Best investing books – the essential list

I have written book reviews in the past in bits and pieces. However, it has been a long time wish to make a comprehensive list of the best investing books that I have read. Such a list goes beyond the typical finance focus and takes a multidisciplinary approach, which is something investment legend Charlie Munger had been advocating for. Hence, in this long (really really long!) piece, not only you will find the usual topics such as valuation and accounting, but also life advice, culture, philosophy etc. The list is however only limited to books that I have personally read and so don’t be disappointed if one of your favorites did not make it. I know that some great books are missing and once I have read those I will include them also.

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The best books on stock investing

I read a lot and am highly passionate about the subject of stock investing. The following are the books that I consider a must read for almost all stock market ‘investors’ . Here I will give a short summary to each of these books. However I do plan on having detailed reviews on each of them later on.

1. The Little Book That Still Beats The Market by Joel Greenblatt

I usually recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn stock investing. However, I strongly believe that both new and old investors will benefit from the wisdom shared in the book. Greenblatt explains the logic and the irrationality of the markets using such a simple language that even a school going kid should be able to understand it.

2. Beating The Street by Peter Lynch

The celebrated Peter Lynch of the Fidelity Magellan fund demonstrates how a basic layman using common sense can actually beat the experts from Wall Street. Just like most other books I like it is written in very simple and easy to understand language. I plan on reading this book again very soon. Usually this is the second book I recommend to people.

3. The Little Book That Builds Wealth by Pat Dorsey

This is the type of book that I fall in love with. Easy to read, small and has a world of information. Don’t be fooled by the gimmicky title of the book as I rate it within the 3 best books on investing I ever read. The book explains the concept of sustainable competitive advantage (aka economic moat) that brings superior returns

4. The Little Book of Value Investing by Christopher H. Browne

Another brilliant book on value investing from the little book, big profits series. Explains the concept of value investing crisply. A great book by a great investor.

5. Market Wizard Series by Jack D. Schwager

There are four books in this series. Each of them are filled with interviews with some of the best traders and investors. From Ray Dalio to Joel Greenblatt to Paul Tudor Jones, Mr Schwager has interviewed them all. And these are not the typical interviews that we read. Each of them have very insightful and deep questions and answers.

6. Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits by Philip A. Fisher

Phil Fisher can be considered as one of the gurus of fundamental investing. Many great investors in the world have mentioned him as an influence. His strategy of a holistic approach to fundamental due diligence by not only looking at a company but also studying the suppliers, customers and competitors has become the gold standard in the equity analysis world.

7. You Can Be a Stock Market Genius by Joel Greenblatt

The ultimate guide to special situation (mergers, acquisitions, spin-offs, divestitures) investing. Greenblatt outdoes himself with this book and proves clearly that the efficient market hypothesis is a myth even in the highly developed markets. Special situations very often lead to irrationality in valuation and these can be exploited by the clever investor.

8. The Essays of Warren Buffet by Warren Buffet

This is a compilation of the letters Warren Buffet wrote to his shareholders. The letters have been organized according to category. The reader will clearly understand why this man is one of the richest people in the world.

9. Best practices for Equity Research Analysts by James Valentine

Hands down the best book on equity research. Short, compact and highly practical guide for both buy and sell side analysts.  A must read for all investors in my opinion. It might be a bit hard to apply in real life but the book title clearly mentions that these are the ‘best practices’.

10. Margin of safety by Seth A. Klarman

Another excellent book on value investing. The author shows with theory, logic and practical examples why investment fads are pretty much always bogus. The best way to make money is to have a strong disciplined fundamental analysis approach.

 

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