The best investment books

14 authors have picked their favorite books about investment and why they recommend each book.

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A Random Walk Down Wall Street

By Burton G. Malkiel,

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

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.  


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

Investing for Growth

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

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).


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.

How to Make Money in Stocks

By William O'Neil,

Book cover of How to Make Money in Stocks: A Winning System in Good Times and Bad

This is the book that started it all for me. O’Neil not only lays down what fundamentals to look for in growth stocks, he also shows readers when to buy and when to sell. The first 100 pages show charts with buy points in some of the biggest winners of all time. This is a book to be studied and studied over and over again.


Who am I?

The stock market has been a passion of mine for over 15 years. These books have helped me learn how to spot trends and manage my risk while trading in stocks and cryptocurrencies through bull and bear markets. 


I wrote...

Swing Into It: A Simple System For Trading Pullbacks to the 50-Day Moving Average

By T. Livingston,

Book cover of Swing Into It: A Simple System For Trading Pullbacks to the 50-Day Moving Average

What is my book about?

Packed with over thirty-five charts, Swing Into It: A Simple System For Trading Pullbacks to the 50-Day Moving Average, lays out an easy-to-follow yet effective strategy for successful swing trading. Detailing the technical indicators and money management strategies that have worked best for him, T. Livingston breaks down what every savvy trader needs to profit in today’s stock market. Topics discussed include how to analyze the general market, which stocks to trade, when to buy, position-sizing, profit targets, and selling rules.

Swing Into It provides a variety of different examples so that the reader will be prepared for various market scenarios. Detailed sample trades are included so that the reader can see how Livingston thinks throughout each phase of his trades. If you’re looking to get started in swing trading or seeking to refine your trading system, Swing Into It belongs in your library.

Dual Momentum Investing

By Gary Antonacci,

Book cover of Dual Momentum Investing: An Innovative Strategy for Higher Returns with Lower Risk

I first encountered Gary Antonacci’s strategy in his paper “Risk Premia Harvesting Through Dual Momentum,” in which he called momentum “the premier market anomaly.” He found that combining absolute and relative momentum delivered optimal results. In this book, he shows how to boost performance with monthly switching among three asset classes in the following decision tree: Did the S&P 500 beat US bonds over the past 12 months? If no, own US bonds. If yes, did the S&P 500 beat global stocks over the past 12 months? If no, own global stocks. If yes, own the S&P 500. Just three funds could power this system: SPY (S&P 500), AGG (US bonds), VEU (global stocks ex US).


Who am I?

I am the author of The Neatest Little Guide to Stock Market Investing and The 3% Signal, among other financial books, and editor of The Kelly Letter. Despite having been ranked by CXO Advisory as one of the best stock-market forecasters, I gave up the practice in favor of price reaction. I realized that nobody knows where stocks are headed, myself included, and set out to find ways to beat the market without forecasting—and succeeded. My readers and I are now much happier and wealthier.


I wrote...

The 3% Signal: The Investing Technique That Will Change Your Life

By Jason Kelly,

Book cover of The 3% Signal: The Investing Technique That Will Change Your Life

What is my book about?

More than half of all stock-market forecasts are wrong, according to a CXO Advisory study. Even when a forecaster claims victory, it’s usually a coin-toss coincidence. What to do? Ignore forecasts in favor of rational price reaction. Instead of guessing the future, make your moves based on price change in relation to a growth target.

By targeting three percent quarterly growth and adjusting allocations to meet that goal, you can level the financial playing field and ensure a secure retirement free from the stress of noisy advice that doesn’t work. The plan’s simple technique cuts through the folly of human emotion by automatically buying low and selling high.

Investing for Growth

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

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, Terry Smith makes the case for simply buying the best companies in the world. These are businesses that generate large amounts of cash and know what to do with it in the form of sound capital allocation. The result is a powerful compounding of returns for the long term.

This book serves as a good reiteration of the thinking and principles underpinning Smith’s investing approach, including his three-step investment mantra: “Buy good companies. Don’t overpay. Do nothing.” It also highlights the nuances of the process, including why Smith favors return on capital employed (ROCE) and free cash flow (FCF) yield as metrics for assessing companies and why Smith is less enamored of measures such as earnings per share (EPS).


Who am I?

I am the Founder of Stellar Wealth Partners, a SEBI-registered Research Analyst firm and small case manager for investors in the Indian stock market. I am the author of the international best-seller on value investing, The Joys of Compounding. Once a strong foundation is created for a business, owners don’t work for money. Rather, money works for them. As an investor, your money is working for you 24/7. You are becoming wealthier with each passing second, alongside the increasing intrinsic value of your businesses. An investor builds earnings power through a business ownership mindset. 


I wrote...

The Joys of Compounding: The Passionate Pursuit of Lifelong Learning

By Gautam Baid,

Book cover of The Joys of Compounding: The Passionate Pursuit of Lifelong Learning

What is my book about?

