The 5 Best Financial Planning Books

Last updated: 17 November 2020.

I've gathered together 5 of my favourite financial planning books. These are a selection of the best financial planning books for:

  • A finance professionals
  • Students studying towards a financial planning qualification
  • Individuals looking to manage their own finances like a pro

I've also assembled a collection of other excellent books to supplement your knowledge or to allow you to develop a specialism.

Financial planning books cover a wide range of topics, including:

However I find it very helpful to buy shorter, laser-focused books which hone in on specific subjects where I want to expand my expertise.

I've gone to great lengths to bring together a mix of titles aimed at beginners, all the way up to professionals. Therefore I'm confident you will be able to find a book below that meets your needs and budget.

With prices ranging from £8 - £50, buying a few of these books or textbooks can provide the same amount of information as a university degree module, for a fraction of the cost. They can even be read for free with Amazon's Kindle Unlimited free trial.

Click on any title below to see the latest price from Amazon, you'll be shocked at how affordable the most popular paperbacks are. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases which helps to support this site. This does not impact how I compile the list. Happy reading!

Financial planning books for finance professionals & students

Comprehensive guides from the leading UK publisher of investing titles. 


Financial Expert tip: The hardcover versions of these financial planning books are in high demand! They can recoup up to 80% of their cover price when sold in good used condition.

Therefore if you plan to eventually sell back a title, your net cost could be as low as 20% of the cover price.

Click on the covers below to look at the used prices of these titles on Amazon to understand what cash back you could expect. 

Do it yourself: the best financial planning books for beginners

They didn't make my top 10, but they still have plenty to offer

Financial planning for your own retirement

These books focus on managing wealth to maximise income in retirement

Financial planning for complex circumstances

Providing guidance and frameworks for niche financial planning issues

Download all these financial planning books for free with Kindle Unlimited

You DON'T even need a Kindle device to download books

Here's a useful tip that will save you £100+ on financial planning books. Sign-up to Amazon's Kindle Unlimited free trial, which offers access to all titles for free for 30 days.

  • There's no obligation to continue with a paid subscription.
  • You don't even need a Kindle to enjoy - any device will do.

If you're cost-savvy, you'll already be calculating the savings you could unlock and the knowledge you could gain by downloading 5 books over the next 30 days.


Get free access

Financial planning books for financial advisers

Books aimed at maximising value and succeeding as an adviser

Investing books for foundation reading

Supplement your knowledge with best selling stock market titles

My Top 5 Financial Planning Books for 2020

Click covers to see latest reviews and prices



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"Personal Financial Planning uses an original framework to make the material comprehensible to students while simultaneously providing a platform for further research and innovation within the discipline.

Altfest's Total Portfolio Management approach, combined with an ongoing integrated case study, provides a unique take on this important subject."

Who this book is for:

Personal Financial Planning is the ultimate resource for any aspiring financial planner, or pro-active investor. 

Simply put, this book sets the industry standard for how individuals should manage their finances. 

If it's not in this textbook, it isn't worth knowing!

Personal financial planning is an expensive text compared to other financial planning books. However, on balance, it's ranked the best, so I guess in this case you get what you pay for!

It's also worth remembering that there's an active market for second hand textbooks, so you should expect to be able to recover up to 60% of the cover price through resale, although this isn't guaranteed.  



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"Whether you’re a beginner wanting an introduction to financial planning or an experienced investor looking to pass your wealth on to others, this is the book for you. Drawing on his 25 years’ experience as a financial adviser to successful families, and written in clear and concise language, Jason Butler will give you both the understanding and confidence you need to make successful financial decisions, enabling you to:

- Define your life goals and financial personality so that you can build an effective wealth plan

- Navigate the maze of investment options and choose the best one for your needs

- Understand when and how to get professional help which delivers value

- Clarify the need for and role of insurance, tax structures, pensions and trusts

- Develop a wealth succession plan which matches your values and preferences"

Who this book is for:

A comprehensive guide for those who are serious about immersing themselves in wealth management. 

If you consider yourself fairly new to investing, I personally recommend this book as the best resource for learning the framework for how to best manage your money according to your life goals. 

Jason handles many complex topics, such as portfolio management, inheritance tax with ease. This new edition includes all-new chapters on land, property and investment bonds has kept the guide relevant to modern investors. 

If I could suggest only one wealth management book on this page, it would be Wealth Management: How to Plan, Invest and Protect your Financial Assets by Jason Butler.

Pro tip: 



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

""A rare blend of a well-organized, comprehensive guide to portfolio management and a deep, cutting-edge treatment of the key topics by distinguished authors who have all practiced what they preach.

Just reading Peter Bernstein's thoughtful Foreword can move you forward in your thinking about this critical subject."

- Martin L. Leibowitz, Morgan Stanley

"Managing Investment Portfolios remains the definitive volume in explaining investment management as a process, providing structure to a complex, multipart set of concepts and procedures.

Anyone involved in the management of portfolios will benefit from a careful reading of this new edition."

- Charles P. Jones, CFA, Edwin Gill Professor of Finance, College of Management, North Carolina State University."

Who this book is for:

If you've noticed that retail investors are pointed towards 'quick and easy' guides, while professional study in detail. You might be wondering... is there anything stopping a retail investor reading the good stuff?

Answer: There's absolutely no reason why you cannot read the same books as the students qualifying to be chartered financial advisers and portfolio managers. 

Take this book; Managing Investment Portfolios by the Corporate Finance Institute (CFA).

For less than £70, you can own a truly comprehensive guide to the inner workings of the wealth management process.

