In honor of National Save for Retirement Week, I wanted to take a minute to point out some excellent books about investing. Truth be told, I thoroughly enjoy reading about money and finance, but I’m a bit of a freak when it comes to these things.
With that in mind, here are three great books that would make an excellent “short course” in investing for the future:
Written by Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, and Michael LeBoeuf, this is an excellent introduction to investing which is broken in two main parts. Chapters 1-16 comprise Part I (Essentials of Successful Investing), which covers topics such as:
Â» Leading a sound financial lifestyle
Â» The importance of starting early and investing regularly
Â» The ins and outs of stock, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, etc.
Â» Protecting yourself against inflation
Â» Asset allocation (in simple terms)
Â» How to invest for college
Â» How to manage a windfall
Â» Whether or not you need a financial planner
Chapters 17-23 comprise Part II (Follow-Through Strategies to Keep You on Target), which covers topics such as:
Â» Tracking your progress and rebalancing
Â» Mastering your emotions and ignoring the “noise”
Â» Making you money last longer than you do
Â» Protecting your assets with insurance
Â» Estate planning
All in all, this is a very well-rounded book on investing.
Written by William Bernstein, this book turns things up a notch when it comes to educating you about investing. The content is broken into five sections, including:
Â» Pillar One: The Theory of Investing (Chapters 1-4)
Â» Pillar Two: The History of Investing (Chapters 5-6)
Â» Pillar Three: The Psychology of Investing (Chapters 7-8)
Â» Pillar Four: The Business of Investing (Chapters 9-11)
Â» Investment Strategy: Assembling the Four Pillars (Chapters 12-15)
For those that aren’t familiar with him, Bernstein is an excellent writer who manages to make otherwise dry topics quite interesting.
This is another book by William Bernstein. What can I say? I’m a fan. In truth, “Bogleheads” and “Four Pillars” will provide you with rather thorough coverage of investment-related topics, and might be plenty for the average investor. If you’ve read both of them and are looking for more, then…
“The Intelligent Asset Allocator” isn’t a light read, but Bernstein once again keeps things interesting. This book drills down into portfolio theory, tackling such issues as risk vs. return, asset class correlations, how to properly construct an investment portfolio, how to implement and maintain your plan, etc.
There are, of course, many other excellent books about finance and investing out there. For example, if you’re more interested in the psychological side of the equation, and getting your head straight when it comes to longer term goals, you might be interested in “Your Money or Your Life.”
Another books that looks promising is “The Bogleheads’ Guide to Retirement Planning.” I haven’t read it (yet), but the reviews are excellent, and it appears to delve into a number of retirement-specific topics.
Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out Bernstein’s latest book, “The Investor’s Manifesto.” While this books isn’t due out until November 2009, you can pre-order it through Amazon. You can also check out the first couple of chapters for free via Bernstein’s website.
What are your favorite books about finance/investing?