10 Investing Books Every Investor Should Read

I've compiled a shortlist of the 10 best investing books that every investor should be reading. These investing books are suitable for beginners and they don't assume any prior knowledge of the stock market or property market. 

The titles below can all be purchased online or from your local book store, with prices ranging from £4.99 - £24.99.

Leave a comment below if you think I've missed your favourite investing book. By clicking on any links below and purchasing through Amazon, I will earn a small commission on that sale which will help support the website. This did not impact how I compiled the list. Happy reading!

Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"The best-selling index investing bible offers new information and is updated to reflect the latest market data The Little Book of Common Sense Investing is the classic guide to getting smart about the market.

Bogle describes the simplest and most effective investment strategy for building wealth over the long term."

Who this investing book is for:

This book is for investors looking for a simple and effective investing approach. John Bogle uses this book to promote a minimalist approach to investing.

In short, it's about using passive funds to reduce investing costs and build a basic investment portfolio which will do the distance over the long term.

John Bogle is the founder of Vanguard, the leading provider of index funds in the US.



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"Stripping away the mystique from the world of investment and finance, How to Read the Financial Pages is a layman's guide to reading and understanding the financial press and the markets and events it covers.

Assuming no financial knowledge, Michael Brett provides a valuable explanation of the workings of the financial world - from money markets to commodity markets, investment ratios to takeover bids."

Who this investing book is for:

This classic investing book is a crash course for investors who want to be able to digest the articles in The Financial Times or The Wall Street Journal. 

In short, Brett's book will teach two things:

  • How financial markets work
  • How to understand the language used by journalist when reporting financial news. 

This investing book will help you feel like 'an insider', custom to the complex and often bizarre world of investing. 





Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"The easy way to demystify the intimidating world of investing in the UK market.

Packed with tons of expert advice, Investing For Dummies UK 4th edition shows you step-by-step how to make sound, sensible investment choices whatever your budget.

All the major investment categories are covered for the smart beginner, while more advanced and alternative investments are presented for the more adventurous and experienced."

Who this investing book is for:

This book hasn't amassed a cult following but has an appreciativ base of readers regardless.

Where Investing for Dummies excels is in the breadth of topics covered. This is a title which aims to tell you a little about a lot. 

As a result, you'll finish this book knowing more about buying shares, weighing up the pros and cons of pensions, as well as being acquainted with the UK tax system for investors. 

 



4. Excellent Investing - Mark Simpson



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"Excellent Investing is a practical guide for investors who are looking to elevate their investment performance to the next level. Learn how to: invest where you have the edge, overcome your behavioural biases, avoid common investment mistakes, and build an optimal portfolio to generate higher and more consistent returns."

Who this investing book is for:

Excellent Investing is a book penned by one author, but also contains the wisdom of many others. 

You'll enjoy the range of investing styles / example portfolios included in the book. These are explained clearly, alongside a frank assessment of pros and cons of each. 

Unlike some of the titles in this list, Excellent Investing is fully up-to-date and includes plenty of references and sources for further reading when you're done.



5. How to Own The World - Andrew Craig



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"Discover the money secret understood by virtually every rich person in history. Turn hundreds into millions through the power of compound interest.

How to Own the World shows you that:

  • No one is better placed than you to make the most of your money.
  • You can do better than many finance professionals.
  • Making money from your money is easier than you think.
  • It's easier today than ever.
  • It's time to start now."

Who this investing book is for:

An opinionated and informative title by former US Congressman speech writer and fund manager Andrew Craig.

A title aimed at beginners, yet with plenty to offer to financially literate readers, such as those from professional backgrounds. 

If I had a bone to pick, it would be that Andrew advocates a portfolio which could include investing in commodities such as gold bullion. I personally feel that commodities are not safe investments and are only suitable for sophisticated investors. 



6. Investing Demystified - Lars Kroijer



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"The easy way to demystify the intimidating world of investing in the UK market.

Packed with tons of expert advice, Investing For Dummies UK 4th edition shows you step-by-step how to make sound, sensible investment choices whatever your budget.

All the major investment categories are covered for the smart beginner, while more advanced and alternative investments are presented for the more adventurous and experienced.."

Who this investing book is for:

This book offers a compelling reason why even investors with an adventurous risk appetite should buy risk-free assets such as government bonds. 

This message has been slightly undermined by the further fall in interest rates on bonds since the book was published in 2017, however the overall principles still work.

Investing Demystified also devotes a good portion of the text to debunking myths about investing which won't go away. 

And just who is Lars Kroijer? You can let him personally explain over on his YouTube channel

 

 



7. Smarter Investing - Tim Hale



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"Smarter Investing introduces you to a simple and powerful set of rules for successful investing, helping you to build an investment portfolio that suits your needs, stays the course when markets get rough and quietly gets on with the job of generating better results.

In this updated and revised edition, Tim Hale gives you all the advice you’ll need and demonstrates that the key to successful investing is to do a few straightforward things exceptionally well."

Who this investing book is for:

Like Bogle before him, Tim Hale lays down his evidenced-based case for a passive investing approach. 

Although Tim has enjoyed a globe-spanning professional career, this book caters to the UK investor looking to adopt a DIY approach to managing their investments. 

The book also includes Tim's more theoretical and academic investment models which provides some additional inspiration (but not direction) on how to build your own portfolio. 



8. Stop Saving Start Investing - Jonathan Hobbs



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"Are your savings getting you nowhere slowly? Do you want to learn how to grow your wealth by investing in a practical, effective and automated way?

