You have money you want to invest. Now the question is where to start? Most of us don’t learn about investing in school. We have to teach ourselves.
Luckily, there are plenty of books to assist in our investment education. And they approach the subject of investing from several different angles. There are books on theory, books on practice, and books on mindset. All of them will benefit investors.
In truth, there may be too many books. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the choices!
That’s why we put our favorites on one easy to refer to list. Below you’ll find the 25 best investing books of all time ranked in order, first to last. However, even the last book is more than worth reading, in our opinion.
These titles are great for investors of all skill levels. That said, they’re especially helpful if you’re just starting out. They’ll teach you all the tips and tricks from investors who excelled. They’ll also point out pitfalls to avoid. By the time you’re done reading a few of them, you’ll be more than ready to invest your first dollar.
1.The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John Bogle
In this practical guide, John Bogle explains how to make index investing work for you. And he should know. Bogle created the world’s first index mutual fund and is the founder of the Vanguard Group.
This guide isn’t full of technical jargon or hard to understand concepts, though. Bogle writes in layman’s terms so that even a beginner investor can understand. In general, he recommends a diverse portfolio and low expense ratios. That seems logical to us. You might even call it common sense!
Learning Bogle’s philosophy is a great way for novice investors to get started. Bogle’s not writing to those who want to take big risks in the hopes of getting rich. Nor does he present a technique that requires tons of practice or study.
Instead, Bogle writes to the majority. Most of us want to ensure financial stability as we age. But we don’t want to spend hours reading financial reports. Bogle’s guidebook makes that possible.
2.The Intelligent Investor Benjamin Graham
Warren Buffet said this book was “by far the best book on investing ever written!” That could be because Graham helped teach Buffet how to invest. Graham was so influential that Buffet named his son after him.
In this book, Graham describes the emotional foundation every good investor needs. He also lists the analytical tools a strong investor will have. But, it’s not an overly simplistic text. Some terms may be confusing for those new to the financial world.
That said, there’s nothing in the book you can’t look up on Investopedia. In fact, that might be the best way to teach yourself about investing. It’ll take you some time to get through the book, but you’ll end up with a thorough education.
If you have a basic understanding of the stock market already, this book will be far easier to read. You’re learning from one of the greatest investors of all time! So, we say the Intelligent Investor is essential reading.
3. A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel
Experts often recommend A Random Walk Down Wall Street to recent college grads. It’s an ideal read for those who are about to start their first 401K. That’s because Burton Malkiel is an expert and his advice is straightforward.
In this classic guide, Malkiel gives insights on a broad range of investing topics. He covers stocks and bonds, real estate, and tangible assets like gold.
In the book’s recent update, publishers added chapters on present-day topics. So you’ll also learn about the bitcoin bubble, automated financial advisors, and factor investing.
The book covers a broad range of subjects, but it doesn’t read like an encyclopedia. It’s engaging. It’s like taking a college class with a knowledgeable and friendly professor. Malkiel clearly knows what he’s talking about. His passion for the subject comes through.
That said, A Random Walk Down Wall Street is less of a practical guide and more of a conceptual manual. It won’t tell you exactly what to do, but it will familiarize you with the relevant ideas.
We love this book for beginners who need a basic introduction to the world of investing. We think they’ll find Malkiel’s advice and outlook helpful.
4. The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need by Andrew Tobias
If you’re starting from scratch when it comes to investments, Andrew Tobias has some advice for you. Tobias is an author who spent his career writing about investment. He was also treasurer of the Democratic National Committee from 1999 to 2017.
In this guide to investing, Tobias starts at the very beginning. He guides readers through tips on spending less first so that you’ll have money to invest later.
Then, he breaks down when and how to invest for the first time. Tobias focuses on major financial life moments. That includes paying college tuition and affording retirement. He also covers the ins and outs of life insurance, making this guide realistic and applicable.
Tobias first wrote the book in 1978, so it’s withstood the test of time. He revised and updated the book in 2005. Now it includes chapters on internet investing and current tax laws.
For those new to the world of finance who may not even have spare funds to invest just yet, this book is a must-read. We highly recommend it for those who feel they know next-to-nothing about investing.
5. Security Analysis by Benjamin Graham and David L. Dodd
Over a million readers have consumed this quintessential investment guide in the last sixty years. And we can see why! This lengthy and in-depth financial tome provides readers timeless advice.
Ben Graham and David Dodd watched as businesses and investors navigated the Depression. They continued to observe through years of recovery and then through World War II. What they witnessed became invaluable insights for future investors.
