Financial Competence Reading List


This is a short course in Financial Competence, written for fellow autodidacts. The texts in the "Essential Reading" section are exactly that -- books, articles, white papers, and web pages -- that constitute the minimum of essential reading for anyone interested in reaching financial competence.

Please note that at this time, this list is nowhere near complete. I'm adding only books that I have myself read and talked about on this blog, and since I'm still working my way through my financial education, so is this list.

I suggest you read the Essential Reading section in the order listed. For the Recommended Reading section, I'd suggest reading anything that strikes your fancy.

It took me time to read these blogs and books, and it should take you time as well. Pace yourself -- if you're starting from near ignorance, I was, it will take time to work your way to financial competence.

Essential Reading

  • Mr. Money Mustache blog, by Mr. Money Mustache. Despite the ridiculous site name and pseudonym, Mustache is a good writer on investment issues, and the best on saving money. There's no writer currently out there who writes more moving, motivating and energetic prose about living simply and saving money. Mustache calls himself a badass, and he is. I highly recommend starting from the first article in his blog and working your way forward.
  • The Investor's Manifesto, by William J. Bernstein. William J. Bernstein is the dean of clear, concise, simple prose about investing. His insights are invaluable, his knowledge encyclopedic, and his logic clear. This should be the first book you read on investing.

Recommended Reading

  • The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder. (Review) An inspiring and educational view of Buffett's life, written with the cooperation of Buffett, his partners, and his family.
  • Oblivious Investor blog by Mike Piper. A good general-purpose passive investing blog. Lots of good information.
  • Retirement Researcher Blog by Wade Pfau. Incredibly thorough and detailed. I've added every page on the site to my Instapaper queue for further reading. Highly recommended for those who want to dive into this further.
  • JCollinsNH blog, by Jim Collins. Jim hasn't written very much, but what he has written is worth reading. I particularly recommend his series on investing, called Stocks parts 1 through 15. I came to Jim through Mr. Money Mustache's site, and it's a great introduction to index investing.

Optional Reading