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Do books on investment really matter? Can’t you learn about investing by just doing it?
While on-the-job training may seem like a good idea for the potential investor, it is actually quite the opposite.
Investment is about laying out a large amount of your money on what is essentially a gamble. The risk side of this investment is greatly reduced by knowledge, so the more that is known beforehand, the better the chance of successful investments.
That is why this list of the 16 best investing books is so important. It gives you all the best knowledge from the past 50+ years of investing, as well as input from some of the sharpest and newest minds in the game.
The mix of old and new approaches is what makes this list of the best investing books so powerful. You can learn both the tried-and-true investment techniques that have withstood the test of time, and some great ideas from new minds.
Knowledge is power, and investing in more knowledge is something every single investor MUST do. In fact, Warren Buffett, the single greatest investor of all time, credits reading 1000 pages every single day when he was starting out as being one of the keys to his success.
So, if you want to achieve the best success in investing, you will need to read some of the best investing books to learn the lessons of those who have come before you.
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These top investment books are presented in no particular order. They are all worthwhile, and contain awesome nuggets of investing knowledge.
The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by Jack Bogle
Written by Jack Bogle, a legendary mutual fund industry veteran, this awesome investing book shares the firsthand experiences of the author to help explain why investing all comes down to common sense. Filled with practical advice, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing teaches the reader how to effectively own a diversified portfolio for the long term in order to create and maintain wealth. It gives real-life scenarios that show why successful investing requires both discipline and patience, but that investing can also be very simple.
While this book teaches the reader different ways to overcome expensive investment costs, it also warns against investment fads and gimmicks that can end up costing a lot of money. Focusing on index investing, this book asserts that the formula for successful investing is to own the whole market while minimizing the costs associated with investing.
One of the best things about this book is its brevity and precision. It gets right down to the point without adding any extra fluff or stories. This matter-of-fact way of presenting information to the reader is helpful for those who are interested in this specific method of investing but may not be interested in some of the more radical investing ideas.
While this book may not be ideal for those who are looking for a wide range of strategies, it is a strong book for people who want to learn about index investing.
Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert Kiyosaki
This is the quintessential book on the power of investing by Robert Kiyosaki.
This biography of sorts tells the author's personal story of two father figures in his life, both of whom had an influence on his adult concepts of money and investing.
The book largely focuses on working for money versus investing your money in order to have it work for you.
This book does not get down into too many of the dirty details on how to invest, but is more about explaining in clear terms why investing is so important. The most powerful points Kiyosaki makes are about investing and managing money. Some of these points include:
- Making wise investments
- Understanding your taxes
- Reducing your tax liability if you are able to
- Learning from real-world experience
Overall, this book is not one of the most beneficial sources about the specifics of investments and finances. However, the author's candid and insightful writing makes it highly influential and inspirational.
This is an important investing book to read because it will clearly show the important potential of investing. It will give you inspiration to continue your investment education and set you on the path to getting real-world knowledge.
How to Make Money in Stocks Getting Started: A Guide to Putting CAN SLIM Concepts into Action 1st Edition by Matthew Galgani
The CAN SLIM Investment System, created by Investor’s Business Daily, has been named by some as the #1 growth strategy. This book shows you how to effectively utilize this system. It provides a plan for the reader to learn how to protect their money, factors to consider before investing, ways to predict changes in the market, and how to put the practical advice to real-world use.
This is a great investing book for beginners on the stock market, as well as those who have been investing for quite some time, but have had limited success. It is a useful step-by-step guide that addresses some current issues such as up-to-date EFT strategies and the issues with Facebook's IPO.
One downfall to this investment book is that it may appear to some to be an advertisement for the CAN SLIM system. This is because the reader does have to have a subscription to investors.com, as well as some extra products, in order to get the most benefit from the system. However, the title of this book should already make the reader aware of its affiliations.
This may be the right investing book for you if you are interested in how this system works and want to learn more about it. It is also great for those who are just getting into investing and want a good starting point.
The How to Make Money in Stocks Complete Investing System: Your Ultimate Guide to Winning in Good Times and Bad by William O’Neil
This book, based on the greatest stock market winners dating back to 1880, shares effective techniques for picking and building stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs to maximize your profits. It includes current charts to teach the reader how to predict modern trends that will build wealth, and strategies to avoid common mistakes in investing.
