6 Best Investing Books for Beginners

The best investing books for beginners make investing understandable and easy to start. If you want to start investing, check out my top 6 books to read.

A question I receive on a regular basis is: “what are the best investing books for beginners?” I’m always encouraged when I hear the question as it shows that the people asking want to learn how to invest and grow their wealth..

It can be difficult to narrow down what the best investing books are. Don’t believe me? Go to Amazon and type in “investing books.” The last time I checked there are just over 73,000 books. Talk about overwhelming to wade through. Investing in the stock market can be difficult and reading about it can be even harder. Those that I’d consider the top investing books are the ones that break down difficult concepts in ways that beginners can understand. Having an investing book that is enjoyable to read isn’t too bad either. 🙂

It’s Difficult to Narrow Down the Best Investing Books for Beginners


Seeing as there are so many to choose from, it can be difficult to determine which exactly are the best investing books for beginners. The investing books I tend to recommend are those that promote a certain investing philosophy and not a get rich quick scheme. Many of the books I point to are those that promote a long-term, slow and steady type of approach to investing – not something else.

When thinking over the best books on investing, I generally like to keep it to a short numbered list. As you look over my list you’ll notice some that didn’t make the list like “One Up On Wall Street”, “The Essays of Warren Buffett” or “The Little Book of Common Sense Investing”. That’s not to say those books are not good. In fact, I highly recommend each one. I just wanted to keep my list relatively short. I will also mention that I’ve read all or significant chunks of each of the books on this list and own a few of them to this day. Now on to the best investing books for beginners.

A Random Walk Down Wall Street

“A Random Walk Down Wall Street” was written by Burton Malkiel back in 1973. Yes, that was just over 40 years ago but his concepts still hold true today. In fact, I would list Random Walk as a must read book for both beginner and seasoned investors alike.

What makes Random Walk one of the best investing books is that it simplifies difficult material so anyone can understand it. That can be difficult to do, but Malkiel does it in style and offers methods to follow that’ll help you as you begin to invest in the stock market.

The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing

“The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing” is a more recent book, written by Bogleheads founder Taylor Larimore in 2007. There is also a companion book he wrote which focuses specifically on saving for retirement which I’ve heard is just as good. If you’ve not heard of Bogleheads, they are basically an homage to the founder of the investment firm Vanguard and espouse his beliefs.

What makes Bogleheads a top investing book is similar to what is found in Random Walk. He offers a simple and straightforward way to start investing. Larimore focuses on a number of things but really hammers home at the need to develop a long-term view to investing that focuses not on day-to-day swings of the market but your overall long-term health.

The Intelligent Investor

“The Intelligent Investor” was written by Benjamin Graham in 1934. The kicker is that it’s not the oldest book on my list. Intelligent Investor is a must read for most investors as he, again, takes difficult ideas and boils them down to an understandable level.

What makes Intelligent Investor one of the best investing books for beginners is that he talks at length about how to focus on the long-term health of a company or holding as a way to limit your risk. Again, the idea is focusing on a long-term wealth building strategy and not chasing after gains. If that’s not enough, Graham was Warren Buffett’s mentor so you know he knew a little bit about what he was talking about. 🙂

The best investing books for beginners make investing understandable and easy to start. If you want to start investing, check out my top 6 books to read.

The Richest Man in Babylon

“The Richest Man in Babylon” was written by George Clason back in 1926. Richest Man isn’t a true investing book, per se, but that shouldn’t hold you back from reading it if you’re a new investor. Clason writes the book in parable form set in, you guessed it, Babylon. The book itself is a collection of pamphlets that financial institutions handed out in the 1920’s and was bound together later as a book.

What I enjoy about Richest Man is Clason covers many basic ideals that anyone wanting to grow their wealth should seek to implement. Considered a classic, Richest Man is relatively quick to read through and should be something added to anyone’s list.

Common Sense on Mutual Funds

I don’t know that I’d necessarily consider “Common Sense on Mutual Funds” by John Bogle a true investing book for beginners as it’s a little more advanced. However, I don’t believe that should hold it back from a spot on this list.

I believe Common Sense is a top investing book because Bogle takes on an industry that we sink billions into – the mutual fund industry. Mutual funds can be great to invest in, but there are also many out there that charge exorbitant fees and make investing far too complex. Not only does this result in lost money for investors but it makes investing difficult when it doesn’t have to be. Instead, Bogle promotes a value based, broad portfolio approach as opposed to trying to beat the market.