Complete with theory, case studies and questionnaires, this textbook will arm you with everything that the professionals know.

Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"The Financial Times Guide to Saving and Investing for Retirement will lead you through a bewildering maze of financial tools and provide advice on crucial investment decisions. It provides everything you need to know about how to save and invest so that you can successfully plan for your retirement. It is packed with invaluable information on taxes, ISAs, pensions, investing across different assets and buying property.

The Financial Times Guide to Saving and Investing for Retirement will help you:

- Identify your financial objectives and work out how to achieve them
- Learn how to invest for a specific goal and time
- Find out about taxes and other rules that may impact your wealth
- Understand why it’s essential to be actively involved in managing your post-work income"

Who this book is for:

If you're looking to expertly manage your savings through to retirement, this guide is for you. 

Most wealth management books cover all bases with their content, which ultimately leaves fewer pages for the issues which are more appropriate for your circumstances.

This excellent title by Yoram Lustig will help you tackle the questions you may have when saving for your retirement, such as :

  • What types of investments are most suitable for long term time horizons?
  • How much risk is sensible in a pension fund versus a normal savings pot?
  • How should a retirement portfolio evolve as the retirement date approaches?


Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"Be Your Own Financial Adviser shows you how to make sensible financial decisions without the need for expensive advice. 

Its accessible style, examples and case studies explain and evaluate financial products and put you firmly in control of your own financial well-being.

It will advise on how to adopt the best saving, spending and investment strategies, make decisions tax-efficiently, manage risk wisely and protect and enhance your wealth.

Be Your Own Financial Adviser will show you how to:

  • Stress-test your financial decisions
  • Take advantage of legal tax breaks
  • Achieve your financial goals
  • Manage and preserve your wealth"

Who this book is for:

Be Your Own Financial Adviser joins this list at #5 because it offers a simple guide to wealth management which is both accessible and satisfying for beginners. 

Let's not understate the value of a book which is both informative and enjoyable at the same time! 

Jonquil Lowe frames each chapter of this book through the lens of making better financial decisions.

And who wants anything less than that?



Download all these financial planning books for free with Kindle Unlimited

You DON'T even need a Kindle device to download books

Here's a useful tip that will save you £100+ on financial planning books. Sign-up to Amazon's Kindle Unlimited free trial, which offers access to all titles for free for 30 days.

  • There's no obligation to continue with a paid subscription.
  • You don't even need a Kindle to enjoy - any device will do.

If you're cost-savvy, you'll already be calculating the savings you could unlock and the knowledge you could gain by downloading 5 books over the next 30 days.


Get free access

The Financial Expert™ Best Financial Planning Book Challenge


Best financial planning books

I challenge you to read one financial planning book per month and see if it revolutionises your approach!


The Financial Expert™ Best Financial Planning Book Challenge is a well-loved feature of this website.

I throw down the gauntlet to all my visitors who yearn to learn and are hungry for more! It's a grand challenge, and it's over to you to decide whether you accept. 

I challenge you to read one financial planning book per month for the next 12 months

This is the type of goal which is 

a) Achievable

b) Constructive

c) Worthwhile

Achievable, as I'm only asking you to complete one book per month. That's do-able right? Perhaps a session each weekend and one evening midweek would be enough. 

Constructive, as the more you read, the wider your eyes will be opened. You may not agree with every viewpoint you read, but even your disagreement is a positive step towards establishing your own set of views. 

Worthwhile, as your financial planning journey stretches out far ahead of you. It makes sense to put in an upfront investment to learn now and avoid making mistakes which could cascade years or even decades down the line. 

Some guidance

  • I found it helpful to stock up on books for the next few months, so that when a new month rolls around, my next book was my bed-side table asking to be opened!
  • Pick a variety of styles. This will keep the challenge fresh and increase the diversity of opinion. 
  • Pick at least one book that you don't think you would enjoy, this book might be the one that surprises you the most!
  • If you're time-starved, audio books are absolutely fine!

Where to begin?

Why not start with some of the titles mentioned above - particularly those which I felt were worthy of placing in the top five. 

I've scoured the libraries, web and my own book shelf to compile this list, so feel free to stand upon my shoulders to take your next leap. Good luck!



Financial planning is more important than ever


Financial planning is more important than ever
"More than half of Brits don't even know what percentage of their salary is going into their pension."
Andrew Firth (The HR Director Publication)

The UK working population is heading off a cliff in slow motion, and only a portion of us have recognised the issue. 

As a country, we tend to be poorly prepared for the largest financial challenge of our lives - our retirement.

Research suggests that workers underestimate their living costs in retirement by about 15%. 

They also under-save in their early working years, forcing them to shove a huge proportion of their salary into their pension schemes and savings in their later working years. 

Rather than gracefully arriving at retirement, the vast majority of Brits are forced to sprint right past the finish line. 

Considering how late we retire, and how much of our lives we give to our jobs, it's tragic to see so many people effectively trapped in a demanding role way past the 'natural' age for retirement.

The solution is quality financial planning, at the right time in our lives. 

Whether that's by finding an independent financial adviser, or crafting our own financial plan using the best financial planning books we can find, a plan is needed.

An aging population will lead to reduced state benefits for the elderly over time, and potentially higher taxes. 

At the same time, interest rates are currently very low, meaning that fixed interest savings and bonds are producing a poor return for income investors. 

Annuity rates offered are also at historic lows. 

This all reinforces the need to put ourselves in the strongest financial situation possible by our 50s and 60s, to arm ourselves against changes in the economy and to reduce our reliance on a shrinking state provision.