Do you know the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people? Successful people read books. Reading is one of the most popular hobbies in Canada with over 80 percent of Canadians claiming to have read at least a book in the last 12 months. It’s a pretty good figure but it pales in comparison to what successful people read. Check this list of 30 canadian personal finance books
According to reports, Bill Gates reads about 50 books a year. Warren Buffet, one of the most popular investors, reads about 500 pages a day, and Mark Cuban spends around 3 hours a day reading books. Even controversial names like Elon Musk are known to be avid readers.
Books can teach you a lot from how to manage your personal finance to where to invest money. There are all kinds of books out there, some are written for experts, some for new investors, and some for people who just want to gain knowledge. It is important that you pick the right book so that you can enjoy all the benefits a book has to offer.
Books are not only a great way to impart knowledge but can also help improve focus, memory, and retention. Moreover, reading can also be relaxing and a great way to change your perspective. You only need to find a book that’s tailor-made for you.
In this article, we’ll have a look at the top 30 Canadian personal finance books for 2022. We have covered a wide variety to ensure all kinds of books are included in this list. We went through these books and selected these 30 based on factors such as knowledge and ease of reading.
We have only included books where at least one of the authors is Canadian to ensure they’re written for the Canadian market and are easy to comprehend for the average Canadian. While personal finance laws don’t change based on your location, examples and often investment tips provided by foreign authors are not always suitable for Canadian investors. So without much ado, let’s have a look at our 30 best Canadian personal finance books in no particular order.
1. Stop Over-Thinking Your Money!
Written by Indo-Canadian author Preet Banerjee, Stop Over-Thinking Your Money! is one of the hottest-selling personal finance books in Canada. It has a score of 3.8 on Goodreads with some very good reviews. It can be a great pick for readers who do not know much about personal finance and wish to go over different buzz words and concepts.
Founder at MoneyGaps.com, Banerjee has experience working as a columnist and wealth management consultant. He understands the kinds of issues new investors face and has done a good job of covering concepts in simple words. He has used a conversational tone that makes it ease to complete this 224-page book that was originally published in 2014.
Banerjee provides some concrete advice in the book and we also liked the use of his personal stories. However, remember that this book is not for someone who already understands personal finance and is deep into investing. This can be a stepping stone before moving to books that are more detail oriented.
2. Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School
Andrew Hallam believes that schools today don't teach everything about personal finance and he appears to be right. Once you go through Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School, you will realise how much you have been missing. This 256-page book might not be as thick as some other top personal finance books but it gets the job done as Hallam wastes no time getting to the point.
The language is simple yet crisp and the book flows very well. Just like our previous pick, this one also serves as an introduction to investing but there are some portions that are very detailed.
Published in 2017, the book is full of anecdotes and some extreme examples such as biking 70 miles a day. The best thing is that this book is specifically written for Canadians and links to organisations and tools that are designed for Canada. The book also highlights the benefits of investing in Canada.
Unlike some other personal finance books, this one isn’t all about the good things. Hallam doesn’t seem to be afraid of speaking the truth such as why Canadian mutual funds are not the best option and why it can take investors a while to learn the art of investing.
3. Money Like You Mean It: : Personal Finance Tactics for the Real World
Going through Erica Alini’s Money Like You Mean It: : Personal Finance Tactics for the Real World will not make you rich overnight but it can be a great way to understand how personal finance works and what you can do differently to achieve your goals. It’s not the most famous personal finance book out there but it’s one that deserves more attention.
A journalist by profession, Alini understands personal finance well and has covered a wide variety of topics in this 256-page book. Released in 2017, the book provides actionable tips on achieving financial independence through smart investing. The book teaches investors to make money by spending less time. It can be a great option for people who are too busy to spend hours keeping an eye on their investments.
It has some interesting and very relevant sections such as the section where Alini talks about buying or renting. She looks at everything from a critical perspective and informs people so they can make their own decisions. Some other topics that it covers include a detailed section covering common terms, tips on finding the right financial advisor, and insights on avoiding scams. These are common issues that investors face and Alini seems to have done a good job of preparing people to take their first step towards investing.
