Books are tremendous resources. In recommending a book, we can impart valuable knowledge, share our values, or suggest a new way to look at something. Following is a list of many books I have found useful in developing the concepts, principles, and strategies I teach. The list is varied, as the books included further develop important points of psychology and wealth management that may already be familiar to you. If you are focused on growing with or providing help to a family member, choose a book and read it together, discussing the salient points of each chapter as you go.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective FamiliesCovey, Stephen
Golden Books, 1997
Covey's comprehensive book illuminates and teaches the basic foundation of the family. He does this in a practical step-by-step manner, which is inspiring and easy to work through with all family members.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective TeensCovey, Sean
New York: Fireside, 1998
Sean Covey, Stephen's son, has written a highly useful book for teens. The habits he describes and teaches are the same as his father's, only with perspective and material especially for teens.
The AlchemistCoelho, Paulo
San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2006
Paulo Coelho's masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy traveling in search of a worldly treasure. His quest leads him to riches far different and more satisfying than he ever imagined. Santiago's journey teaches us about listening to our hearts; recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life's path; and, most importantly, following our dreams.
Beating the Midas CurseCochell, Perry L. and Rodney C. Zeeb
Heritage Institute Press, 2005
This book addresses the many pitfalls of traditional estate planning, and in it the authors give great, practical advice on both estate and financial planning.
Beer Money: A Memoir of Privilege and LossStroh, Frances
New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2016
The ultimate cautionary tale, Stroh tells her story of experiencing and witnessing the absolute demise of her family's once-strong, thriving Forbes 400 business. Though it seems this book would have to be a depressing tale, what saves it from that unlovable fate is Stroh's talent as a writer.
Beyond Gold: True Wealth for InheritorsWillis, Thayer Cheatham
Portland: New Concord Press, 2012
Beyond Gold focuses on how individuals can be responsible with the financial wealth in their lives, keep it in perspective, and be free to take on the tough, rewarding task of enhancing relationships. Each chapter addresses a unique type of relationship: with ourselves, parents, siblings, extended family, friends, dating, marriage, children, and different kinds of work relationships. Issues about inheritance are woven into each chapter, and the book addresses specific questions that occur to many inheritors.
The Big Rich: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil FortunesBurrough, Bryan
New York: Penguin, 2009
Burrough's book gives the reader plenty of grist for the mill if you have ever wondered how Texas oil fortunes were created.
Buffettology: The Previously Unexplained Techniques that Have Made Warren Buffett the World's Most Famous InvestorBuffett, Mary
New York: Fireside, 1997
Any study of Warren Buffet's investing is a valuable read. Mary Buffet's book is the most user-friendly one I have found.
The Challenges of Wealth: Mastering Personal and Financial ConflictsDomini, Amy, Dennis Pearne, and Sharon Rich
Burr Ridge, IL: Irwin Professional Publishing, 1988
Some of the first research and thoughts on the challenges of wealth in our modern era are written in this book. It is interesting as a historical reference point.
Children of Paradise: Successful Parenting for Prosperous FamiliesHausner, Lee, PhD
New York: Tarcher, 1990
Children of Paradise has been immensely helpful to many wealthy family members in understanding the landscape in which they live. This book offers guidance on parenting in this specialized, privileged situation.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Money for TeensShelley, Susan
New York: Alpha Books, 2001
Though I always introduce this book with an apology for its title, I love the book itself. Concepts are laid out in the most logical, practical manner imaginable. Shelley's descriptions are perfect even for mature teens, and her style of writing inspires confidence.
The Elements of InvestingMalkiel, Burton G. and Charles D. Ellis
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2010
I recommend this little book as the best, most user-friendly summary of the basics of investing.
Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More than IQGoleman, Daniel
New York: Bantam Dell, 1995
Goleman's classic is full of insight on the important role our emotions play in our lives. He includes examples to learn from and skills we can develop and apply.
Estate Planning Smarts: A Practical, User-Friendly, Action-Oriented GuideJacobs, Deborah
Houston: DJ Working Unlimited Inc., 2015
The title says it all. In a field that is sensitive to frequent changes in laws, Jacobs has crafted advice to help the reader take care of all the important facets.
Family: The Compact among GenerationsHughes, James E., Jr.
New York: Bloomberg, 2007
Hughes gives us the benefit of his eloquent gifts in describing the challenges for families to stay together and thrive over generations. He also gives us his observations of strategies that work.
Family Wealth: Keeping It in the FamilyHughes, James E., Jr.