Value investing is not just a system for success in the market. It's also an intellectual toolkit for achieving a deeper understanding of the world. In The Joys of Compounding, Gautam Baid builds a holistic approach to value investing and philosophy from his wide-ranging reading, combining practical approaches, self-cultivation, and business wisdom. Baid integrates the strategies and wisdom of preeminent figures whose teachings have stood the test of time. Drawing on the work of investing greats like Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, and Ben Graham, as well as philosophers and scholars, he artfully interweaves the lessons learned from his many teachers. Baid demonstrates their practical applications in the areas of business, investing, and decision making and also shows that these ideas can be applied to one’s own life with just as much reward.

You Can Be a Stock Market Genius

By Joel Greenblatt,

Book cover of You Can Be a Stock Market Genius: Uncover the Secret Hiding Places of Stock Market Profits

The book outlines an array of “special situations” that may offer very profitable opportunities, i.e. bankruptcies, restructurings, merger securities, and spinoffs, among others. Greenblatt underscores the importance of a set of basic ‘rules’ when delving into the universe of special situations: do your own work, don’t trust anyone, pick your spot and assess the downside, not the upside. The basic premise of the book is that it pays off to search for areas where there is a high probability of finding undervalued equities. You can make a lot of money sticking to the tried-and-true method of investing in and holding good companies for many years. However, if you are a more experienced investor looking for other areas to invest part of your portfolio in, this book will give you several new places to explore.


Who am I?

I am the Founder of Stellar Wealth Partners, a SEBI-registered Research Analyst firm and small case manager for investors in the Indian stock market. I am the author of the international best-seller on value investing, The Joys of Compounding. Once a strong foundation is created for a business, owners don’t work for money. Rather, money works for them. As an investor, your money is working for you 24/7. You are becoming wealthier with each passing second, alongside the increasing intrinsic value of your businesses. An investor builds earnings power through a business ownership mindset. 


I wrote...

The Joys of Compounding: The Passionate Pursuit of Lifelong Learning

By Gautam Baid,

Book cover of The Joys of Compounding: The Passionate Pursuit of Lifelong Learning

What is my book about?

Value investing is not just a system for success in the market. It's also an intellectual toolkit for achieving a deeper understanding of the world. In The Joys of Compounding, Gautam Baid builds a holistic approach to value investing and philosophy from his wide-ranging reading, combining practical approaches, self-cultivation, and business wisdom. Baid integrates the strategies and wisdom of preeminent figures whose teachings have stood the test of time. Drawing on the work of investing greats like Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, and Ben Graham, as well as philosophers and scholars, he artfully interweaves the lessons learned from his many teachers. Baid demonstrates their practical applications in the areas of business, investing, and decision making and also shows that these ideas can be applied to one’s own life with just as much reward.

Buffettology

By Mary Buffett, David Clark,

Book cover of Buffettology

Buffett is probably not thrilled with this book, written by his ex-daughter-in-law, but I think it provides the best insight into his investment process. Mary Buffett was married to Buffett’s son Peter, and David Clark is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) that skillfully explains some of the more technical aspects of investing. For example, the book discussed how Buffett values a stock. He primarily considers companies with a “moat” so he has confidence in forecasting their cash flows. He then projects these cash flows out at least ten years and discounts them back to the present to estimate their value. He will only buy at a significant discount to this estimated or “intrinsic” value.


Who am I?

I’m an investor from three perspectives or dimensions. First, I manage money for individuals and institutions as Chief Investment Officer of Beacon Trust, a $4 billion registered investment advisor based in NY/NJ. Second, I teach MBA classes in investing at Rutgers Business School, Columbia Business School, London Business School, and Hong Kong University (HKU) Business School. Third, I write articles and books on investing, including The Art of Investing: Lesson’s from History’s Greatest Traders and Buffett’s Tips: A Guide to Financial Literacy and Life. I’ve personally met Warren Buffett on four separate occasions and think he is an excellent role model from both investing and personal perspectives.  


I wrote...

Buffett's Tips: A Guide to Financial Literacy and Life

By John M. Longo, Tyler J. Longo,

Book cover of Buffett's Tips: A Guide to Financial Literacy and Life

What is my book about?

Finance is a language like any other: the more fluently you speak it, the further you travel. If you want to improve your financial literacy, what better teacher could you have than Warren Buffett? Often described as the greatest investor of all time, Warren Buffett started his investment firm with $100 in the 1950s and went on to become the centibillionaire we know today. Along the way he’s reaped huge profits for fellow investors in Berkshire Hathaway and remains one of the most sought-after and closely watched figures in the business world.

In Buffett’s Tips, award-winning professor and professional investor, John M. Longo, working with his son, demonstrates just how by translating decades of Buffett’s writings and media appearances into a 100 straightforward tips and strategies for enhanced financial literacy and independence.

The Alchemy of Finance

By George Soros,

Book cover of The Alchemy of Finance

I’d known – from some of my early Wall Street Journal work – that Soros was a philosophy student in London before he embarked on the Wall Street pursuits that made him a billionaire. This operates on a higher mental plane than 99% of what’s written about Wall Street. It’s packed with philosophical riffs that are not easy to crack. And yet, it’s a sincere effort by Soros to explain his vast, enduring hedge-fund success. You have to be in the right mood to accept his challenge. If so, I found it made for an excellent series of evening quests as I worked through the text, slowly turning bewilderment into insights.


