One of the most rewarding perks of my media career, and of my work at Black Enterprise in particular, is all the great money books I get to read. Like many writers and journalists, I love to read. In fact, it’s hard to excel at the former, if you don’t do a lot of the latter. But even if you don’t love reading as a general activity, you can’t really excel at anything if you don’t do some form of reading about it.
That’s why, as a business/financial journalist and educator, I constantly stress that your earning potential cannot exceed your learning potential. If you are serious about your finances and building wealth, you should be reading at least one book about money every month.
The good (and in some ways, not so good) news is that more money books are being published than ever. Thanks to the boom in self-publishing, hundreds of new books about business and finance are produced each year. It can be difficult to separate the mediocre (and sometimes, truly horrible) books from those worth your time and attention. Moreover, some of the best publicized, most polished, professionally published books are not very good. On the other hand, many self and independently published books, though not well designed or edited, actually do a better job of helping readers.
As a result, I’ve learned to not automatically dismiss a self-published book, nor to be impressed by one distributed by a major publisher. (Note to any aspiring self-published authors: Pay professional editors to edit, copy edit, and proofread your books. No, really–please.)
My bottom line: Will this book inform and inspire readers to make smarter, better decisions with their money? If the answer is yes, it’s worth reading, and recommending to others. In that spirit, I recommend the following money books:
1.) How to Raise Your Black Child To Be A Millionaire: Child-Rearing Secrets of the Black Elite
By:Â Thiah Veona Muhammad (self-published)
I firmly believe that people cannot achieve multigenerational wealth if they are uncommitted to the financial education of their children. (Also, you can’t learn about money, if you only talk to people who don’t have it.) Similarly, author and entrepreneur Thiah Veona Muhammad’s mission is to inspire parents and other adults to raise black children to become wealth-builders. She usesÂ her website, RaisingBlackMillionaires.com, and weekly podcasts to showcase the wealth-building wisdom of blackÂ entrepreneurs and professionals.
In How To Raise Your Black Child To Be A Millionaire, Muhammad picks the brains of such accomplished wealth-creators, such as master networker George C. Fraser, BE 100s CEO Michael V. Roberts Sr., and top corporate CEO Keith R. Wyche.
Her primary questions include: How does one learn about money and wealth building? How do you pass on those lessons to your children? The answers to these questions make her book a good read for parents and anyone else whoÂ is invested in the financial success of future generations.
2.) 10 Things Every Woman Should Keep in Her Purse!: A Financial Guide for the Modern Woman
By: Shani Curry-St. Vil (self-published)
Some of my favorite money books are short reads that have more value per page, than much longer books. Curry-St. Vil’s self-published 10 Things Every Woman Should Keep in Her Purse! falls into this category. It’s a great choice for people who don’t have a lot of time, or who are just beginning their financial self-education. Curry-St. Vil is the creator of PurseEmpowerment.com, a consultancy company focused on increasing the financial literacy of women.
Using both humorous, “Girl, you know!â€ anecdotes, as well as authoritative advice, Curry-St. Vil shares everything a woman should keep in her purse, in order to achieve personal financial empowerment. She includes on this list a key to a home you own and a strand of gray hair as a retirement-savings reminder. As a result, Curry-St. Vil delivers a wise, entertaining, and actionable read of just 84 pages.
3.) Retire Inspired: It’s Not an Age; It’s a Financial Number
By: Chris Hogan (Ramsey Press)
Speaking of retirement, you need to be seriously committed to it now, whether you are age 25 or 55. Retirement expert and financial coach Chris Hogan’sÂ Retire Inspired is designed to get you fired up to do just that. A protÃ©gÃ© of debt-elimination guru Dave Ramsey, who both published and contributed the forward to the book, Hogan makes the point that, while financial plans are necessary to fund your retirement, you won’t be motivated to do the planningÂ without tying them to your dreams and goals.
Like other great moneyÂ books, Retire Inspired provides aÂ great education and lots of information. Hogan also offers a website and podcast series to get you started and keep you going at ChrisHogan360.com. But, its primary value is Hogan’s promise to motivate you to not just worry and stress about your retirement, but to actually do something about it. Today. Now.
Black Enterprise Executive Editor-At-Large Alfred Edmond Jr. is an award-winning business and financial journalist, media executive, entrepreneurship expert, personal growth/relationships coach, and co-founder ofÂ Grown Zone,Â a multimedia initiative focused on personalÂ growth and healthy decision-making. This blog is dedicated to his thoughts about money, entrepreneurship, leadership and mentorship. Follow him on Twitter atÂ @AlfredEdmondJr.