10 Best Books for Financial Freedom and Development

10 Best Books for Financial Freedom and Development

Dear Happy Investor, As an avid reader, some years I absorb as many as 20 to 30 books. The right books are a rich source of knowledge. Think of it as a mentor, someone who is already ten years further in his development than you are. The author shares all his knowledge, in which many years of mistakes and learning moments are woven in. And we get to learn from them!

Below are my top 10 best books for financial freedom and more happiness. If I read new good books, I will update the list. So far I think these are the best books, and not only for financial freedom, but also for your personal development in general.

My tip with each book is to apply up to three learning points in practice. And not just once, but literally apply them continuously. This requires that you get the essence of the book, and apply the rich lessons in practice so you can learn permanently.

I am also curious to know what you think are the best books for financial freedom and development. Please let me know in a comment below? That would be great!

My 10 best books for financial freedom and development

  1. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
  2. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  3. Master your Mindset by Michael Pilarczyk
  4. Atomic Habits by James Clear 
  5. 12 Rules For Life by Jordan B. Peterson
  6. Unlock It by Dan Lok
  7. Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss
  8. Mind Gym by Wouter De Jong
  9. The 6 Minute Diary of Dominik Spenst
  10. The Lean StartUp of Eric Ries

1. Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

One of my first and also best books for financial freedom. Read years ago and still one of the best for financial freedom.

This best book for financial freedom consists of 6 fundamental lessons. The first is that “The Rich Don't Work for Money”. Although all the lessons are fundamental, this is by far the best rule that will lead you to financial freedom. It is as Warren Buffet points out, “if you don't find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die”.

Some readers miss the point of this book. They think the author means that you should only invest in real estate, but that is not so. It's about investing money in general. And yes, the author specializes in real estate so he cites most examples about that. It is also true that he is smart about tax benefits in real estate investing. For that, read the book 😉 .

Financial freedom will not come to you after reading a book. You will still have to work hard. But if you start making money work for you as early as possible, in ten years from now, you won't have to work as hard. And after twenty years from now, you can even be financially independent and therefore retire early.

Another fun fact is that the author of this book has developed an (online) board game so that you can learn the lessons of money investing playfully. The game is called Cashflow and can be played both paid (board game) and free (online).

2. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Think and Grow Rich was also one of my first and best books for financial freedom. Over the past few years, I have read the book several times. In the book, you will find a very concrete step-by-step plan that you can follow to become successful. These steps are well thought out. However, what I personally like best about this book is the mindset. The author Napoleon Hill spoke to the most successful entrepreneurs at the time (around the year 1935). From all these conversations, the same common thread emerged: a way of thinking.

This is about creating a Mindset towards success (and financial freedom). That's why the title is called Think and Grow Rich. That sounds logical, but I still give you the tip to read this book more than once. Read it once every six months until you really get the gist. This is going to change your life in all definitions of success (wealth, relationships, fulfillment, freedom, et cetera).

This book will definitely learn you how to become rich.

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3. Master your Mindset by Michael Pilarczyk

Think and Grow Rich was not only an eye-opener for me and millions of others. It was also a great source of inspiration for Michael Pilarczyk. For example, he read this and many other books. Actually, the same ones as me, giving us a similar Mindset and I respect him for that reason alone. Even though Michael is many years on (I am 29, he over 50?) and has a great story to tell.

His story with thereby all the wise lessons from his own experiences and also many books, he has summarized in his own book called “Master Your Mindset”. I see it as a nice update on the book Think and Grow Rich. For example, he further supplements the roadmap with some Mindfulness fundamentals, including those of meditation.

Personally, I would choose to read the “Think and Grow Rich” book first, and then the “Master Your Mindset” book. Either way, both books are going to change your life and are well worth the marginal investment of a few tens….

4. Atomic Habits by James Clear

Atomic Habits is highly recommended. At first, you will not immediately think of this book as the best book for financial freedom. However, from experience I can assure you that many people will benefit from the lessons of Atomic Habits.

The book is about building good habits and unlearning bad habits. This is done in a very accessible, pragmatic way. By implementing a few extra good habits every day, your life will change significantly five years from now.

Achieving financial freedom is especially tough in the first few years. These are the years when you need to invest as much money as possible, but you still see little progress. The first few months, in particular, can be the threshold, which is why many people drop out. But if you apply the lessons from Atomic Habits, you can develop good habits that contribute to financial freedom. In this way, you no longer depend on your motivation and discipline, because the power of a habit is that it is routine. You no longer think about it, you do it because “this is who I am”.

In addition to Atomic Habits being one of the best books for financial freedom, you can also apply these genius insights to other habit formations. Think healthier eating, exercising more, and reading more.

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5. 12 Rules For Life by Jordan B. Peterson

Admittedly, this book does not have much to do with financial freedom. However, it is a brilliant book for your personal development. In the book “12 Rules for Life” Jordan B. Peterson, The 12 rules offer a guideline for self-help, to make your life a more enjoyable existence. However, this goes very deep, to the core. And that is why I think it is an excellent book. For example, the first rule is “Stand Up Straight.” Here Jordan teaches us the laws of nature (in this case with lobsters) about how we are all actually very primitive creatures. With “Stand up Straight” he wants to indicate that you should stand up for your own interests and be prepared to “fight” for that. This way of thinking has all kinds of positive effects, including a more positive self-image and more success in every conceivable way. (Note: our brains are still pretty much the same as our ancestors of 200,000 years ago).

