The best investing books about commonly overlooked core principles

Who am I?

As a student of the markets and investing for 3 decades and a professional investment advisor overseeing billions of dollars for over 2 decades, I have discovered that most investment books and information lack real insight. Much of what I read and see is not thoughtful or deeply researched and merely a regurgitation of what everyone else is saying. I’ve learned that most of what is thought to be conventional thinking is remarkably poorly supported by independent, unbiased research. The books on my recommended list go beyond what you’d read in the average investment book to uncover truly insightful knowledge that I believe can help readers take their investment understanding to the next level. 

I wrote...

Risk Parity: How to Invest for All Market Environments

By Alex Shahidi,

Book cover of Risk Parity: How to Invest for All Market Environments

What is my book about?

Most portfolios are heavily weighted to stocks even though the stock market can suffer devastating losses and underperform for a decade or longer. Investors take the risk because they seek attractive long-term returns. Is there a better way to earn equity-like returns with less risk? 

In Risk Parity: How to Invest for All Market Environments, I present a simple approach to portfolio management that reduces the potential for significant capital loss while maintaining an attractive expected return. You’ll discover how a passive allocation across a balanced mix of asset classes that anyone can easily access can provide a more stable return through shifting economic environments.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Principles: Life and Work

Why did I love this book?

I love this book because Ray is a master at building, evaluating, and improving systems and has taken the time to share his insights to help others do the same.

The principles he’s identified and described can simultaneously assist any investor to construct a better portfolio and any person to live a more successful and fulfilling life. This book offers a unique opportunity to learn from one of the most insightful people in history. 

By Ray Dalio,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Principles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times Bestseller

"Significant...The book is both instructive and surprisingly moving." -The New York Times

Ray Dalio, one of the world's most successful investors and entrepreneurs, shares the unconventional principles that he's developed, refined, and used over the past forty years to create unique results in both life and business-and which any person or organization can adopt to help achieve their goals.

In 1975, Ray Dalio founded an investment firm, Bridgewater Associates, out of his two-bedroom apartment in New York City. Forty years later, Bridgewater has made more money for its clients than any other hedge fund in…

Book cover of The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns

Why did I love this book?

The late Jack Bogle, founder of Vanguard, was one of the pioneers of the investment industry.

Unlike many of his peers, Jack placed the interests of investors ahead of everyone else, including himself and his firm. This little book encapsulates one of the core tenets he instilled into his firm and in the industry – low cost index investing is an attractive way for the average investor to invest. The book provides compelling support for his argument. 

By John C. Bogle,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Little Book of Common Sense Investing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The best-selling index investing "bible" offers new information and is updated to reflect the latest market data The Little Book of Common Sense Investing is the classic guide to getting smart about the market. Legendary mutual fund veteran John C. Bogle reveals his key to getting more out of investing: low-cost index funds. Bogle describes the simplest and most effective investment strategy for building wealth over the long term: buy and hold, at very low cost, a mutual fund that tracks the S&P 500 Stock Index. Such an index portfolio is the only investment that guarantees your fair share of…

Fooled by Randomness

By Nassim Nicholas Taleb,

Book cover of Fooled by Randomness

Why did I love this book?

The investment world is dominated by players who essentially have the same beliefs and say the same things. I love writers who offer a unique perspective informed by an independent framework.

One of the greatest challenges in investing is distinguishing luck from skill. Taleb does a masterful job of raising the readers’ awareness of this common oversight. I believe reading this book will make you a more thoughtful investor. 

By Nassim Nicholas Taleb,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Fooled by Randomness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Everyone wants to succeed in life. But what causes some of us to be more successful than others? Is it really down to skill and strategy - or something altogether more unpredictable?

This book is the bestselling sensation that will change the way you think about business and the world. It is all about luck: more precisely, how we perceive luck in our personal and professional experiences. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the markets - we hear an entrepreneur has 'vision' or a trader is 'talented', but all too often their performance is down to chance rather than…

Thinking, Fast and Slow

By Daniel Kahneman,

Book cover of Thinking, Fast and Slow

Why did I love this book?

While this is not per se an investment book, I include it in my list because it teaches you how the mind works.

I believe this insight can lead you to be a better investor because so much of our decision making process is based both on logic and emotion. The more aware you are about what drives your decisions (which ultimately impact your results), the better your decisions over time (and the better your results). 

By Daniel Kahneman,

Why should I read it?

36 authors picked Thinking, Fast and Slow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The phenomenal international bestseller - 2 million copies sold - that will change the way you make decisions

'A lifetime's worth of wisdom' Steven D. Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics
'There have been many good books on human rationality and irrationality, but only one masterpiece. That masterpiece is Thinking, Fast and Slow' Financial Times

Why is there more chance we'll believe something if it's in a bold type face? Why are judges more likely to deny parole before lunch? Why do we assume a good-looking person will be more competent? The answer lies in the two ways we make choices: fast,…

Book cover of When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management

Why did I love this book?

A successful investor over the long run should always be worried about what can go wrong.

One of the greatest contributors to catastrophic loss is overconfidence and the belief that you can’t lose. This book offers a real-life story about some of the smartest, most resourced investors losing everything.

Hopefully it will instill the appreciation that it isn’t just about being a market genius but about recognizing that far too often unforeseen market events actually happen without warning. 

By Roger Lowenstein,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked When Genius Failed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Picking up where Liar's Poker left off (literally, in the bond dealer's desks of Salomon Brothers) the story of Long-Term Capital Management is of a group of elite investors who believed they could beat the market and, like alchemists, create limitless wealth for themselves and their partners.

Founded by John Meriweather, a notoriously confident bond dealer, along with two Nobel prize winners and a floor of Wall Street's brightest and best, Long-Term Captial Management was from the beginning hailed as a new gold standard in investing. It was to be the hedge fund to end all other hedge funds: a…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in decision making, hedge funds, and choice and choosing?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about decision making, hedge funds, and choice and choosing.

Decision Making Explore 71 books about decision making
Hedge Funds Explore 8 books about hedge funds
Choice And Choosing Explore 20 books about choice and choosing

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Ultralearning, Stumbling on Happiness, and The Big Short if you like this list.