In the ‘What the book?’ series of blog posts about investing books, I’ll be dissecting the many factors which help make the humble book such an effective medium for learning about investing.
Investing books remain incredibly popular
Each day, investors visit Financial-Expert.co.uk to scour the different shortlists of the best investing books.
After the main investing book page, the next 5 most popular investing book pages are (in this order):
- The best property investment books
- The best portfolio management books
- The best financial independence books
- The best cryptocurrency books
- The best technical analysis books
Would you have guessed that these were popular genres of finance books?
I actually have over 50 investing book categories, each with its own tailored set of shortlists and top 5 rankings of titles. I rank them according to my own views, external reviews and bestseller lists.
This should give you a glimpse of how varied and diverse the investing book genre is today. Far from being an outdated medium, the finance publishing industry is actually flourishing!
Why affordability is driving the sales of personal finance books
Investing is a numbers game, where reducing investing costs means higher returns and achieving your financial goals earlier.
It therefore makes sense that investors are quite cost-conscious when it comes to choosing their investment education platform.
Why not a course?
An investor could choose to buy a £3,000 investing course, such as a course bundle featured on our course page. But that investor will now have to generate £3,000 in additional returns (or avoid £3,000 in losses) to justify the expense.
Of course, the content included in a premium course will naturally help an investor in numerous ways. But the price premium is only worthwhile, if the course provides £3,000 worth of instruction and guidance in addition to what the investor could have learned from cheap or free sources of information.
While many investing courses certainly achieve this, and more, this isn’t immediately clear to an investor shopping around online. This can explain plenty of the hesitancy people feel about choosing a course.
Personal finance books have the edge
In delightful contrast, many of the best personal finance books cost less than £15. That’s a stark difference.
Here are a selection of book prices prevailing at the time of writing:
The Financial Times Guide to Investing: The Definitive Companion to Investment and the Financial Markets (The FT Guides) – £25
Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing – A Book of Practical Counsel – £14
The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns (Little Books. Big Profits) – £11
That’s three, top class investing titles which together cost less than £50.
Mixing and matching becomes the default way to read
Because adding a new investing book to your collection costs less than a takeaway meal, it’s easy to do.
Unsurprisingly, most people don’t buy one investing book – they buy two or three. If it costs very little to do so – why wouldn’t you?
This allows people to get more than one viewpoint on a particular asset class or investing strategy.
Read more: Value investing strategy beginners guide
The benefits of doing this are numerous. Firstly, some investing authors can hold quite extreme or passionate viewpoints, which don’t reflect the ‘consensus’ in the rest of the finance industry.
By purchasing more than one title, you are arming yourself with the appropriate context to identify such viewpoints, and avoid enshrining them in your view of the world without the broader ‘common sense’ perspective.
Quirky or novel viewpoints aren’t to be avoided – it’s just important for beginner investors to learn the basics and core principles first before they move onto more disputed theories.
Overall: cost is king
In a world where success is measured in pounds or dollars, supporting home learning will be a smart move, as it is proving itself to be the lowest cost will instantly have mass-market appeal.
It’s no wonder, therefore, that personal finance books continue to sell well in stores and online, when they offer the most affordable route into knowledge investing.