HN Books @HNBooksMonth

The best books of Hacker News.

Hacker News Comments on
I Will Teach You To Be Rich

Ramit Sethi · 8 HN comments
HN Books has aggregated all Hacker News stories and comments that mention "I Will Teach You To Be Rich" by Ramit Sethi.
View on Amazon [↗]
HN Books may receive an affiliate commission when you make purchases on sites after clicking through links on this page.
Amazon Summary
At last, for a generation that's materially ambitious yet financially clueless comes I Will Teach You To Be Rich, Ramit Sethi's 6-week personal finance program for 20-to-35-year-olds. A completely practical approach delivered with a nonjudgmental style that makes readers want to do what Sethi says, it is based around the four pillars of personal finance--banking, saving, budgeting, and investing--and the wealth-building ideas of personal entrepreneurship. Sethi covers how to save time by not wasting it managing money; the guns and cars myth of credit cards; how to negotiate like an Indian--the conversation begins with "no"; why "Budgeting Doesn't Have to Suck!"; how to get things rolling--for real--with only $20; what most people don't understand about taxes; how to get a CEO to take you out to lunch; how to avoid the Super Mario Brothers trap by making your savings work harder than you do; the difference between cheap and frugal; the hidden relationship between money and food. Not to mention his first key lesson: Getting started is more important than being the smartest person in the room. Integrated with his website, where readers can use interactive charts, follow up on the latest information, and join the community, it is a hip blueprint to building wealth and financial security. Every month, 175,000 unique visitors come to Ramit Sethi's website,, to discover the path to financial freedom. They praise him thoughtfully ("Your site summarizes everything I want with my life--to be rich in finances, rich in experience, rich in family blessings," Dan Esparza) and effusively ("Dude, you rock. I love this site!" Richard Wu). The press has caught on, too: "Ramit Sethi is a rising star in the world of personal finance writing . . . one singularly attuned to the sensibilities of his generation. his style is part frat boy and part silicon Valley geek, with a little bit of San Francisco hipster thrown in" ( San Francisco Chronicle). His writing is smart, his voice is full of attitude, and his ideas are uncommonly sound and refreshingly hype-free.
HN Books Rankings

Hacker News Stories and Comments

All the comments and stories posted to Hacker News that reference this book.
I would recommend the book (don't read the title of the book :))
I think a good started book is "I Will Teach You To Be Rich" by Ramit Sethi [0]. It contains all the basics you need and you can expand from there.

The One Page Financial Plan [1] as kokonotu points out is also a good one.

Further more, I'd recommend thinking about what you want to achieve with money. Ramit will tell you to enjoy life and save enough for later, I personally think the amount of money we (can) earn as software engineers can be used to buy a lot more 'free time' than most people think, allowing us to 'retire' (travel the world programming, building open source software, or whatever you like...) way earlier than most people. If you're interested in that kind of think you could have a look into Mr Money Mustache's blog [3] for instance. (Disclaimer: Some people might think he's a bit extreme, if you're that kind of person just try to pick up some of the good parts/habits and you'll be way ahead of the curve.)




RDPD is basically a fad diet book. There's some good advice, but it's mixed with bad advice and illegal schemes, slathered with a thick layer of inspirational bullshit.

For a better personal finance book, try "I will teach you to be rich", despite the clickbait title:

Also, my interactions with Ramit (through his blog) have always been a pleasant experience.

The title and bright color was bait by his own admission. The point being he follows it up with great practical advice instead of stories and filler.

I enjoyed reading this book by Ramit Sethi:

Its full of very basic fundamental advice. It doesn't go into depth into securities options, but emphasizes practical "set and forget" tactics.

TLDR; invest early, invest often, keep a good credit score, stock market is great for returns over the long run (index funds/mutual funds), keep a savings account, automate your investing. Also, did you know your credit card offers perks like extended warranties on purchases (at no cost)?

I'm just here to say that Ramit, the author of the course he mentioned is legitimate.

His New York Times best selling book "I Will Teach You To Be Rich" is one of the best personal finance books I've read. It is especially useful for young people with a high income potential like many of us on Hacker News.

I feel anyone who has any sense feels worrisome no matter how much they are socking away.

I got a lot more mileage than I thought I would out of books like I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi( It rubs some people the wrong way, but it has some really good points about automating finances, and just handling companies via some social engineering.

Some of the things I think a bunch of people working day jobs are the insane benefits their companies offer. Make sure both your and your significant other are maximizing their 401k benefit(at least to kick in the employee matching and more if you can afford it).

The savings accounts should just keep compounding on each other. Possibly toss some other money into a Roth or into the stock market. Also have a rainy day/emergency fund for when the roof leaks and other unforeseen circumstances.

If you have a side project, that money should be coming out of your personal spending money. It should be thought of as your hobby and not impede on the family as a whole(this is for day jobbers).

Obviously finances get a bit rougher if there is no day job and it is just startups, it gets more difficult. One of the plans I had envisioned was to have an account setup and once it reached a certain percentage of drainage(aka burn rate for funded companies) that was agreed upon in the family, then there would be a meeting to discuss hanging it up and looking for a new day job to refill the fund to try again.

