When it comes to learning about investing, the internet is a convenient way to navigate the current information jungle. But those seeking greater historical perspective and a more detailed analysis should consider reading the following classic investment themed books:
"The Intelligent Investor" (1949) by Benjamin Graham
The undisputed father of value investing, Benjamin Graham's "The Intelligent Investor" birthed ideas about security analysis that laid the foundation for a generation of investors, including his most famous student, Warren Buffett, who called this work: "By far the best book on investing ever written." Published in 1949, this book teaches time-tested principles that every investor can use.
"COMMON STOCKS AND UNCOMMON PROFITS" (1958) by Philip A. Fisher
Another pioneer in the world of financial analysis, Philip Fisher has had a major influence on modern investment theory and is credited with the idea of analyzing stocks based on their growth potential. "COMMON STOCKS AND UNCOMMON PROFITS" teaches investors to analyze the quality of a business and its ability to produce profits. First published in the 1950s, Fisher's lessons are just as applicable, more than a half-century later.
"Stocks For The Long Run" (1994) by Jeremy Siegel
As the title suggests, Wharton School of Business professor Jeremy Siegel champions the concept of investing in stocks over the long haul. Extensively drawing on more than two centuries of research, Siegel believes equities will not only surpass all other financial assets when it comes to performance, but he argues that stock returns are safer and more predictable during inflationary climates.
"Learn To Earn" (1995), "One Up On Wall Street" (1989) or "Beating The Street" (1994) by Peter Lynch
Peter Lynch came to prominence in the 1980s as the manager of the spectacularly-performing Fidelity Magellan Fund, and he has since authored a trio of well-received books. Geared towards a younger audience, "Learn To Earn" explains many business basics, while "One Up On Wall Street" makes the case for the benefits of self-directed investing. Not to be outdone, "Beating The Street" focuses on the process Lynch used for picking winning stocks when he ran the famed Magellan Fund. All three titles preach a common sense approach, insisting that individual investors who conduct thorough due diligence can invest just like the experts.
"A Random Walk Down Wall Street" (1973) by Burton G. Malkiel
According to Malkiel's book, no amount of fundamental or technical research will help investors beat the market, and he consequently likens investing in a random walk. Like any good academic, Malkiel backs up his argument with copious research and statistics. But even so, many find Malkiel's ideas to be controversial at best; blasphemous at worst.
"The Essays Of Warren Buffett: Lessons For Corporate America" (Revised 2001) by Warren Buffett and Lawrence Cunningham
Although he seldom comments on his specific stock holdings, Warren Buffet is transparent about the principles behind his investments. This book is a collection of letters he wrote to shareholders over the past few decades, that definitively summarize the techniques of the world's greatest investor.
"How To Make Money In Stocks" (2009, 4th ed.) by William J. O'Neil
Bill O'Neil founded Investor's Business Daily, a national publisher of daily financial newspapers, and created the CANSLIM system of choosing stocks, where each letter in the acronym stands for a key factor to look for when purchasing shares in a company (C = Current quarterly earnings per share, A = Annual earnings increases over the last five years, etc.) If you're interested in stock picking, "How To Make Money In Stocks" is a great place to start because it skips generalities to provide tangible ideas you can immediately apply to your research.
"Rich Dad Poor Dad" (1997) by Robert T. Kiyosaki
This book centers around the lessons rich folks teach their kids about money, which, according to Robert Kiyosaki, poor and middle-class parents too often neglect. Kiyosaki's simple-but-effective message preaches the importance of investing early, to make your assets work for you--a concept all children should know.
"Common Sense On Mutual Funds" (1999) by John Bogle
John Bogle, the founder of the Vanguard Group, is a driving force behind the case for index funds and the case against actively-managed mutual funds. His book begins with a primer on investment strategy, before blasting the mutual fund industry for the exorbitant fees it charges investors. Mutual funds investors should be sure to give this book a read.
"Irrational Exuberance" (2000) by Robert J. Shiller
Named after Alan Greenspan's infamous 1996 comment on the absurdity of stock market valuations, Shiller's book, released in March 2000, gave a chilling warning of the impending dot-com bubble's burst. The Yale economist dispels the myth that the market is rational and instead explains that the market is more influenced by emotion, herd behavior and speculation.
The more you know, the more you'll be able to incorporate the advice of some of these experts into your own investment strategy.