Here they are. Read ’em and profit:
- The Black Swan. Nassim Nicholas Taleb (NNT). Random House.
- Fooled by Randomness. NNT. Texere.
- The Intelligent Investor (Revised Edition). Benjamin Graham (w/ Jason Zweig). Collins.
- When Genius Failed. Roger Lowenstein. Random House.
- Your Money & Your Brain. Jason Zweig. Simon & Schuster.
- The Ascent of Money. Niall Ferguson. The Penguin Press.
- All About Index Funds. Richard Ferri. McGraw-Hill.
- Investments. (Textbook) Bodie, Kane, Marcus. McGraw-Hill.
The first three are must reads in my opinion (though #2 overlaps with The Black Swan.) I can’t say enough about the first two, though I try. The Intelligent Investor is the book on value investing, period.
If you want to understand today’s financial crisis, read #4, in addition to #1. These books provide the blueprints and some solutions. If only Greenspan, Paulson, Bernanke, etc, had listened.
#5 provides a much needed perspective into the reality of financial decisions and the emotions behind them. This book confirms the wisdom of having a play money (Crazy Ivan) fund to give emotion an outlet and aid in maximizing overall portfolio objectivity.
#6 is an excellent history of money and how we got to where we are today in the financial universe. #7 is the best read I’ve found about the ins and outs of index funds and ETFs. Finally #8 is a surprisingly readable text and reference for those who want to know how the financial world thinks (Read it to understand, not slavishly believe).
Read (and re-read) these books and you’ll be light-years ahead of 90% of the financial advisors out there.