It’s graduation season. What an exciting time for high school and college students to be moving onto the next big phase! Exciting, but nerve wracking too. This is a time of incredible growth, development, gaining more independence and autonomy, especially for those leaving home. Eventually, parents ‘cut the cord’ in more ways than one, to include their wallet. Kids don’t always get to experience having training wheels with money like they had while learning to ride a bike.
Personal finance can be complicated and it’s also something that usually gets learned gradually over time and through experience. But here’s a fact, time is of the essence! Building a base of knowledge, saving, and investing sooner, rather than later could make a million-dollar difference in the future. I strongly believe in creating good money habits early. As with anything, it’s easier to create a good habit than to break a bad one.
When I think back to my days as a graduate, I remember my own experience venturing out into the world after college. I earned a degree in Finance with a high GPA, grew up in a family that talked about investing naturally over the dinner table, even had dabbled in trading stocks for a few years. My freshman year at UW-Lacrosse was the first year the school offered a course in personal finance, and it was the BASICS. I learned quickly that even though I was well ahead of my years with investing knowledge, I had a long way to go with personal finance. My journey was just starting.
So, when thinking about a gift for your graduate, instead of buying a $6 card to go with a cash gift, consider a book that will serve them well into the future. Here are a few of my favorites that would be perfect for someone starting their voyage into the ‘real’ world and new to the topic of personal finance. (In no particular order)
- Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki. One of the most highly regarded books on financial literacy and building wealth. It’s a quick and easy read for a recipient that doesn’t have a lot of extra time.
- The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason. A classic, originally written in 1926, still offering relevant financial advice. Anyone who likes history would enjoy the style of this book. About 13 years ago someone, either on purpose or accident (coincidence), mailed me this book. It remains a mystery to me today, but I’m grateful.
- I Will Teach You to Be Rich By Ramit Sethi. I actually have not read this book, but I follow the author on his podcast and really like his messaging especially for the next generation who have modern values. He talks about saving, but also how to spend.
- The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham. This book is more about investing than it is personal finance. Perfect for someone who has an interest in the stock market and may already be investing on their own.
- The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel. (John’s pick) I read this book earlier this year after being recommended by John! He has made it a mission that all his children read it. It is excellent. There is a lot of wisdom captured here as it relates to money, happiness, and how individualistic finance is.
The dog days of summer are a perfect time to dive into a good book and these recommendations are appropriate for people of all ages, not just graduates. Enjoy.
Congratulations to the Class of 2022!