One of the most valuable lessons in this book comes in the form of the price charts that are provided of the greatest winning stocks over the past century. Marked with notes showing the reader how proper bases should look, as well as the difference between strong charts and weak ones, it is fascinating for the reader to be able to see what a climax top looks like as soon as a stock is out of buyers, causing investors to sell in a panic.
This is a great book for those who are specifically interested in the CAN SLIM method of investing. However, it may not be ideal for investors who want to learn about a more diverse group of methods. It goes into great detail and may seem complicated for those who are not interested in devoting all of their investment energy to this specific method.
The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel by Benjamin Graham
This book focuses on teaching investors long-term strategies while avoiding harmful yet common investment errors. Graham refers to this method of investment as “value investing,” which has proven itself to be effective over the years. Value investing is a strategy whereby the investor chooses stocks that trade for less than their actual value. This type of investing involves actively seeking out stocks that you think the market has undervalued.
The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel does a really good job of addressing the realities of the current market, while offering no “get rich quick” guarantees or gimmicks. It is full of substantial information that has been at the core of effective portfolio management for many years.
Even though this book was originally published a long time ago, its insight applies to any time period. Additionally, its updates and footnotes help to keep the focus on the overall proven and effective message.
There are a lot of graphs and tables in this book, so it may not be for people who are not interested in studying and analyzing information in this way, as this makes the book seem a bit dry at times. However, with the addition of humor throughout the book, this is an easy and informative read that simply breaks down things that investors should be on the lookout for when they are managing their money.
One Up On Wall Street: How To Use What You Already Know to Make Money in the Market by Peter Lynch
In this investment book, Peter Lynch focuses on the advantages that the everyday investor has over professional investors, and how to leverage these advantages to be financially successful. Lynch argues that everyday investors have the advantage of being aware of products and services that come onto the market and have great potential for success. By paying attention to these products, people can choose to invest in things before they are discovered by professional analysts.
Lynch makes this process seem very relatable to the reader because he mentions the hundreds of advertisements and products that consumers come into contact with every day. This makes his method seem very approachable for anyone who does not have a lot of industry experience.
This easy-to-follow book gives advice on how to tell if a company is worth an investment by reviewing its financial statements, and being able to tell which numbers are significant and which don't really have an impact on the value of the company. With clear guidelines for investing in companies with all types of business plans, this book is a helpful guide for making long-term investments to build a productive portfolio.
While some of this book on investing is a bit outdated, its principles still apply. For example, the idea of helping those who are eager in investing to avoid common traps and showing that it is important to do research prior to making an investment in a rapidly growing company is an investing fundamental that will never be outdated. These themes are as relevant today as they were when the book was written. The addition of humor and personal anecdotes make this a fun read as well.
A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing by Burton Malkiel
This investment guide looks at every kind of investment opportunity, including stocks, bonds, real estate, collectibles, money markets, and more. It is a classic book that explains strategies for effectively rearranging a portfolio to maximize retirement, as well as the longstanding life-cycle guide to making investments.
A Random Walk Down Wall Street is great for those who are looking for a solid understanding of how the financial industry works. It is a useful refresher for people who are already working in the field, as well as those who are looking to learn more about how different types of investments work.
While it may take some active concentration to understand all of the analysis that is in this book, it's relatively easy to see the overall message that the author is communicating, which is that it is impossible to beat the market averages in the long term, but it is also unnecessary to do so in order to build notable wealth.
This book on investing has some very good critical analyses of the stock markets, as well as the author's personal advice on how to invest. Some may find this advice to be one-sided, and perhaps even controversial. However, the author is quite convincing in his arguments, using anecdotal, historical, theoretical, and statistical evidence for why people should use his strategies.
Value Investing: From Graham to Buffett and Beyond by Bruce Greenwald and Judd Kahn
This book offers the classic, fundamental techniques and applications of value investing. After covering the general approaches to value investing, the authors go on to illustrate how to apply their techniques by looking at the details of successful real-life investment profiles. These case studies help to highlight the techniques that are described in this book as they are put into practice.
While the writing style of this book is not light and takes time to get through, the substance that is provided is well worth the effort of the read. It conveys a structured method for valuing companies by looking at their potential for profitable growth. This practical information helps to relate value investing with the modern stock market.
