Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

Giving a personal finance book to a just-hatched grad could help her navigate the financial-shark filled seas in the years ahead.

Here are the suggestions for money books for grads from a very high five of notables. links to buy the offerings are included:

Jane Bryant Quinn, columnist, author
My comprehensive book on personal finance, Making the Most of Your Money NOW which was updated in 2009. Obviously, details have changed but, strategically, I wouldn’t change a word. The explanations and directions are still sound. It’s a big reference book -- better perhaps for a college grad. Quinn is speaking at the upcoming Inside Retirement conference.

John Bogle, Vanguard Group founder
First, I would recommend A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel. This book offers a thorough analysis on many key investment topics, but does so with a sense of humor. Not only is the book must reading, it is easy reading.

With all due respect, I’d also recommend two of my own books. First for high school students, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing is a short, popular, and straight-forward primer on personal investing.

Then for college students, I’d recommend Common Sense on Mutual Funds (with a foreword by David Swensen, Chief Investment Officer of the Yale endowment). This book offers a detailed look at each aspect of investing, with a final chapter entitled “On Human Beings” -- they’re important too!

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