4. The Wealthy Barber Returns
Don’t let the title fool you, The Wealthy Barber Returns by David Chilton is one of the best Canadian personal finance books with a 3.9 rating on Goodreads. Originally published in 2011, the book is old but not dated. Plus, it can also be bought as an audio CD.
Consider this as a book that’s written for people who already understand personal finance and are aware of the language. If you are new then start with one or more of the three books covered above. Once you’ve gone through those, you’d be able to comprehend this better.
We liked the flow of the book and how Chilton has organised the chapters. They are short but contain excellent examples and actionable advice. You will also find some calculations that are fairly easy to comprehend and can be a great way to understand concepts.
Unlike some other books, this isn’t dry or verbose. You’ll find that it’s rather entertaining and written like a suspense novel. Chilton does a good job of highlighting the importance of savings and answers questions the common person may have including a comparison of different account types.
Note: This is a second version or sequel to Chilton’s original book titled The Wealthy Barber.
5. Wealthing Like Rabbits: An Original and Occasionally Hilarious Introduction to the World of Personal Finance
Robert R Brown gave us Wealthing Like Rabbits: An Original and Occasionally Hilarious Introduction to the World of Personal Finance, a book that’s written for millennials and only has 216 pages. The style of this book is very different as the author has used pop culture and relevant anecdotes to make readers understand different personal finance concepts.
The book covers a wide range of topics including debt repayment, opportunity cost, credit cards, investment accounts, and mortgages. A personal finance speaker and author, Brown seems to have a good understanding of what his readers want. However, we wish the book had more concrete examples.
The author has written it for people under 30 but we think that anyone can benefit from it. You’ll find this book a little blunt but that’s a great thing because the author directly talks to the reader and doesn’t sugar coat things. It can be a great way to identify the mistakes you’re committing so you can correct them.
6. The Wealthy Barber: : Everyone's Common-Sense Guide to Becoming Financially Independent
We mentioned The Wealthy Barber Returns by David Chilton earlier and now it’s time to look at the original – The Wealthy Barber. Chilton published the book in 1995, yet it’s still in demand. There isn’t much difference between this one and the sequel, in terms of content, but you will find that it has more calculations, charts.
Those who enjoy looking at numbers and examples would love this one. Also, it’s more novelistic than the sequel. If you love storytelling then you’ll have a great time reading this guide. Chilton takes a no-nonsense approach and gets directly to the point.
The book has sold over 2 million copies and covers a variety of topics including tips on how to use credit, finding the right investment mindset, and using techniques that help you ‘earn’ more to ‘save’.
7. Cold Hard Truth on Family, Kids and Money
The name tells it all. Kevin O'Leary’s Cold Hard Truth on Family, Kids and Money is a hard hitting book that talks about kids, family, and, of course, money. If you’ve read O’Leary’s work, you’d know how he doesn’t mince his words and sticks to the point. This book follows the same pattern.
In this book, O'Leary talks about how you can secure your family’s future by eliminating debt and achieving freedom. This 288-page book talks about different aspects of managing a family, right from selecting a spouse to keeping your finances managed. This is a very important point because very few people look at the financial repercussions of getting into a relationship or tying the knot.
O'Leary gets straight to the point and we loved how he pointed out different facts such as the cost of raising a child – around $250,000 until the child goes to college. This book can be a life changing experience. It might take you a little while to get used to the author’s style but the material is worth it.
8. Debt Free Forever: Take Control of Your Money and Your Life
The name tells the story here. Debt Free Forever: Take Control of Your Money and Your Life is all about debt management and covers some great tips on how to avoid debt and ensure you’re never late on payments. It doesn’t only highlight the importance your credit score, but also covers some great ways to improve your financial standing.
Some of the things the author, Gail Vaz-Oxlade, talks about include updating your habits, automating your savings, building a budget, and planning for the future. The book works as a great guide for people who know they have to save but can’t find the motivation needed to get started. You will find some great tips in this book including step-by-step guides on understanding your expenses and debt.
