There are two paths to becoming a successful investor. There is the short cut and the long cut. The narrow path and the wide path. Unfortunately, most people who start their investment career prefer taking the short cut. This is the main reason why more than 60% of all people who start their investment career fail. If you decide to take the long cut, you must be willing to do the work. You must realize that investing takes time and a lot of dedication. One thing you must be prepared to do is to do a lot of reading. In this article, we will look at some of the best investment books you should read to be a successful investor.
Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light. —Vera Nazarian
- 1 Mastering the Market Cycle | Howard Marks
- 2 Octopus | Guy Lawson
- 3 Black Edge | Sheelah Kolkhata
- 4 Fooling Some of the People all of the Time | David Einhorn
- 5 Intelligent Investor | Benjamin Graham
- 6 One Up on Wall Street | Peter Lynch
- 7 Stress Test | Tim Geithner
- 8 Common Sense on Mutual Funds | John Bogle
- 9 The Four Pillars of Investing | William Bernstein
- 10 Final Thoughts on Best Investment Books
Mastering the Market Cycle | Howard Marks
Howard Marks is one of the best-known investors in the world. He is well-known as the founder of OakTree, which was recently bought by Brookfield Assets Management for more than $4.5 billion. In this book, he writes about the best method to of allocating money in the various market cycles. By reading this book, you will be at a good position to understand the market cycles, what to buy in these cycles, and how to react to the swings in the market. This is important because cycles are usually driven by market psychology and behaviors. You can buy the book here.
Octopus | Guy Lawson
To me, this is one of the most interesting books of all time. In the book, Guy Lawson talks about Sam Israel, a young man who was brought up and raised in a successful family in New York. As a young man, his desire was to be a successful investment manager. He then worked in a leading investment company in New York before he went on to start his own fund. After suffering huge losses, he started lying to his investors about his success. He knew that he would be caught one day. So, he talked to a former intelligence officer who introduced him to ‘secret market’ where bonds are traded. He fell into the trap and lost all the money. He was later arrested. You can buy the book here.
Black Edge | Sheelah Kolkhata
Sheelah Kolkhata is a journalist who was influential in the story of Steve Cohen, the founder of the then SAC Capital. For starters, Cohen is one of the wealthiest people in the world with a fortune worth more than $12 billion. He made his fortune as a money manager in New York. Investors came to him because of his excellent record. For this reason, he charged hefty fees of 40% of all profits his firm generated. However, Cohen’s performance was mostly because of insider trading. In the end, some of his traders were locked up while Cohen himself was ordered to shatter his firm. He was also suspended from investing in the market for a few years. He now runs Point 72, which has been an underperformer. You can buy the book here.
Fooling Some of the People all of the Time | David Einhorn
David Einhorn is one of the best-known hedge fund managers in Wall Street. He sits on a fortune of more than $1 billion. In this book, he writes about his battle to bring down a company known as Allied Capital. Before writing about his battle with the company, he writes about how he was fortunate to start his firm with less than $1 million. At its peak, the firm managed almost $10 billion. As such, this book will help you get into the mind of one of the best-known hedge fund managers. You can buy the book here.
Intelligent Investor | Benjamin Graham
There are many lists of the best investment books that you can read. All of them have this book, which helped to influence the investment career of Warren Buffett. Warren is the best investor of our time, who manages hundreds of billions. In this book, you will learn the principles about how to value a company, how to invest, and how to make sound investment decisions. While the book is more than 50 years old, its content is forever relevant. You can buy the book here.
One Up on Wall Street | Peter Lynch
One Up on Wall Street is another classic written by one of the best authors of our time. Peter is best known for the work he did at Fidelity Investments where he was responsible for managing the Magellan Fund. When he was named manager of the fund, he was given $18 million to invest. By the time he left the fund, the money had grown to more than $14 billion. His average annual return was 29.2%, which was more than any other mutual fund had returned. In this book, he writes about his investment philosophy, how to invest, picking the winners, and the importance of having a long-term view. You can buy the book here.
Stress Test | Tim Geithner
The 2008/9 financial crisis was the darkest period in the United States in the recent years. A lot of books were written about the crisis. We have read a few. However, the one that stands out to us was Stress Test, which was written by Timothy Geithner, who was the then Treasury Secretary. This means that he was amongst the first people who witnessed the crisis as it happened. As an investor, reading this book will help you understand how the crisis happened and how the bleeding was stopped. You can get the book here.
Common Sense on Mutual Funds | John Bogle
John Bogle, who passed away in 2018 was one of the most successful investors in the United States. His biggest contributions were to start Vanguard, which is the second biggest investment manager with more than $5.5 trillion in assets and the demystification of the mutual funds industry. Today, tens of billions is invested in mutual funds and ETFs. In this book, Bogle writes on the benefits of investing in mutual funds and how investors can succeed in the industry. You can buy the book here.
The Four Pillars of Investing | William Bernstein
William Bernstein is one of the best-known neurologists in the country. He is also a financial author who has written several book. In the four pillars of investing, he covers the four most important pillars that can make or break any investor. In the first pillar, he writes about the theory of investing, the history of investing, the psychology of investing, and the business of investing. This is a must read book for you if you want to succeed as an investor. You can get the book here.
Final Thoughts on Best Investment Books
The books listed in this article are some of the best investment books in the world. However, there are other excellent books that are not listed here. Other notable mentions are books like A random walk down Wall Street by Burton Malk, A little book of common sense investing by John Bogle, and the essays of Warren Buffett by Lawrence Cunningham.