Personal Finance Challenge #17: Study The Greats of Personal Finance

Who is great?

For all of my life, I have been enamored by my heroes. People who rose to challenges and occasions of great consequence. People who served as role models and examples in dark times. People that would not only be defined as good in their area of expertise, but great.

Being great requires a certain obsession with a topic. Often these people seem like they were born to be this way. Wasting away the hours learning and perfecting everything they could. And then learning and perfecting some more. No one in their right mind would do this normally, would they?

And so we admire these giants from afar as they eventually evolve into legends of the past that serve as examples for guiding our future.

While “personal finance” may be a modern day concept, it is still a concept that has evolved over time to what it is today. Much of that accumulated wisdom comes from us spending thousands of years as farmers.

“Reap what you sow”

“Save for a rainy day”

“Make hay while the sun is shining”

People like Thoureau and Spinoza have influenced modern day personal finance experts. And Benjamin Franklin may have been the first personal finance guru.

For me, their are 3 modern day greats that I greatly admire and have learned a lot from.

The first is Joe Dominguez from the book “Your Money or Your Life” written by Vicki Robin. He used very solid principles to “retire early” and the book helps us all understand how money directly relates to our life in the form of time.

While Your Money or Your Life is a bit dated now, the principles still remain the same. If you start with that book and read anything by or about John Bogle of Vanguard Investments then you will have a more solid understanding of how investments work in the present time. And again, his investing principles are spot on. It is always better to invest using principles then whims or hunches.

Finally I would recommenced Dave Ramsey. He is what I would call the financial adviser for the rest of us. Many more of us are struggling with debt and poor money management skills then financial and investment skills. Dave helps simplify the process and has changed millions of lives, namely with his book entitled The Complete Money Makeover, and his radio show which reaches millions of people every day.

Each of these greats isn’t perfect by any means. They have their own bias, their own opinions, their own flavor, their own financial environment, which could vary greatly from yours.

The challenge here is to read all the ones you care to read, and latch on to the principles which hold their own, and the simple practices that you know will work in your own life to improve your financial situation.

This is our 17th challenge in The Personal Finance Challenge Series…

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