Sometimes called the “Dean of Wall Street,” Graham is generous with his investing ideas throughout the book. He and Dodd are genuine in their goal. They want the average person to make meaningful financial gains. And that comes through in the nearly 1200 pages of text.
It’s lengthy, but it’s thorough. Financial professors often put Security Analysis on their required reading lists. And you’ll see this text sitting on any good financial advisor’s shelf. So if you want a true investing education, this is a text worth picking up.
6. I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
Forbes named Ramit Sethi a “wealth wizard” in 2013. We completely agree with the designation. In this book, Sethi promises what seems to be impossible: spend guilt-free on the things you love while growing rich!
It sounds too good to be true, but Sethi breaks down his plan into a practical 6-week guide. He teaches readers how to get rid of their college debt, set up no-fee bank accounts, and talk their way out of late fees.
He also teaches them how to create a set-it and forget-it investment plan. The goal is to make money without having to think about it all the time. Beyond that, Sethi gives readers real-life financial strategies for significant life events. Think weddings and retirement!
This book might not be for advanced investors. But it’s an excellent guide for those who want to get out of debt and begin investing. We love it for recent college grads or for those trying to get out from under credit card debt, specifically.
7. Poor Charlie’s Almanack by Charlie Munger
With a net worth of almost $2 billion, it’s safe to say Charlie Munger knows a thing or two about managing money. Munger is the infamous business partner of Warren Buffet. In this book, he shares his life wisdom.
There’s a reason Munger calls this book an “almanack.” With so many lessons and stories, it’s more of an encyclopedia than it is a standard work of nonfiction.
That’s why we think every investor should own this book, even if you never read it in full. It’s referenceable, and you can read one lesson at a time. Plus, it looks great on coffee tables, given its inordinately large size.
It’s not all about investing, either—much of Munger’s writing centers around how he lives his actual day-to-day life. Munger often speaks of his morals and includes sound life advice.
Our favorite words of wisdom? “Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up.” That’s simple but solid stuff!
Fans of Charles Munger know he’s media-shy and tends to avoid the spotlight. Perhaps that’s why this book stands out. It’s an honest and witty collection of tales and sayings that paint a portrait of a brilliant mind, one we don’t get to see speak very often.
There are no straightforward “how to get rich” plans inside Poor Charlie’s Almanack. But the life wisdom of Charles Munger is worth any would-be investor’s attention.
8. Beating the Street by Peter Lynch
If you’re interested in building your own investment portfolio, this guide can help. Peter Lynch is the former manager of the Magellan Fund at Fidelity Investments. The fund set record growth rates while Lynch managed it from 1977 to 1990. In this book, Lynch explains his winning philosophy so we all can benefit from it.
Lynch points out that behind every stock is an actual company. That seems obvious, but we tend not to think of it that way. In this guide, Lynch explains how to become a company expert.
If you become an expert on a company, Lynch argues that you’ll understand why their stock behaves the way it does. Armed with that knowledge, you can build your own investment portfolio.
In Beating the Street, Lynch walks readers through how he picks stocks and gives them advice on building their portfolios. His style is down-to-earth and easy to follow. So even if you’re new to the finance world, you’ll find this book invaluable.
9. Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Nassim Nicholas Taleb is an expert trader and risk scientist, making him uniquely qualified to discuss the role of chance in the market. But to say this book is all about investing would be short-selling it. It’s not the most effortless read, but it’s the kind of book that could change how you see the world entirely.
In this clear and comprehensive work, Taleb challenges everything we thought we knew about talent and fortune. Using examples as varied as Yogi Berra, Odysseus, and George Soros, Taleb shows we’re all subject to logical fallacies and superstitions.
His tone can sometimes seem condescending, and not everyone agrees with Taleb’s philosophical bend. That said, some of the lessons in this book are invaluable for navigating a tumultuous market.
Taleb talks in length about hindsight bias, which is crucial for every investor to understand. He also discusses the pitfalls in attributing success to skill and failure to bad luck. Essentially, randomness creates asymmetrical results far more often than we realize.
By understanding common logical fallacies and examining luck’s role, you’ll learn to be a better investor overall.
10. Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits by Philip Fisher
Fisher penned this classic book on investing in 1958. At that time, the world was a very different place, but the ideas he presents are timeless.
This isn’t a fast-paced book full of step-by-step formulas or magic recipes. Instead, Fisher focuses on value investing. Value investing refers to picking stocks that are trading below their intrinsic value. It’s the strategy Warren Buffet uses and tends to be successful in the long run.
Value investing takes time and requires you to evaluate a company thoroughly before purchasing its stock. Fisher lays out how to do that. It’s not just a matter of looking at a company’s financials. Instead, Fisher explains how to appraise a company’s worth based on various intrinsic and extrinsic factors.
