138 Must-Read Quotes from some of the Most Influential Books about Personal Finance

You have to learn how to manage your personal finances and make your money work for you! School doesn’t teach us much in this area; therefore, books on the subject of money are an excellent way of educating ourselves about personal finance.

Personal Finance

Because money is a source of freedomlearning how to acquire and use it intelligently is, in my view, an invaluable learning experience. Taking financial responsibility means understanding that money is not an end in itself, but a means to change what you don’t like about your life.

Without becoming a genius of the financial markets, the first step is simply to understand the basic principles of enrichment, so as not to become a slave to money, but rather to use it as a tool for development and fulfillment. It’s about gradually freeing yourself from limiting beliefs associated with money, changing your management and consumption habits, understanding key basic principles for investing wisely, gaining self-confidence, and making enlightened financial decisions.

The good news is that there are many finance books that cover all these topics and have the potential to change your life. However, because reading takes time, which can be rather scarce for many, in this article I’ve chosen to share with you the best passages and quotes from 9 of the most popular and instructive financial books of all time.

By merely reading them, you will have taken a quantum leap towards wealth!

1. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

Published in 1997, Poor Dad Rich Dad is one of the most popular books about money ever written. Its famous author, Robert Kiyosaki, uses his own story to draw parallels between the mindset of his spiritual father, who was rich, and that of his biological father, who was poor. The book develops the principle of financial education.

rich dad poor dad

Financial Education for Financial Freedom

  • [Money is one form of power. But what is more powerful is financial education. Money comes and goes, but if you have the education about how money works, you gain power over it and can begin building wealth.]
  • [The main cause of poverty or financial struggle is fear and ignorance.]
  • [The poor and middle class work for money. The rich make money work for them.]
  • [The rat race symbolizes modern man’s race after time, better pay, better social status, to ultimately consume to compensate for the existential void that remains. This notion is often contrasted with those of financial freedom.]
  • [An important distinction is that rich people buy luxuries last, while the poor and middle class tend to buy luxuries first.]

Becoming Rich with Passion, Vision, and Action Towards Your Dreams

  • [Money is not the goal. Money has no value. The value comes from the dreams money helps achieve.]
  • [Every successful person in life began by pursuing a passion, usually against all odds.]
  • [The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way.]
  • [Sight is what you see with your eyes, vision is what you see with your mind.]
  • [Dreamers dream dreams and rich people create plans and build bridges to their dreams.]

Developing a ‘Rich Mindset

  • [The richest people in the world build networks. Everyone else is trained to look for work.]
  • [The philosophy of the rich and the poor is this: the rich invest their money and spend what is left. The poor spend their money and invest what is left.]
  • [Most people stay poor due to fear and greed.]
  • [The difference between rich and poor is how they use their time.]
  • [Listen to the advice of those who have already achieved your goal.]
  • [Do today what you want for your future tomorrow.]
  • [Look at what idiots do and do the opposite.]
  • [It’s the way you deal with failure that makes all the difference in your life.]
  • [Money only magnifies who you really are.]
  • [To be truly rich, we need to be able to give as well as receive.]
  • [If you want to be rich, think big, think differently.]
  • [Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.]

2. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

This book was published almost a century ago, in 1937. Yet it remains a staple among the indispensable books dealing with money. The 13 steps to wealth –described by Napoleon Hill in Think and Grow Rich — have earned him millions of sales worldwide.

Acting Beyond the Limitations of the Mind, Building on Desire, Maintaining Focus

  • [There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge.]
  • [The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small fire makes a small amount of heat.]
  • [Set your mind on a definite goal and observe how quickly the world stands aside to let you pass.]

Believing in Yourself and Having Faith

  • [Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.]
  • [Faith removes limitations.]
  • [Tell the world what you intend to do, but first show it.]
  • [You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct, and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.]
  • [We refuse to believe in what we don’t understand.]
  • [A quitter never wins, and a winner never quits.]

Overcoming Fears and Failures

  • [If you don’t learn to control your fears, then your fears will control you.]
  • [Failure is a trickster with a keen sense of irony and cunning. It takes great delight in tripping one when success is almost within reach.]
  • [Every adversity, every failure, every heartbreak, carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.]
  • [Success follows failure.]
  • [When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.]
  • [Put your foot upon the neck of the fear of criticism by reaching a decision not to worry about what other people think, do, or say.]
  • [Both success and failure are largely the results of habit!]

