Here I have tried to compile a list of the Best Finance Books of All Times. For those who are just starting out, I recommend “The Warren Buffett Way” by Robert G. Hagstrom and “A Random Walk Down Wall Street” (1973) by Burton G. Malkiel. While “The Intelligent Investor” (1949) by Benjamin Graham and “Security Analysis” by Graham and Dodd will add value to the library of the most seasoned investors.
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“The Intelligent Investor” (1949) by Benjamin Graham
Warren Buffett read the first edition of “The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin graham in 1950 when he was 19. At the time he thought that it was by far the best book ever written. Writing in the introduction to this recent edition, he states that still thinks that it is. This is reinforced by his comment in the 2003 annual report of Berkshire Hathaway where he declared that it is his favorite book.
Since it was first published in 1949, Graham’s investment guide has sold over a million copies. In its new form—with commentary on each chapter and extensive footnotes prepared by senior Money editor, Jason Zweig—the classic is now updated in light of changes in investment vehicles and market activities since 1972.
“Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits” (1958) by Philip Fisher
Widely respected and admired, Philip Fisher is among the most influential investors of all time. His investment philosophies, introduced almost forty years ago, are not only studied and applied by today’s financiers and investors, but are also regarded by many as gospel. This book is invaluable reading and has been since it was first published in 1958. Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits is a classic that presents the principles of growth investment and recommends rigorous research for stock investing. It provides guidance and a proven strategy for choosing which companies to put money into, through 15 rules that act as a template for investing, based on their true value rather than current trends or tips from finance professionals. As a long-term investor himself, Fisher bought into a number of growth companies that are still very profitable today.
“I sought out Phil Fisher after reading his Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits…A thorough understanding of the business, obtained by using Phil’s techniques…enables one to make intelligent investment commitments.” Warren Buffet
“A Random Walk Down Wall Street” (1973) by Burton G. Malkiel
“A Random Walk down Wall Street” written by Burton Malkiel, a Princeton economist, is an influential book on the subject of stock markets which introduced the random walk hypothesis. Malkiel argues that asset prices typically exhibit signs of random walk and that one cannot consistently outperform market averages. The book is frequently cited by those in favor of the efficient market hypothesis. In this book Malkiel discusses valuation (firm foundation vs. castle in the air), technical (charting) and fundamental analysis on his way to modern portfolio theory and behavioral finance. A Random Walk Down Wall Street is well established as a staple of the business shelf, the first book any investor should read before taking the plunge and starting a portfolio. With its life-cycle guide to investing, it matches the needs of investors at any age bracket.
Malkiel shows how to analyze the potential returns, not only for stocks and bonds, but for the full range of investment opportunities, from money-market accounts and real estate investment trusts to insurance, home ownership, and tangible assets such as gold and collectibles. Whether you want to brief yourself on the ways of the market before talking to a broker or follow Malkiel’s easy steps to managing your own portfolio.
“One Up On Wall Street” (1989) by Peter Lynch
Peter Lynch is America’s number-one money manager. His mantra: Average investors can become experts in their own field and can pick winning stocks as effectively as Wall Street professionals by doing just a little research.
Lynch says. By simply observing business developments and taking notice of your immediate world — from the mall to the workplace — you can discover potentially successful companies before professional analysts do. This jump on the experts is what produces “ten-baggers,” the stocks that appreciate tenfold or more and turn an average stock portfolio into a star performer.
The former star manager of Fidelity’s multibillion-dollar Magellan Fund, Lynch reveals how he achieved his spectacular record. Writing with John Roth child, Lynch offers easy-to-follow directions for sorting out the long shots from the no shots by reviewing a company’s financial statements and by identifying which numbers really count. He explains how to stalk ten-baggers and lays out the guidelines for investing in cyclical, turnaround, and fast-growing companies. Lynch promises that if you ignore the ups and downs of the market and the endless speculation about interest rates, in the long term (anywhere from five to fifteen years) your portfolio will reward you. This advice has proved to be timeless and has made One Up on Wall Street a number-one bestseller. And now this classic is as valuable in the new millennium as ever.
“The Warren Buffett Way” by Robert G. Hagstrom
In The Warren Buffett Way, Hagstrom introduces his readers to the Warren Buffett style of investing, providing an extensive look at the way Buffett went about with his investments in minor and major companies while retaining the stake without selling the same. This is the second edition of the book, and it has been released following the success of the first edition. The book reveals that business investments are often made with a long term vision, and it also reveals how enterprises should be bought at a lesser price than what they are actually worth. The book also suggests that enterprises with reliable directors and those that can yield a substantial profit over the capital must be immediately captured. The book further covers the various doctrines adapted by Warren Buffett when it comes to business, management and finance. Some of the chapters from this book are Managing Your Portfolio, The Unreasonable Man, The Psychology of Money, Investing Guidelines: Management Tenets, Investing Guidelines: Business Tenets, Investing Guidelines: Financial Tenets, and The Education of Warren Buffett.
