The most recommended books on investment banking

Who picked these books? Meet our 19 experts.

19 authors created a book list connected to investment banking, and here are their favorite investment banking books.
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Book cover of The Darlings

Jillian Medoff Author Of When We Were Bright and Beautiful

From my list on very rich families with very dark secrets.

Why am I passionate about this?

According to Entertainment Weekly, I’m a “bestselling author who has made a name for [myself] with uncannily insightful takes on the dark side of family institutions.” But really, I’m just a novelist who has always been fascinated by the myriad ways we play out our unresolved issues from childhood, again and again, over the course of our lives. Although my books are very different from each other, they all focus on the interrelationships among family members (traditional families, work families, etc.). In my most recent novel, When We Were Bright and Beautiful, I look at how wealth, privilege, and power can corrupt even the most loving relationships.

Jillian's book list on very rich families with very dark secrets

Jillian Medoff Why did Jillian love this book?

From the first scene of The Darlings, Christina Alger plunges you into the lives of the fabulously wealthy. The daughter of a Wall Street financier, Alger grew up in this world, and her experience and insight make the book sing. The Darlings is fast-paced and compulsively readable, and the characters are well-drawn and authentic. This novel includes everything I love: financial crimes, shocking scandals, lots of details, and terrific storytelling. 

By Cristina Alger,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Cristina Alger's debut novel offers a fresh and modern glimpse into New York's high society. I was hooked from page one' Lauren Weisberger, author of The Devil Wears Prada

From the author of The Banker's Wife and Girls Like Us comes an explosive drama about family, greed and high society scandal.

The Darlings of New York are untouchable. But no one is safe from a scandal this big.

When Carter Darling's business partner commits suicide, it triggers a huge financial investigation.

The allegations are serious. The danger of it exposing their private lives is equally threatening.

In times of crisis,…


Book cover of Girl, Woman, Other

Alice Neikirk Author Of The Elephant Has Two Sets of Teeth: Bhutanese Refugees and Humanitarian Governance

From my list on cross-cultural interactions.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a small, rural community that is perhaps best defined by cold, grey, rainy days – perfect reading weather. I developed an interest in learning about different places and cultures through books. Then I started traveling and my interest turned into a passion, that transformed my educational journey. I completed a Masters and PhD in Anthropology and did my field research for my degree in Australia and Nepal. I still love to learn about new cultures, though the children have meant less traveling and more adventuring via books!

Alice's book list on cross-cultural interactions

Alice Neikirk Why did Alice love this book?

Girl, Woman, Other was the book I recommended to all my friends and family this year in our Christmas newsletter (yes, we are one of those families).

It follows twelve characters across two generations in the United Kingdom. Massive cultural shifts occur, socio-economic status changes, and children grow up.

At first glance, this might not appear to be a book about cross-cultural interactions but the relationship between the mother and daughter at the centre of the story highlight the monumental shifts that can occur in a lifetime.

By Bernardine Evaristo,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Girl, Woman, Other as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE

“A must-read about modern Britain and womanhood . . . An impressive, fierce novel about the lives of black British families, their struggles, pains, laughter, longings and loves . . . Her style is passionate, razor-sharp, brimming with energy and humor. There is never a single moment of dullness in this book and the pace does not allow you to turn away from its momentum.” —Booker Prize Judges

Bernardine Evaristo is the winner of the 2019 Booker Prize and the first black woman to receive this highest literary honor in the English language.…


Book cover of Taking the Floor: Models, Morals, and Management in a Wall Street Trading Room

Donald Angus MacKenzie Author Of Trading at the Speed of Light: How Ultrafast Algorithms Are Transforming Financial Markets

From my list on financial trading and the global financial system.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a sociologist at the University of Edinburgh, and for almost fifty years I’ve researched a large variety of topics, from the story of the guidance systems of nuclear missiles to the instantaneous auctions that, today, determine the ads you are shown online. But I keep returning to the topic of trading and the global financial system. The processes that lie behind this shape our lives in profound ways, but they are often both complicated and opaque. We need reliable guides for them, and the authors and books that I am recommending are among the very best guides!

Donald's book list on financial trading and the global financial system

Donald Angus MacKenzie Why did Donald love this book?