Stop Saving Start Investing shows how people with no financial background can grow their investments in the years to come with simple investment strategies. Investing in funds is a hands-off way to build wealth over time. Avoid the stress of picking your own stocks. Let the fund managers do all the work so you can get on with more important things in life!
"

Who this investing book is for:

This investing book is a celebration of the humble fund. It contrasts fund selection with the laborious and nerve-wracking process of picking individual stocks and shares.

As this is a relatively short investing book, it will have limited appeal to very experienced investors.

Using a direct and concise writing style, the content is perfect for any savers currently looking at how to invest in the stock market from scratch.



9. Investing (FT Guide) - Glen Arnold



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"The Financial Times Guide to Investing is the definitive introduction to the art of successful stock market investing by debunking the myth that investing is only for the wealthy.

Bestselling author Glen Arnold covers the basics of what investors do and why companies need them, through to the practicalities of buying and selling shares and how to make the most from your money. Learn how to understand different types of investment vehicles, pick the right companies and understand their accounts so you can compile and manage a sophisticated portfolio.

The fourth edition of this investing classic has been thoroughly updated and will give you everything you need to choose your shares with skill and confidence."

Who this investing book is for:

A comprehensive guide for those who are serious about immersing themselves in the financial markets. 

If you're new to investing, I personally recommend this book as the best resource for understanding:

  • How the stock market works
  • How companies report their results
  • How shareholders fit in to this picture

Most investing books for beginners will focus on the experience of the individual; what do you need to buy, where do you buy it, and how long do you hold it for. 

This title flips the equation by revealing the inner workings of the investments themselves. This knowledge will help empower you. As a confidence booster, you can't do better than to fully grasp the technicalities of shares themselves. 



10. The Money Diet - Martin Lewis



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"What we all need is detailed, no-nonsense Money Saving advice about organising credit cards, finding the cheapest deals for utilities, getting the best mortgage deals and how to haggle with every shopkeeper - in other words, how to make sure we're not wasting money.

Now with 100 extra Money Saving pages, in this edition of the bestselling The Money Diet, Martin Lewis shows you how to be canny with your finances, and provides clear-cut advice on how to pay bills, ways to cut spending, which banks to use and how to choose the best deals on an even greater range of products."

Who this investing book is for:

As I highlight in my guide on how to Retire at 50, the amount of wealth you can accumulate will be capped by your ability to cut back on spending.

This is why I've included this excellent title from legendary money-saver Martin Lewis in this investing books list. 

This book serves as an excellent companion to the rest of the titles above. Most of all, it will help you increase the sums of money that you have available to invest in the first place! 

Martin Lewis found widespread fame in the UK by founding MoneySavingExpert.com. A site which stood up to the unscrupulous practices of banks and lenders, help find savers great deals, and encouraged us all to get more for our money. 

 



Even the best investing book is just a single perspective


Investing books offer only one perspective

"Truth is what you see. Opinions are what you hear. Facts are what you know."

Matshona Dhliwayo

Investing books come in two flavours; those that offer information and those that offer an opinion. Both valuable - but we need to be able to tell them apart.

The definitive Financial Times comprehensive guide is an information-led book, while John Bogles' The Little Book of Common Sense Investing is an opinion piece.

The FT is factually describing how the stock market works, while John is attempting to persuade you that his investing strategy is superior to others. 

Employ your critical thinking skills as you discover new investing titles. Think: "Is this book trying to inform, or persuade?"

This thought process is important because insights gained from books will form part of your financial education.

There are many different investing strategies and styles employed by investors all over the world, each with a different group of supporters.

Unhelpfully, some of these strategies directly conflict with others. It's not possible for everyone to be correct.

Alongside investing courses, financial advisers and your own investing experience, books will play a big part in helping you understand how the investing world works. 

If you slip into a mindset where you treat the opinions of the best investing book authors as fact, then your investing knowledge will become a function of which books you happened to pick up.

You won't necessarily be moving forwards towards an objective truth, instead you'll simply move towards the ideology of the author you happened to read.



Investing books to avoid


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"Using the tricks contained in this book, I took my investment portfolio from $10k to $1m in 46 weeks!"

Very legitimate testimonial

I deliberately avoided a whole sub-genre of investing books when picking my 10 favourite titles above.

I gave a very wide berth to the sensational get-rich-quick investing books.

You might know the type.

They will usually

  • Focus on a single asset class
  • Include a novelty factor
  • Feature eye-catching claims about quitting your 9-5 job

I won't refer to any titles by name as I don't want to provide free publicity. But I consider any of the following words in a book title to be red flags:

        Millionaire, Gold Mine, Rich, Secret Techniques

You'll find some of these books in local shops, but its on the web where they dominate.

You'll often find them being marketed or handed out for free as part of expensive video courses, investment training programmes and investment scams.

As you get lost in the soothing imagery of palm trees, sports cards and villas, it's easy to forget that the 'millionaire secret' might actually be about using your Stocks and Shares ISA allowance. 

In fact, almost everything in the marketing for get-rich-quick investing books is a world away from the real principles of investing such as:

  • Understanding risk,
  • Investing cautiously, and
  • Diversifying your portfolio

Is this surprising? Not really. These concepts don't feature because they get in the way of the real message that the marketers are trying to sell - that buying this book is going to change your life for the better. 

Selling the dream of a work-free future is far more lucrative than trying to charge £59 for a detailed guide to pension accounts. 

And this is why I don't even consider these to be investing books. Their authors don't care about investing excellence, they just want to make a quick buck from people's hope for a better life.