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Personal finance. It’s one of the single most essential skills you can learn…it’s also something that isn’t routinely taught in schools. It’s no wonder, then, that so many people have difficulty in reforming their finances or understanding how to grow their wealth. Being good with money isn’t about how much you make, it’s about how you manage that money.


ALSO READ: 4 Things to Consider Before Getting an MBA


You don’t have to read a bunch of textbooks or sit through hours of boring lectures either. Here are a few resources that can help you be smarter with your money – and entertain you at the same time. Very Wall Street Survivor if you ask us…..

“Life is a learning process. And when you stop learning… you start dying.”

Movies 

Hollywood loves making money by making movies about money. Below are three movies that highlight the passion, greed, and drama of the business world – every business person should add these to their must-watch list.

Wall Street (1987)
The movie digs into everything a business hides behind the scenes. It’s about an ambitious stockbroker, doing whatever he can to make his way to the top. He works for his firm during the day and spends his free time working with the extremely successful and greedy broker Gordon Gekko.

Wall Street will open your eyes to how the big players on the Street behave and how they view money. Is money something you use as a tool to get what you want out of life? Or is it the goal in itself?

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
The Wolf of Wall Street is a shameless, exciting and illuminating movie. It’s about a hard-partying, nasty and addicted New York stockbroker, who roses from an entry level apprentice at a brokerage house to the founder of his own investment firm.

It’s a true story about one of the most entertaining films ever made about loathsome men. The fact that it is a true story should get you thinking about how the casual investor can compete with the big-wigs on the Street.

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Documentaries

Inside Job (2010)
This movie provides a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008. It reveals how irresponsible policy and shady banking practices combined to create a troublesome cocktail of financial distress.

If you want to get a clear understanding of how the global financial system works, then this is the movie to watch.

Freakonomics (2010)
This documentary examines how people react to opportunities to gain, wittingly or otherwise. It will show you that incentives matter, and that conventional wisdom is often wrong.

Based on the book Freakonomics by economist Steve Levitt and journalist Stephen Dubner this documentary explores how we are not always in complete control of our actions – even if we like to think we are.

This idea filters into personal finance because it is not enough to want to save, or want to get out of debt. Sometimes we need to learn the psychology behind why we do the things we do, in order to combat our bad habits effectively.

Trader (1987)

This movie contains plenty of advice for solo investors and traders. It portrays hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones and his firm Tudor Investments. Jones is extremely intelligent and he predicts the 1987 stock market crash, using methods similar to market forecaster Robert Prechter.

Sadly it may be hard to get your hands on this documentary as few copies exist today but Jones’ trading style, which is featured, is something you can always learn more about.

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Jones trading style is full of great wisdom. For instance, he would always get out of a losing position that made him uncomfortable stressing that “great defense is the key” and “get out when you can, because there’s nothing better than a fresh start”.

Books 

The Richest Man in Babylon
This book is an inspirational work on the subject of thrift, financial planning, and personal wealth. The advice is told through a collection of parables set in Babylon and while it is a very quick read, it’s worth it.

The most famous line in the book is “a part of all you earn is yours to keep”, which stresses the importance of paying yourself first.

The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive book on value investing
The Intelligent Investor is a comprehensive guide to investment. It’s old, and some of the examples in the book are no longer relevant, but the principles upon which it is based remain fundamental. Each chapter contains good chunks of wisdom which has stood the test of time.

If you can read each chapter and summarize the teachings in a few sentences then you will have absorbed the iron rules of value investing.

Rich Dad Poor Dad

The book is a story of two dads: the first is the author’s own highly educated but financially illiterate father – the poor dad – and the other was the father of his childhood best friend, Mike – the rich dad.

Many businesses faded away when the stock market crashed in 2008, but this book has kept on going because it has nothing to do with market frenzies and everything to do with our private attitudes to money.

The key takeaway from this book is that while some people work for money, the truly rich have money work for them. This book will help you understand why creating income-generating assets will help you more to become financially independent than a job ever will.

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Secrets of the Millionaire Mind

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to get rich easily, while others are destined for a life of financial struggle?  Secrets of the Millionaire Mind reveals the missing link between wanting success and achieving it!

This is a great book and allows readers to explore their subconscious, taking a harsh look at the messages (i.e. brainwashing) we’ve received about money ever since we were children. Messages that are potentially sabotaging our chances of being wealthy or having a healthy relationship with money.

I Will Teach You to Be Rich:

This book probably won’t make you rich in the traditional sense of the word. Instead, it’s filled with simple, practical steps you can take to save more money so you can spend it what really matters.

The title may sound like a scam, as the author himself attests, but this book is guaranteed to help you save money and get smarter about your finances as well as showing how to beat your own psychology and go after big wins rather than small victories.

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