The best investment books you might want to read

Andrew Tobias Author Of The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need
By Andrew Tobias

Who am I?

My dad gave me $5 when I turned five, $6 when I turned six... and, well, the rest is history. (Of the most minor sort.) I was treasurer of my high school class each year; treasurer of the Democratic Party for 18; and lucked into launching the first widely used personal finance software at more or less the dawn of personal computers. Money. What can I tell you? I like the stuff.

I wrote...

Book cover of The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need

What is my book about?

“Lives up to its brash title.”Los Angeles Times 

“This is the only investment book I have read that truly made sense.”  — Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Why did I love this book?

I got to write a Foreword to this one (albeit not the original 1841 edition), explaining why it has remained continuously in print. Technology races along, but human nature doesn’t change. To get some invaluable perspective on the irrationality of speculative behavior without having to lose a fortune yourself, read the first 100 pages or so.

By Charles Mackay,,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds is a history of popular folly by Charles Mackay. The book chronicles its targets in three parts: "National Delusions," "Peculiar Follies," and "Philosophical Delusions." Learn why intelligent people do amazingly stupid things when caught up in speculative edevorse. The subjects of Mackay's debunking include alchemy, beards (influence of politics and religion on), witch-hunts, crusades and duels. Present day writers on economics, such as Andrew Tobias, laud the three chapters on economic bubbles.

Book cover of A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing

Why did I love this book?

This is the classic book that tells us we can’t beat the market, and explains why. That hasn’t stopped me from trying, of course (did I mention “human nature” up above?).  Even Malkiel hedged somewhat—look at Warren Buffett, look at a handful of other famed investors who’ve consistently beaten the market—describing himself as “a random walker with a crutch.” I.e., the market is largely efficient, just not entirely so.  

By Burton G. Malkiel,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked A Random Walk Down Wall Street as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Today's stock market is not for the faint hearted. At a time of frightening volatility, the answer is to turn to Burton G. Malkiel's advice in his reassuring, authoritative, gimmick-free and perennially best-selling guide to investing. Long established as the first book to purchase before starting a portfolio, A Random Walk Down Wall Street now features new material on "tax-loss harvesting"; the current bitcoin bubble and automated investment advisers; as well as a brand-new chapter on factor investing and risk parity. And as always, Malkiel's core insights-on stocks and bonds, as well as investment trusts, home ownership and tangible assets…

Book cover of The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life

Why did I love this book?

This is my favorite of the many Buffett biographies. I first heard his name when Fortune paid me $1,500 to write a “book review” of his then 15 or so annual reports, which even back in the early 1980s had become must-reading for those in the know. Had I invested that $1,500 fee in 5 shares of Berkshire Hathaway stock—sadly, I did not—I’d have had an extra $2 million today. But at least I’ve gotten to have lunch with him over the years. This biography might be the next best thing.  

By Alice Schroeder,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Snowball as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The personally revealing and complete biography of the man known everywhere as “The Oracle of Omaha”—for fans of the HBO documentary Becoming Warren Buffett

Here is the book recounting the life and times of one of the most respected men in the world, Warren Buffett. The legendary Omaha investor has never written a memoir, but now he has allowed one writer, Alice Schroeder, unprecedented access to explore directly with him and with those closest to him his work, opinions, struggles, triumphs, follies, and wisdom.

Although the media track him constantly, Buffett himself has never told his full life story. His…

The Money Game

By Adam Smith,

Book cover of The Money Game

Why did I love this book?

No one wrote about money better than Jerry Goodman (under the pseudonym Adam Smith), whom you know from PBS’s long-running weekly Adam Smith’s Money World. When I read The Money Game, the crazy Go-Go years of the late 1960s were just ending. Now, with Jerry having gone on to that great Securities Repository in the Sky, his book would be a fun way for you to absorb that whole era in just a few hours.

By Adam Smith,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“The best book there is about the stock market”—timeless investing basics by the host of the Emmy Award–winning show Adam Smith’s Money World (The New York Times Book Review).

This essential book takes readers to the Street to learn about the intricacies of money and how the stock market impacts every area of our lives. According to the author, the key to making wise, lucrative investments is knowing ourselves. In witty, easily accessible language, he shares pithy insights about the role of intuition and the psychology of guilt, arguing that there is no substitute for information. Smith’s Irregular Rules shatter…

Book cover of Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike

Why did I love this book?

I’m not a runner, but I like to listen to books as I “power walk.” (The faster you walk, apparently, the longer you live.) This was a GREAT listen. Because at the end of the day, the really exciting investing isn’t betting on which stock may go up or down but funding an actual start-up to try to build something great. Few succeed – and few tell a more exciting story than Knight.

By Phil Knight,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Shoe Dog as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A refreshingly honest reminder of what the path to business success really looks like ... It's an amazing tale' Bill Gates

'The best book I read last year was Shoe Dog, by Nike's Phil Knight. Phil is a very wise, intelligent and competitive fellow who is also a gifted storyteller' Warren Buffett

In 1962, fresh out of business school, Phil Knight borrowed $50 from his father and created a company with a simple mission: import high-quality, low-cost athletic shoes from Japan. Selling the shoes from the boot of his Plymouth, Knight grossed $8000 in his first year. Today, Nike's annual…

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