There is a wealth of information available to the individual investor, sometimes too much. The
following is a list of recommended reading for everyone from novice investors to advanced
investors. We would be happy to hear from you regarding your own personal favorites.
The Wealthy Barber, Updated 3rd Edition by David Chilton. This is a great little book that covers most of the
bases for the individual investor. The advice is given in the form of mini-lessons provided
by the local, small town barber, who also happens to have become a millionaire by following
the advice he hands out. The book is very readable, but might be a bit too corny for some
tastes. If you like your advice in the form of a story, then this book is for you. Another
investment advice book built around a story is The Richest Man in Babylon which takes the "parable"
The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need by Andrew Tobias. Robert Townsend wrote in his management classic
Up the Organization on the topic of Harvard Business School, "Don't hire Harvard Business School graduates." While that may or may not
be good advice when hiring for your company, you would be missing the boat if you overlooked this gem of a book
simply because it was written by a Harvard B-school grad. Despite its relatively small size (239 pages in the expanded edition), it
packs an abundance of useful advice and presents it in an entertaining style. Tobias also has
some interesting perspectives. For example, if you are a wine drinker, you might earn a "return" of over 50% tax free on your money simply by buying
wine by the case.
How to Retire Early and Live Well With Less than a Million Dollars
by Gillette Edwards. This book is somewhat mistitled. The main topic of the book is more portfolio theory although it does delve into some retirement issues. It provides an excellent introduction to the topic of portfolio management. The critical lesson of the book is to invest in different "asset classes" which are "uncorrelated". One very important and perhaps startling message is a portfolio of stocks and bonds can provide both a higher return and a lower risk than bonds by themselves. This lesson alone is worth the price the book many times over.
Other Reference Books
Graham and Dodd's Security Analysis, fifth edition by Sidney Cottle, Roger Murray and Frank Block. This is the revised version of the book that gave birth to fundamental analysis of stocks. Warren Buffet, arguable one of the world's most successful investors was a student of Graham's at Columbia University and was influenced by his teachings. The original 1934 edition of the book is also back in print and some argue that it is better than the later editions. The book is encyclopedic in its treatment of the subject and can be tough reading. It is recommended for anyone who wishes to get a better understanding of what goes into the valuations of a company's stock price.
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