The best books on finding big winners in the Stock Market

Christopher W. Mayer Author Of 100 Baggers: Stocks That Return 100-to-1 and How To Find Them
By Christopher W. Mayer

Who am I?

I have been investing in markets for nearly 30 years. I remember first being interested in the stock market after the 1987 crash. I read everything I could about Warren Buffett. And went on to study finance in college finishing magna cum laude (and later earned my MBA). I started my professional career as a commercial banker in the early 1990s. Then, I started my own investment newsletter in 2004 and compiled a strong track record over the next 12 years, wrote four books, and traveled all over the world in search of great investment ideas. I’ve appeared as a guest on TV and radio shows, as well as numerous podcasts. In 2019, I co-founded Woodlock House Family Capital where I currently manage a portfolio of global investments.


I wrote...

100 Baggers: Stocks That Return 100-to-1 and How To Find Them

By Christopher W. Mayer,

Book cover of 100 Baggers: Stocks That Return 100-to-1 and How To Find Them

What is my book about?

When I studied 100-baggers of the past, definite patterns emerged. In this book, you will learn the key characteristics of 100-baggers and why anybody can do this. It is truly an everyman's approach. You don't need an MBA or a finance degree. Some basic financial concepts are all you need along with a number of crutches or techniques that can help you get more out of your stocks and investing. The emphasis is always on the practical, so there are many stories and anecdotes to help illustrate important points. You should read this book if you want to get more out of your stocks. Even if you never get a 100-bagger, this book will help you turn up big winners and keep you away from losers and sleepy stocks that go nowhere.

The books I picked & why

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100 to 1 in the Stock Market: A Distinguished Security Analyst Tells How to Make More of Your Investment Opportunities

By Thomas William Phelps,

Book cover of 100 to 1 in the Stock Market: A Distinguished Security Analyst Tells How to Make More of Your Investment Opportunities

Why this book?

The classic from 1972 is the book that inspired me to write 100 Baggers. Phelps studied all the stocks that returned at least 100 to 1 from 1932 to 1971. You’ll learn where to look for 100 to 1 stocks and what key traits to focus on. Phelps writes in a folksy and quotable manner as he expounds on his philosophy of buying right and holding on. He writes, “When I was a boy a carpenter working for my father made this sage observation: ‘A lot of shavings don’t make a good workman.’” Let Phelps show you the power of patient, long-term investing.

100 to 1 in the Stock Market: A Distinguished Security Analyst Tells How to Make More of Your Investment Opportunities

By Thomas William Phelps,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 100 to 1 in the Stock Market as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 100 to 1 in the Stock Market, Thomas Phelps discloses the secrets and strategies to increasing your wealth one hundredfold through buy-and-hold investing. Unlike the short-term trading trends that are popular today, Phelps's highly logical, yet radical approach focuses on identifying compounding machines in public markets, buying their stocks, and holding these investments long term for at least ten years. In this indispensable guide, Phelps analyzes what made the big companies of his day so profitable for the diligent, long-term investor. You will learn how to identify and invest in profitable business models without visible growth ceilings that will…


The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success

By William N. Thorndike Jr.,

Book cover of The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success

Why this book?

Jack Welch of GE fame was long thought to be a great CEO. GE’s stock compounded at a rate of 20.9% annually under his watch. If you invested $1 when he took the reins, that dollar would’ve been worth $48 when Immelt succeeded him 20 years later. Welch beat the S&P index 3.3x, a great record. Thorndike studies eight CEOs that collectively beat the S&P by over 20x. How did they do it? Thorndike clearly shows how these elite CEOs used a distinctive toolkit to create massive gains. A must-have guide for investors looking for big winners.

