I’ve been doing research in my spare time on personal finance and investing, and since some of you have been asking me about what I’ve discovered, I thought I’d point everyone to the best stuff I’ve found on the topic so far.

People

Here are the people I’ve been following on the topic:

Alistair Huong focuses on personal finance and investing from a Christian perspective. He emphasizes frugality and the importance of having one’s mission be the motivator.

Alistair Huong has a series he did at AudioVerse on personal finance.

Trent Ham writes solid, well-written content on personal finance and individual growth. He gives practical advice on all sorts of financial topics, including personal investing.

Lots of people write on The Simple Dollar, but Trent Ham (the founder) is by far the best writer of them all. If you’d like to only subscribe to Trent’s posts, here’s the feed to use.

Dave Ramsey teaches people how to get out of debt and build a solid financial foundation for the rest of their lives. He runs a podcast, has written several books, and has a course on personal finance and debt freedom that is very popular.

Here’s an overview of the steps he recommends in one’s financial development.

Books

Two books I’ve enjoyed on personal finance are Rich Dad Poor Dad and A Random Walk Down Wall Street. Rich Dad Poor Dad really helps clarify the general strategy that is effective in personal finance. It’s very accessible and entertaining.

A Random Walk Down Wall Street dives deep into investment theory and provides a lot of practical advice for investing. It teaches you exactly why the set-it-and-forget-it approach to investing is the best for most small-time investors. Most of the book is relatively accessible, and he warns you when he has to get a bit technical.

Rich Dad Poor Dad:

A Random Walk Down Wall Street:

Trent Ham has reviewed a lot of other personal finance books, too. You can find many of them here.

Services

Vanguard is generally held to be the best investment agency for personal investors. However, most Vanguard funds have a minimum of $500 or more, commonly as much as $2,000, which makes it hard to start investing for someone on a tight budget. That was a problem I faced, since I’m broke but didn’t want to wait until I had a lot of money to get into the habit of investing.

Acorns has been solving this for me. It has no minimum, the funds can be withdrawn at any time, and it allows you to set up automatic investments either in a fixed amount per period, or by simply rounding up the price of your purchases. Buy something for $5.98, and that extra two cents will go into your investments.

Use this link to get $5.00 to invest right away: http://acorns.com/invite/3T6QYF

The Simple Dollar’s review of Acorns

As I look towards my move to CA this summer, I’ve also been looking for a banking service that is well aligned with my personal finance philosophy. At this point, Simple seems to fit the bill rather well. It allows you to set up goals and automatically save money towards those goals over time. It also supports a digital equivalent of Dave Ramsey’s envelope system for budgeting.

An explanation of Dave Ramsey’s envelope system