New York: Bloomberg, 2004
This is the most substantial book on family wealth that we have. My clients love to read this book and discuss it on their way through. Sometimes we stay on one chapter for many explorations before moving on.
Family Wealth Transition Planning: Advising Families with Small BusinessesHartley, Bonnie Brown and Gwendolyn Griffith
New York: Bloomberg Press, 2009
With a focus on strengthening family businesses, Hartley and Griffith give excellent advice on a tough challenge: transition planning.
Forgive and Forget: Healing the Hurts We Don't DeserveSmedes, Lewis B.
San Francisco: HarperOne, 1996
As I have said before, forgiveness is the single most powerful tool we have in relationships. Smedes's practical book can fill our wounded hearts with courage and hope.
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal FreedomRuiz, Don Miguel
San Rafael, CA: Amber-Allen Publishing, 1997
This little book packs a powerful message: simple, practical instructions on how to achieve freedom and happiness. An inspiring read for anyone.
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You AreBrown, Brené
Center City, Minn.: Hazelden, 2010
Each day we face a barrage of images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be, in order to no longer feel inadequate. In The Gifts of Imperfection , Brené Brown, PhD, a leading expert on shame, authenticity and belonging, shares what she's learned on the power of Wholehearted Living – a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness.
Generation to Generation: Life Cycles of the Family BusinessGersick, Kelin, et al
Cambridge: Harvard Business, 1997
This is the definitive book on family business, including all aspects of generational changes in leadership.
The Golden Ghetto: The Psychology of AffluenceO'Neill, Jessie H.
Milwaukee, WI: Affluenza Project, 1997
O'Neill explores the emphasis our society places on material wealth. She encourages us each to acquire a healthy perspective on our own relationship with money and gives us guidance on how to do this.
The Hard Questions: 100 Essential Questions to Ask Before You Say "I Do."Piver, Susan
New York: Tarcher, 2007
Piver's book is exactly what the title says it is: the essential workbook for marriage, to be completed before the wedding.
Hats Off to You 2: Balancing Roles and Creating Success in Family BusinessDoud, Ernest A., Jr., and Lee Hausner
In this book you will find the guidance you need for how to balance roles and create success in family business.
How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone ElseGill, Michael Gates
New York: Gotham, 2007
Gates tells his own story in this memoir, and his evolution is nothing short of profound. An inspiration.
Inherited Wealth: Opportunities and DilemmasLevy, John L.
North Charleston, SC: BookSurge Publishing, 2008
Levy is a pioneer in the field of the psychological challenges of wealth. He is an eloquent writer, and his observations in this book are extremely valuable.
Kids, Wealth, and Consequences: Ensuring a Responsible Financial Future for the Next GenerationMorris, Richard A.
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2010
There is outstanding advice in this book for parents who are seeking guidance on how to impart financial literacy to their kids.
The Legacy Family: The Definitive Guide to Creating a Successful Multigenerational FamilyHausner, Lee and Douglas K. Freeman
New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009
As generations multiply, the odds are against families striving to keep their legacies and their relationships intact. Hausner and Freeman's book details the practices that help families succeed in defying the odds.
The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of RelationshipRuiz, Don Miguel
San Rafael, CA: Amber-Allen Publishing, 1999
The Mastery of Love offers practical, simple yet sophisticated advice on how to love others. Ruiz leaves us with hope and excitement to practice the principles he describes.
Mere ChristianityLewis, C. S.
San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2001
This book is for those who desire to examine Christianity with the hardest questions and with strong intellect. Because spiritual dimension is an asset in relationships, finding your spiritual focus is tremendously valuable.
The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's WealthyStanley, Thomas J. and William D. Danko
Lanham, MD: Taylor Trade, 1996
An insightful look into the private realities of the quiet ones among us who are wealthy. This book is a look at the best practices of the financially successful.
Navigating the Dark Side of Wealth: A Life Guide for InheritorsWillis, Thayer Cheatham
Portland: New Concord Press, 2003
Within these pages lies the guidance that, if taken to heart, can lead troubled inheritors to a more balanced and fulfilling life.
Parenting with Love and Logic: Teaching Children ResponsibilityCline, Foster and Jim Fay
Colorado Springs: NavPress Publishing, 2006 edition
This book is full of great parenting advice, and teaching children responsibility is essential to everything else I teach.
Perpetuating the Family Business: 50 Lessons Learned from Long-Lasting, Successful Families in BusinessWard, John
New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004
Ward's book is an excellent and thought-provoking guide to the important work of creating sustainability in the family business.
