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30 Great Investment Books for Beginners

If you are just starting out as an investor your first and best investment would be to buy some of the fantastic books written by some of the greatest investors of all time.

It doesn’t cost a lot to read a book, but the potential impact on your future prosperity could be significant. If you buy a few of these books, decide on the approach that suits your personal style and apply the lessons consistently, the impact could be truly life changing by the time you retire.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Who: Kiyosaki is an American investor, author and teacher of financial literacy.
What: Kiyosaki advocates purchasing assets that create a continuous cash flow and speeding up your path towards wealth by employing leverage and exploiting the the tax benefits available organizing your activities in a business.
When: Originally published in 1997

Beating the Street by Peter Lynch

Who: Lynch is an American businessman and investor, famously managing the Fidelity Magellan Fund.
What: Lynch explains his investment philosophy and offers advice on how to successfully pick growth stocks.
When: Originally published in 1993

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Who: Hill was a journalist and author. He is recognized as one of the pioneers of the modern genre of personal success literature.
What: This is really a personal development book, distilling the lessons Hill obtained from interviewing many of the most wealthy and successful individuals of his time into 13 success principles.
When: Originally published in 1937

The Five Rules for Successful Stock Investing by Pat Dorsey

Who: Dorsey is the director of equity research at Morningstar.
What: Dorsey’s five rules are: (1) Do your homework, (2) Find economic moats, (3) have a margin of safety, (4) hold for the long haul and (5) know when to sell.
When: Originally published in 2003

The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing by Taylor Larimore

Who: Larimore is a very active contributor to the Bogleheads community. John C. Bogle reportedly proclaimed Larimore king of the Bogleheads.
What: The Bogleheads is one of the largest and most active financial forums on the Internet dedicated to index investing. This book provides an easy to follow resource for learning and implementing the investment wisdom of John C. Bogle.
When: Originally published in 2007

The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham

Who: Graham was a British born American economist and investor. His work is often recognized as the genisis of value investing.
What: This book has stood the test of time and remains the classic work on value investing. The Intelligent Investor has been endorsed by many famous value investors including Warren Buffett.
When: Originally published in 1934

Common Sense on Mutual Funds by John C. Bogle

Who: Bogle pioneered index investing and brought his investment thinking to the masses by founding Vanguard.
What: This is Bogle’s classic masterpiece explaining the compelling benefits of long term index investing for the average investor.
When: Originally published in 1999

If You Can: How Millennials can get Rich Slowly by William Bernstein

Who: Bernstein is a prolific author and proponent of index investing, arguing that investors should ignore value, momentum and other timing signals and focus purely on asset allocation.
What: This book provides simple to understand, but not necessarily easy to implement, advice on how young people can save and invest for their retirement. Bernstein explains that saving for retirement is a lot like losing weight. If you are able to consistently save 15% of your earnings during your working life and invest wisely, you will end up with a significant pension.
When: Originally published in 2014

What Works on Wall Street by James O’Shaughnessy

Who: O’Shaughnessy is an American author, investor and founder of O’Shaughnessy Asset Management (OSAM).
What: This book explains through empirical research which investment strategies have performed through time and which ones have not. A great guide to what works and what does not work in the investment world.
When: Originally published in 1997

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

Who: Clason was a soldier, businessman and writer. He started several companies with shifting luck.
What: The book provides timeless investment advice through a string of parables set in ancient Babylon. The storytelling element helps make the concepts stick.
When: Originally published in 1926

Winning on Wall Street by Martin Zweig

Who: Zweig is an American financial analyst, investor and author. He started investing his own money from a very young age and has never looked back.
What: Zweig explains his technical approach to stock market investing, based on various monetary, seasonal and momentum indicators.
When: Originally published in 1986

The Art of Asset Allocation by David Darst

Who: Darst is an American author, academic and investor, with a long career at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.
What: This book channels decades of expertise in asset allocation into a clear framework on how to create strategic and tactical asset allocation decisions to reach your long term investment goals.
When: Originally published in 2003

The Investor’s Manifesto by William Bernstein

Who: Bernstein is an author and proponent of index investing with a diverse career history outside of finance. He holds a PhD in chemistry and an MD practicing neurology.
What: This is a very approachable book on index investing and asset allocation. It will help you understand the crucial differences between stock and bond investing. The impact of risk and return and help you create a blueprint to follow for your entire life as an investor.
When: Originally published in 2009

The Elements of Investing by Burton Malkiel

Who: Malkiel is an author, former director of Vanguard and strong proponent of index investing.
What: This book provides timeless lessons in diversification, rebalancing, dollar-cost averaging, and indexing and clear instructions for how you can utilise these lessons in creating your own sound investment plan.
When: Originally published in 2012

Stocks for the Long Run by Jeremy Siegel

Who: Siegel is an American professor, financial commentator and author, affiliated with ETF sponsor WisdomTree Investment Management.
What: The book contains a deep dive into long term capital market developments providing interesting insights like e.g. over a sufficiently long time period stocks are less risky than bonds, if you are able to stomach the short term volatility.
When: Originally published in 1994