Continuously Preparing and Learning

  • [Remember that it is not the lawyer who knows the most law, but the one who best prepares his case, who wins.]
  • [The way of success is the way of continuous pursuit of knowledge.]
  • [To succeed in this changing world, you have to capture the spirit of the great figures of the past, whose dreams have given civilization all that it has precious.]
  • [The cause of the depression is traceable directly to the worldwide habit of trying to reap without sowing.]
  • [Knowledge is only potential power. It becomes power only when, and if, it is organized into definite plans of action, and directed to a definite end.]

3.  The Richest Man in Babylon by George Samuel Clason

Among the best-known personal finance related books, here’s one you need to read if you want to learn the basics of money management in an entertaining and enjoyable way. Published in 1926, The Richest Man in Babylon takes the form of short stories of financial wisdom, and it’s up to the reader to glean insight from each one.

The Richest Man in Babylon

Understanding the Concept of Saving and Investing

  • [Wealth, like a tree, grows from a tiny seed. The first copper you save is the seed from which your tree of wealth shall grow. The sooner you plant that seed the sooner shall the tree grow. And the more faithfully you nourish and water that tree with consistent savings, the sooner may you bask in contentment beneath its shade.]
  • [The man who became of his understanding of the laws of wealth, acquireth a growing surplus, should give thought to those future days. He should plan certain investments or provisions that may endure safely for many years yet will be available when the time arrives which he has so wisely anticipated.]
  • [You first learned to live upon less than you could earn. Next you learned to seek advice from those who were competent through their own experiences to give it. And, lastly, you have learned to make gold work for you.]

Operating with Experience and Seizing Opportunities

  • [Opportunity is a haughty goddess who wastes no time with those who are unprepared.]
  • [Men of action are favored by the Goddess of luck.]
  • [Good luck can be enticed by accepting opportunity.]
  • [The thoughts of youth … are bright lights that shine forth like the meteors that oft make brilliant the sky, but the wisdom of age is like the fixed stars that shine so unchanged that the sailor may depend upon them to steer his course.]
  • [In those things toward which we exerted our best endeavors we succeeded.]

Learning from Others

  • [Perhaps there is some secret we might learn if we but sought from those who knew.]
  • [Advice is one thing that is freely given away but watch that you only take what is worth having.]
  • [The more of wisdom we know, the more we may earn. That man who seeks to learn more of his craft shall be richly rewarded. If he is an artisan, he may seek to learn the methods and the tools of those most skillful in the same line. If he laboreth at the law or at healing, he may consult and exchange knowledge with others of his calling.]
  • [If you desire to help thy friend, do so in a way that will not bring thy friend’s burdens upon thyself.]

4. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker

For T. Harv Eker, it’s the way we perceive money and success that determines our chances of becoming rich or poor. Published in 2008, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind is a must-have in the finance and money nonfiction genre.

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind

Committing to Change 

  • [Energy is contagious. If you want to fly with the eagles, you’ll have to stop swimming with the ducks.]
  • [Rich people are committed to being rich. Poor people want to be rich.]
  • [If you want to change the fruits, you first have to change the roots.]
  • [Rich people believe “I create my life.” Poor people believe “Life happens to me.”]
  • [The biggest obstacle to wealth is fear. People are afraid to think big.]

Acquiring the Mindset and Knowledge Necessary to Become Wealthy

  • [Rich people constantly learn and grow. Poor people think they already know.]
  • [Poor people see problems while rich people see opportunities.]
  • [The number one reason most people don’t get what they want is that they don’t know what they want.]
  • [Rich people have their money work hard for them. Poor people work hard for their money.]
  • [If you are only willing to do what is easy, life will be difficult. But if you are willing to do what is difficult, life will be easy.]

5. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko

This book, famously published under the title “The Millionaire Next Door” in 1996, highlights the fact that the majority of American millionaires actually live like ordinary people. So, as the title suggests, millionaires can reside right next door to you, just like any other neighbor, without you even realizing how rich they are.

Living Simply, Like a Millionaire

  • [Many people who live in expensive homes and drive luxury cars do not actually have much wealth. Then, we discovered something even odder: Many people who have a great deal of wealth don’t even live in upscale neighborhoods.]
  • [Whatever your income, always live below your means.]
  • [Good health, longevity, happiness, a loving family, self-reliance, fine friends … if you have five, you’re a rich man.]
  • [Money should never change one’s value …. Making money is only a report card. It’s a way to tell how you’re doing.]

