The Best Investing Book for Beginners

The Best investing books for beginners explain investment strategies and speak to the layman. There are a number of books that fit that description, and there is no universal consensus about which one is the best. This article includes some of the more commonly sited examples. They have some common features and recurring themes, emphasizing long-term planning over short-term gain and insisting that in-depth research is a valuable tool. Most try to be accessible. But those similarities should not overshadow the fact that each book has it's own voice and it's own unique details that make each one worthwhile in it's own way.

"The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need" by Andrew Tobias

Released almost thirty years ago, this book is an extensive overview of some of the terms and concepts beginning investors should be familiar with. It touches on stocks, bonds, 401(K)s and real estate investments, among other things. It also offers some advice on how to save and invest prudently, for the long term.

"One Up on Wall Street" by Peter Lynch

Originally published in 1994, it offers a pragmatic look at the world of investing in a language that beginner investors can understand. Most notably, Lynch urged his readers to ignore investments that are "hot" at the time and focus on local successes, such as a local restaurant or a new manufacturer. While the "hot" investments will pay off quickly, they don't usually last very long, while the more modest successes would yield slowly but steadily increasing profit for decades to come.  Lynch also showed how to research various companies and see whether they are worth the investor's time.

"The Intelligent Investor" by Benjamen Graham

A well-regarded classic investment banking text, it has been reprinted continuously since 1949.  The first half of the book covers investment basics such as investing vs speculation, stocks vs bonds, inflation and the pros and cons of defensive and speculative spending. The second half of the book focuses on securities analysis, teaching investors how to assess management practices and examine financial statements and per share earnings and use the resulting information to make good investment decisions. Although parts of the book have become dated over the years, it remains a useful source of information.

"Stocks For Long Run" by Jeremy Siegel

A recently published book written by Siegel, it draws on historical evidence to explain which types of stocks perform better on the long run and ways in which investors have tried to buck the trends. It also suggests the best ways to use stock portfolios, which is particularly useful for the beginners.

"All About Asset Allocation" by Richard Ferry

Published in 2005, this book explains how investors can allocate portions of their portfolios into different types of investments, using accessible, easy-to-understand language. Ferry demonstrates why allocation is important. The book includes detailed descriptions of every type of investment, including their advantages and disadvantages. The book then explains how every type contributes to the strength of the portfolio and shows investors how to maintain it.

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