The Four Pillars of Investing by William Bernstein

Who: Bernstein is an author and proponent of passive investing.
What: This book explains the Four Pillars to be the theory-, history-, psychology- and business of investing and addresses each point with examples from investment theory, market history, behavioural finance and real life exploitation by the financial industry to help you avoid the pitfalls.
When: Originally published in 2002

Making the Most of Your Money by Jane Bryant Quinn

Who: Quinn is a financial journalist and personal finance commentator.
What: You won’t find advice on specific investment strategies in this volume. Instead this book provides broad advice on managing your financial affairs through every step of your life.
When: Originally published in 2010

The Successful Investor Today: 14 Simple Truths You Must Know When You Invest by Larry Swedroe

Who: Swedroe is an author and principal at Buckingham Asset Management.
What: This book provides 14 truths about index investing and evidence why active investing is a loser’s game in aggregate due to transaction costs and tax.
When: Originally published in 2003

One Up On Wall Street by Peter Lynch

Who: Lynch is an American businessman and investor with an outstanding track record managing the Fidelity Magellan Fund.
What: Lynch breaks the investable universe into cyclical, turnaround, and fast-growing companies and explains the benefits of being a small private investor compared to large institutional fund managers.
When: Originally published in 1989

The Little Book That Beats The Market by Joel Greenblatt

Who: Greenblatt is an American academic, hedge fund manager, value investor and author.
What: Greenblatt explains how to identify above average companies at below average prices through a very simple formula. Probably the most approachable book on value investing out there.
When: Originally published in 2005

The Neatest Little Guide to Stock Market Investing by Jason Kelly

Who: Kelly is an author and newsletter writer famous for popularizing the 3% rebalancing principle.
What: This book introduces the reader to active stock market investing and the tried and tested investment methods of some of the legendary active managers. It is a great eye opener to understand that there are many different ways to potentially beat the market.
When: Originally published in 1998

The Little Book of Big Dividends by Charles B. Carlson

Who: Carlson is an author and the CEO of investment advisor and money manager Horizon Investment Services.
What: This book tells you why dividends matter and how you can pick dividend paying stocks without running the risk sometimes associated with high and unsustainable dividends.
When: Originally published in 2010

The Little Book of Value Investing by Christopher H. Browne

Who: Browne was an American author and value investor at Tweedy Browne.
What: This is an entertaining and informative read on value investing. With a wealth of practical advice on how to identify attractively valued companies that are likely to beat the market.
When: Originally published in 2006

Investing Against the Tide by Anthony Bolton

Who: Bolton is arguably one of the greatest ever UK investors delivering strong outperformance during his 29 year tenure managing the Fidelity Special Situations Fund.
What: In this book Bolton explains how to implement his contrarian investment philosophy in the markets step by step. An invaluable resource for making the right investment decisions.
When: Originally published in 2009

The 5 Mistakes Every Investor Makes and How To Avoid Them by Peter Mallouk

Who: Mallouk is an American financial advisor and business man.
What: Mallouk identifies 5 common mistakes that you need to avoid in order to succeed in the market (1) market timing, (2) active trading, (3) misunderstanding performance and financial information, (4) letting yourself get in the way, and (5) working with the wrong investment advisor.
When: Originally published in 2014

Fooled By Randomness by Nassim Taleb

Who: Taleb is a best selling author and renowned expert in decision theory, risk management and probability.
What: This book provides a very insightful and engaging analysis of the extent to which humans assign skill to random events. If you haven’t read it already, this book will forever change your view of investing and success in life.
When: Originally published in 2001

A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel

Who: Malkiel is an author, former director of Vanguard and frequent proponent of passive investment management.
What: This book popularized the random walk hypothesis, which implies that investors cannot consistently beat the market averages. Malkiel uses empirical research to argue that fundamental and technical analysis will not help the majority of investors outperform the markets.
When: Originally published in 1973

The Education of a Value Investor: My Transformative Quest for Wealth, Wisdom, and Enlightenment by Guy Spier

Who: Spier is a South African born author and value investor managing the Aquamarine fund.
What: This book provides plenty of insights and wisdom on value investing wrapped into Spier’s engaging narrative about his life and the lessons he picked up along the way.
When: Originally published in 2014

Your Money Or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez

Who: Robin and Dominguez are and were authors and simple living advocates.
What: This is a personal finance book, focused on how to live well for less, develop savings and transform your lifestyle. A slightly unusual book for this list, but if you have no savings, you have got nothing to invest.
When: Originally published in 1992

The Wealthy Barber: Everyone’s Commonsense Guide to Becoming Financially Independent by David Chilton

Who: Chilton is a Canadian author, investor and TV personality, famous for his appearances on dragons den.
What: The book inspires to create positive money saving habbits by investigating the lives of 3 people visiting the “wealthy Barber”.
When: Originally published in 1989

Now if you have stuck with me through these 30 book recommendations you are clearly one of the few that are serious about making things happen for your investment future.

Here are a couple of bonus resources that I would recommend:
Have a look at ADVFN investment forum. A great resource for stock discussions should you decide to go the active route to investment success.
Have a look at the Bogleheads investment forum. It is a great resource should you decide to go the passive route to investment success.
Listen in to The Investors Podcast for book reviews and topical investment related discussion.

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