The Avid Investor Reading List: The Top 5 Very Best Books for Investors
Are you aspiring to be the next Wolf of Wall Street, in a good non-criminal/sleezy Jordan Belfort kind of way?
If so then you should immediately clear your calendar planner, and get busy reading or listening to these 5 books on investing in the stock market. I’ve read all of these in audiobook format, and I can confidently recommend them for your own collection in hardback or audio, whatever floats your boat!
Learning about investing doesn’t always have to involve a dry text on Options trading like this book… which is actually a great read for all options trading nerds. The books on this list are about the environment, people, and atmosphere that can only be found in the world of stock trading. Reading any of these books on investing will make you a better investor. Reading all of these books may just turn you into the Wall Street Wolf you’ve been dreaming of.
Charlie Munger is the unsung partner to Warren Buffet. He’s got more wisdom in his pinky finger than most ‘investors’ learn in a lifetime. The Tao of Charlie Munger by David Clark chronicles the words of wisdom that Munger has on life and investing.
The understated power of Munger’s knowledge is something that hits you after reading his simple aphorisms like, “People are trying to be smart—all I am trying to do is not to be idiotic, but it’s harder than most people think.”
The book is #5 for the simple reason that Munger is one of the rare billionaires who sits in a small office somewhere in Omaha reading away in order to make better more informed investment decisions. His old school way of thinking and investing is something that stands out in today’s atmosphere of index fund investing and hot stock chasing.
The Oracle of Omaha needs no introduction. Snowball by Alice Schroeder tells the story of Buffet’s life up to 2009 at the time of its publication. This book interweaves the early life of Warren Buffet with the billionaire Warren Buffet in an entertaining and insightful way.
Peering into his life reveals that Buffet is a down to earth, hard working, mathematical whiz kid turned billionaire. His story is one that gives a different perspective on Wall St from the vantage point of Omaha, Nebraska.
On this site, I constantly tout the merits of old-school investing and writing things down in order to get ahead financially, and Warren is the quintessential example of how traditional analytical methods and intelligent risk taking coupled with a penchant for writing things down can lead to a VERY profitable portfolio.
If you want to be taken on a wild ride guided by an expert storyteller than pick this book up immediately. In Flashboys Michael Lewis tells the story of Wall Street insiders making millions from millisecond advantages.
This book details the advent of high-frequency trading in a gripping way that includes stories and characters only to be found in the shadowy alleyways of Wall Street. On a side note… I advise you to read every book Michael Lewis has written but start with this one.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb is by far my favorite writer on investing and the philosophy of taking measured risks for greater gain. In Skin in the Game, Taleb artfully forms his thesis that true heroes in society must always have skin in the game in order to effect real change.
This book combines insights on life with opinions on what it means to be an investor. Like all of my favorite investing books, this is not a ‘how to’ book. It is a chance to learn from the most impactful living thinker on the philosophy of risk taking.
As with Michael Lewis, I would also urge you to read every book Taleb has written. You’ll enjoy the unusual way in which he views the world and also chuckle during the many rants about the uselessness of purely academic risk takers.
This is my current favorite book on the stock market and trading in general. Take a look at our moment in time. We’re at the crescendo of a raging bull market that Will end one day soon. The History of the United States in 5 Crashes by Scott Nations takes a thorough analysis of how the last 5 crashes in US history occurred and what events led to their occurrence.
The book is filled with amazing anecdotes and historical facts that are a reminder of where we stand in history. As Twain said, “History doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes.” Nations lays out the rhyming tales of overheated markets and greedy investors that led to economic crashes on an epic level.
To understand the past helps an intelligent investor to navigate the present into the future. This idea again permeates the entire investing premise of the Avid Investor ethos: Study your past behavior in order to make more strategic, aware investment and financial choices. Becoming better daily can only happen if you truly know the past. Start with reading and studying these 5 books. They will create an even stronger foundation for the intelligent investor to build their financial house upon.