Investment Books: What To Read - An Investment U Classic

by Dr. Steve Sjuggerud

Investment Books: What To Read - An Investment U Classic

By Dr. Steve Sjuggerud, President, Investment U

Tuesday, January 21, 2003: Issue #206

Today I'd like to re-visit a subject that many of you have asked me about from time to time: my most recommended investment books to use as resources to help you become a better investor.

This list was originally published in an IUEL several months ago but it bears repeating. Given that much of the country is suffering through a terribly cold winter season, what better way to spend a few hours than with a good investment book. You'll not only protect yourself from the bitter elements-if you read one of the books I've recommended below-you'll become a much smarter investor as well.


Investment Books That Will Help You Become A Better Investor

Someone once said to me, "If your mouth is moving, you can't be learning." I couldn't agree more-being a voracious reader is one of the few ways you can get a leg up on the competition.

So, at the request of one of your fellow Investment U'ers, today I present you with a small list of my most recommended investment books for you to get a leg up in your investing. I chose this list based both on the value of the information as well as the ease/entertainment of reading, since investment books generally bore most people to tears.

For newcomers, I always recommend the best, most fun-to-read version of exactly how economic freedom creates wealth: Eat the Rich, by humorist P.J. O'Rourke. Beginners and experts alike can learn from this little gem. It is the first of the three books I consider essential reading for all market watchers. The other two are included below.

How The World Works And How To Profit From It For Less Than $100

When it comes to trading and investing, here's what I believe is the best $90 you can spend today. Together, the following six investment books explain how the world works and how to profit from it:

1. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefevre, 1923 ($14)

You will undoubtedly become a more profitable trader by reading this book. It's the highly entertaining tale of Jesse Livermore, one of the most successful traders in history, told in first person-in a swashbuckling style. You're having so much fun as you read this book; you don't even realize you end up learning many of the infallible trading secrets that 99% of traders never learn. If you only read one investment book about trading, read this one - it is essential reading investment book number 2.

2. Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt, 1946 ($8)

Want to know how the world really works? This book explains how, using easy-to-understand examples. Starting with a simple story about a broken window, Hazlitt explains the One Lesson of Economics. It is all you need to know. After reading this heavily Austrian-influenced book, you'll quickly be able to punch holes in most government schemes. At $8, you can buy copies for your local political leaders too.

3. Martin Zweig's Winning on Wall Street, 1986 ($12)

Who do the world's most successful traders and money managers look to for advice? Wall Street's most famous number cruncher, Martin Zweig. It's amazing that such a great mind could boil his life's work down into terms that stock market beginners can understand. It's one of the best investment planning books goingperfect for beginners and experts alike. You'll know what to buy, when to buy and when to sell. What more can you ask for?

4. Market Wizards: Interviews With Top Traders by Jack Schwager, 1989 ($12)

A great way to learn how to be successful in trading is to learn from the best. Jack Schwager's classic investment book boasts in-depth interviews with 17 of the world's top traders. These folks all turned pittances into many millions of dollars in their careers. And one of the top traders interviewed is OC Investment Advisor Dr. Van K. Tharp - the only trading coach interviewed. Buy it.

5. Trader Vic II - Principles of Professional Speculation by Victor Sperandeo, 1994 ($20)

This investment planning book ties it all together and was written by a trader whose documented 12-year track record was over 70% a year - without a losing year in that period. This book is a bit denser than the rest - with four sections (Economic Fundamentals, Technical Analysis, Options Trading, and Trading Psychology). From a free-market perspective, Vic Sperandeo clearly explains how he's made a pile of money and how you can too!

6. Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom by Van Tharp, 1999 ($24)

Van has personally influenced my trading style. There's an old saying, "There's nothing worse than making the right call AND losing money on it." I'd venture to say that Van's teachings could help you make money even when you make the wrong call. Van Tharp's investment book is essential market success book number 3.

Still More Investment Books For Your Reading List...

Other good recent stock market investment books include Jeremy Siegel's Stocks for the Long Run and A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel.

One of the best investment books about stock market bubbles is the recent Devil Take the Hindmost by Edward Chancellor. Destined to be a classic.

If you want to know everything you need to know about technical analysis, for real (not hype) in plain English, the bible of technical analysis is Technical Analysis Explained by Martin Pring. If you're planning to use this to be a day trader or swing trader, you absolutely must read Financial Freedom through Electronic Day Trading by Van Tharp and Brian June before you do anything.

For building your own trading system, I think The Research-Driven Investor by Tim Hayes is your best choice by far - to the point that everything else is garbage.

The best real estate investment book is Investing in REITs by Ralph Block. The best short-selling book (out of the very few) is The Art of Short Selling by Kathryn Staley. The best historical reference is The History of the American People by Paul Johnson (this one is a "must-have").

Magazines and newspapers I subscribe to include Forbes, The Economist, Wired, The Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times.

Keep Reading... And Learning

Wow - is that enough to read? I should think so! If it seems overwhelming, simply start with the three essential investment planning books (Eat the Rich, Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, and Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom) and go from there.

While you read, feel free to contact me, and give me your thoughts and suggestions. And if I missed something here, or there's something in particular that I didn't mention that you want to learn more about, let me know!

Good investing,


P.S. The number of bad investment books far outnumbers the number of good ones. If a book is not recommended here, chances are, it's not a good one.

Today's IU Crib Sheet

  • A simple, yet often-overlooked way to become a better investor - and out-smart the competition - is by becoming a voracious reader. See if the titles listed above are in your investment library and compare the periodicals you read to the list provided above. It's important for investors to find the time to continue learning. Ask yourself whether or not you are reading enough on a regular basis to stay ahead of the curve.

  • Have you read the three essentials I described for you above? If not, I urge you to get copies of Eat the Rich, Reminiscences of a Stock Operator and Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom and begin reading today! Make sure you have read these three books before reading any other investment book. Most of the books I've mentioned above are available on the Investment U web site in the "Investment Books" section.

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