The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success

By William N. Thorndike Jr.,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Outsiders as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"An outstanding book about CEOs who excelled at capital allocation." -- Warren Buffett #1 on Warren Buffett's Recommended Reading List, Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder Letter, 2012 Named one of "19 Books Billionaire Charlie Munger Thinks You Should Read" in Business Insider. "A book that details the extraordinary success of CEOs who took a radically different approach to corporate management." -- Charlie Munger, Vice-Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Corporation "Thorndike explores the importance of thoughtful capital allocation through the stories of eight successful CEOs. A good read for any business leader but especially those willing to chart their own course." -- Michael…


Intelligent Fanatics Project: How Great Leaders Build Sustainable Businesses

By Sean Iddings, Ian Cassel,

Book cover of Intelligent Fanatics Project: How Great Leaders Build Sustainable Businesses

Why this book?

A companion to The Outsiders, Iddings and Cassel highlight eight more fantastic business builders, including Herb Kelleher at Southwest, Sol Price at Price Club, and Les Schwab at Les Schab Tire Centers. You see what strategies led to their great success and how you can look for similar business models and leaders in today’s markets.

Intelligent Fanatics Project: How Great Leaders Build Sustainable Businesses

By Sean Iddings, Ian Cassel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Intelligent Fanatics Project as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How does a great company sustain and grow profits for decades? Many people are familiar with Warren Buffett’s analogy of a moat: various defenses to thwart competition. But moats are fleeting; they are here today and gone tomorrow. The more important question is, who builds and maintains moat? Intelligent fanatics do. These leaders build high-performance organizations that can dominate for decades. Intelligent Fanatics Project looks at the stories of eight intelligent fanatics who built dominant and enduring businesses. A $1,000 investment with each of these intelligent fanatics would, on average, have been worth $3.4 million thirty-seven years later—a 24.6% compounded…


Quality Investing: Owning the Best Companies for the Long Term

By Lawrence A. Cunningham, Torkell T. Eide, Patrick Hargreaves

Book cover of Quality Investing: Owning the Best Companies for the Long Term

Why this book?

If you want to own stocks for a long time to go after those 100 baggers, you’ll need to own quality assets that you don’t need to trade frequently. This book will give you an important framework for how to evaluate business quality. There are good discussions here on competitive advantages, pricing power, industry structure, and brand strength, among other things. The book has plenty of examples and is not long or hard to read.

Quality Investing: Owning the Best Companies for the Long Term

By Lawrence A. Cunningham, Torkell T. Eide, Patrick Hargreaves

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Quality Investing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Quality. We all make judgments about it every day. Yet articulating a clear definition of quality in an investing context is challenging. This book addresses the challenge, and distills years of practical investing experience into a definitive account of this under-explored investment philosophy. Finance theory has it that abnormal outcomes do not persist, that exceptional performance will soon enough become average performance. Quality investing involves seeking companies with the right attributes to overcome these forces of mean reversion and, crucially, owning these outstanding companies for the long term. This book pinpoints and explains the characteristics that increase the probability of…


Investing for Growth: How to Make Money by Only Buying the Best Companies in the World - An Anthology of Investment Writing, 2010-20

By Terry Smith,

Book cover of Investing for Growth: How to Make Money by Only Buying the Best Companies in the World - An Anthology of Investment Writing, 2010-20

Why this book?

This book is really a collection of previously published material -- shareholder letter, op-eds, etc. -- by Terry Smith who founded Fundsmith, a firm with an exceptional long-term track record. The book covers a lot of ideas, but it sets you in the right frame of mind for investing successfully. Smith also provides ample warning about what not to do (i.e., market timing).

Investing for Growth: How to Make Money by Only Buying the Best Companies in the World - An Anthology of Investment Writing, 2010-20

By Terry Smith,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Investing for Growth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Buy good companies. Don't overpay. Do nothing.

Some people love to make successful investing seem more complicated than it really is. In this anthology of essays and letters written between 2010-20, leading fund manager Terry Smith delights in debunking the many myths of investing - and making the case for simply buying the best companies in the world.

These are businesses that generate serious amounts of cash and know what to do with it. The result is a powerful compounding of returns that is almost impossible to beat. Even better, they aren't going anywhere. Most have survived the Great Depression…


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