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...

The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need

By Andrew Tobias,

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

The books I picked & why

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Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

By Charles Mackay,,

Book cover of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Why 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.


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

By Burton G. Malkiel,

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

Why 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.  


The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life

By Alice Schroeder,

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

Why 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.  


The Money Game

By Adam Smith,

Book cover of The Money Game

Why 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.


Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike

By Phil Knight,

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

Why 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.


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