The People’s Shelf: Top Investment Books

24th August 2010

So who ranks as the best investment writer ever? Which investment reads have changed your perceptions or challenged your opinions? Which books have moved you, educated you, scared you or even reduced you to tears?

As Edward P. Morgan, the American journalist and author, once said: "A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face."

So, to find out which books have captured the imagination, enlightened, thrilled and fascinated today's investors we enlisted the help of the guys over at Moneysavingexpert along with some of the UK's leading investment managers to help us build our People's Shelf of the most popular investment books.

We started by asking them the simple question:  


Here are their responses in no particular order:

1.  DAVID COPPERFIELD, Charles Dickens.‘Everything you need to know about money is summarised by Mr. Micawber.'Bendix, MSE

2.  THE GREAT CRASH, John Kenneth Galbraith.  ‘Written 50 years ago about an event that happened 80 years ago, but if you ignore the dates, it could have been written about 2008. Human nature doesn't change.'  Nicholas, co-manager of Schroder Income and Recovery funds

3.  WARREN BUFFETT'S BH STATEMENTS, Warren Buffett.  ‘Although not a book per se, Buffet's yearly BH statements rank very highly in IMPO. Completely spin free and straightforward – the antithesis of the norm, which are deliberately obfuscated.'  Jonbvn, MSE.(see sabretoothtiggers's post for a good link)

4.  ANATOMY OF BEAR MARKETS, Russell Napier.  Mark, head of Multi-Manager business, Henderson

5.  THE FINANCIALTIMES GUIDE TO INVESTING.  ‘It describes the pros and cons of a wide range of investments'.  Rollinghome, MSE

6.  CONTRARIAN INVESMTMENT STRATEGIES, David Dreman.  ‘My favourite book on investing strategy'.  Kevin, co-manager of Schroder Income and Recovery fund

7.  THE RICHEST MAN IN BABYLON, George S. Clason.  MarkFromMullion, MSE

8.  TOMORROW'S GOLD, Marc Faber.  Mark, head of Multi-Manager business, Henderson

9.  THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT, John Kay.  ‘A good background to how the markets work.'  Smallfry27, MSE

10.  LIAR'S POKER, Michael Lewis.  ‘A fantastic read, written by a former Salomon Brothers bond trader, that has to be the defining book of the era. The greed, the deception, the bizarre behaviour, you really couldn't make it up. ‘  Emma-Lou Montgomery, Financial journalist

11. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator,  Edwin Lefevre.  'A good read if you're interested in trading shares.  It's a classic. Turbobob, MSE

So there it is, 11 books to kick-start what we hope will become an ongoing resource to our readers.  Check out the thread on ‘what's the best investment book you've ever read' on Moneysavingexpert . We'll continue to update this list, so please keep the suggestions coming.

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