Taking the Floor is the story of a 20-year intellectual odyssey, by Daniel Beunza, one of the world’s most insightful analysts of the financial system. He delves in-depth into the organization of a Wall Street trading room, beginning with him negotiating access to it when he was working on his PhD. He also reveals how later conversations with key people in the trading room made him rethink many of his first impressions, showing him that what he took to be a typical form of organization was actually very deliberately designed to be unusual. 

I particularly admire Beunza’s nuanced take (co-developed with the sociologist David Stark) on how traders use mathematical models. Traders are far from the naïve users of models that they are often portrayed as being, and instead often use models in a sophisticated way, not as guides to the truth of markets but as insights into what their…

By Daniel Beunza,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Taking the Floor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An inside look at a Wall Street trading room and what this reveals about today's financial system

Debates about financial reform have led to the recognition that a healthy financial system doesn't depend solely on how it is structured-organizational culture matters as well. Based on extensive research in a Wall Street derivatives-trading room, Taking the Floor considers how the culture of financial organizations might change in order for them to remain healthy, even in times of crises. In particular, Daniel Beunza explores how the extensive use of financial models and trading technologies over the recent decades has exerted a far-ranging…


Book cover of King Perry

A.J. Rose Author Of Power Exchange

From my list on LGBTQ+ romances because we all deserve to love.

Why am I passionate about this?

As part of the LGBTQ+ rainbow, I know firsthand what it is to be othered, and I grew up desperately wanting to read about and watch characters like me in books and movies. Now that I’ve found a genre of books that celebrates LGBTQ+ lives, I can’t help but want to read and write the stories I’ve always wanted to see and experience in the world of fiction and romance. Everyone deserves love, and I want to share that love with as many people as I can.

A.J.'s book list on LGBTQ+ romances because we all deserve to love

A.J. Rose Why did A.J. love this book?

This book is an unconventional romance, but it is a sweeping one, with language that made me swoon and a love story that gave me reason to hope again. The main character, Vin, was a mystery I needed to solve. King Perry is the first in a book series that has opened my heart in ways I didn’t even know my heart needed opening. It’s a beautiful book (and series) that has the potential to change the way you look at life. Yes, it’s that good. 

By Edmond Manning,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In a trendy San Francisco art gallery, out-of-towner Vin Vanbly witnesses an act of compassion that compels him to make investment banker Perry Mangin a mysterious offer: in exchange for a weekend of complete submission, Vin will restore Perry’s “kingship” and transform him into the man he was always meant to be.

Despite intense reservations, Perry agrees, setting in motion a chain of events that will test the limits of his body, seduce his senses, and fray his every nerve, (perhaps occasionally breaking the law) while Vin guides him toward his destiny as 'the one true king.'

Even as Perry…


Book cover of Liar's Poker

Paddy Hirsch Author Of The Devil's Half Mile

From my list on glimpse into the dark heart of the financial markets (without being bored to tears).

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a career financial and business journalist, only recently turned novelist. I’m obsessed with the way that history repeats itself in the financial markets and that we never seem to learn our lessons. Fear and greed have always driven the behavior of bankers, traders, and investors; and they still do today, only barely inhibited by our regulatory system. I want to help people understand how markets work, and I like combining fiction with fact to explain these systems and how they’re abused. With that in mind, I work during the day as a reporter at NPR and by night as a scribbler of historical fiction with a financial twist.

Paddy's book list on glimpse into the dark heart of the financial markets (without being bored to tears)

Paddy Hirsch Why did Paddy love this book?

I love this book because it reads like a fictional tale about the modern financial markets, and yet it’s all absolutely true!

I am still staggered by some of the stories that Lewis tells about the real-life characters who worked on Wall Street back in the 1980s. And I’m in awe of the colorful way he describes and explains the way the bond markets work—no easy task.

Not only did he bring the go-go days of the 80s to life for me, but he also gave me a solid grounding in the machinations of the financial markets, helping me in both my writing and journalism careers.