“It’s first rate. Buffett gets a lot of attention for what he preaches, but nobody has described what he practices better than Hagstrom. Here is the lowdown on every major stock he ever bought and why he bought it. Fascinating. You could even try this at home.” -John Rothchild Financial columnist Time magazine.
“Security Analysis” by Benjamin Graham and David L.Dodd
First published in 1934, Security Analysis is one of the most influential financial books ever written. Selling more than one million copies through five editions, it has provided generations of investors with the timeless value investing philosophy and techniques of Benjamin Graham and David L. Dodd. As relevant today as when they first appeared nearly 75 years ago, the teachings of Benjamin Graham, the father of value investing, have withstood the test of time across a wide diversity of market conditions, countries, and asset classes. This new sixth edition, based on the classic 1940 version, is enhanced with 200 additional pages of commentary from some of today’s leading Wall Street money managers. These masters of value investing explain why the principles and techniques of Graham and Dodd are still highly relevant even in today’s vastly different markets. Featuring a foreword by Warren E. Buffett (in which he reveals that he has read the 1940 masterwork ‘at least four times), this new edition of Security Analysis will reacquaint you with the foundations of value investing more relevant than ever in the tumultuous 21st century markets.
“The Essays of Warren Buffett”: Lessons for Corporate America
The definitive work concerning Warren Buffett and intelligent investment philosophy, this is a collection of Buffett’s letters to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway written over the past few decades that together furnish an enormously valuable informal education. The letters distill in plain words all the basic principles of sound business practices. They are arranged and introduced by a leading apostle of the ‘value’ school and noted scholar, Lawrence Cunningham. Here in one place are the priceless pearls of business and investment wisdom, woven into a delightful narrative on the major topics concerning both managers and investors. These timeless lessons are also useful to members of a wide range of professions, including law, accounting, finance and management, and provide rich teaching materials for courses in those fields.
“Beating the Street” by Peter Lynch
Beating the Street examines famed money manager Peter Lynch’s common sense approach to the stock market and individual securities analysis.
In this book, Peter Lynch shows you how you can become an expert in a company and how you can build a profitable investment portfolio, based on your own experience and insights and on straightforward do-it-yourself research. There’s no reason the individual investor can’t match wits with the experts, and this book will show you how.
In essence, One Up served as theory while “Beating the Street” is application. One Up lays out Lynch’s investment technique including chapters devoted to stock classifications, the two-minute drill, famous numbers, and designing a portfolio. Most of Beating the Street consists of an extensive stock by stock discussion of Lynch’s 1992 Barron’s Magazine selections, essentially providing an illustration of the concepts previously discussed. As such, both books represent study material for investors of any knowledge level or ability.
“Conservative Investors Sleep Well” by Phillip Fisher
This book is dedicated to the principle that a conservative investment is the one most likely to conserve purchasing power at a minimum of risk. It leads the reader through financial safeguards & questions to be answered before making a decision on an investment. Defining the anatomy of a conservative investment will be one of the most important aspects of an investor’s job.
Mr. Fisher has managed money for more than 63 years & recently spoke of the power of conservative investments before the Harvard Business School pointing to many examples of the power of the concepts in this book.
“Super Stocks” by Kenneth L. Fisher
One of the most successful investing books ever published, Super Stocks showed investors how to use innovative techniques and fundamental analysis for valuing stocks and predicting future profit margins. Now this timely reissue, featuring a new Introduction by the author, gives you even more insight into his powerful investing philosophy. A pioneer in the use of the Price Sales Ratio-a powerful tool for valuing stock-Fisher fascinates with instructive tales of the businesses he invested in and profited from.Super Stocks gives a historical perspective on how Fisher successfully researched companies and stocks—who he saw and what he asked—to get a better read on profitable returns. “As rich in investment war stories as it is in knowledge.”-The Motley Fool
“The Five Rules for Successful Stock Investing: Morningstar’s Guide to Building Wealth and Winning in the Market” by Pat Dorsy
“By resisting both the popular tendency to use gimmicks that oversimplify securities analysis and the academic tendency to use jargon that obfuscates common sense, Pat Dorsey has written a substantial and useful book. His methodology is sound, his examples clear, and his approach timeless.” –Christopher C. Davis Portfolio Manager and Chairman, Davis Advisors
Over the years, people from around the world have turned to Morningstar for strong, independent, and reliable advice. The Five Rules for Successful Stock Investing provides the kind of savvy financial guidance only a company like Morningstar could offer. Based on the philosophy that “investing should be fun, but not a game,” this comprehensive guide will put even the most cautious investors back on the right track by helping them pick the right stocks, find great companies, and understand the driving forces behind different industries–without paying too much for their investments.
Written by Morningstar’s Director of Stock Analysis, Pat Dorsey, The Five Rules for Successful Stock Investing includes unparalleled stock research and investment strategies covering a wide range of stock-related topics.
About the Author
Rajat Sharma is a well known stock market analyst and commentator. He has covered Indian markets for over a decade and is regarded for consistently identifying early stage investment opportunities. Attorney by qualification, Rajat has done extensive work for improving corporate governance and disclosure standards.Follow @SanaSecurities