Monday, March 16, 2015

10 Investment Books You Should Read


10 Investment books we really like...and so should you

Whether you are into technical analysis or fundamental analysis, a beginner or an experienced investor, we encourage you to read the following investment books. Some of these are well known investment classics while others less so. This list is by no means exhaustive- we acknowledge that there are many other great and perhaps more instructive books out there. However, these are books that we have personally read and benefited greatly from. The ideas expressed within helped mold our investment ideas and philosophy over the years and made us better investors. We truly believe that any investor would be able to gain something from them too:


1. The Intelligent Investor, Benjamin Graham

Definitive book by the father of value investing and Warren Buffett's mentor, Ben Graham. If Buffett deems it fit to be called "the best book about investing ever written", few can have any argument about this. It was this book that our founder read more than 10 years ago that truly opened our eyes to the investing world. It may open yours too.

2. Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings, Philip A. Fisher

Investment classic by one of the most influential investors of all time. This book introduced to the investment community the now famous "Scuttlebutt" approach to investing, a qualitative method to analyse businesses and their competitive advantages. The technique focuses on the importance of gathering information from all possible sources. This work by Philip Fisher inspired and influenced generations of modern investors, including us.

3. The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, Lawrence A. Cunningham

More than just a compilation of Warren Buffett's annual letters to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, the author organises and presents the key concepts in these letters in an easily understandable and digestible form. What better ways to understand the inner thoughts of the world's greatest investor than through the words of the man himself?   

4. The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life, Alice Schroeder

Only known official biography of Warren Buffett, this book details the life story of the legendary investor known as “The Oracle of Omaha”.  With unprecedented access to the man himself, his family and closest friends, Alice Schroeder, an ex-senior Morgan Stanley analyst, manages to tell a fascinating and compelling tale of how Warren Buffett built his massive fortune over the years. The book also contains less than flattering details of his personal life. At 800 over pages (900 over if you include end notes) though, this book is not for the faint-hearted.  

5. One Up on Wall Street, Peter Lynch with John Rothchild

Another investment classic. Legendary mutual fund manager, Peter Lynch explains how the common investor in the street can beat the professionals at their own game of investing. It is widely believed that this book popularised the term "multi-bagger", meaning a stock that returned multiple folds its original investment. Peter Lynch's record of 29% average annual returns in the 13-year period he was managing the Fidelity Magellan Fund speaks for itself.

6. Super Stocks, Kenneth L. Fisher

Son of wall street legend, Philip Fisher, Ken Fisher is a highly successful investor and billionaire in his own right. His firm, Fisher Investments, managed more than US$50 billion as of 2013. Find out, amongst others, how you can use the Price to Sales Ratio (PSR), as a measure to gauge relative valuation of stocks.

7. You can be a Stock Market Genius, Joel Greenblatt

Famed value investor and hedge fund manager, Joel Greenblatt's first book published in 1997. Corny title aside, this book provides useful insights on how you can profit from special situations such as spin-offs, mergers, rights offerings, bankruptcies and risk arbitrages. One of our personal favorites, we would not recommend this book to beginners still grasping with the basics of investing though. Investors might also want to check out one of Joel Greenblatt's other titles, The Little Book That Beats the Market.

8. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, Edwin Lefèvre

The only non-value investing book on our list. This book purportedly tells the story of legendary trader, Jesse Livermore. You will probably not learn any fundamental investing concepts from this book although it is fascinating to read about the roller coaster fortunes of the former wall street trader, whose life ended tragically in 1940.

9. Bull, Maggie Mahar

As the saying goes, those who never learn from history are doomed to repeat it. For younger generation of investors  who never lived through the boom and bust of the past 3 decades, this book provides a timely reminder of how volatile the markets can be as well as offer a rare insight into the inner workings of wall street. After reading this, you may never view brokerage reports the same way again.

10. Warren Buffett Speaks, Janet Lowe

This book of quotes is extremely easy to read and suitable for beginners but it only made our list for sentimental reasons. In 2005, a chance encounter with the folksy wisdom of Warren Buffett depicted within led us to The Intelligent Investor and changed our founder's views on investments forever.  We are hopeful it will change yours too, for the better of course.

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