By Michael Lewis,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Liar's Poker as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Michael Lewis was fresh out of Princeton and the London School of Economics when he landed a job at Salomon Brothers, one of Wall Street's premier investment firms. During the next three years, Lewis rose from callow trainee to bond salesman, raking in millions for the firm and cashing in on a modern-day gold rush. Liar's Poker is the culmination of those heady, frenzied years-a behind-the-scenes look at a unique and turbulent time in American business. From the frat-boy camaraderie of the forty-first-floor trading room to the killer instinct that made ambitious young men gamble everything on a high-stakes game…


Book cover of Investment Banking: Valuation, LBOs, M&A, and IPOs

Michael Samonas Author Of Financial Forecasting, Analysis and Modelling: A Framework for Long-Term Forecasting

From my list on financial modelling and valuation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I come from an engineering background and early in my career I discover financial modelling as I had to assess the viability of business plans. I deal with financial models the last 20 years of my professional carrier as a Group Financial Officer of SIDMA STEEL SA. Moreover, I am teaching financial modelling in the American College of Greece, Deree, at University of Nicosia in collaboration with Globaltraing and many other places abroad. I am a numbers person, and I am fascinated by financial modelling as it provides you a tool to support effective decision-making. 

Michael's book list on financial modelling and valuation

Michael Samonas Why did Michael love this book?

This book is one of the best I have seen on the topic of Investment Banking.

It is a very good primer. I would recommend it to everyone wanting to break into the industry. It is highly accessible, easy to understand and overall, an engaging presentation of the topic.

It is one of the books I consulted to write the valuation chapter of my book.

By Joshua Rosenbaum, Joshua Pearl,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A timely update to the global bestselling book on investment banking and valuation - this new edition reflects valuable contributions from Nasdaq and the global law firm Latham & Watkins LLP plus access to the online valuation models and course.

In the constantly evolving world of finance, a solid technical foundation is an essential tool for success. Due to the fast-paced nature of this world, however, no one was able to take the time to properly codify its lifeblood--namely, valuation and dealmaking. Rosenbaum and Pearl originally responded to this need in 2009 by writing the first edition of the book…


Book cover of Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street

Donald Angus MacKenzie Author Of Trading at the Speed of Light: How Ultrafast Algorithms Are Transforming Financial Markets

From my list on financial trading and the global financial system.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a sociologist at the University of Edinburgh, and for almost fifty years I’ve researched a large variety of topics, from the story of the guidance systems of nuclear missiles to the instantaneous auctions that, today, determine the ads you are shown online. But I keep returning to the topic of trading and the global financial system. The processes that lie behind this shape our lives in profound ways, but they are often both complicated and opaque. We need reliable guides for them, and the authors and books that I am recommending are among the very best guides!

Donald's book list on financial trading and the global financial system

Donald Angus MacKenzie Why did Donald love this book?

From the 1980s onwards, one of the best ways to get rich has been to land a job as an investment banker or other highly paid financial professional. You might have thought that this required an economics degree and advanced mathematics, but one of my students discovered that what a leading investment-management firm most liked about her was that she was a near-professional-level cellist! That’s an example of what the famous sociologist Pierre Bourdieu calls ‘cultural capital’: skills, tastes, and so on that are highly regarded (even if not directly relevant to the job at hand).

Karen Ho landed a job at an investment bank but seized on it as an opportunity to gain insights into what it took to become successful at the pinnacle of the global financial system. She has also researched in-depth the processes by which students at elite Ivy League universities such as Princeton and Harvard…

By Karen Ho,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Financial collapses-whether of the junk bond market, the Internet bubble, or the highly leveraged housing market-are often explained as the inevitable result of market cycles: What goes up must come down. In Liquidated, Karen Ho punctures the aura of the abstract, all-powerful market to show how financial markets, and particularly booms and busts, are constructed. Through an in-depth investigation into the everyday experiences and ideologies of Wall Street investment bankers, Ho describes how a financially dominant but highly unstable market system is understood, justified, and produced through the restructuring of corporations and the larger economy.

Ho, who worked at an…


Book cover of What Should I Do with My Life?: The True Story of People Who Answered the Ultimate Question

Veronica Kirin

From my list on incredible real life stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an anthropologist and former owner of a tech company. I saw firsthand how technology was changing society in the early twenty-teens, and knew that we were experiencing a compounding paradigm shift. I have a passion for telling stories and preserving the past for future generations — the stories that our grandchildren will ask about, just as we asked our grandparents about the great wars and depression.

Veronica's book list on incredible real life stories

Veronica Kirin Why did Veronica love this book?

I love it when authors want to tackle an enormous question that we have all asked at some point. Po Bronson traveled to meet people who are both unique and common, impressive and ordinary, and ultimately just like everyone else. They share how they’ve tackled the question for themselves. There is no formula, no one way, and that comes with a certain sense of freedom. 

