Here are eight books to read if you’re looking to up your investment game.
There’s a certain image associated with being an investor – flashy cars, slick hair, thousand-dollar suits, nightly steak dinners – you know, the classic douche investment banker.
Though that image is a highly exaggerated stereotype, it really makes some people shy away from investing because they think they aren’t rich enough, clever enough, or don’t have the right status or background.
Which is a pity and a load of nonsense. Anyone can invest and find success, as long as you are willing to learn the right things, build good habits, and commit to a consistent, long-term growth strategy.
You can get a headstart and read these eight investment books If you’re serious about getting your money to work harder for you.
1. The Essays of Warren Buffet
by Lawrence A Cunningham (editor)
What better title to kick off our list than the collected essays of one of the most successful investors of all time?
Continuing a 25-year edition, the fifth edition of The Essays compiles the best writings of the famed investor into a resource that is both insightful and educational.
Essentially a digest of Buffett’s diary – edited and organised by topic so even beginners can easily follow along – the publication serves up some of Buffett’s innermost thoughts and experiences as a businessman and investor.
Given the richness of the source material (no pun intended), it is little wonder that investors and business people regularly seek out the title, which remains one of Buffett’s most autographed publications of all time.
Recommended for: Beginners and veterans alike seeking to learn from one of the greatest investors of our time.
2. How to Invest in Real Estate
by Brandon Turner, Joshua Dorkin
There are many books out there claiming to teach you how to properly invest in real estate, but few carry a pedigree as solid as How to Invest in Real Estate.
Co-authored by Brandon Turner and Joshua Dorkin, hosts of popular podcast BiggerPockets (which crossed 25 million downloads in 2016), the book contains over 40 real-life accounts of how real estate investors are succeeding in today’s economy.
But this isn’t just a collection of nice stories to read. Turner and Dorkin go the distance by including detailed information covering everything you need to know about investing in real estate, covering topics that range from types of investment properties, to legal structures you’ll need, and how to find real estate deals.
The authors keep to their signature blend of simple language and in-depth explanations, making this a great read whether you’re a beginner looking to start real-estate investing or a more advanced veteran seeking to up your game.
Recommended for: Investors looking to real estate as an insulator against market ups and downs.
3. The Little Book That Still Beats the Market
by Joel Greenblatt
Sometimes, a simple strategy is all you need to get consistent results. First published in 2005, and then refreshed in 2010, The Little Book That Still Beats the Market demonstrates the power of value investing.
This is the same strategy that author Greenblatt has utilised for repeated success, and simply focuses on buying above-average companies at below-average prices.
You may be sceptical that such a simple method will work in the complicated world of investing. However, the secret lies in sticking with the proven formula.
To help excitable beginners stay on the path, Greenblatt also teaches readers how to build a foundation for picking stocks that will carry them through their investing career.
Recommended for: Those who want to focus on a simple investing strategy that works.
4. The Little Book of Common Sense Investing
by John C Bogle
In this 10th anniversary edition published in 2017, Bogle (retired CEO of Vanguard; US$5 trillion under management) highlights how a portfolio focused on index funds is the only way for investors to ensure their fair share of market returns.
He teaches readers how to invest in low-cost index funds (a strategy also favoured by Warren Buffett), how to establish rational expectations for stock returns, and how to benefit from compounding interest while avoiding the ill effects of compounding costs.
And as an added bonus, the 10th anniversary edition also includes new chapters on asset allocation and retirement investing.
Recommended for: Those who believe in slow and steady long-term investing.
5. The Intelligent Investor
by Benjamin Graham, Jason Zweig
A timeless classic and stock market bible for investors around the world, The Intelligent Investor distills the investment philosophy of Benjamin Graham, widely acknowledged as the greatest investment advisor of the 20th century. (Oh, he also happens to be Warren Buffett’s college professor).
First published in 1949, the book explains Graham’s philosophy of “value investing”, which has been shown to shield investors from mistakes while helping them build a long-term portfolio on safe and steady footing.
The 2006 edition features commentary by finance journalist Jason Zweig, who draws insightful parallels between Graham’s ideas and modern-day headlines, providing investors with a deeper understanding of the master’s body of work.
Recommended for: Newbies or seasoned investors seeking to study one of the most enduring investment philosophies of our time.
6. A Random Walk Down Wall Street
by Burton G Malkiel
Authored by Princeton economist Burton Malkiel, this multi-layered title serves up crucial investing knowledge, accompanied by vignettes of Wall Street at important time periods which provide illuminating context on how certain rules and regulations came to be.
He is also an unashamed proponent of Efficient Market Theory, which is the source of the main criticism levelled against this book. But for the average investor, proving or disproving the theory is not the point; making healthy profits is.
To that end, Malkiel’s main advice of building and holding a long-term, diversified portfolio makes for a sensible, actionable plan.
And if that sounds familiar, that’s because this is often dispensed advice, which perhaps proves Malkiel’s assertion that the market is, ultimately, efficient, and trying to beat it will only put you at a disadvantage.
Recommended for: Those who prefer to focus on matching, not beating the market.
7. Unknown Market Wizards: The Best Traders You’ve Never Heard Of
by Jack D Schwager
A title from a popular series of investing books, Unknown Market Wizards contains in-depth interviews from some of the best investors today that have so far flown under the radar.
Instead of high-profile bankers, analysts, entrepreneurs or the like, this volume highlights individuals trading from their own accounts, who are unknown in investment circles.
Despite their anonymity, each of these everyman investors interviewed in the book have achieved results that rival – and in some cases, surpassed – those of top-tier professionals.
Unknown Market Wizards offers a revealing look at the experiences, tactics and strategies of these wildly successful investors, resulting in an engrossing collection of trading wisdom and crucial insights that can help any investor garner better results.
Recommended for: Those who are inspired by and learn best from real life examples of successful investors.
8. Broke Millennial Takes on Investing
by Erin Lowry
If you think you’re too poor, not knowledgeable enough, don’t have the time or just somehow, investing isn’t for you, this book will change your mind.
Written for the millennial generation (and later) who want to invest, but don’t quite know where to start, Broke Millennial is an all-inclusive beginner’s guidebook that is easy to digest and understand.
Author Lowry displays a solid understanding of her audience, providing comprehensive answers to questions such as whether to invest while paying down debt; how to invest in a socially responsible way; are robo-advisers and investing apps any good; and where to find reliable investment advice.
Other useful topics include common investing terms and terminology, advice on how to handle money anxiety, planning for retirement, and how to buy and sell a stock.
Recommended for: Those who think they aren’t qualified or suited to invest.
There are tons of investment-related books out there, and it might get a bit overwhelming to read everything. Take your time, and digest whatever you need to know about investing before you park some money in.
When you are ready, get started with the best online brokerages to embark on your investment journey.
This article was first published in SingSaver.com.sg.