The best books for first-time investors in the stock market

Mark Varder Author Of It's Not about How Smart You Can Be. It's about How Wealthy You Can Be.: Make the Most of the Market
By Mark Varder

Who am I?

Investing in the share market appears to be a bewildering, constantly shifting, extremely noisy, and busy world – one best left to the experts. Fortunes can be made but, equally, fortunes can be lost – with devastating results for those on the receiving end. And yet there are a few, simple, timeless principles to investing in the market successfully – and, ironically, those principles – known collectively as index or passive investing – will be more successful than all the noisy, busy stuff put out by the industry. In writing our book, this is what we would like as many people as possible to know. It’s not about being smart.  


I wrote...

It's Not about How Smart You Can Be. It's about How Wealthy You Can Be.: Make the Most of the Market

By Mark Varder,

Book cover of It's Not about How Smart You Can Be. It's about How Wealthy You Can Be.: Make the Most of the Market

What is my book about?

This visually entertaining, one-hour read will convince you that low-cost, buy-and-hold index investing is not only the easiest way to participate in the stock market but also the way to make the most of it. 

The books I picked & why

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The Elements of Investing: Easy Lessons for Every Investor

By Burton G. Malkiel, Charles D. Ellis,

Book cover of The Elements of Investing: Easy Lessons for Every Investor

Why this book?

This is a slim, to-the-point, easily understood book based on the same principles as the well-known book on writing, The Elements of Style. With its five chapters, it is the opposite of the highly complex, bewildering, we-know-more-than-you communication put out on a daily basis by the investment industry. Its wisdom is timeless. It’s all that a first-time investor needs to know.


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

By John C. Bogle,

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

Why this book?

John Bogle is the man who invented index investing. He understood that a low-cost investment in the index representing the top 40, 100, or 500 companies listed on a stock market would outperform stock picking, timing the market, broker recommendations, and fund manager picks – which all come with their attendant costs. 


The Power of Passive Investing: More Wealth with Less Work

By Richard A. Ferri,

Book cover of The Power of Passive Investing: More Wealth with Less Work

Why this book?

A book that espouses the same principles as John Bogle – namely that ‘low-cost, passively managed index funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs) will outperform the active management’ of speculators, brokers, and fund managers with their higher costs. And, as the sub-title says, these principles require less work. Passive investing also requires less anxiety and less expertise. What’s not to love?


Winning the Loser's Game: Timeless Strategies for Successful Investing

By Charles Ellis,

Book cover of Winning the Loser's Game: Timeless Strategies for Successful Investing

Why this book?

This book is a classic. It starts with the observation that only a handful of tennis players in the world have the talent and expertise to play to win. For everyone else, tennis is a loser’s game – they simply don’t have the talent to play an attacking game. Instead, they must avoid losing. The same applies to investing. Only a few truly gifted and experienced investors can play to win at investing – picking stocks, timing the market, etc. Everyone else, including the majority of advisors, fund managers, and stockbrokers should be defensive – they should invest to avoid losing at this game.


Whatever Happened to Thrift? Why Americans Don't Save and What to Do about It

By Ronald T. Wilcox,

Book cover of Whatever Happened to Thrift? Why Americans Don't Save and What to Do about It

Why this book?

We all know we should save – and yet we don’t. Even the people living in the world’s richest nation – the USA – don’t save enough. Why? Plenty of research, plenty of anecdotes, and then some solid insights and recommendations by Ronal Wilcox make this book useful for individuals, employees, employers, and policymakers.  


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in personal finance, stock market, and speculation?

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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