February – simply by being announced Library Lovers' Month – is a great month to catch up on your reading.
With such an enormous selection of good books, it is very difficult to make unbiased recommendations. That’s why we are not making an attempt to be unbiased. In fact we invite you to take a figurative sneak peek into our own homes, our bookshelves and nightstands. You’ll find there, on top of cookbooks, thrilling fiction, popular science and essays - what a surprise - books about money. We are financial institution folks after all.
And let’s be frank. Those who don’t need guidance when it comes to money may be the first ones to throw a stone. Or just simply close this page for that matter. We encourage the rest of you to keep reading through our biased, subjective and pleasant list of books about money picked by HTFFFCU staff.
We don’t know what all CEOs read but we know what inspires Clint Hartmann, HTFFFCU’s retiring CEO. It’s Jim Collins’ in-depth studies on what makes a company great and why some companies fail while others flourish.
”I like these books because they are fact based and not based upon someone’s opinion. Over the years you take what made a company great and lasting and apply it to the credit union,” says Hartmann.
Over the course of 11 years of Hartmann’s leadership, HTFFFCU has grown in assets from $165 million in 2004 to over $249 million as of December 2015. Obviously, we cannot attribute this success to Jim Collins’ books solely but we need to put them into the equation. So if you are ready to dive into the world of money and business and learn something from the big fish of the world, go ahead and check out Jim Collins’ works.
Clint Hartmann’s favorites? Good to Great, Why Mighty Fall and Built to Last. And remember that you don’t need to have a big business to learn from those books, but you need to have an open mind because myths will get debunked and opinions changed. No doubt about it.
What About The Basics?
What if you are not really familiar with those complicated financial terms and definitions? How can you really learn anything then? John, VP of Compliance, knows a simple solution: get educated while enjoying a compelling read Basic Economics by Harvard and University of Colombia graduate, Thomas Sowell. This recommended book might seem overwhelming but don’t let those feelings overpower you. Give Sowell a chance. He challenged himself to write a book on economics that anyone can understand. It took him 10 years to translate all the knowledge he ever learned into plain English but the result is so worth the effort. John says that this book should be required reading in high school. What do YOU think?
A Lesson From Self-Help Authors
Victoria in Accounting and Elizabeth in Member Services chose their top picks based on how they could be applied to individual lives. No excessive financial terminology, no analyses of general money issues. Just competent, relevant guides to improve one’s own finances regardless of how much you actually make.
Let’s start with Dave Ramsey, a famous author who built his $4 million fortune by the age of 26 just to lose it by the age of 30. Since then not only has he managed to rebuild it but he’s also been teaching others how to live in financial peace. All Ramsey’s books have been extremely well received and reviewed which adds a “reader value” mark to each one of them. HTFFFCU top pick is Financial Peace Revisited, (2002)in which the author updates his financial philosophy and money tactics. What you can learn from Ramsey is an invaluable insight into how money really influences your life and how you can let it help or hinder you. A personal lesson for Victoria?
“This book has taught me that I don’t need to consume debt with purchases and I don’t need to impress people that I don’t know.”
Check out Ramsey’s Financial Peace Revisited from your local library!
Robert Kiyosaki is another author who made an impact in the world of personal finance by publishing his self-help book Rich Dad, Poor Dad where he teaches an important lesson about income versus wealth. Few of Kiyosaki's suggestions didn’t withstand the test of time due to the changes in law but most are still relevant and impactful. If you feel like unraveling the truth about money, start with debunking the myth about getting rich via simply working. Sound interesting? Crazy? Deceptive? Good! Rich Dad, Poor Dad has more up his sleeve.
Finally, who wants to be a millionaire? No, we’re not talking about the TV game show. David Bach and his book The Automatic Millionaire, can help us achieve this goal by showing us a direction in which we should move. This book is particularly important to Elizabeth as it touches on paying yourself first to gain more financial wealth and points out what is considered an asset and a liability. People may have a different perception until it is presented from someone else’s point of view. Bach’s book is simply written, detailed without being overwhelming and very straightforward. Definitely a good read for novice money managers.
Do you know the books mentioned above? Do you love them? Dislike them? Let us know onFacebook!