“To be happy and successful, reading is the best thing you can do.”
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For a beginners guide to investing, including terminology and the strategies of successful investors, I highly recommend The Neatest Little Guide to Stock Market Investing by Jason Kelly. This is the book I started with, and it gave me the foundation to progress further. Whilst its focus is on American companies and markets, much of the content can easily be translated globally.
One up on Wall Street by Peter Lynch is a wonderful introduction to the personal qualities required to be successful in investing. This book, along with Beating the Street (also by Lynch) is probably the most accessible book I have read on the subject. He discusses many complicated ideas in a simple and often humorous way.
Benjamin Graham’s The Intelligent Investor is the more accessible version of his earlier work, Security Analysis. Considered the grandfather of value investing, Graham’s work in these two books helped lay the foundation for modern investment practice. The Intelligent Investor is an absolute must-read for anyone who understands the basics, but is seeking a deeper understanding of the true nature of value.
For any investor with a value/quant tilt, James O’Shaughnessy’s “What Works on Wall Street” should be required reading. In meticulous detail, O’Shaughnessy looks at historic returns of popular value metrics, such as Price/Earnings, Price to Book and Price to Sales. Now in its fourth edition, it empirically proves value investing works.