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5 Investing Books for Beginners


Investing BooksIt can be difficult knowing where to start with investing. Some of you may want to pick up a good reference guide, but with so many books out there on investing it can seem intimidating. Here is a list of five books I feel are a great starting point for you on your path to wise 401k investing (in no particular order):

1. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham

Benjamin Graham, born in 1894, is considered the father of value investing. He began teaching at Columbia Business School in 1928, and eventually taught and mentored a young man by the name of Warren Buffett. Though first published in 1949, the investment concepts taught in this book still apply. Buffett described The Intelligent Investor as "by far the best book on investing ever written.”

2. One Up on Wall Street by Peter Lynch

Peter Lynch was born in 1944 and graduated with a Masters of Business Administration from Wharton in 1968. In 1977, Fidelity named Lynch the head of its Magellan Fund, which at the time had $18 million in assets. By 1990, the fund had grown to more than $14 billion. During that time, Peter Lynch had averaged a 29.2% annual return for the Magellan Fund. Lynch uses One Up On Wall Street to teach the novice investor how to achieve returns equal to, or better than, Wall Street professionals by paying attention during everyday life.

3. Stocks for the Long Run by Jeremy Siegel

Stocks for the Long Run is an interesting read for anyone who has kept up with Bill Gross’ recent remarks regarding the “cult of equity.” Siegel, currently the Russell E. Palmer Professor of Finance at the Wharton School and frequent CNBC guest, argues the point that in the long run, stocks offer investors the greatest returns.

4. Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits by Philip A. Fisher

Philip A. Fisher dropped out of Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1928 to work as a securities analyst. Fisher eventually moved on to form his own money management company, and is known as one of the pioneers of growth investing. In Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits, Fisher gives 15 guidelines to follow in selecting a worthwhile investment. Warren Buffett has described himself as “85 percent Graham and 15 percent Fisher.”

5. The Essays of Warren Buffett by Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett studied under Benjamin Graham and David Dodd at Columbia Business School, where he earned a Master of Science in Economics in 1951. Through his investment prowess at Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett has become a billionaire. The Essays of Warren Buffett is a collection of essays (many of them letters to Berkshire Hathaway investors) which provides readers an informal education from one of the greatest investment minds.

As you can see, there’s a trend to the books I’ve chosen as my five personal favorites. All are history lessons in investing, with many of the themes from decades ago still true today. But this is just a start.

Are there any books on the list you would add? What books have helped you to learn about 401k investing? Feel free to add them in the comment section.

by Ray Dyches
Investment Advisor

*Books we admire sometimes endorse specific investments, general investing strategies or other products/services/ institutions that we do not recommend or have not analyzed. Reviews and endorsements in these books and should not be interpreted as a recommendation/endorsement by Smart401k.

photo credit: Reeding Lessons

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