These Books Will Make You Rich
12.17.10, 6:00 AM ET
With the economy still sluggish and unemployment rates pushing 10%, many Americans are searching for ways to stretch their dollars this holiday season. So why not give a simple present that could pay for itself many times over?
Whether you're looking for great gifts for the active investor in your life or simply searching for a guide to help a recent college graduate navigate the world of mutual funds, there are libraries full of books that will stuff a stocking with advice worth its weight in gold.
Sometimes, though, the tidal wave of financial advice books on the market is overwhelming. How can you separate the good, the bad and the just plain ugly? That's where we come in. We've gone through the top books on investing to develop a list of good reads for investors of all types. Whether you're a value investor looking to refine your tactics, a buy-and-hold Boglehead looking to beef up on the basics or a parent looking to start your kid down the right path, there's something on our list for you.
Ten of the books on our list are classics that deserve a spot on the bookshelf of any financial whiz. Any investor would be well-served to read up on these tomes; the basic tenets of modern investing strategy and tactics are developed and discussed in their pages.
For novice investors, two introductory books on our list offer distinctly opposing viewpoints. Joel Greenblatt's The Little Book That still Beats The Market tells investors to focus on earnings to outperform the market. John Bogle, on the other hand, dismisses the notion that investors can outperform the market and argues in Common Sense On Mutual Funds that indexing is the only smart way to invest. Investors beginning with a blank slate will enjoy letting the books do battle.
Seasoned investors, on the other hand, may enjoy reading more advanced theories and advice in books like The Essays of Warren Buffett or Ben Graham's The Intelligent Investor. Those books from investing titans offer plenty of information to mull over as you contemplate your next portfolio moves.
We realize that times are changing too. That's why our list includes five investing books that were published this year. These books integrate the knowledge of classic investment advice while simultaneously giving concrete advice for investing in the modern age.
Again, there are books that offer contrasting advice. A. Gary Shilling's The Age Of Deleveraging: Investment Strategies for a Decade of Slow Growth and Deflation, provides foresight on which industries and sectors will boom and bust in the next 10 years. The Great Reflation: How Investors Can Profit From the New World of Money disagrees with Shilling, and instead lays out a case for reflation rather than deflation. In another 2010 book, The Warren Buffetts Next Door: The World's Greatest Investors You've Never Heard Of and What You Can Learn From Them, Forbes editor Matt Schifrin shares the investing success stories of individuals with strategies that have paid off over the years.
Buffett himself says he's a better investor because he's also a businessman, and a better businessman because he's also an investor. Books like Harvard professor Michael Porter's Competitive Strategy help readers better understand a business and equip them to make a better judgment about its prospects.
"Get rich quick" strategies can often turn into "get poor quicker" realities. Stephen Weiss's The Billion Dollar Mistake: Learning the Art of Investing Through the Missteps of Legendary Investors tells the stories of investors who have messed up and survived to tell about it. The book provides an opportunity to learn from the mistakes of others, while reminding the investors in your life that they should have a Plan B should their stock picks plummet.
With these books on your bookshelf, you and yours will be better prepared to boost your bank accounts while minimizing risk. The advice of some of the world's most successful investors, along with the stories of others who have followed in their footsteps, will get you on the right track to big returns in 2011.