If Americans as a whole were required to take a series of basic investment knowledge tests, it’s likely that we’d fail miserably.
It’s easy to see why. After all, schools certainly don’t require students to know the intricacies of cryptocurrency or forex, or even know the difference between a stock or a bond. In addition, many parents don’t (or can’t) pass on investment advice to their children.
So, it’s up to you to learn what you haven’t been taught. Hit the library, surf the web, and pick up one of the 14 books Benzinga recommends for investment success.
- Best investing books of all time
- 1. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
- 2. A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel
- 3. Irrational Exuberance by Robert J. Shiller
- 4. One Up On Wall Street by Peter Lynch
- 5. The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John Bogle
- 6. Security Analysis by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd
- 7. The Essays of Warren Buffett by Warren Buffett and Lawrence Cunningham
- Best Investing Books Of 2017
- 1. Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook by Tony Robbins
- 2. A Man for All Markets by Edward Thorp
- 3. Good Stocks Cheap by Kenneth Jeffrey Marshall
- 4. The Truth About Your Future by Ric Edelman
- 5. Money Machine: The Surprisingly Simple Power of Value Investing by Gary Smith
- 6. Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor's Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond by Chris Burniske and Jack Tatar
- 7. Big Money Thinks Small: Biases, Blind Spots, and Smarter Investing by Joel Tillinghast
To help you out, we compiled a comprehensive list of the best investing books from 2017, as well as historical all-time bests.
Best investing books of all time
- The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
- A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel
- Irrational Exuberance by Robert J. Shiller
- One Up On Wall Street: How To Use What You Already Know To Make Money In the Market by Peter Lynch
- The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns by John Bogle
- Security Analysis by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd
- The Essays of Warren Buffett by Warren Buffett and Lawrence Cunningham
1. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
Originally published in 1949, The Intelligent Investor is fondly called the stock market Bible. Author Benjamin Graham is considered to be a proponent of “value investing,” which focuses on the merits of long-term investing by unearthing the merits of overlooked gems. All the more appealing is Graham’s approach of taking minimal risk along the road to profitability.
For what he has contributed to investment education, Graham is called by different monikers such as the “Father of Value Investing,” “Dean of Wall Street,” etc. Graham’s theory shunned the herd mentality of investors, who flock toward widely followed securities, and instead calls for an investment style based on fundamental analysis.
The Intelligent Investor teaches investors to manage risk through asset allocation and diversification. It also teaches valuation analysis and margin of safety, which is the difference between the fundamental value of a security and the actual price one pays for it. The greater the margin, the safer your investment is in times trouble. Alternatively, under favorable conditions, your profits will grow exponentially.
The latest revised edition was audio-released in July 2015.
The book is rated with 4.5/5 stars (based on customer reviews) on Amazon and is the number one best seller among Amazon business books.
2. A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel
Written by Princeton economist Burton Malkiel, this book has become the foundation based on which the random walk theory is built. This theory questions the veracity of the theory behind technical analysis, or that the direction or magnitude of a past movement of a stock/market is a predictor of future movement. Instead, the random walk theory assumes that stocks go about a random and unpredictable path.
Malkiel’s book advocates the buy-and-hold strategy, and in the process shuns any kind of analysis, be it fundamental, technical or other. Therefore, it automatically alienates Wall Street participants, who vouch by analysis and stock picking.
Apart from dealing with base-level securities such as stocks and bonds, the book also walks one through other investment avenues such as money market accounts, real estate investment trusts, insurance, ETFs, tangible assets such as gold and collectibles, as well as home ownership.
It has a 4.7/5 star rating at Amazon, while at Goodreads it has a 4.06/5 star rating.
3. Irrational Exuberance by Robert J. Shiller
Irrational Exuberance, written in 2000 by Detroit-based American economist Robert J. Shiller, a Nobel laureate and Yale University professor, explores the reasons for the illogical rally in the markets during the dotcom era. Among the causes outlined by Shiller was the emergence of Internet stocks, the mutual fund industry gaining popularity, easing of inflationary pressure, mushrooming growth of analysts and self-proclaimed pundits, who issued optimistic assessment concerning investing in stocks.
In short, the book discusses how asset price bubbles develop, evolve and finally deflate.
Goodreads has a 3.9/5 star rating for the book, while Amazon has rated the second and third editions of the book 4.3/5 stars and the revised third edition at a lower 2.9/5 stars.
4. One Up On Wall Street by Peter Lynch
One Up on Wall Street is primarily a call to do your homework and not trust analysts and experts. Instead of doing complicated economic and technical analysis, the book recommends doing one’s own research, looking at industries and companies you’re familiar with and taking suggestions from people you know.
Once a company is shortlisted, the book suggests gleaning all information that is available about it: its management, balance sheet, competitive dynamics, etc. Then, use some basic criteria such as low P/E ratio, insider buying and relatively low debt-to-equity ratio to pick the potential winners.
The book also discusses portfolio building and timing buying and selling.
The average customer rating on Amazon is 4.4/5 stars, while Goodreads rates it 4.13/5 stars.
5. The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John Bogle
The Little Book of Common Sense Investing was published in 2007. Written by the founder of the Vanguard Group, an investment management company, this book explains the ins and outs of index funds. These funds fetch you average market returns, while also keeping the cost of investment low. Therefore, this investment option helps one generate higher returns after costs.
The tenth anniversary updated and revised edition of the original book was released in October 2016 with two new chapters about asset allocation and retirement investing.
