Reading books about money and markets in the hopes it might make us richer is always fun, but after years of accumulating titles I found that the number of books that actually leave a lasting impact are few and far between. That’s why I put together this list of five books that actually helped my understanding of finance.
(*This blog post contains affiliate links)
Firstly, these aren’t books that are going to give you a how too of investing, they’re not guides for making money with any particular method, nor are they going to make you rich overnight.
What they will do, like they did for me, is contribute something to a wider understanding of how the bigger picture of money and finance work, and how we as people think and interact when it comes to markets.
Above all they are great reads, they are enjoyable, and offer true nuggets of gold that will help you form your own understanding of the world of money.
Straight in with a weighty title, this book is some 600 pages long. It’s a great read that in true Robbins’ style covers everything from the psychology of our past associations with money to a strategy for planning out how we intend to prosper in the future. Crucially there is a big section of interviews from money managers with practical and actionable advice on how to plan, and follow through with our investing goals.
For anyone at the start of their financial journey, anyone harbouring demons about their association with money, or simply for anyone that wants an all in one guide on how to get your head straight before moving forward — this is it.
Like I say, it’s a commitment just to get through, but it’s representative of the commitment you’ll need if you want to become wealthy in the future.
For me, it’s the rear of the book that truly stands out as one of the best books on money I’ve ever read. Not only does it contain fascinating insights from the minds of some of the best money managers ever to walk the earth, but it explains different approaches to investing that help you get a feel for how you want to move forward.
I think the weight of this book puts a lot of people off, I for one lent it to a friend who didn’t read it for lack of time, so if you’re in a similar boat you might want to check out Robbins’ condensed version of the book — Unshakeable. This title however I felt was fairly thin on the ground, a bit more of a sell for his partners, and lacks the gems of the interviews at the back of the larger book.
This one is for anyone interested in trading, investing or any activity that involves the assessment of risk.
What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars is a frank assessment of what happens when you let it go to your head. The story revolves around how Jim Paul rose to become the chairman of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (one of the power houses of trade in the USA) and then lost his fortune in a single bought of hubris.
While this book is a story that centres around those heavily involved in trading, it’s more a book about risk, psychology, and how to preserve any money you do make. It’s an honest and fascinating account of what happens when it goes wrong, and is a must read for anyone involved in any type of investing.
Not only does this book give us some great lessons that I come back to time and time again — it’s just a fascinating read that is easily digestible and enjoyable to boot.
No financial read list should be without a title covering the Global Financial Crisis.
Whilst The Big Short probably holds the title as the most famous book about the GFC, for me it wasn’t the one that left the biggest mark.
The Big Short is a great book of course, it’s readable, it condenses a massive amount of detail into an easy to follow story and is a genuine page turner.
For me though, I think Gillian Tett’s account of not only what happened during the financial crisis, but what lead to it and the culture that surrounded the banking industry at the time.
Fools Gold is a great, great book that yields lightbulb after lightbulb of what lead to the events of the GFC. It’s written in a easy to digest way, and Tett has a true talent for telling the story.
Fools Gold was a book that really cleared up some misconceptions I had about the mechanics of how the banking industry worked, what lead to the catastrophic events of 2007–2008, and filled in some gaps that surround the traditional narrative.
William D Cohen has excelled here in producing a fascinating account of the history, mechanics and importance of what we have come to know as Wall Street. Cohen deals with why its become popular to dis bankers and the whole banking culture, and why the rise of the anti banking left might not be such a great thing for society as a whole.
Why Wall Street Matters has the feel of a really impartial piece of work, produced through decades of experience in the industry. Simple to read and easy to get through in a day, this book definitely leaves a clear picture about how money markets and the banking sector work, how they impact us as consumers, and why we need them.
4. The Basics of Bitcoin and Blockchains: An Introduction to Cryptocurrencies and The Technology That Powers Them
Didn’t expect to see a book about Crypto? Neither did I, but when I started reading this book it immediately earned itself a place on my desktop permanently.
Not only does this book give a fantastic account of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies, it gives a simply brilliant primer on money that is really rare to find. I really didn’t expect to see this in a book of this type, but by combining a history of money with the explanation of Crypto and Blockchain, Antony Lewis has produced a cracking book that helps understand money as something that evolves.
With Bitcoin and Crypto now forming part of a number of institutional portfolios, and with their adoption as a possible alternative to Gold, it pays to have an understanding of this marketplace — this book is a great way to do that.
Interested in trading the financial markets? Read this book.
When I first started trading I picked up nearly ever title I could find about trading, none of them helped. A number of years later I read this book by Gary Norden, and it instantly cleared up in my mind how I viewed markets, my chances of succeeding in them, and what I needed to do in order to give myself the best edge possible.
Again, this book isn’t a book about how to trade, it’s a book about how to approach trading — there’s a big difference. An End To The Bull is about doing away with the traditional retail message of fast profits and easy money, and instead painting a picture of how professionals approach risk and the markets.
Packed with clear and actionable advice about how to approach trading as a discipline, how to construct watchlists and how to formulate your own opinion, it’s probably the best book about trading markets I personally have ever read.
Pic n’ Mix
There you have it = five of the best books I’ve ever read on money, markets and finance. If you are interested in them I’ve attached some links below.
(these are affiliate links, so if you don’t want to use them, of course feel free to skip and just head over to your favourite retailer)
I’ve come to understand that in order to prosper financially we need to take responsibility for our understanding of how money works, we need to constantly educate ourselves on the financial world around us and we need to constantly be sponging up the experiences and advice of those that achieve the things we want to achieve.
I believe these five books play some part in helping us do just that, I hope you find them useful.