The 3 Best Books to Start Investing Today


Most of us want to start investing. And why not? It can make you solid returns, and it looks easy enough, right? But many beginners make the mistake of rushing into stock investing without properly educating themselves on the subject. Your best strategy is to get educated ASAP, and checking out these three books for beginning investors is a great start.

One Up on Wall Street, Peter Lynch

The subtitle of this book tells it all: How to Use What You Already Know to Make Money in the Market. In One Up on Wall Street, Fidelity Investments legend Peter Lynch uses an easy-to-follow approach to show readers that you, too, can make money in the market without all the fancy degrees and investment expertise. Learning to read company financials is certainly a mind-numbing experience, but Lynch cuts to the chase and teaches you what you need to know. His wisdom shows readers that all you have to do is invest in the companies and products you already use and know.

The Intelligent Investor, Benjamin Graham

Even Warren Buffet opines that Graham's work is, "By far the best book on investing ever written." And The Intelligent Investor, written in 1949, certainly doesn't disappoint. While this book is more technical than One Up on Wall Street, its solid advice to beginners makes it a must on any bookshelf.

Graham is interested in what he calls "value investors," who aren't into speculation or day-trading, but rather willing to learn about stock investing from the ground up, and follow a well-rounded and consistent investment strategy. His book marks a departure from other investment books, mainly because his approach is about limiting losses more than maximizing profits. That's counter-intuitive advice for many.

How to Make Money in Stocks, William J. O'Neil

Although more technical than the first two books, How to Make Money in Stocks lays out a seven-step plan, CAN SLIM, for minimizing risk and maximizing gain. Stock charts are not an easy read. Full of lines, numbers, and information, stock chart reading is normally reserved for the savvy investor. However, with this book, you can learn how to spot profitable trends in charts. But this book is not just about stock investing — there's also a thorough discussion on how to use the teachings to score deals in mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

O'Neil's information is not for the faint of heart, and it'll take time to really digest and implement his teachings. His seven-step formula is very specific, but will turn you into a great technical stock evaluator along the way.

These three books comprise a great starting library for any beginning investor. Start with One Up On Wall Street, and then make your way through the rest. Comparing and contrasting the three will give you a solid base for investing that you can use for a lifetime.

What investing books do you recommend beginners use?

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Guest's picture

I really enjoy the book by William Oneal, I think it gives the best combination of value and technical investing.

Guest's picture

4 Pillars of Investing by William J Bernstein.

By far the most clear picture of how the industry works, how the "herd" works, and how to invest and minimize risk by focusing on things you can control.

Of course he pumps a lot of vanguard index funds...but that's because Vanguard is one of the few (maybe the only) company that started with reasonably moral roots, and still has the best rates/fees around, 90% of the time.

Guest's picture
Chelsea Waymouth

Thanks so much for sharing these recommendations. I will have to check a couple of them out in the coming weeks.
Mani Maran recently published a really great book that offers exceptional advice of personal finance.
There is so much experience and wisdom packed into this book and the included exercises were a huge help to me.
Look out for The Magic of Attracting Money.

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