My favorite story features a man who is working to revolutionize the income model of America’s Native Peoples to elevate both their stature and power (literally). He is working on a 50-year plan, which impressed me and was an apt reminder that sometimes the fruits of our labors come many years later.

By Po Bronson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What Should I Do with My Life? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Are you looking for the right path in 2021? This book tackles the question that most of us face at some point in our lives: 'what should I do with my life?', and provides illuminating answers.

Bronson's book is a fascinating account of finding and following the people who have taken the ultimate challenge of self-discovery by uprooting their lives and starting all over again. From the investment banker who gave it all up to become a catfish farmer in Mississippi, to the chemical engineer from Walthamstow who decided to become a lawyer in his sixties. These stories of individual…


Book cover of Golden Handcuffs

Chris Wind Author Of This is what happens

From my list on what it's like being female in a sexist society.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started keeping a journal when I was fifteen. Ten years later, I had the raw material for Fugue, a portrait of the artist as a young woman (I had read Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man) that ends in celebration, rather than suicide (I had also recently read Plath's The Belljar). It did not get published. Thirty years later, I had so little, far too little, to celebrate.  The portrait had become one of relentless frustration and persistent failure, despite my continued effort ... so much effort ... And so I wrote This is what happens, dedicating it to all the passionate, hard-working, competent women — it's not you. 

Chris' book list on what it's like being female in a sexist society

Chris Wind Why did Chris love this book?

Although this novel focuses on the world of investment banking, I list it here because it shows the difference between being a female working in finance and being a male working in finance; like This is what happens, it shows the impact of sexism on one woman's professional life, her dream, her ambition, her failure to achieve the former despite the latter.

I read it quite a while ago but was reminded of it while reading recently about the recent Martin/Nicole thing (wherein they switched email addresses, so Martin experienced what it was like to be Nicole for a couple of weeks) ("Folks, it sucked" was his summary).  

By Polly Courtney,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"A job at Cray McKinley is whatever you make of it. For the real high flyers, there's no limit to what you can achieve."

Abby is a high flyer. But she's not your average banker. Driven by something other than money and status, she has her own reasons for climbing the ladder.

And so does Mike. An ambitious young graduate with an equally impressive CV, Mike is in it for the six-figure salaries and fast cars. He's got the skills, the grades and the swagger to make it all the way to the top.

But neither Abby nor Mike is…


Book cover of The Accidental Investment Banker: Inside the Decade That Transformed Wall Street

Claire A. Hill Author Of Better Bankers, Better Banks: Promoting Good Business through Contractual Commitment

From my list on bankers, especially bankers behaving badly.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been interested—a vast understatement to anyone who knows me—in what makes people tick. I’ve focused on analyzing business actors – bankers, lawyers, investors, executives, shareholders, and others. What do they want? Some combination of money, power, or prestige? How does loving to win fit in? How about hating to lose? When is enough (money/power/prestige) enough? What do they think is ok to do to get what they want? What do they think is not ok? Amazingly, as a law professor, I can pursue that interest as part of my job, and – I think and hope – do so in a way that might help lawmakers, regulators, and policymakers do better.

Claire's book list on bankers, especially bankers behaving badly

Claire A. Hill Why did Claire love this book?

This book is a wry look at investment banking from the inside. The author, a banker and professor school professor, provides a rich and entertaining perspective on banks and bankers.  

The book captures an era when banks were changing dramatically, and, some might say, were getting less genteel. The author is really gifted at conjuring up and caricaturing some of banking’s pathologies.

I particularly loved the culminatory line in an account of junior analysts’ jobs in preparing “pitch books” – the analysts had to tout the bank’s “number one” status, and, scrambling to find something the bank was number one in, might fantasize about saying “We have 100% market share of all deals we did.”  

By Jonathan A. Knee,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Jonathan A. Knee had a ringside seat during the go-go, boom-and-bust decade and into the 21st century, at the two most prestigious investment banks on Wall Street-Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. In this candid and irreverent insider's account of an industry in free fall, Knee captures an exhilarating era of fabulous deal-making in a free-wheeling Internet economy-and the catastrophe that followed when the bubble burst. Populated with power players, back stabbers, celebrity bankers, and godzillionaires, here is a vivid account of the dramatic upheaval that took place in investment banking. Indeed, Knee entered an industry that was typified by the…