Top 15 Best Investment and Personal Finance Books Every Filipino Should Read in 2024

best investment and personal finance books to read

As a voracious reader, I believe that reading books about investments, personal finance, and real estate is the best way to become financially literate.

Unfortunately, not all of us have the luxury of the late billionaire Charlie Munger, who spends up to ten hours a day reading books, newspapers, and journals.

So, whether you’re starting to save for the first time or want to know more about smart investment options, we’ve shortlisted fifteen books that are packed with helpful advice and practical tips to help you achieve your financial goals.

Top 15 best investment, personal finance, and real estate investment books

1. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki


The book is about the difference between what most people call “rich” and “poor.” Kiyosaki said that rich people do not become rich overnight, and they accumulate their assets over time through wise investment choices.

On the other hand, poor people tend to give up quickly because they think becoming financially stable is difficult. Interestingly, this book challenges the conventional wisdom that a home is an asset.

Kiyosaki defines assets as things that generate income and liabilities as things that incur expenses. According to his definition, a primary residence falls under the liability category since it doesn’t generate income but involves costs like mortgage payments, taxes, and maintenance. It’s a good read, but take some with a grain of salt, especially on investments.

2. The Richest Man in Babylon by George Samuel Clason


The book explains the secrets of getting rich using simple language and common sense, but often forgotten by some because of greed. It has seven parables where the author illustrates how ancient Babylonians became financially stable by practicing these “time-tested” principles.

Despite criticism, the book’s core message of living within one’s means, saving, and investing wisely has resonated with readers. Some argue it’s too simple and doesn’t consider modern financial complexities. For example, although personal thrift and saving are doable, they may not work for low-income families.

The book remains a valuable guide to financial awareness. It focuses on the value of hard work, savings, and compound interest. Money should not be kept idle, but it needs to be worked on until it multiplies itself faster than our current lifestyle.

3. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham


The first edition of this book was published in 1949, but it remains one of today’s best financial books. Benjamin Graham taught Warren Buffett (he is now called “the mentor” because he learned everything from Benjamin Graham), which made him financially stable over time.

Graham distinguishes between investors and speculators. Investors prioritize long-term company value, while speculators aim for quick profits through short-term price changes. If you’re a long-term investor, you’ll get nuggets of information from this book.

Graham encourages focusing on long-term profits instead of chasing trends and new companies. Always go for steady profits, especially those companies with intrinsic worth rather than market trends.

4. How to Make Money in Stocks by William J. O’Neil


O’Neil presents the “CAN SLIM” investing strategy, which stands for Current and Annual earnings, New product, Supply and demand, Leader or laggard, Institutional sponsorship, and Market direction.

This strategy helps investors identify strong companies. The author also stresses the significance of studying stock market history and learning from past stock behavior to apply to the present.

He also advises focusing on growth stocks that trend upward. Look for stocks with strong institutional support, and don’t shy away from lesser-known, new companies.

Although critiqued for oversimplification and limited consideration of factors like volatility and breadth, this book is a timeless classic in investing. It provides practical advice and strategies for stock market enthusiasts.

5. The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach


“The Automatic Millionaire” by David Bach is a personal finance book that outlines a simple wealth-building plan. It teaches you the power of automating savings and investments for achieving financial freedom. If you’re not yet convinced why you must pay yourself first, this book is for you.

This book advises prioritizing saving and investing by setting aside money before paying bills. Treating savings as a non-negotiable expense helps build wealth consistently over time. The concept of savings doesn’t stop here.

The book’s central idea is automating savings by paying yourself first, ensuring consistent savings, and removing the decision-making process. If you haven’t done automation on your savings and investments, you will find this book insightful with its straightforward approach.

6. The Book on Rental Property Investing by Brandon Turner


The book is for people who are interested in real estate but are clueless about how and where to start. It introduces the reader to investing through rental properties, specifically intending to build wealth that will last for decades.

Turner teaches the concept of leverage or using other people’s money (like loans or investors) to finance real estate investments, potentially yielding higher returns. There’s also the advantage of managing your investment directly, which may not be possible with other types of investments.

While the book serves as a general guide to running a rental property business, it does not fully cover the nitty-gritty of local real estate regulations. Acquiring loans in the Philippines is not that lenient compared to the United States. So, take some of the general principles with a grain of salt.

7. The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel


This book explores the fascinating connection between money and human behavior. Unlike traditional finance books, Housel dives into the psychology behind financial decision-making, highlighting the personal aspect of personal finance.

He claims that our personal experiences share our financial decisions. You’ll also learn that true wealth is not about possessions but the ability to save and invest, whether you earn more or less.

The book is praised for its insightful exploration of the psychology of money, offering a fresh perspective on personal finance. It’s easy to read, with real-world examples and stories to learn from. However, some readers might find its emphasis on psychology unconventional, and it does not provide step-by-step guides or specific financial strategies.

8. Rich Dad’s CASHFLOW Quadrant: Rich Dad’s Guide to Financial Freedom by Robert Kiyosaki


This is the sequel to “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”. It’s a guide to financial freedom, teaching how to work less, earn more, pay fewer taxes, and become financially independent. The book introduces the Cashflow Quadrant, a tool by Kiyosaki to categorize income generation.

The quadrant has four categories: Employee (E), Self-Employed (S), Business Owner (B), and Investor (I). Kiyosaki’s main argument is to aim for income from the right side (B and I) where money works for you, instead of the left (E and S), where you work for money. He also highlights the significance of financial education for attaining financial freedom and moving toward success.

