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The 10 Best Books To Start Learning About Finance

Contents

If you are new to the world of finance or trading, there are vast ranges of ways in which you can get to know the sector and develop your personal knowledge. This learning can take the form of an education course from a major provider, a selection of materials from the trading academy of a top broker, or your own self-study.

Within the realm of your own study, there are a number of fantastic books that have been released over the years that can prove to be excellent sources of knowledge and growth in getting to know the finance industry. Here is a collection of what we consider the top 10 best book to start learning about finance.

Freakonomics

freakonomics

Written in 2005 by economist Steven D. Levitt and journalist Stephen Dubner, this world-famous best-seller is a great place to start for those who are just beginning to delve into the world of finance. One of the reasons this is the case is because the book is highly engaging and links to the reader through a series of everyday events which are both usual and unusual, delivered by this equally unlikely pair.

This forms the perfect bridge between the regular world and that of finance and economics which can hook you in and also provide some great knowledge for your future in the sector.

The Alchemy of Finance

the alchemy of finance

George Soros is one of the best known names in the world of finance and trading. One of the most infamous figures in the world of forex trading, the huge impact of his trading against the British Pound on Black Wednesday in 1992 propelled him to recognition the world over.

In this book, he details many of the ideas and practices which have seen him rise to become one of the world’s richest and most powerful individuals. This book is all the most intriguing given the fact it was published in 1987. It certainly contains some valuable strategy points and lessons which can help you with the building blocks of a successful career in finance.

New Ideas from Dead Economists

new ideas from dead economists

This book has been adapted and revised several times since its initial publication in 1989. Author Todd Buchholz does an excellent job in introducing many of the founding fathers of economic thought and explaining their key ideas and principles in an easy to understand and entertaining fashion. These figures include the likes of Adam Smith and Karl Marx along with several others.

Many of the ideas you will encounter and come to learn about in this book now for the foundation of economic and financial theory and are of great importance when deciding on your own processes when it comes to the finance industry. This book can arm you with the knowledge required to start creating and understanding your own financial principles.

The Intelligent Investor

the intelligent investor

This widely-acclaimed book was written and first published in 1949 by economist, and renowned professor Benjamin Graham. The Intelligent Investor, which has been revised and republished a number of times, details Grahams approach to value investing in a way which is clear and concise.

The book is a mainstay for both financial professionals and those with a learning interest in the sector. It was described by Graham’s most famous student, Warren Buffet as one of the greatest finance books ever written. This type of glowing testimonial from one of the most successful and followed traders the world has ever seen, should be enough to see has been included in this listing of best finance books.

Liars Poker

liars poker

This is a semi-autobiographical book written by Michael Lewis, also author of ‘The Big Short’. Liars Poker is a book which can help those with an interest in the finance industry understand the way in which trading really worked, and how it has continued to evolve.

Lewis uses his own Wall Street experience as a bond salesman for a large firm in the 1980s to detail the culture of the street and industry at that time. This provides the reader an intriguing insight into the goings on of the industry and trader culture of that time.

If you are getting involved in the financial sector for this first time, this type of look behind the curtain can serve as a great motivator but also a lesson in how the industry functioned, and how it has grown and changed from that period.

Manias, Panics, and Crashes

manias panics and crashes

Respected MIT economist Charles Kindleberger detailed financial crises in this 1978. Although he authored dozens of books and was commended as a stylish writer, this is easily his most well-known and cited work. The relevance it retains to the modern financial world cannot be underestimated. This was shown as recently as 2011 when a revised edition was released by Robert Aliber (Kindleberger passed away in 2003). The revised edition includes details on the 2007/2008 financial crisis.

While it is not an easy read, all of the information in the most recent and past editions can be of vital use to anyone becoming involved and seeking to learn more about the financial industry, what makes it tick, and how these actions can also lead to its downfall.

Security Analysis

security analysis

Another offering from Benjamin Graham and his fellow Colombia Business School professor David Dodd, this book is something of a precursor to ‘The Intelligent Investor’ also written by Benjamin Graham.

Security Analysis was published in the wake of The Great Depression in 1934 and laid out the principles, foundations, and formulae for value investing, most of which is still intrinsically applied in today’s finance sector. Again, many including Warren Buffet consider this book to be among the elite finance and trading publications in history.

Having achieved such critical acclaim, it comes as no surprise that we highly recommend reading of both Security Analysis and The Intelligent Investor which can help you further establish your own knowledge-base and trading principles within the trading industry. This is one book which has and will continue to stand the test of time in your collection.

Competitive Strategy

competitive strategy

If you are getting involved in finance and trading, particularly the stock market, you will need to develop a comprehensive understanding of competitive advantage. One of the most recognized and decorated economists of the modern era, Michael Porter transformed how we viewed the workings of companies and the value of competitive advantage and how it is achieved in this 1985 publication.

Required reading for almost any student of finance, this book will help you view the financial world through a different and much more analytical and logical perspective. The concepts put forward by Porter in this book now form an integral part of the thinking and strategy at top-level companies around the world. This same knowledge and perspective can certainly help you grow on a personal and professional level.

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing

the little book of common sense investing

Author John C. Bogle, founder and former CEO of the Vanguard group first published The Little Book of Common Sense Investing in 2007. It sets forth in relatively simple terms what he believes is ideal strategy for success in keeping investment costs low and benefiting from average returns with a focus on index funds.

This book can be an excellent learning tool thanks to its straight-forward and relatively risk averse approach. It also provides an excellent summary of what some of the world’s most famous and well-respected academics had to say on the area of index fund investing. This book makes an excellent addition to your collection starting out in finance, particularly when viewed alongside some of the others on this list.

A Random Walk Down Wall Street

a random walk down wall street

Burton Malkiel first published this work in 1973. It is a must-read for all of those starting out in finance once you have gotten some basic grounding and terminology, perhaps from another book on this list.

The fact that it is one of the most cited, yet most debated books of recent economic times are some of the things which make this one a must read. In the book, Malkiel put forward cases against the consistency and reliability of some of the most trusted techniques in the financial investment sector. He argues that both technical analysis, and fundamental analysis techniques exhibit significant flaws.

This work has been strongly rebutted on a number of occasions, most notably by Warren Buffet in 1984. This is an argument which was never addressed. This comes as highly recommended reading once you have already started to develop your own core principles in investing and finance.

Final Thoughts

Any of these books can form the perfect accompaniment to other educational materials that your new broker may offer or that you have access to. These can help you grow both in your career within the industry and as part of your own professional and personal development. Reading some of these popular and well-respected books will also help to give you a more rounded perspective on the finance industry in general.

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About the author

Kate Leaman

Kate Leaman

Kate Leaman is the Chief Analyst and author at InvestorGreg. She won the Sky News Fiona McDiarmad award and subsequently became a journalist for Sky News. Read more