Personal Finance Advice from 15 Top Financial GurusAugust 23, 2016
Updated August 24, 2021
Receiving sound financial advice can change a person’s world, and fortunately, there is no shortage of advice from people who have already lived through and learned how to successfully navigate the financial waters.
In fact, simply seeking financial advice can be one of the easiest ways to learn how to save money, pay off debts, pay off student loans faster, or generate enough money for fun expenses.
To help you along your financial journey, we have rounded up information from some of the most well-known and well-loved financial gurus on the planet. Please keep in mind that even as well-known authorities in their field, each person’s advice — or simply their delivery style — may not be for everyone. Therefore, even with different, overlapping, or similar financial philosophies (and their delivery methods), it is ultimately up to each reader to decide which style or kind of advice rings true.
In this quick guide, readers will find eleven of the most well-known financial advisors, accompanied by a quick biography, at least one of their most defining, best selling financial advice books, and possibly some insightful advice.
Dave Ramsey – @DaveRamsey
Dave Ramsey is a nationally recognized, best-selling author, radio host, television personality, and motivational speaker. His show and writings strongly focus on encouraging people to get out of debt and save money along the way.
After rebounding from a financial crash of his own, Dave Ramsey formed Ramsey Solutions in 1992 (to counsel those hurting from the results of financial stress), followed by his first book (Financial Peace) and the local radio show called The Money Game, which is now nationally syndicated as The Dave Ramsey Show.
After six bestselling books, the 400+ members of Ramsey Solutions are continuously coming up with ways to help people reach their financial goals.
The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
Dave Ramsey’s seven, organized, and easy-to-follow steps are aimed at leading the reader out of debt and into a total money makeover.
Financial Advice From Dave Ramsey:
“A friend of mine who is a billionaire told me he reads a book to his grandkids and I should read that book. The book is ‘The Tortoise and the Hare.’ Every time he reads the book, the tortoise wins. Slow and steady wins the race, and consistency matters. Get-rich-quick never wins…If you try to impress other people, you’ll lose the wealth race, as well,” Ramsey says. “It’s a reminder to somebody like me to keep me in check. It has implications for debt, mutual funds, budgets — an overlay for everything.”
Chris Browning – @PopcornFinance
Chris Browning is the host of Popcorn Finance, a podcast that, according to Forbes, helps you “better understand your own personal finances in less time than it takes to pop a bag of popcorn.”
Browning is no stranger to conquering debt on the path to financial independence, having paid down $27,000 in debt since 2014. In his professional life, he speaks to his own experiences in accumulating and paying down debt, saving for a home and achieving other savings goals.
Browning has been featured on top-level outlets like Yahoo Finance, CNBC, Investopedia, The New York Times and more.
Whether you’re interested in the F.I.R.E. movement or you’re simply ready to learn some basic personal finance. Popcorn Finance is for you. Browning explains high-level financial concepts in a way that makes sense to beginners and intermediate savers alike.
Financial Advice From Chris Browning
“There really is no such thing as a dumb question. The fear of looking dumb can hold us back from finding the information we really need,” Browning writes on Instagram. “For me, asking questions was the single biggest thing I did to help improve my financial literacy over time.
Michelle Singletary – @singletarym
If you’re looking for an inspiring, knowledgeable financial expert, you may love Michelle Singletary’s award-winning column, “The Color of Money.”
Singletary’s focus is on learning to save wisely, then learning to enjoy the wealth you’ve built in financially secure ways.
An accomplished author, radio and television contributor, Singletary focuses on enjoying your life while working toward financial independence. She boasts an extensive list of accomplishments, from appearances on all three major networks, NBC, ABC and CBS, to segments on nationally-recognized television programs like “Oprah” and “The View.”
The Color of Money
Singletary’s “The Color of Money” is featured in nearly 100 newspapers nationwide. Topics span everything from current events in personal finance to avoiding financial scams.
Financial Advice From Michelle Singletary
“Money may not be able to buy you love, but conflicts about it can certainly bankrupt your relationship,” says Singletary on the importance of financial planning with your partner.
Suze Orman – @SuzeOrmanShow
Suze Orman is a two-time Emmy Award-winning television host for the Suze Orman Show, a New York Times bestselling author, a magazine and online columnist, a writer/producer, a motivational speaker, one of the most well-known experts on personal finance, and the winner of numerous awards.
Suze Orman’s philosophy is “People first. Then money. Then things.”
The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke
This book was written to address the specific financial realities that young people face today. In essence, it is “Generation Debt” and “Generation Broke’s” cry for help.
Those who are part of this “young, fabulous, and broke” generation will find the following contents especially helpful: a personalized action planner, step-by-step instructions to improve financial futures, an interactive online community to share thoughts and questions, ongoing advice from Suze, and free online resources.
