9 of the Best Investing Books for Beginners and Intermediates

 October 12, 2020
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If you like curling up with a good book, you might as well grab one that’ll make you richer.

Start with one or more of the titles from our list of the best investing books for beginners. Of course, “best” is subjective here, but the ones featured in this report were selected for containing advice that we found accurate, useful and easy to understand.

If you want to start building wealth and don’t know where to begin, yes, it might be on the couch. Check out these outstanding books for beginning investors.

9 of the best investing books for beginners

As voracious readers of personal finance books, we recommend the following nine titles (in no particular order), based on the quality of advice and accessibility of the writing:

1. Oblivious Investing
2. The Little Book of Common Sense Investing
3. The Four Pillars of Investing
4. All About Asset Allocation
5. Your Money and Your Brain
6. The Intelligent Investor, Rev. Ed
7. Buffettology
8. A Random Walk Down Wall Street
9. Thinking, Fast and Slow

1. Oblivious Investing

  • Author: Mike Piper
  • Best for: Getting started with indexing
  • Amazon customer rating: 3.7 out of 5 stars (12 ratings) as of Sept. 22, 2020.

One of the best investing books for beginners, it explains the ins and outs of the indexing strategy in an accessible, relatable fashion.

If you want to invest but are paralyzed by fear, this book will give you the confidence to get started, while limiting some of your risk.

Piper might not be a famous investor, but as a CPA and an avid indexer, he walks the walk.

Also check out: Bill Schultheis’s The Coffeehouse Investor, which encourages you to “ignore Wall Street” while building wealth.

2. The Little Book of Common Sense Investing

  • Author: John C. Bogle
  • Best for: Taking indexing to the next level
  • Amazon customer rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (770 ratings) as of Sept. 22, 2020.

When you’re ready to take your indexing strategy to the next level, move on to The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by the guy who invented index funds.

Bogle talks about why it’s folly to think of beating the market. Instead, he offers practical advice about how to use indexing to build long-term gains without worrying about what the market is doing today.

Also check out: The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing for how to take that common sense and apply it.

3. The Four Pillars of Investing

  • Author: William J. Bernstein
  • Best for: Building your investment philosophy
  • Amazon customer rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (244 ratings) as of Sept. 22, 2020.

Once you’ve started in on your investing strategy, you can learn more about the principles of making money in the markets with The Four Pillars of Investing. This book takes you through such concepts as risk and reward, market history and the psychology of the market.

It’s one of the best investing books for beginners looking to build a solid working theory of the market. The down-to-earth approach is practical, and Bernstein uses his knowledge as a neurologist to help you lay a strong foundation for investing.

Also check out: You could do much worse than mimicking the philosophy of Philip A. Fisher, outlined in his book, Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits.

4. All About Asset Allocation

  • Author: Richard A. Ferri
  • Best for: Learning about diversification
  • Amazon customer rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (141 ratings) as of Sept. 22, 2020.

One of the key principles of long-term investing involves making the right choices about which types of investments you hold.

All About Asset Allocation is a basic primer on the use of stocks, bonds, real estate and other types of investments to build the right portfolio for yourself. This overview will give you the knowledge you need to fine-tune your strategy and lock in long-term gains.

Check out our other favorites:
Free personal finance courses
Best personal finance podcasts
Top personal finance accounts on Instagram

5. Your Money and Your Brain

  • Author: Jason Zweig
  • Best for: Improving your “mental” investing skill
  • Amazon customer rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (146 ratings) as of Sept. 22, 2020.

Long-time Wall Street Journal financial journalist Jason Zweig takes you on a journey to the ways your brain can mess you up as an investor. Looking at the scientific research surrounding psychology, economics and investor behavior, Your Money and Your Brain is the perfect read as you begin to gather confidence in your investing ability.

Beginning investors can learn about the pitfalls of overconfidence in their planning, and discover actionable tips for avoiding mistakes that can drag you down.

Also check out: Daniel Crosby’s The Behavioral Investor for more on the intersection of psychology and investment management.

6. The Intelligent Investor, Rev. Ed

  • Authors: Benjamin Graham, Jason Zweig and Warren E. Buffett
  • Best for: Studying up on value investing
  • Amazon customer rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (11,309 ratings) as of Sept. 22, 2020.

Graham’s classic tome was revised with help from Zweig and Buffett and remains among the best books for beginning investors. That’s because this book explains the strategy of value investing in a way that anyone can grasp.

If you are interested in choosing individual investments, it’s a good idea to read this book first. The new edition includes modern examples and headlines, and it offers a practical guide for applying time-tested principles to today’s market.

Also check out: Graham’s The Interpretation of Financial Statements before you go and start picking stocks.

7. Buffettology

  • Authors: Mary Buffett and David Clark
  • Best for: Taking value investing to the next level
  • Amazon customer rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (234 ratings) as of Sept. 22, 2020.

Once you have the basics down, learn from the master: Warren Buffett, the world’s most famous value investor.

Authored by those who have seen Buffett up close and personal, Buffettology looks at the mathematical calculations used by the “Oracle of Omaha” in selecting his investments.

Not only does this book offer information that can help you apply Buffett’s decision-making process to your own portfolio, but it also profiles 54 “Buffett companies” for you to start with.

Also check out: As long as you’re learning from the best, read The Essays of Warren Buffett too.

8. A Random Walk Down Wall Street

  • Author: Burton G. Malkiel
  • Best for: Wading into portfolio-building
  • Amazon customer rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (973 ratings) as of Sept. 22, 2020.

One of the best investing books for beginners, A Random Walk Down Wall Street introduces novices to concepts of portfolio-building. It includes beginning- to intermediate-level material on how to choose stocks.

Additionally, the updated version shares helpful information on investing using exchange-traded funds and emerging-market securities. It’s perfect for a slightly more advanced beginner who’s ready to try to expand their horizons.

Also check out: Stocks for the Long Run to hone your long-term investment strategy.

9. Thinking, Fast and Slow

  • Author: Daniel Kahneman
  • Best for: Ensuring sound decision-making
  • Amazon customer rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (11,021 ratings) as of Sept. 22, 2020.

At first blush, this book doesn’t seem to be about investing. However, it is about how we think — and that can have a profound effect on how we manage our investments.

Kahneman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, presents a captivating look at how cognitive biases can lead to disastrous decisions, including blunders in the stock market. This practical guide can help you learn to tap into your “slow thinking” abilities to make better decisions about how you invest, how you manage your money and even how you live your life.

Also check out: Although less about behavioral economics, Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich should at least get you in a positive frame of mind.

Learn and apply lessons from some of the best investing books for beginners

Not every investing strategy is for everyone. However, these books will set you on the path toward figuring out what works best for you.

Beginning investors can learn about psychology, time-tested strategies and even discover simple ways to limit risk while building wealth for the future.

Use these best books for beginning investors to learn about how the market works, get a little experience and then decide for yourself if it’s time to move on to more advanced strategies.

If you’re saddled with debt while starting to save, check our guide to investing while repaying student loans.

Andrew Pentis contributed to this report.

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