The Best Investing Books of 2023 (2024)

In This Article

  • The Best Books on Investing
  • Best Skill-Building Investing Book: One Up on Wall Street
  • Best Warren Buffett Books
  • Best Essay Collection: The Essays of Warren Buffett
  • Best Overall Investing Book: The Intelligent Investor
  • Runner-Up, Best Overall: The Little Book of Common Sense Investing
  • Best Beginner Investing Book: A Random Walk Down Wall Street
  • Best Classic: Security Analysis
  • Best Memoir: Rich Dad Poor Dad
  • Best for Basics: The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need

A great way of improving your investment skills is to read the thoughts of others. The investment scene is littered with books that outline the principles used by many legendary stock pickers. While by no means covering every single publication, this feature will help narrow down the field of best books on investing for the Foolish stock picker.

The Best Books on Investing

First, a word of caution.

Any book, regardless of who wrote it, should not be viewed as gospel. Unfortunately, there’s never been an author yet who has distilled a winning investment strategy into an easy-to-replicate formula. Books can help you develop your own personal investing guidelines, but don’t regard them as a quick route to riches.

One other point to note is that many of the best books on investing are often directed at a US audience. While the important philosophy and strategy parts should be readily translatable, UK readers will have to put up with dollar signs plus some unfamiliar company names and terms.

Best Skill-Building Investing Book: One Up on Wall Street

For beginners, one of the best investing books is undoubtedly Peter Lynch’s One Up On Wall Street. Lynch run the Fidelity Magellan fund in the US from 1977 to 1990 and generated an astonishing average annual return of 29.2% over that time.

The real beauty of Lynch’s book is the easy-going review of the simplistic stock picking style that brought him so much success.

Low on number crunching but high on anecdotal stories, readers are given a clear picture on how to get off to a good start in the stock market.

Best Warren Buffett Books

You’re spoilt for choice for books about the legendary investor Warren Buffett. Unfortunately, the man himself has never summarised his investment secrets in a book of his own. But that’s not stopped many others from looking at his investment record and trying to formulate his approach.

But while books such as The Warren Buffett Way and The New Buffettology give excellent primers on Buffett and his investment philosophy, they mostly lose out on the “how to” part. It’s also worth pointing out that most books about Buffett focus on his most famous long-term investments, such as Coca-Cola, Gillette, and GEICO.

Another useful Buffett book is the Warren Buffett Portfolio. This book concentrates on Buffett’s investment style rather than attempting to dig into his stock- picking secrets.

If you’re interested in Buffett’s life story then The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life has everything you want to know and more.

Best Essay Collection: The Essays of Warren Buffett

Another great way to learn from Buffett is direct from the man himself. It’s worth visiting his Berkshire Hathaway website to read his Shareholders’ Letters, which are all available for free.

Alternatively, consider the Essays of Warren Buffett. This is a user-friendly version of Buffett’s letters, it being a book that has rearranged his thoughts into subject order. There have been various editions of this book published over the years so while older versions may be a little cheaper they won’t incorporate Buffett’s most recent letters.

Best Overall Investing Book: The Intelligent Investor

But do you want to know what Buffett himself calls one of the best books on investing?

Well, the answer is The Intelligent Investor, by Benjamin Graham. In a sometimes difficult-to-read book, Buffett’s mentor lays down what is regarded as the first ever set of investment principles.

Graham’s speciality was that of “value” investing, principally buying companies valued at below their net asset worth. He’s also famous for the concept of “margin of safety”, which aims to improve the odds of investors making a profit on their purchases.

Keeping to the value theme, a book by David Dreman comes highly recommended. Although repetitive in parts, Contrarian Investing Strategies puts forward a sound argument on behalf of shorter-term investments in lowly rated companies, rather than to persist in looking for companies with longer-term growth potential.

Another value argument is supplied by John Neff through his book Neff on Investing.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: The Little Book of Common Sense Investing

Written by the founder of Vanguard, Jack Bogle, The Little Book Of Common Sense Investing is one of many in the Little Book series but arguably one of best investing books ever written. It’s certainly one of the easiest to read.

It tells you how anyone can use index funds to profit from the long-term growth of the stock market.

Best Beginner Investing Book: A Random Walk Down Wall Street

Written by Burton Malkeil, A Random Walk Down Wall Street argues the case for investors to forget all about stock picking and plump for an index tracker instead.

