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The average stock market return over the past 100 years is around 10%. That’s why it’s important to not only have a robust investment portfolio but also manage it well. Reading a good investing book can help you make the right financial moves.
Whether you’re a finance professional looking to up your game or an amateur investor who prefers to be more hands-on with your investments, we’ve got you covered with our list of bestsellers. Here are the best investing books from respected industry professionals, as well as the occasional beginner’s guides to get you started on the right track.
Best Overall: A Random Walk Down Wall Street
With a million copies sold, Burton G. Malkiel’s A Random Walk Down Wall Street continues to be at the top of reading lists for investors—and with good reason. Now in its 12th edition, this book provides readers with a no-nonsense guide to investing, covering topics including stocks and bonds, behavioral finance, and even tangible assets such as gold and coins. Malkiel, the Chemical Bank Chairman's Professor of Economics Emeritus at Princeton University, has also written From Wall Street to the Great Wall and The Random Walk Guide to Investing.
Best for Millennials: The Financial Diet
An Indie Personal Finance Bestseller, The Financial Diet is a great starting point for millennials who need a crash course on managing their finances. It focuses on how to create and adhere to a budget, tips for having those awkward money conversations with friends, and even what ingredients to keep stocked in your kitchen (because eating out is a major budget killer). It also hits on more advanced finance topics, such as how to care for your house or get started with investing. Author Chelsea Fagan founded the popular website and YouTube channel, The Financial Diet.
Best Classic: Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits
An updated version of Philip A. Fisher’s classic tome on investing, Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits is an in-depth look at investment philosophies with staying power. These range from how to seek out growth companies to practicing the scuttlebutt method, or the process of gathering information about a company from several different sources (ideally before you invest in said company). First published in 1958 and endorsed by Warren Buffett, the book's second edition includes input from the author's son Ken Fisher, a respected investment professional. It’s a worthy read for any investor because it lays out several foundational teachings, such as keeping your emotions out of investing.
Best on the Psychology of Investing: The Psychology of Money
This collection of 19 short stories focuses on not just the numbers behind financial strategies and investing, but also how people think about money. And for anyone who has ever made an emotional decision regarding their budget or investment portfolio, this book’s message—emotions matter when it comes to money—rings true. Morgan Housel’s The Psychology of Money highlights not only how our own emotions, bias, and ego play into our financial moves, but also gives the reader common sense tools for making those decisions. Housel, an award-winning financial journalist, is a partner at the Collaborative Fund and a former columnist at The Wall Street Journal and The Motley Fool.
Best for Day Traders: Beating the Street
This book covers an integral lesson for all investors: investing in the stock market isn’t (always) a chance game. Rather, if you do your due diligence regarding the companies you’re investing in, you have a much better chance of earning good returns. Peter Lynch’s classic title Beating the Street applies that theory to mutual funds, giving readers real-world advice on how to frame an investment strategy that works. It’s worth noting that the author managed one of the most successful mutual funds of all time, the Fidelity Magellan Fund, from 1977 to 1990.
Best on Big Tech: Bad Blood
A must-read for anyone in the fintech world, Bad Blood follows the real-life account of the rise and dramatic fall of tech startup Theranos. Helmed by the enigmatic Stanford dropout Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos promised a faster and easier way to conduct blood testing, which would mean sweeping changes for the medical industry. There was only one problem: The technology didn’t work. Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter John Carreyrou (who also uncovered the Theranos scandal in a series of Wall Street Journal articles) tells the story of this billion-dollar tech startup, serving up a good reminder for investors who are putting their funds in startups: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Best for Value Investing: The Little Book of Value Investing
Value investing is the practice of purchasing stocks that are undervalued and holding them for longer periods of time, ideally earning returns when those stocks rebound. Though not a new concept, it’s an undervalued one for many investors (pun intended). Christopher Browne’s The Little Book of Value Investing shows readers how to put this strategy into action to purchase bargain stocks and grow your portfolio. This title has earned glowing reviews from The Independent, Financial Times (U.K.), Bloomberg, and The Wall Street Journal.
Best for Index Funds: Stay the Course
Any good investor knows the importance of index funds in a passive investing strategy. Vanguard founder John C. Bogle’s Stay the Course is a fascinating look into the investment vehicles, as he tells the story of growing his firm from $1.4 billion to $5 trillion in assets, now the largest mutual fund firm in the world. Part history, part index fund primer, this title is worth reading for any investor, professional, or amateur.
A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton G. Malkiel is the best investing book for its classic approach to time-honored investing strategies. If you’re not sure where to start on your investing journey, this book is a solid jumping-off point.
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Rachel Morgan Cautero has a master's degree in journalism from New York University and more than a decade of journalism experience, mostly in the personal finance sector. Most recently, she was the managing editor of DailyWorth, a finance-based media destination for women. She’s been published in SmartAsset, The Balance, The Atlantic, Life and Money, Parents, Wealth Rocket, and Yahoo Finance. These titles were selected based on author credentials, reader reviews, and any relevant awards.