and yet it is effective in its message that in eating an elephant, we need to do it one bite at a time. Simple, practical and sensible. If you think you can never be wealthy, read this!

7)      Money Matters by Larry Burkett — Financial counselling is the most effective route toward achieving financial security but many do not have access to good financial counsellors or advisors. Money Matters is a form of counselling book and I like the question-and-answer format. The questions are very practical and real, not superfluous or ambivalent. The answers of Mr. Burkett are successful in providing advice in an emphatic way; yet, you will find that his answers have sound financial grounding.

8)      Till Debt Do Us Part by Chinkee Tan — another book written by a local author that I highly recommend. Chinkee’s book deals with an issue that plagues many Filipinos and yet one that is hardly discussed openly. The author successfully convinces the reader that debt is not a good thing and yet it gives us hope that being truly debt-free is within the reach of the average Pinoy. I like the practical steps in finding a solution to the debt trap written specifically for the Pinoy psyche. Chinkee has written many best-selling books but Till Debt Do Us Part remains to be my favorite.

9)      The Richest Man in Babylon by George Samuel Clason – A former boss of mine gave me this book in 1994 and probably the first finance book I ever read. I did not read it immediately as I am not fond of fiction but boss insists I read this one. The writing style was great but the message of the book was even greater. It’s all about doing the right things and very fundamental in nature.  This book is full of financial wisdom.

10)   The Bible – Yes, the written word of God is also an awesome finance book. Did you know that the offers 500 verses on prayer, less than 500 verses on faith, but more than 2,000 verses on money and possessions. 16 of the 38 parables were concerned with how to handle money and possessions and Jesus talked a great deal about money. The wisdom you will get from reading the word of the Lord will not only make you a better believer, it will also make you a better steward. Pick up the Bible and experience it for yourself.

There are many more books you can read and I’m sure there are those that will be your personal favourites. Just remember when reading a book – pick up the good things and discard that bad ones as no book is perfect; except the Bible.

Happy reading!

Got questions? Go ask! Send via Facebook, Twitter or email.


9 thoughts on “Q & A – My top 10 personal finance books”

  • Hi sir…im a dave ramsey fan. He is an advocate of “buy term insurance and invest the difference” strategy..why here in the phils, that insurance companies dont sell or offer term insurance…i inquired in sunlife, they offered me vul, in philam, the same, in axa and manulife, same story… I wanted to increase my life insurance by getting term insurance and a bit of critical illness/ medical benefit…pls advice.thanks.Godbless

  • @Jess,

    Medyo it requires alot of discipline to do the Buy Term, Invest the Difference (BTID) strategy lalo pag Pinoy ang gustong gumawa.

    Personally, Im using this.. Your main objective kasi when doing this is you wanna self-insure your finances by building your investments. Pang backup lang yung insurance mo.

    Pero sa personality habit ng Pinoy, we are consumer/spender driven..

    BTID is good in principle.. The biggest challenge for it, willing ba tayo to implement it? Dito sumasablay karamihan ng Pinoy

  • Hi Sir,

    Pwede po bang mag request ng name of financial planner na pwede ko pong ask ng advise for better financial planning pra sa future ng family ko? Thanks!


  • I have copy of The Richest Man in Babylon by George Samuel Clason and I agree with your review on the book. At first I thought it was boring but it is very helpful and the fundamentals of financial planning is being taught there.

  • Hello Sir Randell,

    I would like to ask if those Dave Ramsey books you mentioned are available in bookstores here in the Philippines? I will attend your seminar this Saturday, and I look forward to learning a lot from you.

  • My first financial book ever was The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach. It really was a good book. I have Chinkee Tan’s Til Debt Do Us Part and what I like about it is that it tells you the possible reasons behind why get into debt. It exposes what the motives one can have. It helps look at one’s self in the mirror.

  • Hi sir,
    Can you help me where I could buy the book “Pwede na the complete pinoy guide to retirement and estate plannning by Efren Cruz?
    I appreciate your help. Thank you.

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Q & A – My top 10 personal finance books