The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom: Practical and Spiritual Steps So You Can Stop Worrying
This personal finance classic changes the way readers think, feel, and act about money by approaching money from both a spiritual and an emotional point of view. Suze Orman’s advice leads readers through nine simple steps to reclaim their power and embrace her philosophy: you are worth more than your money.
Financial Advice From Suze Orman
“A big part of financial freedom is having your heart and mind free from worry about the what-ifs of life.”
Ramit Sethi – @Ramit
Ramit Sethi learned about investing money the hard way. On his website, he explains that he knew he would one day pay his own way through college. After applying for dozens of scholarships, he received his first check.
“I invested it in the stock market… and immediately lost half of my money,” says Sethi. “Oops.”
After that, he says he began focusing on relevant ways to earn and maintain wealth. Now, he’s the author of the New York Times bestselling book, “I Will Teach You to Be Rich.”
I Will Teach You to Be Rich
Sethi’s book focuses on a six-week personal finance program for young adults in their 20s and early 30s. He explains the “four pillars of personal finance,” banking, saving, budgeting and investing, as foundational ways to make the most of your money.
Financial Advice From Ramit Sethi
“What’s the point of all this saving and investing if you’re simply going to wait until you’re 80 to live? No thanks,” says Sethi on his website. “I believe that once you’ve set up your finances, you’ll see that the most important part of a Rich Life is outside the spreadsheet — it involves relationships, new experiences, and giving back. You earned it.”
David Bach – @AuthorDavidBach
David Bach writes for everyone – whether you’re nearing retirement or just getting started on your financial journey. His philosophy is that it’s never too late to start making smarter choices with your money.
Bach is a New York Times bestselling author and has contributed to nationally-recognized television shows including NBC’s Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show and more.
The Automatic Millionaire: Powerful One-step Plan to Live and Finish Rich
When you read David Bach’s bestselling book, “The Automatic Millionaire,” you may be surprised to discover a few of the concepts he touts. From the idea that you can build wealth without a six-figure income to his “Latte Factor” concept, savers of all ages and financial disciplines can learn from this book.
Financial Advice From David Bach
“To make good money decisions, you need to know what’s coming in, what’s going out and what’s leftover. At the end of the day, it’s not what you make that determines if you will be financially free — rather, it’s what you keep of what you make that matters. To keep more of what you make, you have to know where your money is going.”
Robert Kiyosaki – @theRealKiyosaki
Robert Kiyosaki is an investor, self-help author, educator, entrepreneur, motivational speaker, financial literacy activist, financial commentator, and radio personality.
He is best known as the author of the #1 personal finance book of all time (Rich Dad Poor Dad), but is also well-known for his part in the co-creation of the CASHFLOW® board game, founding the financial education-based Rich Dad Company, his appearances on several well-known talk shows, and as the author of various financial books.
While Kiyosaki often conveys perspectives on money and investing that contradict conventional wisdom, he has earned a respected reputation for his form of financial straight talk.
Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!
This #1 personal finance book of all time tells the story of Robert Kiyosaki and his two dads — his real father and the father of his best friend (“his rich dad”). In the book, both men shape his thoughts about money and investing, proving that a person does not need to earn a high income to be rich. The book also intends to explain the difference between working for money and having your money work for you.
Unfair Advantage: The Power of Financial Education
This book takes a hard look at the factors that impact people from all walks of life as they struggle to change and challenge the confines and preconceptions that impact their financial world. Readers are advised to push aside the belief that they are ‘disadvantaged’ people with limited options, and are instead encouraged to take actionable steps to move beyond what they believe are limited options.
Included are actionable steps that any individual can take to move beyond their current financial situation or way of thinking.
Financial Advice From Robert Kiyosaki:
“My rich dad gave me lots of advice. One of the better ones: There’s good debt and bad debt. Bad debt is debt you have to pay for and makes you poor. If I use credit cards to buy new shoes, it makes me poor. Good debt makes me rich and someone else pays for it.” One example: “I’m closing on a $17 million property and financing $14 million. That $14 million is good debt. It makes me richer every month by putting $20,000 in my pocket.”
Gary Belsky – @GaryBelsky
Gary Belsky is a columnist for Time.com, the author of several books, and a frequent lecturer to business and consumer groups on the psychology of decision-making.
Belsky was a regular commentator on CNN’s Your Money and a frequent contributor to various well-known talk shows and radio programs. He is the former editor-in-chief for ESPN The Magazine and ESPNInsider.com, as well as a former writer at Money magazine, and a former reporter for Crain’s New York Business and the St. Louis Business Journal.
In 1990, Belsky won the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism, administered by The Anderson School at UCLA.
Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes and How to Correct Them: Lessons From the Life-Changing Science of Behavioral Economics
This book, which Belsky co-authored, explores how informed people might make more rational investment decisions through behavioral economics. Money magazine describes it as: “A terrific introduction to the emerging science of behavioral finance.” Looking for financial advice from Gary Belsky? Look to psychology and behavioral economics.
Financial Advice From Gary Belsky
“Ask yourself: ‘If the stock market drops 25 percent tomorrow, would I be tempted to pull all or some of my money out?’ If the answer is yes, you’re probably unprepared for the ups and downs of the stock market.”
Rieva Lesonsky – @Rieva
Rieva Lesonsky is an author at Small Business Trends (along with an editor and contributing author to several other sites), the President and Founder of GrowBiz Media, and a nationally known speaker and authority on entrepreneurship. Before co-founding GrowBiz Media, she was an Editorial Director of Entrepreneur magazine.
She has appeared on hundreds of radio and talk shows and has written several books about small business and entrepreneurship. Along with her six-year service to the Small Business Administration’s National Council, Rieva Lesonsky was honored by the Small Business Administration as a Small Business Media Advocate and a Woman in Business Advocate. In 2003, she was inducted into the Business Journalism Hall of Fame.
Start Your Own Business: The Only Startup Book You’ll Ever Need
This book, written by Lesonsky and the editors of Entrepreneur magazine, has helped hundreds of thousands of readers start their own businesses. The sixth edition features amended chapters on choosing a business, adding partners, getting funded, managing the business structure and employees, and also provides ways to understand information and legalities related to the latest tax and healthcare reform.
Startup 101: Quick Tips for Starting a Business
This ebook contains all the insider advice needed to form a startup business, including: secrets, shortcuts, and smart ideas to help get any business up and running—fast!
James M. Dahle, MD – @WCInvestor
James M. Dahle, MD, is a full-time, emergency medicine physician. After trusting a lot of the wrong people and getting ripped off repeatedly, he started The White Coat Investor, a blog that offers doctors and other high-income professionals advice on personal finance and investing.
Since its inception of May 2011, the blog has grown into the most widely-read physician-specific personal finance and investing website in the world, and 95 percent of the advice is actually applicable to anybody.
The White Coat Investor: A Doctor’s Guide to Personal Finance and Investing
Dahle’s book, which followed two years after the blog, responds to the trickiest questions and financial dilemmas shared by thousands of people, especially those in the medical field.
His book is considered a high-yield manual that specifically deals with the financial issues facing medical students, residents, physicians, dentists, and similar high-income professionals. The White Coat Investor fills in the gaps and teaches readers what they received little to no training in: business, personal finance, investing, insurance, taxes, estate planning, asset protection, and more.
This book is considered great for financial learners of all levels and contains physician-specific tips that cannot be found in other financial books.
Financial Advice From James M. Dahle
“If you are willing to live like no one else will early in life, then you can live like no one else can later in life.”
Wayne W. Dyer, Ph.D
Wayne W. Dyer is the author of over 40 books — including 21 New York Times bestsellers — related to self-help, finances, development, and spiritual growth.
“His main message was that every person has the potential to live an extraordinary life,” and each person can reach their deepest desires by consciously honoring their “highest self,” clarifying their goals, and using their gifts. This message was applied to several books, including these related to finances:
Your Erroneous Zones: Step-by-Step Advice for Escaping the Trap of Negative Thinking and Taking Control of Your Life
Originally published in 1976, this first book acts as a positive and practical guide for breaking free from the trap of negative thinking or self-destructive patterns, and to instead enjoy life to the fullest.
The “erroneous zones” are whole facets of a person’s approach to life that act as barriers to success and happiness. These zones are targeted so readers can learn to become self-reliant, as well as change and manage how much they will let difficult times, people, needs vs. wants, self-image, and more affect them.
It’s Not What You‘ve Got!: Lessons for Kids on Money and Abundance
The concepts presented in this illustrated book include: Money does not define who you are, it doesn’t matter what others have, and abundance comes in many forms. “It’s Not What You’ve Got is not a how-to manual on spending and saving for kids, but rather a positive, spiritual approach to the meaning of money.”
Financial Tip From Wayne W. Dyer:
“If you want to be financially independent by the time you’re 30 years old, pay yourself first…When you get your paycheck, take a percentage — between 10 percent and 30 percent — and put that away…You’ll be rich enough to be financially independent within a short period of time.”
Neale S. Godfrey – @NealeGodfrey
Neale S. Godfrey is an acknowledged expert on family and children’s finances and is considered the creator of the topic of “kids and money” in the United States.