'12 Rules for Life' is a profound book and also touches on broader philosophical topics. Highly recommended for true self-development to the core.

6. Unlock It by Dan Lok

Where books like ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad' and ‘Master Your Mindset' are more about the Mindset towards financial freedom as well as investing money, the book ‘Unlock It' is mainly about making more money. This makes it a tangible fulfillment as one of the best books for financial freedom. The author, Dan Lok, is a self-made millionaire who makes tons of money. In his book, he talks about how developing expertise allows you to ask for more and more money. For example, in his time as a consultant, Dan Lok asked (more than) 10,000 euros per hour. Yes, per hour!

The chances that you and I will be asking that much money per hour are not that great. But from personal experience, I find his insights very valuable, and in practice I also notice that you start earning more and more.

And if you are smart, you will start investing your extra monthly income in a diversified investment portfolio of ETFs, dividends, real estate funds, et cetera.

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7. Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss

Everything in life is a negotiation. Even internal dialogues are a negotiation. I am a negotiator by nature, and I benefit greatly from this. Don't think of this as someone who only asks for a discount. Yes, you should always do this (if only because many companies take this into account 😉 ). But negotiating can also mean getting more for the same price or act. Moreover, this does not necessarily have to harm the other person. By thinking Win-Win you become a good negotiator, where both you and the other gets more.

In a human life a lot of money is spent. What if you get a total of 10% discount on that by negotiating? This gives you tens of thousands of dollars for little time effort. And you can make the big hits on major purchases (house, car, vacations, et cetera).

Or even more fun: what if, on average, you get not a 2%, but a 4% increase in salary each year? Or 10% extra income from your business? In both cases, you will earn up to hundreds of thousands of extra euros over a long period of time.

And all thanks to the relatively simple skill of negotiation.

The book “Never Split the Difference” is the best book on negotiating. This is a must for anyone who wants free money….

8. Mind Gym by Wouter De Jong

I am a rational entrepreneur with a university background. And being who I am, I can tell you that Mindfulness is an indispensable addition to every career woman/man and entrepreneur. Anyone who is active in business can experience some sh*t. And why is that? Often it is about nothing. People with small egos get worked up over the smallest things. And if you're unlucky, one of those little egos is your boss.

Totally irrational, because life isn't about hopeless side issues. Life is about finding fulfillment, happiness, fun, and progress. And that's why it's good to be able to abstract from those side issues sometimes. Just clear your head, get down to earth.

Mindfulness works perfectly for this. In fact, this is training your brain. Some think that mindfulness is woolly, but then you simply don't understand it. Then you get it confused with the, indeed, floaty types like hippies. Although these hippies have become very adept at Mindfulness and you can definitely learn from them. (This is how they free themselves from limitations, including money. Personally, I see money more as an opportunity to make it work for me, so that I can also live freely but with financial security).

The book Mind Gym makes Mindfulness very practical. No woolly hocus pocus, but a scientific and practical approach to get more Mindfulness in your life. If you do this well, you will experience more focus, peace, and energy (see book). You will also get more gratitude and compassion. Your stress levels will go down, and you'll feel like you can handle more. At work, people start to see you as someone who can handle stress well, which is considered a competency of high-ranking managers.

The result: you will earn more money and be happier. Win-win!

9. The 6 Minute Diary of Dominik Spenst

The book called ‘The 6 Minute Diary' is a modern diary based on science to help you become happier. The first fifty pages are about science and Mindset to literally think yourself happier. Again, this is all about Mindset, as it is with the books Think and Grow Rich and Master your Mindset.

What I really like about this book is that it has been turned into a journal. By filling in the same questions every day, you program yourself to think happier. For example, gratitude is one of the topics, but also achieving your goals.

In short, a very practical book that allows you to be engaged daily with Mindfulness and your personal goals such as financial freedom.

10. The Lean StartUp of Eric Ries

Achieving financial freedom is possible when you are employed. My strong advice is always to start your own business in addition to your 40-hour job. You can easily do this by starting very low-key. This is what they call a side hustle.

After completing my university studies, I went into paid employment. At the same time I had also started a small webshop. This was not successful, but I learned a lot from it. So two years after the webshop I started a website. That went better already. And after that website, I founded the Happy Investors Mindset. After three years of working on the Happy Investors Mindset alongside a challenging 40-hour job, I decided to start working on my own business full time. In a few weeks, this new adventure will begin, and I will be making money with my passion.

It may also be that you do not want to become an entrepreneur, but nevertheless, a side hustle is interesting. For example, it can earn you an extra 5 – 10K per year, all of which you can invest so that you reach financial freedom faster.

The book “The Lean Startup” teaches you a well-thought-out methodology to successfully start a new business, minimizing the chance of failure. It comes down to continue looking at the market (what do people really want?), and building your service/product around that. So don't spend months working on a service/product only to find out that there is no demand for it 😉 .

Another booklet which is a nice addition with more concrete tips, is “100 dollar startup”.

Now that we have come to the end of my top 10 best books for financial freedom, I am very curious about your best books. Will you let me know in a comment below?

About the author
Raised by an entrepreneur, a master's degree in Organizational Science and Strategy, and a passion for investing. My name is Jorik Vermeulen, creator of the Happy Investors Mindset. For years I have been sharing my philosophy about a happier life with more freedom, satisfaction and financial independence. In addition, I help people to become (financially) more successful in Mindset & Wealth, with a specialization in long-term investing in stocks and ETFs.
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