It can be a little dense to read, and it uses outdated company examples, but much of what Fisher says is timeless. If you’re interested in learning investment strategies on a deeper level, this book is ideal.
11. Fail-Safe Investing by Harry Browne
Financial lessons you can apply in thirty minutes or less. That’s what Harry Browne promises to give readers in his investment guide.
Harry Browne was an author, investment advisor, and politician. You may have heard his name before. He was the Libertarian candidate for president twice (1996 and 2000). And he sold more than 2 million copies of the 12 books he wrote. Most of them were on investment.
In this short treatise on investment, Browne explains how to build wealth from your career. He also covers how to create a fail-safe portfolio and how to take advantage of tax reduction plans.
Brown wrote the book during the dot com craze in the late ’90s when speculation was costing investors a lot. He presents a well-balanced strategy. Even twenty years later, his plan continues to prove resilient to the fluctuating market.
Brown pushes readers to make conservative financial decisions that will benefit them over time. He cautions against any sort of “get rich quick” thinking and focuses on minimizing risk. With his Permanent Portfolio model, he encourages an investment strategy that allows you to set it and forget it.
You can ensure a stable financial future without a ton of time or much in-depth knowledge. It’s an excellent read for those who want quick but applicable finance lessons from an established investing guru.
12. Principles by Ray Dalio
In his instant bestseller, Ray Dalio breaks down his principles, not just for investing, but for life. Dalio spends the first half of his book explaining his beginnings, which are both humble and inspirational. Then, he distills his life experiences into a series of basic principles you can apply in your own life.
The brilliant entrepreneur and investment master gives hundreds of lessons in this book. And they all center around two main ideas: radical truth and radical transparency.
With those two cornerstones in place, Dalio explains how to make vital decisions in life and finance. The book is fantastic for organizational strategies, but the advice works on a personal level too.
And, if 600 pages is a little too much for you to commit to, you’re in luck. Dalio recently condensed his long-form principles down to bite-size pieces that even a child can enjoy. You can find them in his new picture book, Principles for Success, released in 2020.
13. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Kahneman is a psychologist, not a financial advisor. But the concept he introduces in his best-selling book shows how your thought processes may be affecting your financial success.
Given that he won the Nobel Prize in Economics for the idea, you can be sure Kahneman knows what he’s talking about. He says that we think in two systems. The first is fast and intuitive. The second is slow but logical.
Kahneman goes on to show that we base many of our decisions on bias and intuition and are rooted in the first system. That means we tend to base financial decisions and personal choices on our subconscious feelings, not facts.
Learning to identify your subconscious biases can help you make better investing decisions.
It’s not the easiest text to read and is more of a discussion on thinking than a real how-to guide on investing. But for those who want to think like better investors, it’s worth taking the time to understand.
14. The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
According to Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a black swan event has three qualifying characteristics. It happens at random. It has a massive impact. And, once it’s over, we create a story to explain it.
That story tends to make the event seem, well, explainable. When, in fact, it’s truly random and unpredictable. Examples of black swan events include everything from the devastating attacks on 9/11 to the rise of Google. And in the world of investing, they happen more often than we like to think.
You can’t plan for a black swan event, but reading The Black Swan will give you a new way to think of these extraordinary occurrences. According to Taleb, we need to pay less attention to what we do know and more attention to what we don’t know.
Luckily, Taleb is a smart and quick-witted guide through the possibilities we never think to consider. Reading this book won’t merely make you a better investor. It will likely change how you view the world.
15. Your Money or Your Life by Joel Dominguez & Vicki Robin
Your Money or Your Life features a 9-step program to change your relationship with money. Rather than focusing on strict budgets that few can stick to, Dominguez and Robin teach readers to be more mindful of their spending. They also share tips and tricks on getting out of debt and go over the basics of investing.
Celebrities and experts have long praised the book for changing people’s outlook on money. But it’s definitely for beginners.
It does a thorough job of teaching personal finance best practices. And the book includes a lot of real-world examples. However, the book lacks information on the ins and outs of the stock market.
If you need help handling personal finances, this guide is perfect. And if you’re in any debt, you’ll find the advice invaluable. We recommend it to those seeking to become financially independent for the first time.
16. The Book on Rental Property Investing by Brandon Turner
Real-estate investing is an excellent way to increase your wealth. If that interests you at all, then Brandon Turner’s definitive guide on the subject is compulsory reading.
In it, Turner outlines several intriguing ways to make money using rental properties. He explains how to create a usable plan, find the best real estate deals and finance rentals.
