12 Investing-Related Books Every Investor Should Read by Barbara Friedberg, Business Insider
Investing sounds simple enough – find an endeavor, put your money in the opportunity and let the profits roll in.
There are countless varieties of investments from stocks, bonds, options, real estate, commodities, peer-to-peer lending and many more. In contrast with committing money to an insured bank savings account, investing typically involves trading additional risk for the opportunity for greater rewards.
The following are 12 investing-related books to increase your financial knowledge and ultimately your net worth. These books were culled from experts and my own decades as a portfolio manager and investor.
The books are listed in no particular order:
Investing-related books – The Elements of Investing
‘The Elements of Investing,’ by Charles D. Ellis and Burton G. Malkiel
An updated look at best rules of investing provided by two of the world’s greatest financial thinkers
In the updated edition of The Elements of Investing, authors Charles Ellis and Burton Malkiel—two of the world’s greatest financial thinkers—have again combined their talents to produce a straight-talking book about investing and saving. Written with every investor in mind, this reliable resource will put you on a path towards a lifetime of financial success.
Page by page, Malkiel and Ellis skillfully focus their message to address the essentials and offer a set of simple, but powerful thoughts on how to avoid Mr. Market and his “loser’s game,” and instead enjoy the “winner’s” approach to investing. All the investment rules and principles you need to succeed are here—with clear advice on how to follow them.
- Shows you how to focus on the long term instead of following market fluctuations that are likely to lead to costly investing mistakes
- Contains investment insights that can carry you all the way to, and through, retirement
- Written by Burton G. Malkiel, the bestselling author of A Random Walk Down Wall Street, and Charles D. Ellis, the bestselling author of Winning the Loser’s Game
A disciplined approach to investing, complemented by understanding, is all you need to enjoy success. This practical guide explains what you really need to know and puts you on the right course for long-term success through all kinds of markets.
Investing-related books – A Random Walk Down Wall Street
‘A Random Walk Down Wall Street,’ by Burton G. Malkiel
The best investment guide money can buy, with over 1.5 million copies sold, now fully revised and updated.
In today’s daunting investment landscape, the need for Burton G. Malkiel’s reassuring, authoritative, and perennially best-selling guide to investing is stronger than ever. A Random Walk Down Wall Street has long been established as the first book to purchase when starting a portfolio. This new edition features fresh material on exchange-traded funds and investment opportunities in emerging markets; a brand-new chapter on “smart beta” funds, the newest marketing gimmick of the investment management industry; and a new supplement that tackles the increasingly complex world of derivatives.
Investing-related books – The Four Pillars of Investing
‘The Four Pillars of Investing,’ by William J. Bernstein
The classic guide to constructing a solid portfolio?without a financial advisor!
“With relatively little effort, you can design and assemble an investment portfolio that, because of its wide diversification and minimal expenses, will prove superior to the most professionally managed accounts. Great intelligence and good luck are not required.”
William Bernstein’s commonsense approach to portfolio construction has served investors well during the past turbulent decade?and it’s what made The Four Pillars of Investing an instant classic when it was first published nearly a decade ago.
This down-to-earth book lays out in easy-to-understand prose the four essential topics that every investor must master: the relationship of risk and reward, the history of the market, the psychology of the investor and the market, and the folly of taking financial advice from investment salespeople.
Bernstein pulls back the curtain to reveal what really goes on in today’s financial industry as he outlines a simple program for building wealth while controlling risk. Straightforward in its presentation and generous in its real-life examples, The Four Pillars of Investing presents a no-nonsense discussion of:
- The art and science of mixing different asset classes into an effective blend
- The dangers of actively picking stocks, as opposed to investing in the whole market
- Behavioral finance and how state of mind can adversely affect decision making
- Reasons the mutual fund and brokerage industries, rather than your partners, are often your most direct competitors
- Strategies for managing all of your assets?savings, 401(k)s, home equity?as one portfolio
Investing is not a destination. It is a journey, and along the way are stockbrokers, journalists, and mutual fund companies whose interests are diametrically opposed to yours.
More relevant today than ever, The Four Pillars of Investing shows you how to determine your own financial direction and assemble an investment program with the sole goal of building long-term wealth for you and your family.
Investing-related books – The Intelligent Investor
‘The Intelligent Investor,’ by Benjamin Graham with Jason Zweig
This classic text is annotated to update Graham’s timeless wisdom for today’s market conditions…
The greatest investment advisor of the twentieth century, Benjamin Graham, taught and inspired people worldwide. Graham’s philosophy of “value investing” — which shields investors from substantial error and teaches them to develop long-term strategies — has made The Intelligent Investor the stock market bible ever since its original publication in 1949.
Over the years, market developments have proven the wisdom of Graham’s strategies. While preserving the integrity of Graham’s original text, this revised edition includes updated commentary by noted financial journalist Jason Zweig, whose perspective incorporates the realities of today’s market, draws parallels between Graham’s examples and today’s financial headlines, and gives readers a more thorough understanding of how to apply Graham’s principles.