Gail’s aim is to help you be debt-free in three years or less. Released in 2012, the book is very fresh and easy to comprehend. Moreover, you can also go for an audio version of the book that runs for 8 hours and 14 minutes only.
9. Worry-Free Money: The Guilt-free Approach to Managing Your Money and Your Life
We’re finally moving towards books that offer deep insights into personal finance. Worry-Free Money by Shannon Lee Simmons takes a unique approach to personal finance. She covers a variety of topics in the book including savings, budgeting, and spending in this 328-page book. Shannon wants you to stop feeling sorry and to take control of your finances.
The book has proven to be a great read and has a 4.3 rating on Goodreads. Her approach is practical as Shannon understands the limitations of her audiences and has created a doable approach to improving one's finances. You will find a lot of real-world examples in the book.
The book does a great job of helping people realise the impact of their day-to-day decisions and what they need to change to improve things. The tone is friendly yet stringent.
10. Beat The Bank: The Canadian Guide to Simply Successful Investing
Find it hard to invest your money? Larry Bates’s Beat the Bank can be a great book to understand investments. This 208-page book came out in 2018 and is already one of the most popular personal finance books in Canada with a score of 4.4 on Goodreads. The book discusses some technical topics but without using technical or complicated language.
Larry has done a good job of explaining the concept of indexing, its benefits, and why some investments may not be suitable for Canadians due to high investment fees. He provides great tips on simplifying and optimising investment portfolios, increasing wealth, and maximising tax-sheltered accounts.
Larry’s focus is on long-term growth and the book is written for readers who are serious about investing. The good thing is that it isn’t just for big shots but also for small investors. You don’t need a lot of money to follow Larry’s instructions. He has even included tools like T-Rex Score, a system that helps investors know exactly how much fees they have to pay.
11. Moolala: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things With Their Money – And What You Can Do About It
Written by Bruce Selle, Moolala is a personal finance book with a 3.5 score on Goodreads. The book is divided into five sections and is written in an inspirational manner. Published in 2011, this 342-page book is funny and interesting to read.
It will help you look at money management from a new perspective thanks to practical examples and simple language. The highlight of this book is short activities given at the end of each chapter to help you gauge what you've learnt. This section can also help readers understand the mistakes they make and what they can do to improve things.
Take your time and don’t just glance over this personal finance guide for Canadians. It has excellent material that you should grasp fully before turning the page.
12. Victory Lap Retirement: Work While You Play, Play While You Work
Victory Lap Retirement by Mike Drak is written for people who want to retire peacefully. Published in 2019, this 232-page book has a score of 3.7 on Goodreads and a growing fan base. Sellery is one of the main reasons why this book is so popular.
The author has some other titles under his belt and he is also known for contributing to popular names like Yahoo Finance and MoneySense. He understands the issues people face and wants to solve them with this book. You will find it very light to read and full of real-life examples.
While the book gets a little repetitive in places, it does a good job of highlighting how one can retire without feeling any burden. It’s written for people who are close to retiring but we feel that you should start planning for retirement as early as possible so consider getting your hands on this one now.
13. The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store
Cait Flanders has written The Year of Less to share his experiences with her readers and help them understand the true meaning of life. It isn’t just a personal finance book, it’s a guide that can give your life a new meaning. The book does a good job of highlighting the importance of appreciating the small things in life.
Written as a self-help memoir, the book chronicles the life of Cait and how a 12-month break from the routine life helped her discover how beautiful life is. It’s basically a story that covers the struggles of a 20-something year old girl struggling with alcoholism, weight gain, career, family, etc. We must mention that it isn’t for everyone though. You will enjoy this only if you like to read memoirs.
Published in 2019, this 216-page book has a rating of 3.5 on Goodreads and some very positive feedback from readers. Most seem to enjoy the tone and we’re also in love with the way the book has been presented.
14. House Poor No More: 9 Steps That Grow the Value of Your Home and Net Worth
House Poor No More by Romana King might not be the most popular book out there but it is still worth a read. Published in 2021, the book is still pretty new and is fast gaining momentum. This 440-page guide talks about different aspects of buying, selling, or investing in real estate and is written in a clever manner.