Managing and Controlling Your Money

  • [If your goal is to become financially secure, you’ll likely attain it … but if your motive is to make money to spend money on the good life … you’re never gonna make it.]
  • [If you’re not yet wealthy but want to be someday, never purchase a home that requires a mortgage that is more than twice your household’s total annual realized income.]
  • [Wealth is more often the result of a lifestyle of hard work, perseverance, planning, and, most of all, self-discipline.]
  • [One of the reasons that millionaires are economically successful is that they think differently.]
  • [The foundation stone of wealth accumulation is defense, and this defense should be anchored by budgeting and planning.]

6. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham

The first edition of this book was published in1973. Packed with useful principles, this book helps the novice investor avoid making costly mistakes, as well as developing an investment plan. Benjamin Graham’s rational advice is still relevant today, making this one of the best-selling financial books even decades later.

The Intelligent Investor personal finance

Investing Wisely

  • [To be an investor, you must be a believer in a better tomorrow.]
  • [The intelligent investor is a realist who sells to optimists and buys from pessimists.]
  • [The stock investor is neither right or wrong because others agreed or disagreed with him; he is right because his facts and analysis are right.]
  • [Invest in yourself … And let the intelligence complete it.]
  • [The intelligent investor realizes that stocks become more risky, not less, as their prices rise—and less risky, not more, as their prices fall. The intelligent investor dreads a bull market, since it makes stocks more costly to buy. And conversely (so long as you keep enough cash on hand to meet your spending needs), you should welcome a bear market, since it puts stocks back on sale.]
  • [If the reason people invest is to make money, then in seeking advice they are asking others to tell them how to make money. That idea has some element of naïveté.]

Keeping Poise when Investing

  • [Investing isn’t about beating others at their game. It’s about controlling yourself at your own game.]
  • [While enthusiasm may be necessary for great accomplishments elsewhere, on Wall Street it almost invariably leads to disaster.]
  • [The individual investor should act consistently as an investor and not as a speculator.]
  • [We advised the readers to purchase stocks like they purchase groceries, not like they purchase perfume.]
  • [The work of a financial analyst falls somewhere in the middle between that of a mathematician and of an orator.]
  • [There should be adequate though not excessive diversification. This might mean a minimum of ten different issues and a maximum of about thirty.]

7. The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco

Written in 2018, this bestseller differs quite a bit from other books about investing. Whereas most books on money advocate getting rich over time, this book, as its title suggests, instructs the reader on how to make a fortune in a faster way. In this regard, the author explains what fast-track method he used to become a millionaire in his thirties.

The Millionaire Fastlane personal finance

Getting ahead and Shifting up a Gear

  • [If you’re stuck in the past, you’re not looking ahead. If you’re not looking ahead, you can’t hit the mark of your future.]
  • [You can’t drive down the road to wealth with your foot on the brake. You have to take risks, you have to get out of your comfort zone, you have to dare and fail.]
  • [I’d rather live in regret of failure than in regret of never trying.]
  • [I can open the door for you, but it’s up to you to step over the threshold.]
  • [There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs.]
  • [There’s a profound difference between interest and commitment. Interest reads a book; commitment applies the book 50 times.]
  • [There’s never perfect timing and waiting for “someday” just wastes time.]

Changing Habits

  • [If you want to keep getting what you’ve got, keep doing what you’re doing. In other words? Stop! If you’re not rich, stop doing what you’re doing.]
  • [Many people want to change their life, but they are not willing to change their choices, and ultimately this changes nothing.]
  • [Your past never equals your future unless you allow it.]
  • [Remember, the rich are a minority, and you want to be in that minority. It starts with a producer mindset.]
  • [Money is not attracted to selfish people but to businesses that fill needs, add value, and solves problems.]
  • [Process is the road trip to wealth: The destination shines as an event, but it’s found by process.]


  • [ What you know today is not enough to get you where you need to be tomorrow. You must constantly reinvent yourself, and reinvention is education.]
  • [Failure is natural to success; expect it and learn from it.]
  • [Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.]
  • [Good advice comes from the one who scores baskets in any circumstance, not the one who is only brought onto the court at the end of the game.]
  • [Success comes to the one who breaks the headwind and turns it into a tailwind.]

