Some time ago, a reader asked me for a list of favorite investment books. I emailed him back that on a slow day I’d write one up. Well, today is that slow day.
Below are some notes on a handful of my favorite investing books. To make things more interesting, I’m leaving off those books widely considered as part of the canon. So you won’t find anything by Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett, Seth Klarman or Joel Greenblatt, for example.
“A great speculation always entails more tension than all but a few can withstand.”
All of the below are lesser known titles, but they are truly my five favorite books on finance. These are books I’ve read more than once and that I find myself dipping into again and again.
With that, here we go…
Investment books #1: Humble on Wall Street
Humble on Wall Street by Martin T Sosnoff
Investment books #2: Silent Investor, Silent Loser
Silent Investor, Silent Loser by Martin Sosnoff
Investment books #3: Sense and Nonsense in Corporate Finance
Sense and Nonsense in Corporate Finance by Louis Lowenstein
Investment books #4: Modern Security Analysis
Modern Security Analysis: Understanding Wall Street Fundamentals by Martin J. Whitman
Investment books #5: 100 to 1 in the stock market
Of all the books on investing that I’ve read over the years, this one was at once, the most pleasurable and most challanging to my own beliefs. Mr. Phelps spent over 40 years in and around Wall Street and the world of investing. His activities included being a private investor, columnist, analyst, author and financial advisor. His career spanned from just before the Crash of 1929 to the 70’s. In spite of the the rather glamorous title, the book is actually about Buy and Hold investing. Yes, it is true that you could have made a million dollars by buying any of about 350 stocks he mentions if you had bought $10,000 worth and just sat back and watched it grow over time! Doesn’t sound that exciting, does it? However, I hope you didn’t miss the point that he mentions AT LEAST 350 opportunities to have done this! Most of the companies’ names will be quite familiar to most readers. With the histories of many of these companies available, Mr. Phelps goes back in time to examine what it was about these companies that made their potential as great as it was. How can one begin to see what it takes for a company to do well? Well enough to drive its stock from $1.00 to $100.00 over a period of time? This is the heart of Mr. Phelps’ book. He comes up with common characteristics that show up in many of the stocks he uses as examples. Now, what about his strategy of stock ownership? He says that the best way to preserve the wealth you accumulate from investing is to NOT SELL your stocks! Uncle Sam always wants a piece of the pie when you decide to cut it! Mr. Phelps says that no matter how long it takes, it’s better to pass on stocks to your heirs than it is to sell them too soon!!
See full Chris Mayer: The 5 Greatest Investment Books via Daily Reckoning