What we liked the most about this book is that it doesn’t only talk about homeownership but also how it links to retirement planning and money management. It has some great tips on what you can do to boost your home’s value and how to keep it maintained. You’ll find information on reducing monthly expenses and taking advantage of debt.
Some points he has made in this book are very new and interesting. He has explained each point in detail, especially the managing chapter that is quite an eye opener. He does a good job of explaining the cost of owning a house and how small changes can help you save money.
15. The Rule of 30: A Better Way to Save for Retirement
Written by award-winning columnist Frederick Vettes, The Rule of 30 is a 224-page book that offers some great and new ways to save money for retirement. It has been written with the mindset that our demands are changing and saving strategies need to change as well. Written for Canadians under 45, the book emphasises the importance of saving throughout our life so that we can have decent savings when we decide to hang the boots.
His formula is to save different amounts throughout the years instead of a constant and arbitrary amount. He gives a simple rule – save 30 percent of your gross income, minus rent or mortgage and short-term expenses such as daycare. With this formula, you’ll be saving less in the beginning and more as years pass.
Just like The Wealthy Barber, this one is also written in a novelistic manner and is presented in the form of conversations between a number of people. In fact, it’s more novelistic, which not everyone appreciates.
16. The Money Master: Inside Secrets on How to Make Your Money Grow and Stay Safe: What They Don't Teach You about Wealth and Investing
Sandy Yong’s The Money Master is an award-winning book that is designed for people who get anxious thinking about money. If you let emotions control you then get your hands on this book. It has a great section on how to keep your sentiments under check.
Reviews of the book are positive and most readers seem to have found the tips in the book quite easy to follow. Published in 2020, the book only has 161 pages. It’s crisp as the author seems to have made every word count. However, what we liked the most about the book is the presentation.
Yong has done a good job of presenting the book in workbook form. The book, however, is full of wise advice as the author gets straight to the point and does not mince words, especially during the rich versus poor people section. We suggest that you concentrate on the information as it’s quite valuable.
17. Happy Go Money: Spend Smart, Save Right and Enjoy Life
Published in 2019, Happy Go Money by Melissa Leong can be considered a complete personal finance guide as it talks about everything from saving to investing. Leong is a personal finance writer, on-air personality, and keynote speaker with a good understanding of the Canadian market. Unlike some other personal finance books in Canada, this isn’t for a specific age group and anyone can benefit from the material it contains.
The book contains some brilliant one liners and anecdotes. Leong doesn't hesitate and provides some jarring details of her life. She encourages self-evaluation without getting dry.
Spend some time thinking about your financial situation and what you can change to improve your life. Look at things from Leong’s perspective. You don’t have to follow everything given in the book, so try to concentrate on points that apply to you.
18. Personal Finance for Canadians for Dummies
Published in 2018, Personal Finance for Canadians for Dummies authored by Tony Martin and Eric Tyson is one of the most popular personal finance books in Canada. Not all books written by two authors are good since there can often be two different styles, but we loved how this book has been written.
Both Martin and Tyson share the same aim – to educate people – and the result is quite interesting. This 400+ page book will give you interesting perspectives and make you think about your financial situation. It was recently updated and covers the latest trends including robo-advisors.
While the book is detailed, let us mention that it is only suitable for dummies. If you already understand personal finance in Canada then this book might not be suitable for you. You can choose any other book from this list.
19. Easy Tax Tips For Canadians: Book One of the Piggy Bank Financial Serie
Easy Tax Tips For Canadians by Peggy Ireland can be a great pick for anyone wanting to know more about the Canadian tax system and how you can save money legally. Everyone pays taxes, from the rich to the poor, and this book has been written for all kinds of readers. You’ll enjoy real examples and creative tips by Ireland.
This book will help you determine what to buy, when to buy, how to buy, and how much to buy to ensure you don’t end up paying a lot in taxes. This is important because taxes in Canada can even go above 40 percent in some cases. The book is smart.
