12 Best Investing Books to Become a Better Investor

January 4, 20237 min read
12 Best Investing Books to Become a Better Investor
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Key Takeaways

  • Investing books can help new and seasoned investors learn where and when to put their money. 
  • Beyond investing analysis and techniques, books about topics such as psychology and decision-making are also key to successful investing.
  • Books about alternative investments are increasingly popular, as investors seek opportunities outside of the traditional markets. 

One can learn the ways of smart investors reading a variety of books on the subject. Topics such as the mechanics of investing, smart money habits, finance and alternative investing can help shape investment philosophies and inform investment decisions.

Fledgling investors may wish to begin with books that present every type of investment opportunity, from stocks and bonds to real estate and fine art. Or, they may prefer one that focuses on a certain area of investing. Still others may want to read about how the professional investor approaches investing and finances. 

The good news is there is value to be derived for every investor.    

The Best Investing Books

Topping this list of best investment books are publications for investment novices, followed by publications with more nuanced topics.

Investing for Dummies

New investors will find solid, no-nonsense tips and advice in this popular book by Eric Tyson about where to put their money.  Originally published in 1994, and updated in 2005, “Investing” is the ultimate one-stop guide. 

With a Goodreads.com rating of 3.76, this is a good primer for the beginning investor.

A Beginner’s Guide to the Stock Market: Everything You Need to Start Making Money Today

This 2019 book by Matthew R. Kratter can help beginning investors skirt costly mistakes and pitfalls. Such investors will learn the ins and outs of the stock market, as well as effective investing and trading strategies. They will also learn, for example, how to buy their first stock, and the best place for a brokerage account.

This book has a rating of 4.06 and is a user-friendly investing road map for investors just starting out.

The Intelligent Investor

Originally published in 1949, this book by Benjamin Graham has become the “investing bible” for generations of investors. It’s likely the most quoted book on investing.

With a 4.25 rating, the venerable publication is imminently useful and insightful.

One Up on Wall Street: How to Use What You Already Know to Make Money in the Market

After “The Intelligent Investor,” this seminal book by Peter Lynch is likely the second-most popular book on investing. Published in 1988, it explains how average investors can top professionals by using their knowledge to achieve financial success. Lynch’s philosophy is that investment opportunities are everywhere.

More than a million copies of this classic have been sold, making it a good investment in and of itself. It has a 4.26 rating.

The Essays of Warren Buffet: Lessons for Investors and Managers

As of November 2022, Warren Buffett, one of the world’s most successful investors, had a net worth of more than $100 billion. Here, Buffett offers selections from his most recent annual shareholder letters, which will shape the spirit of investing for years to come.

Published in 2021, the 4.60-rated book serves up a holistic and compelling narrative of a sound investment and business philosophy.  

The Book on Rental Property Investing: How to Create Wealth with Intelligent Buy and Hold Real Estate Investing

Brandon Turner’s book, published in 2020, provides the tips, tools, and techniques needed for becoming a prosperous rental property investor. Filled with in-depth advice and strategies, it can help investors avoid common investing pitfalls.

New and experienced investors can learn what it takes to become a six-figure rental property investor. This book is rated 4.41.

The Ages of the Investor: A Critical Look at Life-cycle Investing

This 2012 publication by William J. Bernstein drives home the point that, just as grownups do not believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, “investing adults” know there is no market-timing fairy, stock-picking fairy, or “risk” fairy capable of shielding holdings from losses. 

This book is a solid pick for more experienced investors who want a clear-eyed perspective on the nuts and bolts of serious, successful investing.  It gets a 3.99 rating.

The Money Game

Adam Smith’s 2015 book is a modern classic about the stock market and all that goes with it. Lively and witty, it offers keen observations about the events and people of Wall Street.

This book can help individuals cultivate the proper mentality to be a good investor. It’s rated 3.58.

The Psychology of Money

This 2020 book underscores the idea that doing well with money is more about how one behaves than what one knows. The collection of 19 short stories by Morgan Housel explores the disparate ways people think about money and teaches people how to understand it.

This book, rated 4.38, offers investment fundamentals without a lot of jargon and technical terms.

Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors

Published in 1980, this Michael E. Porter book has transformed the teaching, practice, and theory of business strategy globally. While it’s not about investing per se, it is a helpful guide for professional investors and analysts.

This book is recommended for the way in which it addresses competition’s underlying fundamentals. It has a 4.16 rating.

Unconventional Investing: Alternative Strategies Beyond Just Stocks & Bonds and Buy & Hold

By Tim Higgins and Michael Hajek III, this 2014 book introduces and explains less traditional and unconventional investment strategies that generally are not subject to stock market corrections.

Rated 3.80, this book explains why investors should be open to alternative investment strategies.

Self-Directed IRAs: Building Retirement Wealth Through Alternative Investing

This 2015 book by Richard Desich explains the concept of investing self-directed IRAs into alternative assets. These IRAs provide direct control over retirement funding by investing less in traditional options such as stocks and bonds, and more in areas where individuals have knowledge, comfort, and expertise.

Readers will learn about increasingly popular investment options such as real estate, precious metals, and more through 30 investment case studies. The book carries a 4.22 rating. 

Need more reading inspiration? Check out the best books on personal finances and retirement planning.

Alternative Investments

Despite a myriad of investing books about the stock market, the fact is 45% of U.S. residents are not invested in the market. Stocks are, however, owned by 85% of those with post-graduate schooling and 84% of households with annual incomes of at least $100,000. Just 22% of households with incomes of under $40,000 have money in the stock market, according to a 2020 Gallup poll.   

As some of the above book titles indicate, there are ways to invest that aren’t directly tied to the stock market and attendant volatilities, and are more accessible to those of modest income. In lieu of adjusting one’s portfolio in response to each economic indicator, as is often the practice among those with conventional investments, it’s likely wiser to retain fundamentally stable assets and complement them with investments in asset classes that are less subject to market swings.

Alternative investments can be a good way to help accomplish this. Traditional portfolio asset allocation envisages a 60% public stock and 40% fixed income allocation. However, a more balanced 60/20/20 or 50/30/20 split, incorporating alternative assets, may make a portfolio less sensitive to public market short-term swings. 

Real estate, private equity, venture capital, digital assets, precious metals and collectibles are among the asset classes deemed “alternative investments.” Broadly speaking, such investments tend to be less connected to public equity, and thus offer potential for diversification. Of course, like traditional investments, it is important to remember that alternatives also entail a degree of risk. 

In some cases, this risk can be greater than that of traditional investments.

This is why these asset classes were traditionally accessible only to an exclusive base of wealthy individuals and institutional investors buying in at very high minimums — often between $500,000 and $1 million.  These people were considered to be more capable of weathering losses of that magnitude, should the investments underperform.

However, Yieldstreet has opened a number of carefully curated alternative investment strategies to all investors. While the risk is still there, the company offers help in capitalizing on areas such as real estate, legal finance, art finance and structured notes — as well as a wide range of other unique alternative investments. 

Learn more about the ways Yieldstreet can help diversify and grow portfolios.

In Summary

Instead of repeating the same mistakes commonly made by new investors, it pays to gain the wisdom and insights of experts. For the cost of a few books, fledgling investors could save more money by making savvy investing decisions. Those who already have investment portfolios can add to their knowledge as well. In short, this curated list of tomes can go a long way toward helping individuals become better investors.

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