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6 Best Investing Books for Beginners

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The best investing books for beginners make investing understandable and easy to start. If you want to start investing, here are the best books to help you.

A question I hear 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 the person wants to learn how to invest and grow their wealth.

It’s difficult to narrow down what the best investing books for beginners. Don’t believe me? Go to Amazon and type in “investing books.” The last time I checked there are over 40,000 books. That is overwhelming for anyone.

Investing in the stock market is difficult for many, and finding the right book to start with can be difficult. The top investing books are ones that simplify difficult concepts in ways that beginner investors can understand. Having an investing book that is enjoyable to read isn’t too bad either.

The Best Investing Books for Beginners

 

It can be difficult to determine which exactly are the best investing books for beginners. The investing books I typically recommend ones that promote a certain investing philosophy and not game the market.

06Many of the books I suggest promote a long-term, slow and steady type of approach to investing and nothing else.

When thinking over the best books on investing, I generally like to keep it to a short numbered list. As you look over our list you’ll notice some that didn’t make the list. Those are:

That’s not to say those books are not good. In fact, I highly recommend each book, but this list is meant to highlight a few top-notch books. I’ve read all or significant chunks of each of the books below and they’ve been helpful in my investing journey.

Below are the best investing books for beginners to learn how to invest.

1. A Random Walk Down Wall Street

 

A Random Walk Down Wall Street was written by Burton Malkiel back in 1973. Yes, that was over 40 years ago but his concepts still hold true today. In fact, I consider 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 investing so anyone can understand it. It does this by engaging you as the reader. This is difficult to do for an investing book.

However, Malkiel does it in style and offers methods to follow that’ll help you as you begin to invest in the stock market.

2. The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing

 

The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing is a more recent book, written by Bogleheads founder Taylor Larimore in 2007.

Larimore has a companion book focusing on saving for retirement which I’ve heard is just as good. If you don’t know the Bogleheads, they are an homage to the founder of the investment firm Vanguard. Vanguard focuses on a low-cost, long-term approach to investing, and one we support.

What makes Bogleheads a top investing book is similar to what is found in Random Walk. He offers a straightforward way to start investing. Larimore focuses on a number of things but focuses on the need to develop a long-term view to investing.

This isn’t as sexy as short-term swings, but is better for your long-term financial health.

3. The Intelligent Investor

 

The Intelligent Investor was written by Benjamin Graham in 1934. Surprisingly, it’s not the oldest book on our list. Intelligent Investor is a must read for most investors as he makes difficult investing ideas easy to understand.

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What makes Intelligent Investor one of the best investing books for beginners is he explains how to focus on the long-term health of a company. This is a simple, but effective way to limit your risk.

The idea is to focus on long-term wealth building and not short-term gains. Graham was Warren Buffett’s mentor so he knows what he’s talking about.

The best investing books for beginners make investing understandable and easy to start. If you want to start investing, here are the best books to help you.

4. 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 is a great read for new investors. Clason writes the book in parable form set in, you guessed it, Babylon.

The book itself is a collection of short pamphlets that financial institutions handed out in the 1920’s. It was bound together later as a book.

I appreciate that Clason covers basic ideals that most overlook. This helps beginning investors have a fuller view of investing. A classic, Richest Man is relatively quick to read through and should be on anyone’s reading list.

5. Common Sense on Mutual Funds

 

I don’t know that I honestly consider Common Sense on Mutual Funds by John Bogle a true investing book for beginners. It’s a little more advanced; however, I don’t believe that keeps from a spot on our list.

I believe Common Sense is a top investing book because Bogle covers an industry that we sink billions into – the mutual fund industry. Mutual funds are a legitimate investment option for a lot of investors, and a great way to create residual income. Yet, there are also countless funds that charge crazy fees and make investing far too complex.

This often result in lost money for investors, which should not be the case. Instead, Bogle promotes a value based, broad portfolio approach as opposed to trying to beat the market.

6. 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 highly recommend. I have perused If You Can, 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 specifically for new and younger investors. Bernstein promotes a simple approach to beginning in the stock market, and how to start when brand new.

He focuses on being with the market and not chasing gains. Bernstein boils it down to a discipline you must follow in order to grow long-term wealth that will continue to build on itself.

If you look throughout our list of best investing books for beginners they all focus on the same idea – a long-term view of investing. That includes cutting fees, keeping investing 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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John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.

Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.

Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.

21 Comments

  • 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.

  • Really awesome list John.

    I’ve read the richest man in Babylon and it has inspired me to invest long term. I have bookmarked this list and will start reading your other recommendations!

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