Vital and indispensable, this HarperBusiness Essentials edition of The Intelligent Investor is the most important book you will ever read on how to reach your financial goals.
Investing-related books – Bogle on Mutual Funds: New Perspectives for The Intelligent Investor
‘Bogle on Mutual Funds: New Perspectives for The Intelligent Investor,’ by John C. Bogle
The seminal work on mutual funds investing is now a Wiley Investment Classic
Certain books have redefined the way we view the world of finance and investing—books that should be on every investor’s shelf. Bogle on Mutual Funds–the definitive work on mutual fund investing by one of finance’s great luminaries–is just such a work, and has been added to the catalog of Wiley’s Investment Classic collection. Updated with a new introduction by expert John Bogle, this comprehensive book provides investors with the wisdom of the pioneer of mutual funds to help you identify and execute the ideal mutual fund investment choices for your portfolio.
The former Vanguard Chief Executive, Bogle has long been mutual funds’ most outspoken critic; in this classic book, he provides guidance on what you should and shouldn’t believe when it comes to mutual funds, along with the story of persistence and perseverance that led to this seminal work. You’ll learn the differences between common stock, bond, money market, and balanced funds, and why a passively managed “index” fund is a smarter investment than a fund managed by someone making weighted bets on individual securities, sectors, and the economy. Bogle reveals the truth behind the advertising, the mediocre performance, and selfishness, and highlights the common mistakes many investors make.
- Consider the risks and rewards of investing in mutual funds
- Learn how to choose between the four basic types of funds
- Choose the lower-cost, more reliable investment structure
- See through misleading advertising, and watch out for pitfalls
Take a look into this timeless classic and let Bogle on Mutual Funds show you how to invest in mutual funds the right way, with the expert perspective of an industry leader.
Investing-related books – All About Asset Allocation
‘All About Asset Allocation,’ (second edition Kindle edition) by Richard Ferri
When It Comes To Investing For Your Future, There’s Only One Sure Bet — Asset Allocation
The Easy Way To Get Started
Everything You Need to Know About How To:
- Implement a smart asset allocation strategy
- Diversify your investments with stocks, bonds, real estate, and other classes
- Change your allocation and lock in gains
Trying to outwit the market is a bad gamble. If you’re serious about investing for the long run, you have to take a no-nonsense, businesslike approach to your portfolio. In addition to covering all the basics, this new edition of All About Asset Allocation includes timely advice on:
- Learning which investments work well together and why
- Selecting the right mutual funds and ETFs
- Creating an asset allocation that’s right for your needs
- Knowing how and when to change an allocation
- Understanding target-date mutual funds
“All About Asset Allocation offers advice that is both prudent and practical–keep it simple, diversify, and, above all, keep your expenses low–from an author who both knows how vital asset allocation is to investment success and, most important, works with real people.” — John C. Bogle, founder and former CEO, The Vanguard Group
“With All About Asset Allocation at your side, you’ll be executing a sound investment plan, using the best materials and wearing the best safety rope that money can buy.” — William Bernstein, founder, Effi cientFrontier.com, and author, The Intelligent Asset Allocator
Investing-related books – Triumph of the Optimists
‘Triumph of the Optimists,’ by Elroy Dimson, Paul Marsh and Mike Staunton
Investors have too often extrapolated from recent experience. In the 1950s, who but the most rampant optimist would have dreamt that over the next fifty years the real return on equities would be 9% per year? Yet this is what happened in the U.S. stock market. The optimists triumphed. However, as Don Marquis observed, an optimist is someone who never had much experience. The authors of this book extend our experience across regions and across time. They present a comprehensive and consistent analysis of investment returns for equities, bonds, bills, currencies and inflation, spanning sixteen countries, from the end of the nineteenth century to the beginning of the twenty-first. This is achieved in a clear and simple way, with over 130 color diagrams that make comparison easy.
Crucially, the authors analyze total returns, including reinvested income. They show that some historical indexes overstate long-term performance because they are contaminated by survivorship bias and that long-term stock returns are in most countries seriously overestimated, due to a focus on periods that with hindsight are known to have been successful.
The book also provides the first comprehensive evidence on the long-term equity risk premium–the reward for bearing the risk of common stocks. The authors reveal whether the United States and United Kingdom have had unusually high stock market returns compared to other countries. The book covers the U.S., the U.K., Japan, France, Germany, Canada, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Australia, the Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Ireland, Denmark, and South Africa.
Triumph of the Optimists is required reading for investment professionals, financial economists, and investors. It will be the definitive reference in the field and consulted for years to come.
Investing-related books – The Investment Answer
‘The Investment Answer,’ by Daniel C. Goldie and Gordon Murray
What if there were a way to cut through all the financial mumbo-jumbo? Wouldn’t it be great if someone could really explain to us–in plain and simple English–the basics we must know about investing in order to insure our financial freedom?
