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Favourite books about money
Reboot Your Portfolio: There is no shortage of information available for people interested in DIY investing. There are two big challenges: knowing who to trust and understanding how to implement that information in real life. Enter Dan Bortolotti. He’s been helping Canadian investors for years with his thorough research, easy-to-understand writing, and beautifully practical approach. If you already have the foundations of financial knowledge, this book will walk you through those all-important final steps of building your portfolio.
The Psychology of Money: A new book by one of my absolute favourite finance writers, Morgan Housel. How so much wisdom is packed into one person, I will never know. And he is a master communicator too, making me want to re-read paragraphs, not because I didn’t understand, but because they were that good. To be good with money we have to understand ourselves. This book lets us do that.
A Random Walk Down Wall Street was the very first book I read about investing and I feel SO fortunate that it was. It set me straight on all kinds of investing voodoo myths like timing the market and picking hot stocks with bulletproof research and arguments. If you find yourself tempted to dabble in active management, read this book.
Personal Finance for Canadians (for Dummies): Before investing comes personal finance. It’s important to read a book like this so you know you have all the basics covered. Understanding the essentials makes picking up more complex concepts easier and drastically improves our chances at financial success.
Stocks for the Long Run: A classic. Packed full of data and wisdom, this books makes an iron-clad case for being a buy and hold stock market investor. Just one of many fascinating and useful gems: everyone thinks that stocks are more volatile than bonds, but in the long run, the opposite is true. Mind. Blown.
Your Money or Your Life: We live in a culture where ambition means acquisition and success is measured in dollars. And so, we end up on a hamster wheel of work and consumption, trading our life for money and stuff. If you feel like this kind of existence isn’t right for you, buy this book to find a way out.
Smart Couples Finish Rich: The number two cause of divorce (after infidelity) is money. My wife and I read this book as newlyweds and still talk about it almost 20 years later. This is an easy read that will leave both of you feeling empowered. Learning how to talk about money as a couple is one of the best financial decisions you will ever make.
Favourite books about being human
Thinking Fast and Slow: You’ve heard about this book. You’re interested in how the human mind works (and, much of the time, doesn’t). Buy this book. Just be prepared to go slow. There is SO MUCH in here that will challenge the way you think about yourself, your opinions, and your confidence in coming up with rational solutions to common problems. This book quite literally changed the way I think about everything.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: This is a book about something more important than investing: life. In spite of the abrasive title, it is profound, exceedingly well-written, and inspiring. It’s a no-holds-barred roadmap for becoming unapologetically you. Once you’re clear about that, a lot of things snap into focus, including personal finance.
Sapiens – A Brief History of Humankind: Utterly fascinating. If we want to understand ourselves, we have to understand our evolution. From the history of religions to the history of money to why the scientific revolution triggered an explosion of progress and wealth (hint: it’s not technology, it’s hope), this “brief history of humankind” reads like a thriller.
The Molecule of More: Most of us were taught that dopamine is about reward. That doesn’t even begin to tell the real story of how this single molecule drives every single urge and desire we experience, constantly pushing us to get more, do more, be more. Dopamine drove our evolution, and now it drives us crazy. Fortunately, this book teaches us how to harness its power.
Predictably Irrational: In the same vein as Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow, but a faster, lighter, more approachable story of the inner doofus lurking within each of us. Yes, we’re all predictably irrational. But only some of us know it. And I’d like to think that knowing it might, if I’m lucky, allow me to sidestep a few of the cognitive errors that are waiting like rakes in the grass.
Flow: In the moneySmartMD course we talk about what actually makes people happy – it’s not mansions or Maserati’s, but the things that make us human: relationships, health, kindness, and “flow experiences”. Flow experiences are art, sport, cooking, music, etc. – activities that you can lose yourself in for hours because they have a perfect balance of challenge and reward. These are not just hobbies or past-times, but a fundamental human need.
beyondMD – Financial content specifically for Canadian doctors. Dr. Yatin Chadha takes deep dives into financial topics relevant to physicians and other professionals.
Animal Spirits – Ben Carlson and Michael Batnick engage in friendly, well-informed banter about markets, money, and their personal lives.
The MapleMoney Show – Lots of Canadian content delivered in short (~30min) interview format. Tom is a likable and engaging host.
Rational Reminder – a Canadian podcast on sensible investing and financial decision-making, hosted by Benjamin Felix and Cameron Passmore
Build Wealth Canada – Self-proclaimed “top personal finance podcast in Canada”, Kornel consistently puts out high-quality interviews.
Explore FI Canada – The Money Mechanic and Chrissy give a voice to Canadians on the path to, and enjoying FI (financial independence).
Invest Like the Best – Patrick O’Shaughnessy is a really smart guy interviewing really smart people in the industry. Very high quality stuff.
Networthify – Find out how long it will take you to become financially independent
FIRECalc – Find out how likely your money will last your retirement
Income Tax Calculator – Find out how much tax you will pay with any mix of regular income, capital gains, and dividends
Investment Calculator – Use the different tabs to find out your final balance, how much you need to save, what rate of return you need or how long you’ll need to save for