It isn’t about tax stealing. It helps find loopholes by being smart. This is what chartered accountants do. However, we suggest that you read some other books in this list before moving to this one. It can be a little complicated to understand. Also, not all situations may apply to you, so look for sections that are relevant in your case.
20. A Wealth of Common Sense: Why Simplicity Trumps Complexity in Any Investment Plan
Those who want something simple but interesting can get their hands on A Wealth of Common Sense by Ben Carlson with a Goodreads score of 4. We think it is a great book and can be a good pick for anyone wanting to know more about saving money. It will not make you rich overnight as this book isn't about quick cash but about being smart and investing in the right scheme.
It can be a little hard to follow all the principles given in this book, but it's definitely worth a try. The tone is great and a little stiff in parts but it works. Carlson has used complex language in some places that we found a little nerving but there are some nice examples throughout the book that can help understand the point.
21. RICH GIRL, BROKE GIRL
Rich Girl, Broke Girl is as attractive and interesting as the title. Author Kelley Keehn has done a good job of explaining how to pay your debt and start saving in this narrative-style book. The book is for parents who want to teach their kids to be financially independent.
It covers issues we face in our day-to-day life such as negotiating our salaries, gaining control of our finances, etc. The author is sympathetic and supportive. We loved the anecdotes in this book as they hit the bull’s eye.
Keehn appears to be an observant and has layered the book with Canadian examples that make it even more relevant. Consider showing it to growing children. It can be a great way to ensure they start their life on the right note.
22. The RESP Book: The Simple Guide to Registered Education Savings Plans for Canadians
Mike Holman's The RESP Book is a top-rated book that originally came out in 2012 and explains Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) in just 155 pages. It’s written for Canadian parents and is quite smart in its approach. We loved the chapter where he talks about RESP accounts and how to get started.
Homan was already famous before the book came out as he runs one of Canada's most popular personal finance websites MoneySmartsBlog.com. However, this book has proven to be a turning stone in his career as it turned out to be a massive success.
Most people love the tone and how easy it is to grasp the material. It’s for people who just had kids or are planning to have kids. It covers everything one needs to know from how to fund their education to what kinds of expenses to expect. Being prepared will help you so do give this a read.
23. The Snowman's Guide to Personal Finance: A simple approach to managing your money
The Snowman's Guide to Personal Finance by Steven Arnott is a fairly new option but already very popular. This 184-page book came out in 20219 and is very practical in its approach. It’s for anyone interested in developing a baseline knowledge across different personal finance topics including home ownership, loan settlement, and retirement.
Arnott has done a clever job of using the snowman to explain different personal finance concepts in this book. This makes the presentation interesting and keeps readers glued, which is important since personal finance can end up being boring for some readers. Arnott has kept the tone educational but simple.
In addition, the layout is excellent. It starts from the basics and gets deeper as you continue to read. Arnott has used some interesting analogies through the book and the examples are also concrete. However, it might not be for people who already understand the basics.
24. Financial Freedom With Real Estate: Start Making Money Today Because Everyone Else Is
Real estate is one of the most important parts of financial freedom and Michael Steven does a good job of explaining its importance in Financial Freedom with Real Estate. Steven knows the industry very well and isn’t afraid of sharing his experiences. He makes some very important points in this including the need to start today.
We loved how the book busts several myths about real estate and encourages investors to start investing. It makes real estate looks easy and provides step by step guides on how to get started. Chapters are very clearly selected and the flow is smooth.
This 128-page book was written during the Covid era and takes into consideration the issues that we're facing today. But, the good thing is that it appears ‘green’ and isn’t only for Covid times. The tips contained in this book will help you in the future as well.
25. Do You Really Need It?: One Question to Free You Financially
Written by Pierre-Yves Mcsween, this 336-page personal finance book highlights the value of saving. Do You Really Need It? does a very good job of helping users realise the importance of saying no and thinking before making a purchase. Mcsween understands that a lot of us end up making unnecessary purchases and stopping at the right time is the best way to save money.