One may think that this investing book is irrelevant or old-fashioned, due to the fact that it is over 10 years old. However, its principles remain relevant, and the examples used in the book reveal pearls of wisdom about investing that make it well worth the read.
Value investing is not a new concept. This book not only explains the ideas and definitions behind value investing but also takes the reader a few steps farther by exploring how value investing has evolved over the years. It also addresses how the basic concepts of value investing have been used and changed to support the current economic environment, without allowing any past concepts to be forgotten.
The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy by Thomas Stanley & William Danko
This book essentially addresses what millionaires have done to become wealthy. It focuses on steering away from the current culture of spending everything you earn, and instead living below one's means and investing properly to build wealth.
The authors show that almost anyone can accumulate wealth if they are passionate about their career, disciplined, and have an ounce of luck. With the inclusion of comprehensive interviews with people with a net worth of at least one million dollars, the book details many variables of the lives of millionaires. While it addresses the key success factors that this group has in common, as well as an effective approach to balancing risk, it also shows how people live their daily lives, all the way down to the choice of a spouse.
These stories about real people are very easy for the reader to relate to, which makes this investing book interesting for people of any financial background.
One very interesting point that this book makes is about the difference between how people view the lives of millionaires versus the reality of their lives. While the point is made several times with various examples (which may make the book seem repetitive), it makes it easy to apply to anyone's life. With the style of writing being a bit dry, it can be difficult at times to stay interested in this book—but its overall message is strong.
Soldier of Finance: Take Charge of Your Money and Invest in Your Future by Jeff Rose
This motivational book is modeled after the Soldier's Handbook, which is read by all U.S. Army recruits. It presents a no-nonsense approach to buckling down on your finances and getting to work. This training manual of sorts helps readers overcome financial obstacles and create long-lasting wealth.
Some of the main themes of this book address committing to making a financial change, eliminating debt, creating budgets, raising your credit score, building savings, and investing. It includes useful anecdotes and even quizzes to help the readers face their finances and create wealth.
This is an entertaining read due to the fact that the author uses a motivational approach to teach the information. Some may find this to be refreshing compared to other books that are written in a rather dry manner. It provides clever ideas with clear action steps for the reader to take to be successful. However, if you do not respond well to this approach to teaching, this may not be as motivational for you as it is set out to be.
It is clear throughout the book that the author has military and wartime experience, so other people who come from that background may find this book especially easy to relate to.
Stocks for the Long Run: The Definitive Guide to Financial Market Returns & Long-Term Investment Strategies by Jeremy Siegel
This book takes a look at the important current financial questions that people have. For example, it explains how the financial crisis altered the markets and stock returns, as well as the current sources of economic growth for the long term. It takes an historical view to show the reader that stock returns regress to bonds, while other investments do not.
An easy read with a strong basic premise, this book teaches that the longer you hold onto your investments, the more you will get out of them. With the addition of helpful charts and graphs, the author gives supporting evidence to his claims that make this book a great read.
The voice of the author is gentle and modest, while still being authoritative. He displays his intellectual curiosity as well as his concern for those who are looking for financial guidance. It is easy to read on several levels, as it is practical while also being engaging.
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Written by a psychologist, this book gives the reader a tour of the mind to explain the systems that drive how people think. While one system is fast and emotional, the other is slow, logical, and deliberative.
The book is an exciting read, as it explains everyday things in more detail than the reader would typically think. For example, it dives into the trouble that people have trying to predict what will give them happiness in the future, and the effect that personal biases have on one's decisions. Everyone's thought process can be better understood by knowing how our systems of thought shape our decisions.
This is a very engaging book, as it is written in the form of a lively conversation. The author gives practical advice and enlightening insights as to how both business and personal choices are made and offer techniques to keep the reader from falling into the trap of common mental glitches that work to one's disadvantage.
Full of relevant studies and practical suggestions, this is a dense book that is full of data and information. It is worth the read, even though it may seem difficult to remember all of the concepts that the book provides. As far as behavioral economics go, this is a great read for people who are interested in the inner workings of the mind and how people are led to make their decisions.
Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
This engaging book takes what could possibly be a dry topic and turns it into an engaging read. Its take-home message is that people are fooled into making decisions in very predictable ways.
