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Book Recommendations for Investing...

Anyone have any good book recommendations for a young investor?


  • Preferably readings that aren't so dry...
  • perhaps A Random Walk Down Wall Street
  • edited March 2015
    "The Most Important Thing" (Howard Marks)

    If you're looking for something more entertaining and less about education, "The Big Short" by Michael Lewis and "The Quants" by Scott Patterson. "Dark Pools" by Patterson is also worth a read.
  • MJG
    edited March 2015
    Hi JoJo26,

    Generally speaking, it is not an especially good idea to mix entertainment and investing. Seeking entertainment when making investment decisions can indeed be a very expensive pursuit.

    Regardless, investment books can be stimulating, and many deliver the required information without much effort.

    Keeping it simple, I’m thinking about the Little Book series of publications. These thin volumes, that are typically written by famous market wizards, are well worth whatever little effort is needed. Here is a generic Link to a website that lists available titles:

    I have read many of those on the list, and they are uniformly excellent. I recommend you give one or two of these books a try. I particularly liked John Bogle’s “The Little Book of Common Sense Investing” and Jason Zweig’s “The Little Book of Safe Money” books.

    Ben Stein is a very droll and funny guy. He too has coauthored a book in this series. The title of his contribution is “The Little Book of Bulletproof Investing”. That’s a slight exaggeration, but Stein is a knowledgeable and experienced investor. His amusing investing insights are also worth a try, and he is never too serious.

    To avoid the impression that I’m shilling for these Little Books, allow me to make one other recommendation. Burton Malkiel’s “A Random Walk Down Wall Street” has been mentioned earlier. That’s a solid endorsement, but its roughly 500 pages might not satisfy your fun criteria.

    Malkiel has a much shorter version of that classic titled “The Random Walk Guide to Investing”. Its 184 pages are loaded with great insights and wise rules. You might want to examine that option. It too is a super introduction to investing.

    Finally, I second Scott’s suggestion. Howard Marks knows his stuff and has written a well organized and readable book.

    I hope this post is helpful, although it is very incomplete. Investing need not be hard, especially if you do a little book learning and learn from the mistakes of others. It's cheaper that way.

    Best Regards.
  • Although over 25 years old, if you do any stock picking along with funds, I like Peter Lynch's One Up on Wall Street. Its why I bought WWAV, ARII and SKX (buy what you know and can understand) I sold SKX and ARII at a fair profit, but rebought ARII when it went back down.

    I also recently read The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham updated with comments by Jason Zeig this year and loved it, trying to put some of it into practice
  • @JoJo26: For your information, MFO recommendations.
  • I concur with MJG's Little Book series endorsement and heartedly recommend "The Little Book of Value Investing" by Christopher H. Browne
  • Hi Slick,

    I like your endorsement of Benjamin Graham’s “The Intelligent Investor” book. It is a bedrock classic that has survived the erosive impact of a changing dynamic marketplace. Its many releases over time speaks volumes for its enduring value. I’m sure you will benefit from its investment insights.

    I chose not to include it in my limited list because I believed it would be a considerable challenge for a newbie investor. It is very detail dense. I own a copy that includes a contribution from Warren Buffett titled “The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville”. It is a succinct summary of Graham’s philosophy and market history. I recommend that short piece. Here is a Link to it:

    Regardless of his impressive record, I am not a big fan of Peter Lynch. A lot of market pundits say that Lynch never saw a stock he did not buy. Fidelity granted him freedom to invest in foreign markets when many other mutual fund families did not permit that flexibility to their managers.

    Also, although Lynch had a stellar returns record, most of his fund owners had much more muted returns. His major successes were made early in the Magellan fund’s history when the fund size was small. His record was mediocre later in its history. Lynch is a prime example of a regression-to-the-mean pull. To protect his reputation, his wisest decision was to retire at an early age.

    It is not clear to me if Lynch was either very skilled or just one of the few lucky professionals; most likely, he was a mix. I don’t doubt Graham’s exceptional investment wisdom.

    Best Wishes.
  • @Slick and MJG

    Count me in the Peter Lynch Fan club. As the manager of the Magellan fund he consistently beat the market for almost twenty years. That's hardly fly-by-night coincidence but whether you believe in that viewpoint or not the recommendation for the book "One Up On Wall Street" has considerable merit.

    The book has an easygoing style; it's funny, entertaining and informative which is what JoJo26 might be looking for whether or not s/he chooses to go down the path of individual stock selection.

    The first section of the book may help with that decision as it deals with how to assess yourself as a stock picker. In my mind here is where the greatest wealth or benefit of the book resides and it is the main stairway toward the books overall premise i.e "Invest in What You KNOW!" Peter Lynch is not the only table pounder on that score. He is joined by the likes of Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, David Tepper and Howard Marks to name a few who have been quite wildly successful following that mantra.

    The next section deals with how to find the most promising opportunities, what to look for and what to avoid in a company, and what to make of the various data parameters often mentioned in evaluating a stock such as p/e ratio, book value, price/book or /cash flow, etc.. The explanations are quite clear and written in a way for everyone to understand.

    The third section covers pretty much everything else, notably when to buy and when to sell.

    One last important takeaway might be in just forming and adhering to a process. All of the individuals mentioned above have one, possibly the same one. They do not let Wall Street or market noise nor the opinions of pundits on either side of the issues deter them from that process or what they know. You could do worse and most do.
  • Ben Graham's book is very good, the Jim Rogers series: Investment Biker, Adventure Capitalist, Street Smarts are entertaining and thought provoking. John Train's Money Masters series on investment managers while a bit old have appeal and insight. The Holy Grail book of investing, Seth Klarman's: Margin of Safety is supposed to be excellent. Have not been able to find a copy due its price, good luck with this, it can be a lot of fun, Lukemon
  • Yes, Ben Graham: "The Intelligent Investor."
  • Jo Jo : I agree with above MJG & Mark.....Don't get too heavy..."little book series" (of investing) is light reading by good people, fast read also, wish I could think of the better one's, but its been awhile, just get Titles that look interesting to you (free library-read Day or two)....tb
  • 1 ; The Zurich Axioms: The rules of risk and reward used by generations of Swiss bankers.
    2 ; The 3% Signal: The Investing Technique That Will Change Your Life.
    by Jason Kelly.
    These books are available from amazon.
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