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Summer Reading: Top 10 Finance Books

Summer is the perfect time to relax, rest and catch up. Personally, I think there’s nothing better than summer reading.

No matter if you’re preparing to enter your MBA in the fall or if you’re working on your summer internship, summer reading offers an excellent opportunity to your skill set. A few weeks ago we shared our top 10 essential marketing books for your summer TBR (to be read) list.

Now, we’ve got the top 10 best finance books to teach you everything you need to know about money, investing, entrepreneurship and more.

Top 10 Finance Books for Summer Reading

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The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham

Written by Benjamin Graham, a British-born American economist and professional investor considered the father of value investing, The Intelligent Investor is a classic text published in 1949 that is still relevant today. Considered the stock market bible, it offers no guarantees or gimmicks but overflows with wisdom for solid portfolio management. Graham provides insight that is suitable for the layperson and coaches the investor to develop a rational plan for buying stocks and bonds.

Warren Buffet has called it, “By far the best book on investing ever written.” And Fortune said, “If you read just one book on investing during your lifetime, make it this one.”

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The Four Pillars of Investing by William Bernstein

If you’re looking for a classic guide to constructing a good portfolio, this is it. Written by William Bernstein, a PhD and retired neurologist in Oregon, the book offers a common sense approach that is down to earth and easy to understand. Though it was written in 2010, it’s more relevant today than ever.

According to the author, the book can be summed up as follows: “The overarching message of this book is at once powerful and simple: With relatively little effort, you can design and assemble an investment portfolio that, because of its wide diversification and minimal expense, will prove superior to most professionally managed accounts. Great intelligence and good luck are not required. The essential characteristics of the successful investor are the discipline and stamina to, in the words of John Bogle, ‘stay the course.’”

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Security Analysis by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd

A follow-up to the Intelligent Investor, Security Analysis is one of the most influential financial books ever written. It has sold more than a million copies and offers a timeless value investing philosophy that has withstood the test of time across a diversity of marketing condition, countries and classes.

Warren Buffet, who considers the book a “road map to investing,” wrote the forward. And Jeffrey Diermeier, CFA, president and CEO of the CFA Institute, had nothing but good things to say. “Benjamin Graham is the father of investment analysts everywhere, originally sparking the debate for a credential to professionalize the industry which led to the CFA Charter. He transformed the practice of financial analysis from trade to science, starting with his groundbreaking book, Security Analysis, first published in 1934. This edition, with new commentary by some of today’s finest investors, belongs on every investment professional’s shelf.”

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Best Practices for Equity Research Analysts by James J. Valentine

If you’re interested in a career as either a sell-side or buy-side analyst, this book is for  you. James Valentine brings more than 16 years of work experience on Wall Street, and he takes readers through what it takes to produce a research report on a publicly traded company. He explains where and how to get information and how to communicate it.

“Given the fast pace and high-pressure nature of the markets, analysts don’t have the luxury to make mistakes. James J. Valentine’s Best Practices for Equity Research Analysts should be required reading for all new and experienced analysts, particularly those who were not lucky enough to be brought up in the business under a mentor. Valentine can be that mentor,” said Jami Rubin, Goldman Sachs managing director of global investment research.

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Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Written in the 1930s, this is still one of the best books on finance around. Napoleon Hill wrote the first book to ask the question, “What makes a winner?” He interviewed some of the most well-known millionaires and billionaires of his time to find out. The concepts he outlines are still relevant today. It’s a fun and candid read.

Business Insider said, “If anything, Hill’s book is a reminder that one of the only ways to achieve true wealth is to understand that more often than not our emotions and our mindset are what keep us from succeeding, and that it’s our job to come up with a plan to overcome them.”

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The Secret of Economic Indicators by Bernard Baumohl

Written by Bernard Baumohl, the chief global economist at the Economic Outlook Group, the book offers a guide for investors, business strategists and policymakers to help them translate the massive flow of economic data. Professionals who want to understand the true meaning of economic trends have long considered it an invaluable resource.

The Wall Street Journal called this book “…the real deal,” saying it “miraculously breathes life into economic indicators and statistics.”

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Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits by Philip Fisher

Published in 1958, Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits contains studies and practices that are still applied by investors more than 50 years later. Fisher wrote the first-ever investment book to make the New York Times bestseller list. His other claim to fame is his founding of the money management firm Fisher and Company in 1931.

James W. Michaels, an editor at Forbes, spoke highly of the book. “Little known to the public, rarely interviewed and accepting few clients, Philip Fisher is nevertheless read and studied by most thoughtful investment professionals . . . everyone will profit from pondering—as Warren Buffett has done—the investment principles Fisher espouses.”

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The Foundations of Finance by Eugene Fama

Eugene Fama received his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He later received his PhD from the same school and stayed on to teach. He’s known as the father of the efficient market hypothesis, and his book offers a superbly readable introduction to the theory of finance.

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Continuous-Time Finance by Robert C. Merton

The book dives into modern finance and is a collection of papers written by Merton over 25 years. It’s an extremely intellectually stimulating investment book written by a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a Nobel laureate in Economics. Merton also co-founded Long-Term Capital Management.

“I do not see how one can undertake research in intertemporal asset-pricing under uncertainty without studying very carefully the past and present work of Robert C. Merton. Accordingly, Basil Blackwell has done the academic and non-academic finance community a great service by publishing this book.” Michael Selby, The Economic Journal.

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The Theory of Investment Value by John Burr Williams

Written in 1938, The Theory of Investment Value is one of the most popular investing books in history. The book dives into the discounted case flow (DCF) theory and focuses on dividend-based evaluation. Williams was one of the first financiers to utilize the DCF theory and held four Harvard degrees.

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About the Author


Kelly Vo    

Kelly Vo is a writer who specializes in covering MBA programs, digital marketing, and personal development.

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