Understanding the Difference between “Having a lot of Money” and “Feeling Rich”

  • [The ultimate wealth is having the free time to live how you want to live.]
  • [I lived poor and without security, but I felt rich. I was in control of my life.]
  • [Wealth cannot be experienced alone in a vacuum. Believe me, the richest moments of my life occurred when I was surrounded by a family of friends and loved ones.]
  • [The amount of money in your life is merely a reflection to the amount of value you have given to others.]
  • [Life does not begin on Friday night and end Monday morning.]

8. Do You Really Need It by Pierre-Yves McSween

Published in 2016, this book isn’t particularly about getting rich like many other books on investing but sheds light on our choices when it comes to money, consumption, and their consequences. The author lays down a framework on how to become more financially responsible by questioning, often with great humor, one’s financial habits.

Do You Really Need It personal finance

Responsible Consumption and Spending

  • [Buy less but buy better!]
  • [It’s not complicated: to consume responsibly is to buy new when you’ve saved the necessary amount.]
  • [Desires are infinite: as soon as one desire is fulfilled, another is created. So much so that, to satisfy one’s desires, one is always ready to jump on one’s savings like misery on the poor world.]
  • [Desire is not rational; it borrows from retirement savings, from the grocery budget, and pushes us to buy things of no immediate importance. Desire has a way of draining the blood from our brains and preventing us from thinking. We switch from rationality to impulsiveness.]
  • [If our life is rather empty, no matter what we buy, it will still be as empty when we get home … even if we come back with our hands full.]
  • [Humans are just puppets in the hand of consumerism. We think we’re making a thoughtful purchase, but, in reality, there’s rarely any unwavering logic behind our purchase. It may seem illogical to buy new technology when, often, we can have what we already have repaired, buy used, or simply do without.]

Managing Effectively a Budget

  • [Let me be clear: the best pay raise is better budget management.]
  • [Technically, the purse’s primary purpose is to carry a wallet and keys, but it’s always funny to see someone with a $1,000 designer purse, while they’ve been dragging around a wine-red credit card balance for months. Big purse, small pockets.]
  • [In Quebec, you can become prime minister, doctor, lawyer, or dentist without having a minimum of financial knowledge. Money and its mechanisms are the great forgotten in the training of citizens.]
  • [Consumption is an impulsive gesture. Swiping a card to pay $100 or $2,000 makes no real difference in our brains. It’s a mechanical gesture. It’s only later that we bitterly realize the cumulative impact of our choices. It’s sad.]

9. I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

Among books in the personal finance genre, this one, published in 2011, provides very practical advice on how to take control of your personal finances. Ramit Sethi proposes a 6-week program for getting out of debt, cleaning up your financial situation, adopting the right management reflexes, investing, and making your money grow with as little effort as possible.

i will teach you to be rich personal finance

Discipline and Daring to Take the Plunge

  • [There is no secret to becoming rich. It just takes a few steps, discipline, and a little bit of work.]
  • [Becoming rich almost never happens by sitting down somewhere and coming up with an idea. It happens by taking regular, boring, disciplined action. Most people only see the result. But the most important thing is what happens behind the curtain.]
  • [The single most important factor to getting rich is getting started, not being the smartest person in the room.]
  • [Who wins at the end of the day? The self-satisfied people who heatedly debate some obscure details? Or the people who sidestep the entire debate and get started?]
  • [Most people … spend their entire lives grasping for magical tactics instead of changing their entire mindset.]

Making the Right Decisions and Learning from Failure

  • [Make the right decisions in life and you’ll never have to worry about saving $3 a day on lattes.]
  • [If I don’t have at least 4 or 5 failures a month, I feel like I’m not trying hard enough.]
  • [Every failure contains valuable data that will point you in the right direction.]
  • [In a world of infinite choice if something is not made specifically for me, I’m gone.]
  • [When you are listening to someone you respect, treat their whispers like screams.]

I could have mentioned hundreds of more quotes from other best-selling books about money and investing. Many such books have been summarized on this site, including:

… … and many more.

Feel free to browse the summaries of these various personal finance books: you’ll find other selected excerpts and the key ideas they contain.

Lastly, don’t hesitate to leave your impressions in the comments and share quotes from your favorite personal finance books.

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