Her main goal is to help people raise financially responsible children and grandchildren by providing learning opportunities through life circumstances. To help people achieve this, she has written 27 books and created three, free iOS money games, all of which are related to financial education and empowering families and their kids to take financial responsibility.
Her work has received numerous literary awards, and she has spoken on numerous well-known talk shows.
Neale S. Godfrey opened The First Children’s Bank at FAO Schwarz in 1988 and was also part of the Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship in Harlem. Godfrey then created the Green$treets kids cartoon characters in order to entertain and educate kids about money.
Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Financially Responsible Children
Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees is considered the book parents turn to when teaching their children about money, as it offers concrete examples on everything from responsible budgeting to understanding the differences between “wants” and “needs.”
The book itself is targeted at children and young adults of all ages, and the newly revised edition has sections that discuss the power of the internet, the tactics of television advertisers, and the world of eBay.
Financial Advice From Neale S. Godfrey
“Teach them as little ones the natural consequences of money. The only way to get it is to earn it.
George Kinder – @GeorgeDKinder
George Kinder, a Harvard-trained, certified financial planner and tax advisor, is internationally recognized as the father of the Life Planning movement and is the founder of the Kinder Institute of Life Planning.
The Seven Stages of Money Maturity: Understanding the Spirit and Value of Money in Your Life
This book is intended to help readers discover a powerful new way to look at their money and their life, including questions surrounding personal attitudes about money and how these factors influence lives.
The book attempts to help readers approach financial issues with honesty, and without fear, so that they can gain peace, freedom, and security.
Life Planning for You
This book is considered an inspiring step-by-step description of “how life planning, either as a self-help phenomenon or as a global movement in financial services, transforms people’s lives.”
Along with personal stories, the book allows readers to access the skills necessary to life plan for themselves, as well as find financial advisers they can genuinely trust.
Financial Advice from George Kinder:
“It’s about the meaning, not the money. If my investing is not really deeply tied to what I think is most important in my life [then] the asset allocation, the estate plan, the retirement plan might as well be thrown out the window.” Furthermore, “hire a registered life planner [a financial planner with additional training in helping clients identify and reach life goals] to help you through this, [as they are] trained in how to elicit from a client what is meaningful and how to keep their eyes on the prize.”
Barbara Corcoran – @BarbaraCorcoran
Barbara Corcoran is perhaps best known for being one of the featured “Sharks” on the ABC television show Shark Tank. She is also renowned as an author, contributor and speaker, sharing her tips and business acumen with up-and-coming entrepreneurs.
What most people don’t know about Corcoran, however, is that she had an extremely humble beginning. After being a less-than-stellar high school student and dropping her waitressing job, she launched a real estate firm on a meager $1,000 loan.
Today, she shares her strategies for accumulating and maintaining wealth with followers spanning the globe.
Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business
Want to know how Corcoran turned her $1,000 loan into the most famous brand in the brokerage industry? Then her latest book is for you. Especially if you feel you haven’t found the wealth-building avenue that works best for you, her story may inspire you to try something new.
Financial Advice From Barbara Corcoran
“In business, you’re the Chief Salesman. Create a sense of demand, rather than waiting to have demand,” says Corcoran to aspiring entrepreneurs.
Thomas J. Stanley Ph.D
Thomas J. Stanley was a highly regarded authority on America’s affluent and wealthy. He wrote over 40 books on the subject, several of which were award-winning and New York Times’ bestsellers.
Dr. Stanley made appearances on several well-known talk shows, is cited in several well-respected journals and news reports, and served as chairman of the Affluent Market Institute, which develops research-based marketing and selling strategies for identifying, attracting, and retaining wealthy clients.
The Millionaire Next Door
This bestselling book identifies and chronicles the seven most common traits and patterns that frequently show up among those who have accumulated wealth…and they are not always what others might assume. This newest edition (since 1998) includes a new foreword for the twenty-first century by Dr. Thomas J. Stanley.
Financial Advice From Thomas J. Stanley
“Whatever your income, always live below your means.”
Financial Advice and Continued Learning
Becoming a financially independent individual may take some time and plenty of research, but it is well worth the effort. When you start with sound advice, strategic help, and personal education, the journey towards financial success can be much smoother and shorter.
Depending on your goals, you can find guidance on many different financial topics, including details about:
- Student loan refinancing
- Paying off student loan debt
- Paying off credit card debt
- Buying a home
And more. At Education Loan Finance, we hope that you and your family are able to find the perfect financial guru for your long-term financial plans.
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Disclaimer: Any information shared on ELFI.com does not constitute financial advice. This blog and website are intended to provide general information only and does not attempt to give you advice that relates to your specific circumstances. Readers are advised to discuss specific plans with independent financial advisers and lenders. This website has not been compensated by companies mentioned through advertising, affiliate programs, or otherwise.