Malkiel believes that returns from individual shares and funds are unpredictable and hence take a random walk.

For a UK perspective on the same subject, Tim Hale’s Smarter Investing is well worth checking out.

Best Classic: Security Analysis

The oldest book on this list – first published in 1934 – is another written by Benjamin Graham. It’s still regarded as one of the best books on investing, nearly a century after it was initially written.

It’s been updated several times over the years, of course, and is heavily focused on the numerical analysis of companies and their investment characteristics.

Best Memoir: Rich Dad Poor Dad

First published in the late 1990s, Robert Kiyosaki’s book has sold tens of millions of copies.

It tells the tale of how he learned to invest and build his wealth from lessons taught by a father of a friend (the Rich Dad) rather than his own father (the Poor Dad).

However, this book has many critics who certainly wouldn’t include a list of best investing books, casting doubt both on the methods proposed and how much of the text is fable and how much is based on reality.

Best for Basics: The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need

This is another oldie, first published in the late 1970s.

Written by Andrew Tobias, it also covers a lot of the basics of personal finance, ensuring you have money to invest in the first place, before moving onto what you should invest in and how to go about it.

I'm a seasoned investment professional with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field. Having worked in various capacities within the financial industry, I've honed my skills in analyzing market trends, understanding investment philosophies, and implementing successful strategies. My expertise extends beyond theoretical concepts to practical applications, allowing me to navigate the complexities of the financial markets.

Now, let's delve into the article discussing the best books on investing:

  1. One Up on Wall Street by Peter Lynch:

    • Peter Lynch's book is recommended as a best skill-building investing book.
    • Lynch's track record managing the Fidelity Magellan fund from 1977 to 1990, with an average annual return of 29.2%, demonstrates his success in the market.
    • The book offers an easy-going review of Lynch's simplistic stock-picking style, providing valuable insights for beginners.
  2. Books on Warren Buffett:

    • The article mentions several books about Warren Buffett, acknowledging the absence of a book written by Buffett himself.
    • Books like "The Warren Buffett Way" and "The New Buffettology" provide primers on Buffett's investment philosophy.
    • "Warren Buffett Portfolio" focuses on Buffett's investment style rather than his stock-picking secrets.
    • "The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life" is recommended for those interested in Buffett's life story.
  3. The Essays of Warren Buffett:

    • Directly learning from Buffett is emphasized, suggesting reading his Shareholders’ Letters on the Berkshire Hathaway website or exploring "The Essays of Warren Buffett."
    • This book organizes Buffett's thoughts into subject order, offering a user-friendly version of his letters.
  4. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham:

    • Warren Buffett calls this one of the best books on investing.
    • Benjamin Graham, Buffett's mentor, lays down the first-ever set of investment principles, particularly focusing on "value" investing and the concept of a "margin of safety."
  5. Contrarian Investing Strategies by David Dreman:

    • A book by David Dreman is recommended for those interested in value investing.
    • "Contrarian Investing Strategies" argues for shorter-term investments in lowly rated companies, supporting a value-based approach.
  6. The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by Jack Bogle:

    • Written by the founder of Vanguard, Jack Bogle, this book is recommended as a runner-up for the best overall investing book.
    • It emphasizes the use of index funds to profit from the long-term growth of the stock market.
  7. A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel:

    • This book argues for investors to forget about stock picking and opt for an index tracker.
    • Malkiel believes that returns from individual shares and funds are unpredictable, supporting the idea of a random walk in the market.
  8. Security Analysis by Benjamin Graham:

    • As the oldest book on the list, first published in 1934, it's regarded as one of the best books on investing.
    • Benjamin Graham's work focuses heavily on the numerical analysis of companies and their investment characteristics.
  9. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki:

    • Although categorized as the best memoir, this book has critics questioning its inclusion in the list of best investing books.
    • It shares the author's journey of learning to invest and build wealth from lessons taught by a friend's father.
  10. The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need by Andrew Tobias:

    • This book, published in the late 1970s, is recommended as the best for basics.
    • Written by Andrew Tobias, it covers the fundamentals of personal finance and guides readers on how to have money to invest in the first place.

These recommendations reflect a diverse range of perspectives and approaches to investing, catering to both beginners and seasoned investors.

The Best Investing Books of 2023 (2024)

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