At last, here’s good news.
Jargon-free and written for all investors–experienced, beginner, and everyone in between–The Investment Answer distills the process into just five decisions–five straightforward choices that can lead to safe and sound ways to manage your money.
When Wall Street veteran Gordon Murray told his good friend and financial advisor, Dan Goldie, that he had only six months to live, Dan responded, “Do you want to write that book you’ve always wanted to do?” The result is this eminently valuable primer which can be read and understood in one sitting, and has advice that benefits you, not Wall Street and the rest of the traditional financial services industry.
The Investment Answer asks readers to make five basic but key decisions to stack the investment odds in their favor. The advice is simple, easy-to-follow, and effective, and can lead to a more profitable portfolio for every investor. Specifically:
- Should I invest on my own or seek help from an investment professional?
- How should I allocate my investments among stocks, bonds, and cash?
- Which specific asset classes within these broad categories should I include in my portfolio?
- Should I take an actively managed approach to investing, or follow a passive alternative?
- When should I sell assets and when should I buy more?
In a world of fast-talking traders who believe that they can game the system and a market characterized by instability, this extraordinary and timely book offers guidance every investor should have.
Investing-related books – Contrarian Investment Strategies: The Psychological Edge
‘Contrarian Investment Strategies: The Psychological Edge,’ by David Dreman
In this major revision of his investment classic, one of the premier investment managers introduces vitally important new findings in psychology that show why most investment strategies are fatally flawed and his contrarian strategies are the best way to beat the market.
The need to switch to a new approach for investing has never been more urgent. The Crash of 2007 revealed in dramatic fashion that there are glaring flaws in the theory that underlies all of the prevailing investment strategies—efficient market theory. This theory, and all of the most popular investing strategies, fail to account for major, systematic errors in human judgment that the powerful new research in psychology David Dreman introduces has revealed, such as emotional over-reactions and a host of mental shortcuts in judgment that lead to wild over and under-valuations of stocks, bonds, and commodities and to bubbles and crashes. It also leads to horribly flawed assessments of risk.
Dreman shows exactly how the new psychological findings definitively refute those strategies and reveals how his alternative contrarian strategies do a powerful job of accounting for them. He shows readers how by being aware of these new findings, they can become saavy psychological investors, crash-proofing their portfolios and earning market beating long-term returns. He also introduces a new theory of risk and substantially updates his core contrarian strategies with a number of highly effective methods for facing the most pressing challenges in the coming years, such as greatly increased volatility and the prospect of inflation. This is every investor’s essential guide to optimal investing.
Investing-related books – The Incredible Shrinking Alpha: And What You Can Do to Escape Its Clutches
‘The Incredible Shrinking Alpha: And What You Can Do to Escape Its Clutches,’ by Larry E. Swedroe and Andrew L. Berkin
Alpha still exists! But that doesn’t mean it is easy to find, or even worth the pursuit.
Larry Swedroe, author of the bestselling series of The Only Guide investment books, and co-author Andrew Berkin bring you the quantitatively chilling tale of The Incredible Shrinking Alpha. As aficionados of classic science fiction, Swedroe and Berkin saw similarities between the monumental struggle of Scott Carey, novelist Richard Matheson’s Incredible Shrinking Man, and that of every individual investor trying to beat the market. Swedroe and Berkin explain in academic yet simple terms what is happening to the alpha for which so many investors yearn.
Offering compelling data from decades of academic research, Swedroe and Berkin present the hard truth as they know it — it’s not worth the time or effort spent battling to win those few extra cake crumbs. Instead, focus on the things you can control and discover what life has to offer beyond the quest for alpha.
Investing-related books – The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need
‘The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need,’ by Andrew Tobias
For more than thirty years, The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need has been a favorite finance guide, earning the allegiance of more than a million readers across the United States. Now even more indispensable, this completely revised and updated edition will show readers how to use money to their best advantage in the wake of epochal change on Wall Street, no matter how much or how little they may have.
Using concise, witty, and truly understandable tips and explanations, Tobias delivers sensible advice and useful information, covering topics such as
- How virtually any reader can save more than $1,000 a year
- How and when to invest in stocks
- The “safest investment in the world”
- and much, much more.
Investing-related books – Investing Made Simple: Index Fund Investing and ETF Investing Explained in 100 Pages or Less
Find all of the following explained in plain-English with no technical jargon:
- Asset Allocation: What does it mean, why is it so important, and how should you determine your own?
- How to Pick Mutual Funds: Learn how to maximize your likelihood of choosing a mutual fund with above-average performance.
- Roth IRA vs. Traditional IRA vs. 401(k): What’s the difference, and how should you choose between them?
- Financial Advisors: Learn what to look for as well as pitfalls to avoid.
- Frequent Investor Mistakes: Learn the most common mistakes and what you can do to avoid them.
- Calculate Your Retirement Needs: Learn how to calculate how much you’ll need saved in order to retire.