What follows is a list of absolutely-must-reads for anyone interested in investing and personal finance.
For Retail Investors & Advisors Alike
Affectionately referred to as “The Bible,” this is a must-read for anyone with a deep interest in investing. It’s by no means a light read. But, if you want to do anything fancier beyond buying an index-based target-date retirement fund, you should read this book.
See the chart on page 10. It’s pretty much all you need to know.
Every time someone (mostly advisors) tells me that they use Morningstar to research funds picks, I think of this paper.
For Institutional Investors and/or Active Managers
If you’re serious about active management (including alternative assets), you should read this book.
Consider this the cliff notes on the books above. It’s a simpler read – but makes very good points about investing.
For Anyone Interested in the Shiller CAPE Ratio
More studies than I can recall referenced Shiller’s CAPE as a metric for implementing particular strategies. New research shows that may no longer be applicable.
For Financial Advisors
This book stresses the importance of having systemized processes in a financial planning firm. I couldn’t possibly agree more.
For All Humans
Focusing on a single goal can drive productivity. Multi-tasking doesn’t work.
- Success – often attributed to hard work – may be unknowingly attributable to luck.
- Since the future is entirely unknowable (take COVID), it’s best to save money for those unpredictable events.
- Likely most enjoyable to read one chapter at a time – instead of binging – since a lot of the content stands on its own.
A great resource for recognizing – and combating – your own biases.
Some good reads – though if I had to pick – I’d say tackle the above section of Required Reading first.
Interesting history, including the story of the transition away from the gold standard. Neat insights as to what can drive economies.
The first section explained how institutions may use ETFs, such as for liquidity for management transitions. The second part of the book was a dated list of ETFs and their potential uses.
Having read them, I’d argue that these books aren’t worth your time.
The Ivy Portfolio: How to Invest Like the Top Endowments and Avoid Bear Markets
I think that Meb Faber puts out some really great stuff. But, this just isn’t one of them. The approach of listing investment schemes – without really getting into what is truly required to successfully manage each of them – is not great. To understand what is required to invest with the Ivy’s, read Swensen’s book.
Options Trading QuickStart Guide: The Simplified Beginner’s Guide to Options Trading
My grievance with this book is the same as the above: listing strategies without getting into what it takes to be successful in them.