Best books on investing – must read list

Here is a complete and full list of books that I like my students to read. Extremely long, and randomly written i hope to write reviews on all these books and it should be available soon. Some of these book reviews have already appeared in the In house magazine of BSE called Sensex. Some of the reviews may also be available online – in the personal finance section of Books have been listed completely at random – and I have intended it to look like an index. Keep coming back to this page – will add short summaries or comments on each book from time to time as well as full reviews. One of the links on the blogroll is a quaint friendly neigbourhood book shop – twistntales. The other place where I have bought most of these books is based in Mumbai.

A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel.

Jeremy Siegel’s Stocks for the Long Run

Commonsense of Finance – Dr. Prasanna Chandra – get the basics of finance and accounts from here so that you understand concepts like P&L, B/ Sheet, write offs, taxation, etc.

Analysis for Financial Management by Robert Higgins.

Accounting Shenanigans.

Why Smart People Make Dumb Money Mistakes by Gary Belsky and Thomas Gilovich.

Parag Parikhs’ book on Behaviourial finance has brought some Indianness to this science! The book is called Stock to Riches.

Roger Lowenstein’s Making of an American Capitalist.

Benjamin Graham‘s The Intelligent Investor is a must-read. But it can be kind of painful for today’s kids who do not like to read about bond valuation. However, if you realise that bond valuation is the basis from which equity valuation evolves, you will appreciate this book better!

Phil FisherCommon Stocks and Uncommon Profits

Speaking of Phil Fisher leads us to Ken Fisher – and his latest book “The Only 3 questions you need to know” is also an excellent book to read, and as useful as his father’s book. It clears a lot of cobwebs – turning the PE ratio is a useful example!

Peter Lynch‘s Beating the Street is the journal of a successful money manager, who is also a good communicator. CIOs should do their job well and also be able to communicate their skills and strategies. The Indian examples of course are Mr. Nilesh Shah of Icici Prudential and Mr. Nagnath of DSP Merrill Lynch.

You Can Be a Stock Market Genius by Joel Greenblatt –it’s relatively short, full of case studies, and engagingly written.

John Train‘s Money Masters of Our Time and The New Money Masters

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator – Edwin Lefevre. Reads like a pot boiler!

Seth Klarman‘s Margin of Safety.

Marty Whitman‘s The Aggressive Conservative Investor- I personally found this a difficult read!

David Dreman‘s Contrarian Investment Strategies.

Munger’s biography–Damn Right! by Janet Lowe.

John Kenneth Galbraith’s A Short History of Financial Euphoria.

Devil Take the Hindmost by Edward Chancellor is a fantastic and in-depth history of manias through the ages.

Ron Chernow’s The House of Morgan

Peter Bernstein‘s 2 books – Capital Ideas & Against the Gods

The Money Game – Adam Smith

Michael Lewis’s 2 books: Liar’s Poker and Moneyball.

Roger Lowenstein’s When Genius Failed, which chronicles the rise and fall of the Long-Term Capital Management hedge fund in the late 1990s.

Bethany McLean’s The Smartest Guys in the Room,

Kurt Eichenwald’s Conspiracy of Fools

Robert Cialdini‘s Influence Fooled by Randomness, by Nassim Taleb, is more directly about finance, and is thought-provoking. Taleb explores how easily we confuse luck with skill, and the importance of knowing which is which. He has followed this with Black Swan. Frankly if you are planning to read, or have read Black Swan, his earlier book Fooled by Randomness becomes unnecessary.

Bruce Greenwald‘s Value Investing

Michael Porter‘s Competitive Strategy.

The Intelligent Asset Allocator: How to Build Your Portfolio to Maximize Returns and Minimize Risk – by William J Bernstein

Asset Allocation: Balancing Financial Risk by Roger C Gibson

Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kiyasaki Market Wizards – Jack D SchwagerThe Warren Buffet Portfolio – Robert Hagstorm

Future for Investors – Jeremy SiegelCommon Sense on Mutual Funds – John BogleNew Perspectives for the Intelligent Investor – John Bogle

The Art of Short Selling – Kathryn F Staley

Barbarians at the Gate – Bryan Burrough and John Helyar

Beating the Dow – Michael O’Higgins and John Downes

Buffet – the Making of an American Capitalist – Roger Lowenstein

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds – Charles Mackay

45 years in Wall street – WD Gann

Great crash of 1929 – J K Galbraith

How to lie with statistics – Darrell Huff

John Maynard Keynes (Volumes 1 and 2): Robert Skidelsky

Soros on Soros – George Soros with Byron Wien and Krisztina Koenen

Technical Analysis of Stock Trends – Robert D Edwards and John Magee

Think like a Tycoon – W G Hill

Where are the Customer’s Yachts – Fred Schwed Jr.

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8 Comments on “Best books on investing – must read list”

  1. Ravinder Makhaik Says:

    Books tend to be the best friends on can have for life and treading into the stock market – ill equipped, ignorant and deficient in knowledge could be like walking into a death trap that is very seductively set up.

    Thanks for guiding us through this mine field and helping us to equip ourselves with the right kind of tools.

    The Book list is pretty exhaustive and I would be able to lay my hands on some of them.

  2. Sachin Says:

    impressive list of books……………. one more book which come to my mind is Benjamin Graham’s “Interpretation of financial statement”

  3. subra1221 Says:

    have received a lot of mails on my id. I have myself noticed some good ones that I have missed – like books on personal finance, drafting of wills, financial planning etc. Will either make a separate list, and post or wait for guys like Sachin to add. Thanks Sachin. I did not know about this book. In fact I am looking for books on “Financial Numbers that a retailer should know” kind of book. Any help from anybody?

  4. Sunil Jani Says:

    Thanks for the book list. It is fairly exhaustive. I am giving below the link of an Investment FAQ put together by an Australian Financial Planner who has compiled quite a comprehensive reading list. I sure you would want to go through the same.

    Popular articles
    Good books
    Personal investment advice
    Investment in one lesson
    A primer on asset allocation
    “Entire Market” indexing

  5. I actually have a free investing book written by compiling my 500 hedge fund blog posts into an e book. Would it possible to have this book added to your list?


  6. Mika Says:

    “The small stock trader” by Mika is also a small unique book that covers almost all the major stock market topics such as the traits of a successful small stock trader, how to choose a few simple focus stocks, market sentiment and industry, fundamental analysis, technical analysis, short selling, your edge and competition, catalysts that move the stock prices, stock trading plan, discipline, risk management and psychology. It is a simple book of about 100 small-sized pages (more like a collection of tips, perhaps 4-5 hours read), but it will answer many of your questions, so, it is a great book to start (no need to mention that about 90% of your lessons you are going to learn from your own experience/mistakes). It is also a fun-to-read book, as it is accompanied by a few jokes and observations from poker, intelligence world, relationships, happiness, Zen, and psychology.

  7. Jan Says:

    My favorite stock trading books are:

    • The small stock trader by Mika
    • “Lessons from the greatest stock traders of all time” and “How legendary traders made millions” both by John Boik
    • “Reminiscences of a stock operator” and “How to trade in stocks” both by Jesse Livermore
    • How I made $2,000,000 in the stock market by Nicolas Darvas
    • How to make money in stocks by Willien O’Neil

  8. Bhavya Shah Says:

    Sir many a thank you for putting the list here………will be waiting for the latest reviews of recent reads

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