There are many books on this topic but what sets this one apart is how positively it makes the point. This 336-page book holds up a mirror to one’s life choices and their consequences. It looks at things from the perspective of a common man and paints an encouraging picture.
You will even find real life examples in the book that are both interesting and relevant. We suggest picking important pointers from each chapter and making a list so you can have a checklist on how you can save. This can prove to be very beneficial. The book tells readers to start as slow as they can since saving something is better than saving nothing.
26. Simple Money: Turn your dreams into reality
Greg Tomkins wrote Simple Money with one goal – to help people manage money. Published in 2021, it's a new addition to the long growing list of personal finance books in Canada and does a fine job of connecting with the readers. At 321 pages long, the book is detailed and highlights how one can move forward in life.
Tomkins has created a formula that he has used to find success and believes that it can help others as well. The trick lies in working today for tomorrow. The language is straightforward and clear, and the writer hits all the points from retirement to debt to ways to earn money.
The book contains dozens of case studies including Tomkins' stories of failures and triumphs. We loved the section where Tomkins talks about financial jargon and gets deep into stocks and portfolio management. We feel this book is perfect for all kinds of readers including new and experienced investors.
27. Investing For Canadians All-in-One For Dummies
Investing For Canadians All-in-One For Dummies by Tony Martin is one of the best personal finance books. It talks about some new concepts as it's pretty fresh and written for tomorrow's investors. You'll find topics such as cryptocurrencies, precious metals, and tax.
The book is marketed as a 7-in-1 series that covers some other topics as well including day trading, real estate, and mutual funds. Hence, it doesn't come as a surprise that it's pretty long – 592 pages to be exact. But, don’t worry. The book flows well and you will not get tired of it.
While some portions are pretty detailed, some are only introductory. We loved the section where the writer highlights the importance of finding investments according to your income and following time-tested strategies.
28. The Value of Simple: A Practical Guide to Taking the Complexity Out of Investing
John A Robertson has created a number of books and enjoys an excellent reputation today. However, if we had to pick his best, we’d choose The Value of Simple. It is written for people who find investing too complex and is quite an interesting read.
Robertson understands the issues investors face and lays out a clear plan on how to grasp the evolving market. He explains different concepts in simple words and is only 220 pages long. You’ll even find some information on real estate and retirement.
You’ll love this book if you’re busy since Robertson doesn’t expect you to spend hours in front of your phone or computer. The book is designed to help you invest while you concentrate on other things. You’ll find a detailed step-by-step guide on how to create and manage a portfolio. We loved how complete the book is. Once you’re through this, you will be in a position to strengthen your finances.
29. Reboot Your Portfolio: 9 Steps to Successful Investing with ETFs
EFTs are quite popular in Canada and can help you make a lot of money; however, it's a complex idea that Dan Bortolotti does a fine job of explaining in Reboot Your Portfolio. It starts by highlighting the benefits of ETFs. Bortolotti explains their benefits and why you should concentrate on ETFs and not beating the market.
If you are already aware of ETFs then you can move to the second step where the author explains ETF portfolios and how you can allocate assets, select funds, etc. We loved the language he has used. It makes concepts easy to understand.
Bortolotti has included some great examples here. We think the book can be great for existing ETF investors as well. It has some great tips on how to avoid mistakes. You can use these tips to improve your current portfolio.
30. The Canadian Real Estate Investing Blueprint: The Exact Strategies Canadians Have Used to Buy and Profit From Billions in Income Property
Written by Tom and Nick Karadza, The Canadian Real Estate Investing Blueprint is one of the best personal finance books. It mainly focuses on real estate investment and is presented in the form of a series where you’re introduced to the authors and what they have done to achieve great results.
You will find the duo's investing secrets in the book. We liked how specific they got here. You will find real examples. One of our favourite sections is the chapter where they talk about different real estate investment options and the benefits of each.
This 338-page book goes in depth and provides some great ways to compare different options. Once you're through this, you will be in a position to call the shots and identify the best real estate investment by comparing potential returns.