Books & Educational Content

The value of a book can be quite subjective based on how open or closed the reader’s mind is going into the read.  These are books that had some of the most impact on my investment or speculating abilities.  They are broken down by category, and for the record, everybody reads the same books so the list may be a touch redundant for some visitors.  I would break them down by level, such as novice or intermediate, but why bother?  It all starts to click at some point if you just keep reading.  Full disclosure on my own education:  I have a bachelor’s in business management and a master’s in accounting…both from the same “glorious” state school, obtained in my misguided voyage to alleged “higher education” in business.

Business fundamental analysis:
1. The Little Book of Value Investing by Christopher H. Browne (ultimate value starter)
2. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham (godfather of value)
3. Margin of Safety  by Seth Klarman (everyone knows the price of this book so I leave it up to the reader to figure out how to obtain a copy)
4. Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits by Philip A. Fisher (godfather of GARP)

Feel like your accounting and finance skills aren’t up to snuff for fundamental analysis?  Then give yourself a little education for free right here, courtesy of MIT.  Supplement the introductory material with AccountingCoach.com, and you’re on your way to financial statement competence.  Michigan’s Ross school of business offers up their free intro to finance at Coursera.org, so hit it up if you want to improve your knowledge on valuation and the time value of money.

Economics:
1. Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt (No disrespect to economists and economics students, but do you really need more than this book?  All joking aside, head over to Mises.org for a free education in the Austrian school and download a free pdf of Hazlitt’s work while you’re there.)
2. This Time is Different by Reinhart and Rogoff (ignore their Excel error and read it)

Investment strategy:
1. You Can Be a Stock Market Genius by Joel Greenblatt (cheesy title, great book)
2. Beating the Street by Peter Lynch (and no I didn’t read One Up)
3. Contrarian Investment Strategies:  The Next Generation by David Dreman
4. The Future for Investors by Jeremy J. Siegel
5. The Little Book That Beats the Market by Joel Greenblatt (magic formula)
6. The Random Walk Guide to Investing by Burton G. Malkiel (passive)

Trading – My favorite discipline:
1. Market Wizards, New Market Wizards, & Stock Market Wizards by Jack Schwager
2. Technical Analysis by Jack Schwager
3. The Visual Investor by John Murphy (founder of Stockcharts.com)
4. The Complete Turtle Trader by Michael Covel (proves anybody can trade, period)
5. Trader Vic’s – Methods of a Wall Street Master by Vic Sperandeo
6. How to Make Money in Stocks by William O’Neil (CANSLIM – great starter system)
7. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefevre (you have to know Livermore)

Philosophy within investing:
1. The Alchemy of Finance by George Soros (macro-mastery)
2. More Than You Know by Michael Maboussin
3. The Battle For Investment Survival by Gerald Loeb
4. Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Taleb (not exactly for the novice)

Mass psychology:
1. Manias, Panics, and Crashes by Charles Kindleberger (better than #2 IMO)
2. Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay
3. Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets by William Bonner and Lila Rajiva

Highly entertaining and interesting, while educating:
1. The Big Short by Michael Lewis (quite possibly my favorite investment book ever)
2. Fortune’s Formula by William Poundstone (polymaths, gangsters, betting, etc.)
3. The King of Oil by Daniel Ammann (want to know how Glencore started?)
4. Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis
5. How to Get Rich by Felix Dennis
6. Snakes in Suits by Paul Babiak and Robert D. Hare (confirmation about your boss)
7. Tragedy and Hope by Carroll Quigley

Currencies and precious metals:
1. The Collapse of the Dollar and How to Profit From It by James Turk and John Rubino
2. The Invisible Crash by James Dines
3. Currency Wars by James Rickards

Note to MarginRich visitors on currencies and precious metals:  Two of the three books are very recent.  For a massive and free education on currencies, monetary policy & theory, and banking; all the free information you can handle is at Mises.org, which is where I downloaded and read dozens of classic books on the subject matter.  I want to reiterate that there is a plethora of free content downloadable to several reading devices or in pdf.  Works by Hayek, Mises, Rothbard, Hazlitt, etc. are just sitting there for the taking; waiting for you to begin reading. That’s right. I’m an advocate of the Austrian school but we operate in a Keynesian world so always keep an open mind. Edward Lampert’s suggested reading list is riddled with Austrian economic pieces but you don’t see ESL Investments buying precious metals non-stop and hollering to End the Fed in letters to the public. Consider that Lampert is arguably one of the greatest capitalists over the last 20 years, and undoubtedly, keeping an open mind helped his substantial intellect ferret out investment ideas.