Customer rating on Amazon is 4.6/5 stars. On Goodreads, the rating is 4.1/5 stars.
6. Security Analysis by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd
Security Analysis could qualify as an investment book classic. Written by Columbia Business School professors Graham and Dodd, the first edition of the book was published in 1934, just after the market mayhem that led to the Wall Street crash.
The authors shunned the earnings-focused approach of market participants and recommended that they focus on value investing, for which the book provided a solid foundation. Another basic tenet of the book: Armed with facts and financial analysis, one needs to scout bargains. They honed in on some basic analytics such as interest coverage, zeroing in on an appropriate margin of safety; analysis of financial statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. More importantly, the book focused on all investment classes.
Average customer rating on Amazon is 4.5/5 stars; on Goodreads, readers have given it a rating of 4.1/5 stars.
7. The Essays of Warren Buffett by Warren Buffett and Lawrence Cunningham
Buffett’s book is simply a collection of his annual shareholder letters to Berkshire Hathaway’s shareholders. These letters, compiled by noted author Lawrence Cunningham, is a must-read for investors and managers who are seeking to replicate the success of Buffett as an investor.
This contains the best piece of informal investment advice arising out of the business acumen and investment savviness of the one of the most successful investors of our time. The letters are organized theme-wise, catering to different categories of audience. It also contains Buffett’s biography and a self-help investing book.
The fourth edition of The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America was published in 2015. The paperback format of the book is priced at $30.40 and the Kindle edition is $19.92.
The book notches a 4.7/5 stars rating from Amazon customers.
Best Investing Books Of 2017
The market rally, progressing unhindered throughout 2017, has attracted more people to investing. It’s no surprise that 2017’s new books aim to quench the thirst of a spawning investing community.
Check out Benzinga’s top seven:
- Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook by Tony Robbins
- A Man for All Markets: Beating the Odds from Las Vegas to Wall Street by Edward Thorp
- Good Stocks Cheap: Value Investing with Confidence for a Lifetime of Stock Market Outperformance by Kenneth Jeffrey Marshall
- The Truth About Your Future: The Money Guide You Need Now, Later, And Much Later by Ric Edelman
- Money Machine: The Surprisingly Simple Power of Value Investing by Gary Smith
- Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor’s Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond by Chris Burniske and Jack Tatar
- Big Money Thinks Small: Biases, Blind Spots, and Smarter Investing by Joel Tillinghast
1. Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook by Tony Robbins
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Written by life and business strategist Tony Robbins, Unshakeable is a step-by-step playbook to lead investors toward financial freedom. The book explains in a simple manner how investors can go through market volatility with the ultimate objective of not only protecting their investment but also maximizing wealth.
The book was the number one bestseller on Amazon’s personal finance section.
2. A Man for All Markets by Edward Thorp
- Rating: 4.2/5 stars
A Man for All Markets, written by renowned mathematics professor Edward Thorp, tells the world about how the author conquered blackjack, ventured into Wall Street and using quantitative methods, became hugely successful. Rightfully, Thorp is called the father of quants.
In the book, he vividly recounts how he managed to be successful by going against conventional wisdom and devising game-changing solutions.
3. Good Stocks Cheap by Kenneth Jeffrey Marshall
- Rating: 5/5 stars
Good Stocks Cheap dives deep into value investing. The book also teaches portfolio building and how to take advantage of value investing by identifying good, cheap stocks.
Some of the aspects covered by this book include fundamental analysis of companies, looking at company’s value relative to its stock price, zeroing in on the right price to buy stocks in a successful company and how to hold good stocks amid market turbulence.
4. The Truth About Your Future by Ric Edelman
- Rating: 4.5/5 stars
The audiobook comes free with an Audible trial on Amazon.
The Truth About Your Future discusses the all-pervasive potential of science and technology, and the role it is likely to have in the fields of investment, personal finance and money management. It is a futuristic take on how science and technology will reshape the world. It’s a good read for anyone interested in learning how to adapt to the constantly evolving financial landscape.
5. Money Machine: The Surprisingly Simple Power of Value Investing by Gary Smith
- Rating: 3.8/5 stars
The audiobook comes free with an Audible trial on Amazon.
There is no shortcut to success, and speculation is not the right way to chase profits. Money Machine emphasizes these themes and advocates the time-tested concept of value investing to generate better returns.
The book teaches investors how to calculate the intrinsic value of a security, use ratios such as P/E and dividend/price ratios and the Bogle and Shiller models, assess the investment worthiness of a stock using the cash flow it generates and how to identify asset price bubbles.
6. Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor's Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond by Chris Burniske and Jack Tatar
- Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
- Hardcover: $22.66
Naturally, investors gravitate toward cryptoassets now, since these digital currencies have been generating staggering returns. Cryptoassets, co-authored by Chris Burniske and Jack Tatar, gives a simple and effective presentation on this investment avenue.
7. Big Money Thinks Small: Biases, Blind Spots, and Smarter Investing by Joel Tillinghast
- Rating: 4.2/5 stars
In Big Money Thinks Small, fund manager Joel Tillinghast underlines some common investing mistakes, such as trading based on incomplete information, adopting a herd mentality, etc. While explaining these mistakes, Tillinghast also details on how an investor fix them, and quick.
This, according to the author, can be achieved by following a few steps, including avoiding investments you don’t understand, steering clearing of murky investments and focusing on underpriced stocks.