The book received criticism for controversial advice that may not suit everyone. For instance, Kiyosaki’s views on taxes and the gold standard may not align with every reader’s financial situation or beliefs.

9. Till Debt Do Us Part: Practical Steps to Financial Freedom by Chinkee Tan


“Till Debt Do Us Part” is an engaging personal finance book by Chinkee Tan, a renowned Filipino motivational speaker. This book offers practical advice on breaking free from the debt cycle while emphasizing financial management and relationship insights.

This book focuses on the significance of financial discipline, effective money management, and debt relief. It provides practical steps and advice to help readers handle money wisely and break the chain of debt.

The book is highly praised for its practicality and simplicity, making it easily understood and applicable to Filipinos. It explores fundamental approaches to proper money management, grounded in biblical principles and supported by relevant stories and verses.

10. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey


This book is a practical guide to managing personal finances. It offers straightforward advice on paying off debt, saving, building wealth, and creating a strong financial foundation.

Ramsey’s “Baby Steps” approach provides actionable steps, including creating an emergency fund, paying off debt using the “debt snowball” method, investing for retirement, saving for education, paying off a mortgage, and giving generously.

The book emphasizes the importance of behavior modification and making intentional choices with money. It motivates readers to take control of their financial lives and offers a clear plan for those struggling with debt.

While some criticize Ramsey’s dismissal of building credit, the book remains popular for its ability to help readers achieve financial stability and independence.

11. I Will Teach You How to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi


The book focuses on more than just accumulating wealth. It’s about achieving a rich life that aligns with your personal goals and values. Sethi says being rich isn’t solely about money but also about the freedom to pursue your passions and make a positive impact on others.
The book presents a 6-week plan covering credit card regulation, outsmarting banks, conscious investing, and street-smart money management. It also includes negotiation tips with banks and employers and addresses common money management queries.

Sethi’s writing style is described as engaging, humorous, and genuine. According to him, becoming wealthy doesn’t require financial expertise, just a solid plan and a few tricks.
The book advises early saving and investing, along with automatic savings. It supports conscious spending—lavish on what you love, thriftily cut on the rest.

12. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill


This self-help book was published in 1937. It shares Hill’s philosophy of personal achievement, the Law of Success, based on his extensive study of over five hundred self-made millionaires, including Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, and Henry Ford.

The book presents thirteen steps to riches, covering financial, emotional, and spiritual wealth. Hill asserts that with belief and conception, anything is achievable. Wealth creation, as success, stems from focused expertise.

Despite its age, this book offers valuable insights into success psychology. With over 100 million copies sold since its publication in the Great Depression, it remains recommended for personal development and financial success.

13. The Millionaire Real Estate Investor by Gary Keller


Based on extensive research and interviews with over 120 millionaire real estate investors, this book reveals the models, strategies, and fundamental truths successful investors use to build wealth through real estate investing.

The book offers practical advice to build wealth through debunking money and investing myths, developing a millionaire investor mindset, and identifying great real estate opportunities.

It also guides readers in forming a “dream team” for their investment business. It uses proven models and strategies to track net worth, understand finances, build networks, generate leads, and acquire properties.

14. The Warren Buffett Way By Robert Hagstrom


This book delves into the principles of value investing practiced by American business magnate Warren Buffett.

With clarity and insight, the book explains Buffett’s strategies. It explores various aspects of his investment approach, including education, the early days of Berkshire Hathaway, investing guidelines (business tenets, management tenets, financial tenets, and value tenets), fixed-income securities, portfolio management, the psychology of money, and more.

In the book, the principles cover buying businesses with great long-term prospects at a significant discount to their intrinsic value. It emphasizes investing in businesses with a high return on invested capital and honest managers.

15. The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John C Bogle


This book is an informative guide to the stock market. Bogle reveals the key to successful investing: low-cost index funds. His long-term wealth-building strategy is simple and effective: buy and hold a low-cost mutual fund that tracks a broad stock market index like the S&P 500.

This strategy guarantees your fair share of stock market returns and is a surefire way to maximize your investments.

It emphasizes the significance of business realities, such as dividend yields and earnings growth, over market expectations. In addition, it provides insights on overcoming investment costs, taxes, and inflation while highlighting the impact of compounding returns and costs.

What are the benefits of reading these investment,  personal finance and real estate books?

Despite the busy schedule, one can find a way to read a good book, even just ten to 20 minutes tops, to sharpen the mind. Whether you’re commuting or relaxing over a cup of coffee during weekends, here are some of the benefits you get when you start reading these books.

  • Manage your finances efficiently because you know how much money should be allocated for investments instead of spending all on “unnecessary” stuff.
  • Understand what you should do with your current investments and how to make the best of every Peso invested.
  • Enjoy life more because everything is under your complete control—from the things that happened in the past up to the future that’s yet to unfold.
  • Help other Filipinos who are not financially literate by sharing these books with them, especially if they’re looking for ways to invest, too.

Final thoughts

Reading these books will help you understand the fundamentals of personal finance and investing and give insight into various topics.

Whether it’s learning how to manage your money better or understanding what happens in the stock market, some benefits reading each book can provide for every Filipino looking to improve their financial situation. It’s never too early to start thinking about your future.

So, take some time this weekend or next week to get lost in one of these best investment and personal finance books over coffee or tea instead of binge-watching another Korean drama series for a change.