If You Can

“If You Can” was written by William Bernstein. This is the one book on my list I’ve not read, however I have read his classic “The Four Pillars of Investing” which I would highly recommend. That being said, I have perused the book and knowing his philosophy have no problem recommending it.

What puts this new book on my list of top investing books for beginners is that it’s geared specifically for beginners and younger investors. As I’ve glanced through the book, Bernstein promotes a simple approach to beginning to invest in the stock market. Essentially, focusing on being with the market as opposed to chasing gains. Bernstein boils it down to a discipline that should be followed in order to attain long-term wealth that will continue to build on itself.

If you noticed throughout my list of best investing books for beginners they all tend to focus on the same idea – a long-term view of investing. That includes cutting fees, keeping things simple and not chasing gains. Follow that approach and you’ll generally be happy you did. While investing in the stock market can be difficult, there is no need to make it more so.


Have you read any of these books? Are there any others you’d consider as the best investing books for beginners?


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I'm the founder of Frugal Rules, a Dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry. I'm passionate about helping people learn from my mistakes so that they can enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. I'm also a freelance writer, and regularly contribute to GoBankingRates, Investopedia, Lending Tree and more. If you're wanting to learn how to monetize your blog, check out my blog coaching services to see how I can help you take your site to the next level.


  • R3 says:

    “The Millionaire Next Door” is one of the best financial books I have ever read. Two PhD’s performed an extensive study on millionaires in America. Who are they and how did they become millionaires? Fascinating findings that can provide benefit to ANYONE willing to learn from them. Easy read. The audio book is also well done.

  • Interesting list! I’ve never read any of these. After reading Andrew Tobias’s The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need, I stopped there — he was right! I’m not much of an investor; I just set it and forget it (in a Vanguard index fund, naturally 😉 ). But when I get older and need to diversify my investments, I’ll definitely pick up some Boglehead books. Thanks for the recs!

  • Good list, I have to say that The Intelligent Investor was one of the first investing books I read and its one of my favourites. Very simple and straightforward.

  • Preston Galton says:

    Good list here. Especially malkiel and Bernstein. One I would add -a recent book teaching good investing and savings habits to teens and millennials: “what all kids (and adults too) should know about saving and investing”. This one is a must read as far as I’m concerned

  • MMD says:

    Even though it always gets a lot of flak, I still think Rich Dad Poor Dad is a must read for new investors. Although not specific to investing, the philosophy on money and how we should go about making it is priceless on many levels.

  • Amos says:

    I love your list of the books. I think I should head for some financial books listed above.

  • I lived with my grandparents for one summer to “learn to work and live” and my grandpa made me read The Richest Man in Babylon. Didn’t totally understand it as a teenager but I can still remember some of the ideas in there. My grandpa was always about teaching me lessons in life….now I’m going to do it to my kids and grand kids as well. Glad for early life lessons.

    • John Schmoll says:

      That sounds awesome Lance! It’s funny how some of those life lessons don’t always sink in when we’re younger but by the time we have some wisdom in us we’re looking to pass it on.

  • Jason B says:

    The Richest Man In Babylon is a great read. If you’re trying to get your finances in shape I suggest people check it out.

  • The Intelligent Investor is my absolute favorite investing book. I think everyone should read and learn from Buffet’s mentor.

  • Excellent list John! Any new investor could do much worse than start with this list of books. I’d just recommend at least one book that focuses on the aspect of temperament on investing success. “Your money and your brain” by Jason Zweig is an excellent example.

  • I have read If You Can by William Bernstein. If you haven’t read, you must do so because it is well worth it and just like an overview of investing, which focuses on how to simplify. It was really short and concepts are very easy to understand. Perfect for beginners.

  • Don Hilario says:

    Great list.
    Read Random Walk & Intelligent Investor – Graham is the man.
    Saw some previous comments re (the late) Dr. Thomas Stanley – I too enjoyed Mind of a Millionaire.
    How do you feel about more current books like like Behavior Gap or One-Page Financial Plan, both by Carl Richards. Or Jeremy Siegels’ Future for Investors. Just curious! See you on Twitter!

  • George says:

    Thanks John! I have only read one of those books, the rest are already in my reading list 😉
    I recently read Play Smart in the Stock Market – the 4 Keys to Success. Very recommendable as well.

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