The best investing books: 3 you may have heard of and 3 you probably haven’t

The best investing books: 3 you may have heard of and 3 you probably haven’t

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Time to bone up!

In a Wall Street world where quants rule, “black swans” lurk and everybody and their mother-in-law have the easy, low-cost freedom to whittle their portfolios down to the nub, the guiding hand of the seasoned pros can make all the difference.

Especially for the novice trying to navigate it all.

So Meb Faber, author and founder of Cambria Investment Management, took it upon himself to crowdsource readers of his popular blog for recommendations. He said he sifted through almost a thousand responses to come up with a list.

Read: Meb Faber: What’s the one best book to learn about investing?

These three books, in particular, kept popping up:

1. “The Intelligent Investor” — Benjamin Graham

No-brainer. The famed investment adviser preaches his philosophy of value investing in what many describe as “the stock market bible,” which was originally published in 1949. Of course, finding value is getting increasing difficult in this climate.

2. “A Random Walk down Wall Street” — Burton G. Malkiel

This classic, with more than 1.5 million copies sold, has long been a must-read for anybody getting into the game. It’s been updated with fresh material on ETFs and opportunities in emerging markets. A new chapter also tackles derivatives.

3. “The Most Important Thing” — Howard Marks

Warren Buffett once said, “This is that rarity, a useful book.” Don’t just take the Oracle’s word for it. Howard Marks, chairman of co-founder of Oaktree Capital Management, has long earned the respect of Wall Street as one of the best value investors in the business. His lessons apply to both market veterans and newbies.

After those three obvious choices, which were by far the most mentioned, many other, much more obscure, picks emerged.

In fact, Faber says he’s never read or even heard of some of them.

“We received suggestions for over 200 different books!” he wrote. “That is astonishing to me… part of me thinks ‘there is no one answer,’ and that the learning process should be developed as more of a curriculum.”

Here are three more that might also be worth a look:

1. “Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk” — Peter L. Bernstein

The Wall Street Journal calls it “an extraordinarily entertaining and informative book.” And a Harvard University economics professor once said, “I speak carefully: No one should miss it.” Bernstein tackles the timely idea of controlling risk and how doing so distinguishes modern times from the past.

2. “Simple Wealth, Inevitable Wealth” — Nick Murray

Hailed as “the perfect first time read,” one reviewer echoed the sentiment of many: “This is simply the best book I have ever read on the subject of investing. No alpha/beta discussions. No standard deviation smoke and mirrors. No need to be an investing sophisticate to understand Murray’s message. Simple, clear, and very, very readable.”

3. You Can Be a Stock Market Genius — Joel Greenblatt

This one may be a bit tougher to consume for rookies, but judging from reader response, it’s not to be missed. In this book, Wall Street legend Joel Greenblatt lifts the veil on some of the more complicated strategies. “I read this book about three years ago and really wish I’d come across it earlier. It has made me a mint,” writes reviewer Paul Lepp. “This is not a book for beginners; read Graham, Fisher, Lynch, and Buffet’s essays first.”

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