Classic Investment Books... What Have I Missed?
July 19, 2006 6:19 AM   Subscribe

Classic Investment Books... What Have I Missed?

I’m always looking to increase my understanding of investing, so I thought I’d ask you fine folks for help expanding my reading list.

I’ve got a pretty broad definition of ‘Investment Books’: I’m not just looking for ‘How To Invest’-style books, I’m also looking for books on the history of successful businesses, biographies of great investors, histories of The Great Depression, business scandals and the psychology of economics (behavioral economics). Anything you could recommend would be appreciated.

What I’ve read so far:

The Intelligent Investor by Ben Graham
The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need by Andrew Tobias
The Little Book That Beats The Market by Joel Greenblatt
Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefèvre
One Up On Wall Street by Peter Lynch
Against The Gods by Peter L. Bernstein
The Future For Investors by Jeremy Siegel
The Smartest Guys in The Room by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind
When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management by Roger Lowenstein
Vendetta: American Express and the Smearing of Edmond Safra by Bryan Burrough

On my list to read:

A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton G. Malkiel
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay
The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki
Stocks for The Long Run by Jeremy Siegel
Barbarians At The Gates by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar
posted by Fuzzy Monster to Work & Money (16 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I thought "Liar's Poker" was sort of funny. I also enjoyed "Fooled by Randomness" immensely. Not quite investment but a great book on skepticism and will put a lot of investment advice in perspective. I'd recommend Karl Popper's works to you and reading up on random walks and the Black–Scholes model to put things in perspective.
posted by geoff. at 6:38 AM on July 19, 2006

Once you read A Random Walk Down Wall Street you may feel it unnecessary to read the rest, so I'd hit that one first.
posted by escabeche at 7:16 AM on July 19, 2006

Best answer: The Great Crash: 1929, John Kenneth Galbraith, excellent book, I've read it three times and I'm re-reading it again right now. Remarkably errie parallels to today, especially the parts covering Florida real estate, property flipping, folks quitiing jobs to sell / buy real estate, etc, etc.

Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises, Charles P. Kindleberger, excellent overivew of some of the drivers of a crash / panic, and especially illuminating in that you get some idea of their (surprisingly often!) frequency over the past 400 or so years.
posted by Mutant at 7:23 AM on July 19, 2006

The Four Pillars of Investing and The Intelligent Asset Allocator by William Bernstein are both essentials - the Four Pillars covers some interesting history as well as current investment strategies.
posted by ny_scotsman at 7:24 AM on July 19, 2006 [1 favorite]

William J. O'Neill's (the founder of Investor's Business Daily) book How To Make Money In Stocks has much to recommend. It could be overwhelming for a novice and it has a strong bias towards charts and technical analysis, but if you're serious about investing it's a great book.
posted by Heminator at 7:26 AM on July 19, 2006

Wow, nothing by Drucker recommended yet... He is basically the father of modern management. There is a collection of excerpts from his books called the Essential Drucker, and beyond that he has 35 books covering society and business, the executive in business, and the knowledge economy, among other topics. I'm sure he digs into investment in there, too, but I'm really just starting to read him. He was always ahead of his time, and you'll see topics like the long tail, agile management, and virtual companies come up often in his writing well before they were well known or accepted.
posted by rsanheim at 8:05 AM on July 19, 2006

Best answer: The Day the Bubble Burst, Gordon Thomas
My Own Story, Bernard Baruch. He was one of the great trader/investors of the first half of the 20th century.
The Art of War, Sun Tsu
As a trader, Reminiscences of a Stock Operator (which you read) is great. Lefevre wrote several other books which are hard to find that are good. The Goldon Flood, The Plunderers and Sampson Rock.
Also, Studies in Tape Reading, by "Rollo Tape"
All the Market Wizards books,, but especially the first, are very helpful and insightful.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:13 AM on July 19, 2006

While I haven't read it myself, but one my parents have always recommended reading at some point is The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko. I can't vouch for how deep into investing it goes or anything, but I'm told it's simply a good one to have read.

I second escabeche's comment that you might consider reading A Random Walk Down Wall Street first. Again, it's another one I've heard from many people that acts as a great starting point.
posted by mrhaydel at 8:25 AM on July 19, 2006

The Money Game needs to be on that list.
posted by sfenders at 11:39 AM on July 19, 2006

Check out the book reviews at Get Rich Slowly, plus the original multi-book review that led to that website's creation.
posted by cribcage at 12:29 PM on July 19, 2006

Fisher's Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits.

Where are the Customer's Yachts?
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:39 PM on July 19, 2006

Books about Jesse Livermore:

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefèvre

Jesse Livermore: The World's Greatest Stock Trader by Richard Smitten
posted by rsol44 at 1:10 PM on July 19, 2006

I'll second William Bernstein's Four Pillars of Investing and The Intelligent Asset Allocator, and Burton Malkiel's A Random Walk Down Wall Street.

John Bogle's Common Sense on Mutual Funds is also very good.
posted by blue grama at 7:36 PM on July 19, 2006

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Kiyosaki sells extremely well where I work. Haven't read it myself. All of David Bach's stuff is popular as well.

For good business biographies, I'm fond of Nuts! by Kevin and Jackie Freiberg and Pour Your Heart Into It by Howard Schultz. They are about Southwest Airlines and Starbucks, respectively. They have the expected amount of cheerleading, but are interesting histories nonetheless.
posted by booksherpa at 8:34 PM on July 19, 2006

Kiyosaki, eh?
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 11:18 PM on July 19, 2006 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, everybody. I've marked as 'best answer' some of the suggestions that really appealled to me, but I plan to check out most of the other books, too. Again, thanks very much for the suggestions. (And to anyone who wanders in while this thread is still open: Keep 'em coming!)
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:09 AM on July 20, 2006

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