There’s plenty of financial information available online these days, but some of the best explanations can still be found in good old-fashioned, time-proven investment books. Some of the legends of the investing world, like Buffett, Lynch, Graham and Bogle, all have highly respected books that can teach beginners investment strategies.
This list of the best investing books of all time includes a wide range of approaches to the investment world, all of which offer something of benefit to beginning investors. If you can, pick up all of them and see which investment strategy works best for you.
Every investment book listed here is available for purchase at all online and brick-and-mortar retail booksellers.
The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing
Author: Benjamin Graham
Investing focus: Value Investing
Originally published in 1949, “The Intelligent Investor” remains the investing bible for value investors. Value investing is a strategy focused on identifying investments that are trading below their intrinsic value, rather than those with high growth rates. In his book, the famous investment advisor Benjamin Graham, attempts to teach long-term growth strategies that can shield investors from substantial error. Noted market guru Warren Buffett calls the tome “by far the best book on investing ever written.” With more than 1 million hardcover copies sold, the book is now updated, annotated and available in paperback.
The Richest Man in Babylon
Author: George S. Clason
Investing focus: Personal finance
Authored by Clason in the 1920s, “The Richest Man in Babylon” is a timeless classic that reveals key financial principles to personal wealth. It sets readers on the path to financial prosperity using parables written in direct language like the Bible. “The Richest Man in Babylon” offers guidance on personal financial problems through a series of stories. The inspirational work covers all aspects of financial planning, thrift and personal wealth and is acclaimed as a modern-day classic. The Los Angeles Times recommends the book as a great gift for a graduate or even experienced investors.
A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing
Author: Burton G. Malkiel
Investing focus: Efficient market theory
Burton G. Malkiel’s “A Random Walk Down Wall Street” has sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide. Now fully revised and updated, Malkiel’s book has often been recommended as the first book to purchase for beginners starting a portfolio. With endorsements from Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune and Money Magazine, the book tackles the investment world from the perspective of the efficient market theory. It argues that it is nearly impossible to beat the market, because all available information is already priced in. Thus, the book’s recommended strategy is to buy a portfolio rather than trying to pick individual stocks.
The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America
Author: Lawrence A. Cunningham, Warren Buffett
Investing focus: Investment philosophy
One of the world’s most prominent investors, Warren Buffet is also called the “Oracle of Omaha.” With more than 52 years serving as the chief executive officer of his investment company, Berkshire Hathaway, Buffet has philosophized about the markets for decades. This collection of his best writings provides an informal, folksy financial education for investors of all stripes. Cunningham did a truly remarkable job at organizing and distilling the essence of Buffett’s investing philosophies from his letters to Berkshire shareholders. New material in the fourth edition of the book includes Warren’s best advice on investing — whether in apartments, farms or businesses — and his 50th anniversary retrospective.
Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns
Author: John C. Bogle
Investing focus: Low-cost investing
“The Little Book of Common Sense Investing” contains such successful investment advice that its author, John C. Bogle, built an empire out of it. The founder of no-load and low-cost investment company Vanguard, Bogle uses this book to outline his philosophy of how to make prudent investments through the use of low-cost index funds. The updated edition contains chapters on asset allocation and retirement investing and expounds upon Bogle’s simple and effective strategy for long-term investment success: Buy and hold a low-cost fund that tracks the Standard & Poor’s 500 index.
Reminiscences of a Stock Operator
Author: Edwin Lefevre
Investing focus: Trader biography/Behavioral finance
Originally published in 1922, Edwin Lefevre’s book is a thinly veiled pseudo-biography of famed trader Jesse Livermore, which looks at the highs and lows of trading stocks. A favorite of real-life Wall Street traders, Lefevre’s book masterfully depicts the emotions involved in picking both winners and losers, something from which any beginning investor can benefit. The book is a fine example of how traders behave in response to real-life market situations. The newly annotated version, from December 2009, includes over 100 new pages of commentary by Jon D. Markham, popular market analyst, veteran fund manager, and pioneer in the development of stock-rating systems.
One Up on Wall Street: How to Use What You Already Know to Make Money in the Market
Author: Peter Lynch
Investing focus: Stock picking
In “One Up on Wall Street” Lynch teaches investors how to beat the pros by using what they already know. According to Lynch’s philosophy, individual investors can see investment opportunities all around them, from the workplace to the supermarket, before professional analysts get involved. Lynch describes how to pick apart company financial statements to understand the important numbers for investing decisions. He should know — his Fidelity Magellan fund earned a stunning 29 percent return per year while he was at the helm.
Stocks for the Long Run: The Definitive Guide to Financial Market Returns & Long-Term Investment Strategies
Author: Dr. Jeremy Siegel
Investing focus: Long-term investing
Dr. Jeremy Siegel, the “Wizard of Wharton,” Professor of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, analyzes historical market trends and how various macroeconomic factors affect stock prices in this acclaimed book. Siegel covers such topics as how the Fed should impact investing decisions, what the sources of long-term economic growth are, and if individual investors should hedge away currency risk. The updated version provides coverage of the last financial crisis, China and India, global markets and stock market valuations.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!
Author: Robert Kiyosaki
Investing focus: Wealth generation
For a more modern take on investing, check out the writings of Robert Kiyosaki, founder of the “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” empire of financial information. Kiyosaki’s financial guidance revolves around the philosophy that businesses need both spiritual and financial missions to be successful. To that end, Kiyosaki offers coaching, workshops, books, apps, audio and video products, all with the self-professed goal to elevate the financial well-being of humanity. Kiyosaki’s frank talk flies in the face of traditional guidance to simply get a job, get out of debt and save for retirement, and the philosophy seems to be working: “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” held a top spot on The New York Times’ best-seller list for over six years.