Who am I?

My first job after college was at The Wall Street Journal, working evenings as a copyreader. It was thrilling to enter a big-league newsroom, but torture to be confined to putting tiny headlines on even tinier stories. Then at age 23, after a whirlwind staff shuffle, I started writing the paper’s premier stock-market column, “Heard on the Street.” Daylight had arrived. For the next 11 years, I covered finance. I met billionaires and people en route to prison. It wasn’t always easy to tell them apart! My writing career has widened since then but sizing up markets – and the people who rule them – remains an endless fascination. 


I wrote...

Merchants of Debt: KKR and the Mortgaging of American Business

By George Anders,

Book cover of Merchants of Debt: KKR and the Mortgaging of American Business

What is my book about?

What’s the key to making it big on Wall Street? Yes, being really smart, really well-connected, or incredibly driven does help – but it’s not the only path. Instead, subtler factors let a few people climb faster and higher than all the rest. This book, Merchants of Debt, delivers the ultimate how-they-did-it biography of KKR and its founders. It captures the allure and the alarm of the whole private equity movement, as seen in the rise of legendary takeover financiers George Robert and Henry Kravis. You’ll enjoy the drama, and you’ll learn a new set of skills (“How to talk to banks,” etc.) that can transform your own career.

Where Are the Customers' Yachts? Or a Good Hard Look at Wall Street

By Fred Schwed,

Book cover of Where Are the Customers' Yachts? Or a Good Hard Look at Wall Street

This book is over 60 years old but so relevant today! The headline involves a brokerage firm customer looking at all the yachts owned by stockbrokers, hence the question in the title. A well-known writer friend of mine put it another way: “The broker made money, his investment firm made money, and two out of three ain’t bad.” I love this book that zeroes in on the conflict brokers have between their own interests and the interests of their clients.


Who am I?

I’ve been a professional investment advisor for over 50 years and it took me that long to figure out the best way for individuals to retire with a decent size multi-million dollar fortune. The books I recommend speak to this topic from some fascinating and different points of view. But why did it take so long? I don’t know. I suppose the obvious answers aren’t so obvious at first, especially in a business as complex as the securities industry. But I think I finally figured it out and the solution is so elegantly simple. My professional life’s work!


I wrote...

The Pure Equity Plus Plan: Your Path to a Multi-Million Dollar Retirement

By Peter J. Tanous,

Book cover of The Pure Equity Plus Plan: Your Path to a Multi-Million Dollar Retirement

What is my book about?

After working on Wall Street and in the stock market for over 50 years, I finally found the closest thing to a surefire, history-tested way to retire with a fortune in the stock market. And the formula I explain in the book is blessedly simple! I’m not the only one. Warren Buffett has been advocating a similar approach for even more than 50 years, but is anybody listening? Now is the time!

Rich Dad Poor Dad

By Robert T. Kiyosaki,

Book cover of Rich Dad Poor Dad

A friend recommended this book to me. At the time I was looking to expand my thinking about business and also started delving into the world of financial education.

Rich Dad Poor Dad aims to help the reader to consider their thoughts and actions and the path which they are on and offers an alternative to what the "herd" is doing, with a move towards very strategic activities when it comes to lifestyle, money and how you think about and use it. Reading this book led me to discover Kiyosaki’s Cashflow Quadrant.

The idea is to move beyond the left side of the quadrant which includes being an Employee (E), or Self-employed (S) across to the right side of the quadrant, towards being a Business Owner (B) and Investor, (I) for greater freedom and control over life through more focus on activities which can be game changers!


Who am I?

I’m the founder of Purposeful Group, an author, and a multi-award-winning entrepreneur who has started multiple businesses from scratch. I believe that when you have the right mindset, positive things will flow from this. As the designer of programmes for entrepreneurs and digital learners, I have recommended books that I hope will give readers a great foundation to build on to achieve their entrepreneurial goals. From a personal perspective, they have kept me on track, and helped me build a framework of “success behaviours.”


I wrote...

Don't Hire a Software Developer Until You Read this Book

By K.N. Kukoyi,

Book cover of Don't Hire a Software Developer Until You Read this Book

What is my book about?

Do you have an idea for a web or mobile app? If you do, but you’re unsure how to transform your business idea into a technical product, then this practical “software survival guide” is for you!

This is the second of 5 books I have published for entrepreneurs, designed to show you how to build your software application smartly! As a qualified tech professional and software delivery specialist, I mentor tech startups and entrepreneurs from around the world, explaining how to get digital businesses off the ground step by step. Understanding the do’s and don’ts involved in getting started helps founders to avoid the common mistakes and pitfalls experienced by aspiring tech entrepreneurs. Having led and worked in teams creating multi-million-pound digital products from scratch, I share insider knowledge about how to create a quality digital product quickly, efficiently, and economically.

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