If you luck out and get funded and/or someone buys a project, that money should go first to replenish the project fund and then go into emergency, savings, and a little left over to celebrate(vacation, new back door, etc).

I am a New York Times best-seller and I would be happy to answer questions about how I went from blog --> book --> products, especially about the challenges of getting people to pay online.

My book:

My blog:

Let me know if you guys have questions about monetizing content, book sales, or the psychology of getting people online to pay. There is so much interesting stuff I've learned over the last few years.

Thanks Ramit. Did you self / indie-publish or convince a publisher? Assuming the former, what support did you need in the way of editing, layout, printing etc?
I went through New York publishers for my first (Portfolio/Penguin) and second book (Workman Publishing).

A while back, Tim Ferriss and I did a video covering lots of stuff on writing/marketing/entrepreneurship.

Specific clip about self-publishing vs. a NY publisher:

Full 88-minute video:

I bought your book months ago...great content. It was easier to have you translate the content to family than for me to do it - I'm not a published author, so I am much less believable. :)

I would love to email you some questions about my book project and where to take it from where it is. I am blwatson at gmail


Let's do it here so others can benefit from the back-and-forth conversation. You can email me your super-private questions separately.

Great idea on leaving the content for others to share.

I had put together an outline a year ago for a book. The working title is The Failing Point. I started writing, and built up a good head of steam. I knew that getting a publishing deal as an unknown was almost impossible. Since the content is in essay form, I started posting them online in blog format at the url

I got into a 2x per week posting rhythm, and the strategy was to do this for the first 2 chapters, over the course of 2 months, and then stop. I had planned on taking the "success" of building traffic to a publisher. I didn't want to keep posting all of the content that would eventually be in the book at the risk of putting off any potential authors.

In the second of 2 months, I generated 20K uniques without spending any money. Links were posted here and Digg. I also tried to incorporate TweetMeme (great) and Yahoo Buzz (useless).

Well, the few publishers I was able to get the proposal to have either passed or taken their time in getting back to me (which is the same as a pass). So now what to do?

Based on the feedback I saw in the comments here at Hacker News, and emails I got, people appreciated the content. My "why" for doing this is not to say that I am a published author. I'd love to make some extra money, sure, but mostly because I feel like I have a unique set of experiences and am a decent enough story teller that the content is useful to those who would come after me. It's the content I would have liked to have seen before I embarked on my startups.

This project is well outside of my comfort zone, and perhaps I relied too much on a "if you post it, they will come" strategy. Now that the first two chapters are out there, and I have no traction with the few publishers I have approached, what would you suggest?

(Uh oh...I just realized the threading on these back-and-forth conversations may become a little crazy.)

Anyway, here's the deal.

You have clearly thought a LOT about this and have all the elements in place. I'll just suggest a few different ways of thinking about what you wrote above.

1. Publishers don't care about your posting rhythm or how many Twitter clickthrough rates. In fact, many don't even care about your book topic.

They care about your platform and how well other books in this vein have done.

I noticed that you yourself indicated that there are few books on failure, while many books on success. Why do you think that is? What would make your book different?

2. A series of musings is usually a very bad book. Who is the market? Do you already have a presence there? For example, publishers started approaching me once they noticed that was popping up in the personal-finance space.

3. On a tactical note, typically authors find an agent, who then finds the publishers. If you really want to publish a book, go find agents who have written books similar to yours and send them a pitch letter.

4. Also on a tactical note, driving 20k uniques in 2 months is very good. However, from looking at your site, you haven't captured those people. In other words, they came once and left, never to return. Think carefully about how to capture these people so you can continue sending them material that they want, love, and expect.

I can get into outbound marketing if people care, but suffice it to say that many, many startups overvalue social media and ignore channels that actually convert. Hint: Twitter. (Test it and see for yourself.)

4. MOST IMPORTANT. What is your goal? You indicated you don't care about the ego boost of being an author. So carefully consider whether a book is really what you want to do. There are many, many other channels (ebook, blog, etc) that don't require the back-breaking work of writing a book. Mine took 2 years to complete. A book is specifically useful for building your brand and spreading your ideas. But in most cases, there are other channels that work better.

(Incidentally, we should come up with a name for areas where people who work tell others NOT to do it. Examples: Authors, musicians, lawyers...)

Hope that helps. Let me know if you have other questions.

To be fair to Ramit, he is a pretty well received author of a book that's relevant to his blogging field:

(As a disclaimer, I own a copy of said book, and I think it's good.)

I can make you a vast list of books that are pretty well-received, but still unadulterated bullshit from cover to cover. I'd have proved nothing relevant either.

(Just to be clear: I'm not implying Ramit's book is or isn't bullshit - just that it's entirely beside the point)

Totally agree. Here are excerpts of my book -- feel free to take a look and decide for yourself:

HN Books is an independent project and is not operated by Y Combinator or
~ [email protected]
;laksdfhjdhksalkfj more things ~ Privacy Policy ~
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.