Prenups for Lovers: A Romantic Guide to Prenuptial AgreementsDubin, Arlene
New York: Villard, 2001
This book is a gem for taking what is possibly the most unromantic subject there is, prenups, and presenting it in a positive light. Valuable for anyone contemplating marriage.
The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy KidsLevine, Madeline
New York: HarperCollins, 2006
In a world in which many wealthy parents agonize over "stuff," this book sheds light on how our materialistic society is hurting our kids and what we can do about it.
Raising Financially Fit KidsGodfrey, Jolene and Kit Hinrichs
Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2003
This is an excellent how-to book on raising financially literate kids.
Raising Resilient Children: Fostering Strength, Hope, and Optimism in Your ChildBrooks, Robert and Sam Goldstein
Chicago: Contemporary Books, 2001
Raising Resilient Children is one of the best parenting books there is, for any family.
Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent GirlsPipher, Mary
New York: Ballantine Books, 1995
This is the best book available on parenting girls. Pipher's ability to express her insights is exceptional, and any parent of a girl will benefit by reading this book.
New York: Plume, 1991
This play is the story of growing up and learning to love. It reminds us to treasure each day as a precious gift.
The Shelter of Each Other: Rebuilding Our FamiliesPipher, Mary
New York: Grosset, 1996
In this book, Pipher turns her attention to the family and, as in Reviving Ophelia, she writes with clarity and expertise about how to build strong families.
Silver Spoon Kids: How Successful Parents Raise Responsible ChildrenGallo, Eileen and Jon Gallo
New York: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2001
The emphasis on taking responsibility makes this parenting book useful.
The Sisters BrothersdeWitt, Patrick
New York: Ecco, 2011
If you have ever wondered about alternative lifestyles and views of wealth, and if you can stomach a fair amount of violence, this is a provocative novel.
Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human RelationshipsGoleman, Daniel
New York: Random House, 2006
Social Intelligence is focused on our relationships, and in this book, Goleman describes the many scientific aspects of relationships. He coaches the reader on how to use this knowledge and develop skills for relationships.
The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and LifeTwist, Lynne
New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2003
Many of my clients find this book to be inspiring, especially in the realm of philanthropy.
Stewardship In Your Family Enterprise: Developing Responsible Family Leadership Across GenerationsJaffe, Dennis T. Ph.D.
Pioneer Imprints, 2014
This book offers practical guidance for families moving across generations by sharing practices, skills and activities that can help them along this path.
Sudden Money: Managing a Financial WindfallBradley, Susan
New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2000
Sudden Money is the definitive book on how to handle unexpected money. Read this book before you do anything.
Tom Benson: A Billionaire’s JourneyFinn, Kathy
Louisiana: Pelican Publishing Company, 2017
Tom Benson's working class beginnings would not have foretold his dramatic rise through smart business decisions to become the wealthiest man in Louisiana. Finn's exploration of Tom Benson and his journey is as insightful as it is fascinating because Finn addresses the many mysteries in Benson's life that have inspired curiosity.
Two Sons and Forty YearsMoon, Robert
Virginia: Horatio Publishing, 2016
Robert Moon has written his story with multiple interwoven plots, intrigue, and relationship dynamics that are familiar to the world of wealthy families. His main character is a pastor who wrestles with decisions most of us can only try to imagine.
The Ultimate GiftStovall, Jim
Mechanicsburg, PA: Executive Books, 1999
Although it's fiction, in many ways, The Ultimate Gift is very similar to my first book, Navigating the Dark Side of Wealth: A Life Guide for Inheritors. The novel format works well and reiterates many of the same points I make.
Wealth in FamiliesCollier, Charles W.
Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2006
Collier's main focus is on philanthropy, and he wisely addresses the many facets of wealth management, including family relationships and values.
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest TrailStrayed, Cheryl
New York, NY: Knopf, 2012
This memoir describes Cheryl Strayed’s 1,100-mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail in a journey of self-discovery. At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. For anyone who has ever felt a crippling sense of loss, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and eventually healed her.
Winning the Loser's Game: Timeless Strategies for Successful InvestingEllis, Charles
New York: McGraw Hill, 2002
Ellis's book is a useful primer on investment basics for those of us who are not experts in financial matters.
Your Lawyer: An Owner's Manual: A Business Owner's Guide to Managing Your LawyerKrasnow, Henry
Evanston, IL: Agate B2, 2006
This is one of my favorite books. Krasnow's sense of humor brings levity to a subject that can be intimidating. Beneath the fun ride of his style, he gives sound advice on practical legal matters.