The Book on Rental Property Investing is on the longer side at close to 400 pages. But valuable information fills every page.
It will force you to ask all the right questions too. Turner encourages the reader to think about how and why they want to invest in real estate before moving forward.
Turner is a real estate investor himself, so this isn’t a book that revolves around theory. Instead, Turner provides actionable advice for the beginning real estate investor. And it doesn’t involve painting walls or replacing sinks.
This isn’t a book on real estate investment schemes. It’s a book on creating real cash flow from rental properties. And Turner does an excellent job of walking readers through that process step-by-step.
17. The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel
In a series of 19 short stories, Morgan Housel reveals that decisions regarding money aren’t always as logical as we like to think. Our egos, personal history, pride, and a whole bunch of random factors play a large part in our financial decisions.
In this classic text, Housel reminds us that we’re not computers, and we often don’t make choices based on numbers or cold hard facts. That said, learning how people actually think and make decisions about money helps us be better investors.
The book is short and easy to read. Housel is an excellent storyteller, which makes the book extra-engaging. If you want to understand why you make the financial decisions you do, this book is valuable. And, it’ll help you see how everyone else in the market makes decisions too.
18. The Simple Path to Wealth: Your Road Map to Financial Independence and a Rich, Free Life by JL Collins
JL Collins brought this book to life from a series of letters he wrote to his daughter. Like many of us, his daughter complained that she knew money was important. She just didn’t want to spend all day thinking about it.
In this warm-hearted approach to finance, Collins explains that the world of investing is fraught with frauds. These swindlers make investing more complicated than it needs to be and then profit off the results.
Collins goes on to give simple and easy to implement strategies for building and maintaining wealth. His goal is to give readers the ability to find financial freedom. To do this, Collins sketches out a plan that will allow you to retire early and live comfortably off your investments.
His straightforward approach to finance makes sense, even to beginner investors. He cautions them to avoid debt. And he reminds them to invest even when the market is in a downturn. Sage and straightforward advice like that can make all the difference when investing!
And reading it is like reading a letter from your well-meaning and wealthy uncle. Collins comes off as trustworthy and far from condescending. That makes reading this book a joy.
19. The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing by Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, and Michael LeBoeuf
Even if you don’t know what a mutual fund is or who John C. Bogle was, this investing guidebook will help you build your wealth. The authors make Bogle’s financial ideas easy to digest. And they’ll quickly have you feeling confident about your financial capabilities.
Some books go-on at length about the values of compounding interest but don’t give many practical ways of implementing such a plan. That’s where The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing changes the game.
This book breaks down an easy-to-follow approach for taking advantage of compounding interest. The strategy may take a long time to build wealth, but it’s nearly fool-proof. For novice investors, the simple strategy this book outlines will get them started on the right foot.
20. The Essays of Warren Buffett by Warren E. Buffett and Lawrence A. Cunningham
Advice from the investing legend himself, Warren Buffet, is hard to put a value on. This collection of essays gives readers candid advice from one of the world’s most prominent business tycoons.
Buffett’s strategy may not be for everyone, but his business and investing takeaways are invaluable, even to beginners. The essays are actually selected letters from Buffet to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders. They include advice on ethics, acquisitions, valuations, and taxes.
Perhaps more valuable, though, is the overall picture Buffet paints. By reading his letters to shareholders across the span of several decades, you’ll gain a solid understanding of Buffett’s investing principles.
Those principles work just as well in today’s market as they did in the 80s. And learning them directly from Buffet is an absolute treat for those who love the world of finance.
21. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J Stanley, Ph.D and William D. Danko, Ph.D
Your neighbor may drive a used car, commute to work, and wear jeans bought at the local mega-mart, but that doesn’t mean she’s not a millionaire. Doctors Stanley and Danko spent years studying and interviewing America’s real millionaires. You might find their discoveries surprising.
In The Millionaire Next Door, Stanley and Danko break down how to act like a real-life millionaire, not the kind you see on TV. According to them, becoming a millionaire in America is doable for anyone willing to live within their means. That is, as long as they invest their money wisely.
That means real millionaires typically aren’t driving luxury cars. Nor are they wearing high-end designer brands. Instead, they’re living on a budget and putting financial security above social standing.
Stanley and Danko cover all sorts of practical manners using the data they collected. They examine the problems with giving your kids money and discuss the four types of car buyers. They also cover the types of careers most likely to bring financial security.
Filled with anecdotes and backed by data, The Millionaire Next Door is an enjoyable read. It will leave you thinking about wealth from a new frame of mind. It’s not about glitz and glamour, but rather, it’s about building financial security over time.