Written in a personal tone rather than taking an academic approach, the book goes directly to its point, beginning with the financial markets and moving on to life at large. It helps the reader understand and consider probability, not only in finances, but everywhere in life. This book challenges the reader to think about the random happenings in their life, as well as the critical economic issues that our country faces.
This book could be more precise by leaving out repetitive insights, but it is still able to ignite a sense of thinking that the reader likely does not often visit.
Rule #1: The Simple Strategy for Successful Investing in Only 15 Minutes a Week! by Phil Town
This may be a difficult book for beginners to follow, but it is very useful for readers in the long run. It displays the hard work that it takes to gain money in the financial markets, but it also explains the basic strategies that have been around for centuries.
While the author hooks the reader with the idea of spending only 15 minutes a week to have financial success, it is important to note that this is the time that the author recommends for maintaining wealth, not accumulating it. This is a clearly written how-to guide to keeping up with your investments and learning how to diligently think about your portfolio.
It is important to not go into this book believing that it will make you rich with only a little effort. If that were the case, everyone would be able to be millionaires after spending only a few minutes each week working towards their goals. Instead, this book explains how to maintain intelligent investments over time so they end up being profitable for you.
Savvy Investing: Strategies for Successful Investing by Gary D. Lemon
This book provides individual investors with critical information needed to make high returns on their investments. It describes how even small investors have the ability to earn a better return than the most professional investors. While the book clearly explains that investment theories are complicated, it goes on to tell the reader that these theories do not need to be understood in full in order to have success in the financial markets.
Savvy Investing: Strategies for Successful Investing offers a step-by-step guide to becoming a smart investor by concentrating on the controllable variables, rather than factors that are out of the reader's control. The controllable variables for individual investors are the costs that are associated with an investment and the risk of an individual’s portfolio. The author teaches the investor how to intelligently adjust these elements to have a large impact on the return on their investment.
This investing book is very approachable for people of any background. Whether you are new to investing or have been in the industry for a long time, this book offers valuable advice in an easy-to-follow manner.
The Little Book of Behavioral Investing: How not to be your own worst enemy by James Montier
This investment book offers a detailed guide to overcoming the psychological dangers of investing. It addresses emotions, overconfidence, and bias as a few of the thought processes that cause investors to lose money in the long run. Another book on the human behaviors behind finance, this read recognizes the psychological element behind investor decision-making, and describes ways to help investors overcome this obstacle.
One of the best things about this book is that it provides time-tested ways to recognize and avoid the difficulties that investor bias presents. The author is straightforward in teaching the reader how to learn from their mistakes in order to create and maintain a strong portfolio.
While this book is both interesting and significant, it is likely to be most appealing to those who not only have an interest in finance and math, but also in behavioral sciences.
MORE Self Help – Personal Development and Finance Books
(How to never run out of good books to read)
I hope you enjoyed this list of the 16 best investing books. If you enjoyed this list, why not check out some more related lists of great books.
First, we have the main “page” of OVER 250 self-help/personal development books. This main page has links to many smaller book lists (just like this one)
[thrive_link color='orange' link='https://www.developgoodhabits.com/175-top-habit-books/' target='_blank' size='large' align='aligncenter']250+ Best Self Help Books[/thrive_link]
If you are interested in general investing, you may be interested in some further financial management books. This next collection includes 16 books on real estate / property investing. These books show you how to finance your property investments, overviews of the process, tips to doing well and traps to avoid, managing your properties and much more.
[thrive_link color='orange' link='https://www.developgoodhabits.com/best-real-estate-investment-books/' target='_blank size='large' align='aligncenter']16 Best Real Estate Investment books[/thrive_link]
Saving money is something you should be doing as early as possible. Many 20 somethings and millennials ignore savings while they are young and greatly regret it. The reason they often ignore savings is because money can be “tight” while you are young. But if you follow the books in the link below, you will find out how to save money and climb out of debt, regardless of your income.
[thrive_link color='orange' link='https://www.developgoodhabits.combooks-budgeting-saving-money-frugal-living/' target='_blank' size='large' align='aligncenter']Budgeting and Savings books for when you are short on money[/thrive_link]
What your thoughts on the best investing books?
I hope you enjoyed this list of the best investing books.
What did you think about these investment books? Have you read any of them? Do you have a favorite?
Please share your thoughts on these books, or investing in general, in the comments below.
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