An Investment U Classic:
Nine Invaluable Resources for Every Investor
by Marc Lichtenfeld, Investment U Senior Analyst
Wednesday, July 27, 2011: Issue #1565
[With Senior Analyst Marc Lichtenfeld traveling this week, Investment U is running an update to a classic article by the author in his usual weekly space. The original was published on August 21, 2009.]
Heaven help me… Mrs. L is on a mission.
My house has been turned upside down, as she prepares to redecorate several rooms. Fortunately for the household, my input is neither required, nor requested.
Undeterred by the recession, the missus has made Pottery Barn her second home. And look for Williams-Sonoma’s (NYSE: WSM) earnings to cruise higher next quarter, thanks to her spending there.
Trouble is, when I return home from work, the items I expect to find in their regular spots are gone, replaced by new stuff.
Yesterday, I found my books lined up in the hallway and was asked to donate the ones I don’t want anymore. However, a good chunk of my library consists of investing books, which I like to consult from time to time.
I’m often asked for recommended investment books, and as I transferred the books from the floor to the new bookshelf (excuse me, escritoire), I revisited some of my favorite titles. Here are the ones that I’ve found most valuable in my career…
Let These Authors Propel You Toward Greater Investment Success
Make some room on the bookshelf – because you’ll want to add these investment books to it if you want to increase your chances of investing success…
- Contrarian Investment Strategies – The Next Generation (David Dreman): As an analyst, I worked at a strictly contrarian research shop. In fact, I wasn’t even allowed to initiate coverage on a company unless it went against the consensus. I trained with two of the greatest contrarians in recent decades. So believe me when I tell you that Dreman’s book is a must read. It shows you how and why contrarian investing works.
- Understanding Wall Street (Jeffrey Little): This is the first book I ever read about investing. It’s terrific for beginners. Written in an easy-to-understand language, it explains what stocks and bonds actually are. If you’re new to investing, I cannot recommend this book enough.
- The Little Book That Beats the Market (Joel Greenblatt): The author is an extremely successful money manager, who shows investors how to beat average market returns with a value investing approach. You can read this in one afternoon, yet it contains as much valuable information as you’d find in most 500-page tomes.
- Get Rich With Options (Lee Lowell): If you want to know how to make money with options, learn from the guy who did it and retired in his 30s. White Cap Research’s resident commodities specialist, Lee Lowell, shows investors the most profitable strategies and tools to use.
- One Up on Wall Street (Peter Lynch): This classic teaches investors how to use what they are already familiar with to make money. Lynch takes a long-term outlook as he guides investors through the analysis process of companies that we interact with every day.
- The New Market Wizards (Jack Schwager): Profiles successful traders such as Stanley Druckenmiller, Linda Bradford Raschke and Blair Hull. I like that the traders open up in these interviews, letting readers in on their processes and hearing about their failures just as much as their successes. Schwager does an excellent job of selecting traders in various markets with different trading styles.
- Reminiscences of a Stock Operator (Edwin LeFevre): No investment book list would be complete without this. Originally published in 1923, it’s the marginally fictionalized biography of legendary speculator Jesse Livermore. It’s believed that Livermore actually wrote the book with LeFevre’s help. Livermore walks the reader through his considerable ups and downs. It’s a fascinating tale and a really insightful look back at market speculation in the early twentieth century.
- Technical Analysis of the Financial Markets (John Murphy): While technical analysis can sometimes sound very complex, Murphy does a great job explaining the theories and indicators in a simple language. If you ever look at charts, you need to read Murphy’s book first – it’s the bible of technical analysis.
- The Secret of Shelter Island (Alexander Green): Once you’ve read all the investing books and amassed a fortune, Investment U’s Chief Wealth Strategist will illustrate why money is not the most important thing in life. A compilation of his popular Spiritual Wealth essays, Shelter Island provides inspirational, whimsical and sentimental stories that remind the reader what is truly important.
BONUS: One more great book just to make our list round out to ten…
- Beyond Wealth: A Road Map to a Rich Life (Alexander Green): This might be saving the best for last… Once you’ve read The Secret of Shelter Island, you have to pick up a copy of Alexander Green’s sequel on what it means to be truly wealthy. Each entry can be read alone and is characterized by brevity, wit, and a liveliness of mind. The book is a national bestseller and is ranked by the editors at Amazon as one of the “Top 10 Business Books of 2011.”
You have my list… so what are some of your favorites? Leave your comments below… I still have space in the escritoire.
[Editor's Note: Laissez Fair Books has offered an exclusive discount to Investment U readers on three titles listed above: One Up on Wall Street, The Secret of Shelter Island, and Beyond Wealth: A Road Map to a Rich Life. Order today and receive 20 percent off any these of three great books. Just use promo code P401M700.]