22. The Four Pillars of Investing: Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio by William J. Bernstein
If you want to build a portfolio without hiring a financial advisor, you need to read The Four Pillars of Investing first. Bernstein’s practical approach to creating a portfolio served investors well over the past decade. And that’s despite a turbulent market. So there’s no reason to question his approach.
His ideas are simple in theory: build wealth and control for risk. And Bernstein will explain precisely how he does that in an uncomplicated way that even financial novices can understand.
In the book, he discusses the dangers of hand-picking stocks rather than investing in the entire market. He also talks about why your mindset is crucial to making sound investment decisions. He explains why his approach often outpaces professionally managed portfolios. And he gives strategies for managing all your assets, including your 401k, as one big account.
Bernstein uses plenty of real-life examples to illustrate his points, making this book easy to comprehend. So, if you’re looking for strategies to build and manage your own wealth-creating portfolio, look no further than The Four Pillars of Investing.
23. Where are the Customers’ Yachts? Or, A Good Hard Look at Wall Street by Fred Schwed
Fred Schwed begins his entertaining examination of Wall Street with a story. In it, a visitor to New York sees the many yachts of bankers and brokers. He asks where the customers’ yachts are.
It’s a naive but valid question. Of course, the customers can’t afford yachts. Schwed explains why the customers continue to struggle with money while their advisors wrack up the wealth.
The result is a funny, irreverent, and straightforward take on the inner workings of Wall Street. You could probably read this book in one sitting without much effort, and you’ll laugh out loud the entire time.
Though publishers first printed the book over fifty years ago in 1955, the lessons within it hold true. As Schwed points out, no one can predict the future, yet that’s precisely what brokers pretend to do.
Not all bankers and brokers are evil, of course. But the characters Schwed describes are still all too present in the market. It’s essential to understand how they work so you can watch out for them.
We can’t think of a better way to learn about Wall Street’s shady side than looking through Schwed’s eyes.
24. You Can Be a Stock Market Genius: Uncover the Secret Hiding Places of Stock Market Profits by Joel Greenblatt
If you want a step-by-step approach to improving your stock market game, Joel Greenblatt’s guide to becoming a stock market genius might be an ideal read. Greenblatt is a fund manager who consistently shows high returns. In this guide, he explains how he does it.
Greenblatt’s approach is exciting because he focuses on areas where the individual investor can excel. He points out specific things like bankruptcies and restructurings, where he believes big profits are possible. And you don’t have to be a Wall Street expert to take advantage of them.
That said, this is less of a beginner book than some of the other guides on this list. Greenblatt is speaking to those who are already playing the stock market and are now looking for an extra edge.
We suggest reading The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham and Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits by Philip Fisher before picking this book up. You might consider reading Warren Buffet’s essays as well.
Armed with a firm foundation, though, Greenblatt’s strategies are almost sure to be profitable. His advice is practical and straightforward to implement. And his style makes the book easy to read. At just over 300 pages, you can finish this book in a couple of sittings.
25. Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Taleb makes a third appearance on our list for Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder. In his other books, Taleb makes it clear that we need to expect the unexpected. In this book, Taleb explains how to survive and thrive in our unpredictable world.
As counterintuitive as it seems, some things do better in chaos and uncertainty. Evolution, for example, is all about life adapting to stressors and becoming stronger for it.
Many entrepreneurial endeavors do better in uncertain environments too. By remaining flexible to problems, startups become more prominent and profitable over time.
Taleb traces the concept of antifragility through politics, history, and, yes, investing. The idea becomes a blueprint for how to succeed in a world that’s in no way predictable. His style isn’t for everyone, and the book isn’t necessarily an easy read. But it provides a lot to think about and could change the way you see investing.
If you read every book on this list, we would consider you an investing expert! But even if you only choose a few, you’d probably increase your returns. You might even change your views on other aspects of life!
That’s the thing about investing; much of it is mindset. And that means changing the way you invest sometimes comes from changing the way you see the world. Reading one of Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s books could undoubtedly have that effect, as an example.
Of course, learning the habits of established billionaires isn’t a bad way to improve either. Reading the sage advice of Charles Munger, Warren Buffett, and Ray Dalio is sure to inspire you as an investor. And, copying them isn’t the worst idea if you want to be more profitable.
Some of us, though, need bite-size, actionable steps. Straightforward guides like Your Money or Your Life will help you reach financial independence. And, in-depth handbooks like The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing are sure to help when it comes time to invest.
There are a lot of books that look at investing from all sorts of different angles. How you decide to approach the subject is really up to you.
But we’re sure that if you choose a book off this list of the 25 best investing books of all time, it will only benefit you. Each one has invaluable advice to offer an investor.