7 Reasons why Books are STILL the Best Way to Learn about Finance

There is no shortage of ways to educate yourself on personal finance and investing, in the age of content creation. 

I am here to make a case for the often-forgotten medium of books. 

1. Low price for the quality of content.

These days there seems to be a new online course around every corner. Each one promising new riches. The offerings range from options trading, crypto-currency investing, commodity trading, everything day-trading, Amazon FBA, dropshipping, and even how to make money with voiceover youtube videos. All for the small price of… hundreds of dollars? 

If you are buying some shaky ‘money-making’ strategy for hundreds of dollars then you are already losing the money management battle.

And then there is the traditional route of getting a degree from one of those fancy schools named after some rich person. These are obviously not a cheap option. I’ve gone to one of those and I studied finance. Believe me when I tell you it does not give you a leg up in the personal finance world. Really it isn’t.  

Most programs focus on corporate finance, investment banking, and/or economics. There might be some topics relevant to personal finance here and there but not much. If you want to learn how to manage your own money, not the money of a fortune 500, this is not the path for you. 

How about some solid, time-tested personal finance advice for less? 

For 5-20$ you can get hundreds of pages of information on finance topics that are actually relevant to individual investors. 

Not convinced? I’m far from finished.

2. Solid content, a logical progression, and fewer distractions

There is a huge wealth of information available online on every topic of money. Like this very platform your reading right now.

This is great for learning about specific topics. Dividend Investing, Bonds 101, House-Hacking, etc. and a quick search can give you the info. But what if you’re just starting out? Or what if you want to improve your foundation when it comes to money management? 

Piecing together 500 words, well researched, articles into a firm foundation on finance will take ages. Let’s face it, the internet is a distracting place. By the 3rd article, you will already be scrolling through something else. 

For a solid, distraction-free foundation on finances, books are your answer. 

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3. All of the content and less of the up-sell. 

For the most part, the transaction is over once you’ve bought the book. In your hands is the content that the author has spent months if not years putting together. There is no more product or services to be sold. All you had to give is the price of the book.

Many online courses, E-books, and free PDF guides are just a way to sell you on something else. There is nothing worse than seeing an enticing offer, going to find out more information, and then finding out its just a pitch for another product.

The ‘up-sell’ is all too common in personal finance education platforms. Even established and credible institutions are guilty of this. 

Want to avoid the frustration? Books.

4. No email harassment

If you’re looking into personal finance and investing you will run into a lot of ‘Free’ resources. Investing 101 PDF, Real-Estate Investing Guides, Printable Financial Planners, Checklists, etc. The payment for these if the price of your email address. 

This may seem harmless at first. But before you know it, you’re getting 3+ emails a day about that site’s newest offering. After falling into a few of these you’ll find yourself with the chore of sorting through and unsubscribing to emails. Not my favorite way to spend an evening, but that’s just me 

Want good information without the inbox influx? Books.

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5. More established and relevant content

By the time a book hits the shelves, it’s likely been in the process for years. If you are looking for advice you are going to follow for years to come you probably want it to be well-established information. If the information provided in your personal finance/ investing book can stay relevant and helpful through the long editing process, it is more likely to stay relevant in the future. 

Often, online courses offer info on niche personal finance and investing topics that may not hold up over time. These courses can be churned out quickly to take advantage of these trends.  Not the best option if you’re looking for solid, time-tested strategies.

Want info that will at least be relevant the next few years? Books.

6. Easy to find reviews

A quick trip to the review page will tell you if the information is in the book is what you are looking for. This is not the case with online-based courses or formal education courses. 

It’s easy to forget the beauty of user-generated reviews. 

Online education and formal education institution can monitor and select certain reviews to promote on their platforms. 

Want honest reviews on what you are about to buy? Books.

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7. Multiple people have weighed in

Because of the publishing process, the book and its information have to pass through multiple people before hitting the shelves. Even self-published books are likely to go through several editors before being published. 

Online education might have also passed through several people, but there are no guarantees. 

In my experience, college classes are solely put together by the professor. In some of the classes, the professor even wrote the whole textbook. This autonomy can be great if you have a star professor but not so great if you have a lackluster one. Sadly I’ve had more of the ladder. 

There are some exceptions to this of course. Some online courses can be well-thought-out and have multiple contributors. But again, no guarantees there. For the most part, having several people on-board with your content is the better option. 

Want information that is backed by more than just one person? Books.

Now that I have you convinced…

You probably are wondering what books to look into. We cover this a lot on TBD. You can check out some of our reviews here.