More Great Books About Money

I’m in the process of reading The Four Pillars of Investing (an excellent book, by the way) and I thought I’d share with you some of William Bernstein’s insights into investing. According to Bernstein, you really only need guidance in two areas: asset allocation and self-discipline. And how should you go about learning about these things?

He starts by saying:

“Whatever you do, do not watch Wall Street Week, Nightly Business Report or CNBC. With the extra hour or two you’ll gain each week from turning off the TV, I would start a regular reading program.”

He then goes on to list the books that he recommends for inclusion in your new reading program. Given that I recently put together a rundown of the best books about money based on the opinions of a handful of other bloggers, I thought I’d likewise publish a list of Bernstein’s favorites, many of which I haven’t read (and a few of which I’ve never even heard of).

First up, two classics:

» A Random Walk Down Wall Street

Author: Burton Malkiel
Length: 416 pages
Amazon rating: 4.5 stars
Bernstein says: “An excellent investment primer.”

» Common Sense on Mutual Funds

Author: John C. Bogle
Length: 496 pages
Amazon rating: 4.4 stars
Bernstein says: “More information than you ever wanted to know…”

According to Bernstein, if you read these two books, you’ll know more about finance than 99% of all stockbrokers and most other finance professionals. At that point, you’ll be ready for what he calls his “postgraduate course, ” which consists of the following ten books:

» A Fool and His Money

Author: John Rothchild
Length: 272 pages
Amazon rating: 4.5 stars
Bernstein says: “Ground level trip through Wall Street in the 1980s… eye-opening.”

» Where are the Customer’s Yachts

Author: Fred Schwed
Length: 208 pages
Amazon rating: 4.6 stars
Bernstein says: “Ground level trip through Wall Street in the 1930s… eye-opening.”

» Once in Golconda

Author: John Brooks
Length: 307 pages
Amazon rating: 4.2 stars
Bernstein says: “How Uncle Sam got his hands on Wall Street.”

» Devil Take the Hindmost

Author: Edward Chancellor
Length: 400 pages
Amazon rating: 4.5 stars
Bernstein says: “A history of manias and crashes over the centuries.”

» Bernard M. Baruch: The Adventures of a Wall Street Legend

Author: James Grant
Length: 365 pages
Amazon rating: 4 stars
Bernstein says: “A better grasp of capital markets than anyone else I know.”

» Money of the Mind

Author: James Grant
Length: 528 pages
Amazon rating: 3.7 stars
Bernstein says: See above.

» Minding Mr. Market

Author: James Grant
Length: 424 pages
Amazon rating: 4.5 stars
Bernstein says: See above.

» The Trouble With Prosperity

Author: James Grant
Length: 368 pages
Amazon rating: 4.1 stars
Bernstein says: See above.

» Capital Ideas

Author: Peter Bernstein
Length: 352 pages
Amazon rating: 3.7 stars
Bernstein says: “An engaging history of modern financial theory.”

» Winning the Loser’s Game

Author: Charles Ellis
Length: 182 pages
Amazon rating: 3.8 stars
Bernstein says: “A succinct look at money management.”

According to Bernstein, all of the above titles are easily accessible to the average reader. But if you’re good with numbers and don’t mind a bit of effort, you should also consider the following:

» Global Investing

Author: Roger Ibbotson and Gary Brinson
Length: 339 pages
Amazon rating: No review yet
Bernstein says: “A… view of stocks, bonds, commodities, and inflation the world over.”

» Asset Allocation

Author: Roger Gibson and John Templeton
Length: 317 pages
Amazon rating: 4.4 stars
Bernstein says: “Excellent primer on portfolio theory and… allocations.”

One Response to “More Great Books About Money”

  1. Anonymous

    Well, I would argue that if you read the first two books, you wouldn’t have to read any other book about investing at all. The first two should convince you that the only thing you should do when it comes to the market is invest in an index mutual fund.

    I agree that for the large majority of investors, this is what you should do. But for a few like me, that like doing the homework of picking stocks, there can be good rewards there.

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