Investment and Financial Books
Every Investor Should Read

As investors, our job is to gather as much information and knowledge as we can. One of the most efficient ways to do that is by reading and absorbing as much as possible from seasoned and experienced experts. Warren Buffett has said that reading is the most important part of his job. We tend to agree, and each try to read at least 80 books/year in order to gather more knowledge and become better investors.

Probably the best aspect of reading is that you get to discover entire lifetimes-worth of work and studies. Many of the authors of the following books have spent decades researching a topic or person—and pour out everything they know into a well-formed, presentable book for you to study and learn from. This is a whole wealth of knowledge and information that you can get access to at such a small cost.

The following list of books will help you in formulating your investment strategy, developing the right investment mentality, and in becoming a wonderful investor. These are the books which have shaped our financial path—we’ve read and re-read them many times—and each of them has played an integral role on our investment journey. In our opinion, these ones are the best of a long list of great books—ones which you will likely continue to refer back to many times as you progress along your investment journey. Don’t be afraid to highlight, take notes, and write in your books. The information and knowledge gathered from them will be well worth your time and money.

Simple Investment Books for Starting Out or Reviewing

If you're just getting started with investing, or want to brush up on the basics, this list is a great place to start. These books are fairly easy to read and understand, and help to form the foundation of a solid investment methodology.

I don’t know any book that is better at fully explaining the basic principles of stock investing. In his book, Greenblatt, the Managing Partner of the hedge fund Gotham Capital, presents the idea of what he calls the “magic formula.” He believes that investors can outperform market averages by simply and systematically applying this formula enabling you to buy good businesses at bargain prices. While we’re not necessarily proponents of following this formula to a tee, it’s a very interesting approach. Greenblatt puts on a great presentation and you will learn a whole lot about how the stock market works.

- Randy Tudor

I read many books on investing before finding this one, but this still is one of my favorites for explaining how a business which trades on the stock market truly works. Greenblatt wrote this book so that his kids could learn what he does, and how to invest for themselves, so it’s a simple and easy book to follow. We don’t use his “magic formula” in our investing, but many of the stocks we have invested in show up on his magic formula screener. This is one of the first books I would recommend for those who want to invest for themselves.

- Kevin Tudor

The author, Pat Dorsey is the Director of Equity Research at Morningstar, a mutual fund rating company. In this book, Dorsey reveals the value of a company’s competitive advantage—a key filter in our margin of safety investing strategy. He will also show you how to determine the existence of these competitive advantages, how to evaluate them and how to profit by fully understanding their true value. There isn’t a lot of original thinking in this book, but it does a great job at presenting the basics of economic moats and other competitive advantages in layman’s terms.

- Randy Tudor

This book was written by Pat Dorsey, Director of Stock Analysis for Morningstar, Inc. It is based on the philosophy that “investing should be fun, but not a game.” It’s a great read and a solid foundation for value investors in learning how to pick the right companies to invest in without overpaying for the stock. It introduces the reader to a wide range of stock-related topics, and as the name implies, the five simple—yet essential—steps to be a successful investor. This book is ideal for beginners and even experienced investors to review—one where you will gain some real nuggets of important ideas to know.

- Randy Tudor

This is somewhat of an unconventional book, but we enjoyed it immensely. It teaches you to avoid mutual funds like the plague, why Wall Street has it all wrong when it comes to the little guy (you and me), and more importantly—how to become a sharp value investor using stock price drops to your advantage. It’s complete with a couple of simple valuation methods which Ponzio used in his hedge fund for making investments, and provides detailed examples of how these valuations/prices worked out in the past. This is exactly how we approach the stock market as well. I think this is one of the single best books on value investing ever written. Even though this book is great for beginners, it is also very valuable for more seasoned investors as well.

- Randy Tudor

F Wall Street is one of my favorite investing books to read. Ponzio seems like he has a real chip on his shoulder toward Wall Street and the shenanigans they pull on small investors—and rightly so. I like the simplicity of this book, and the easy to follow way he illustrates how businesses function, as well as how they are valued and priced in the stock market. Price is not necessarily equal to value—for the most part price and value are accurate, but smart investors can take advantage of the small number of times they are misaligned. This book will help you immensely on your investment journey.

- Kevin Tudor

Mohnish Pabrai does a very good job in laying out the framework and importance of value investing. He introduces the concept of “heads, I win; tails, I don’t lose much.” This means only making investments where the probabilities are greatly on your side—ones where the likely outcomes are either making large gains, or losing just a bit. I think that is so important when learning about the proper kinds of risk to take when investing in anything. This book builds on the principles taught by Warren Buffet, Benjamin Graham and Charlie Munger, and it’s a great introduction to value investing.

- Randy Tudor

Mohnish Pabrai is a very successful fund manager and disciple of Warren Buffett. He details his entire investment philosophy in this book—complete with example of past investments, key insights and strategies to employ moving forward. This is a simple and enjoyable read and is a must for anyone who wants to invest, start a business, or undertake just about anything new with the “heads I win; tails I don’t lose much” mentality.

- Kevin Tudor

We met Phil at a conference in Phoenix and became very interested in what he had to say. We began an intense study into Phil’s investing philosophy and the more we learned, the more we liked. This book lays things out in a very clear and easy to follow manner. We were invited to join a select group of people to join Phil, his wife, his brother and his option guru to work closely with them and to learn more strategies with hands on experience and attention. Phil’s style is right in-line with our core beliefs and philosophy. Read this book to determine if it fits with your style and belief system.

- Randy Tudor

One of the first books I read about investing, and it still holds up very well. Phil is able to make some of the more complicated aspects of investing very simple. Sometimes, he can make things seem a little bit too simple, but his teachings and beliefs in this book are the same that formed the basis of our investing methodology. They are the same as Warren Buffett and Philip Fisher (below), so you can’t go wrong with the techniques described here.

- Kevin Tudor

Phil Town’s first book—Rule #1, above—is a guide to stock trading for people who believe they lack the knowledge to trade. In this book, he reviews and expands on those concepts, showing readers how investing in mutual funds and using fund managers, you can flush up to sixty percent (60%) of your lifetime investment account right down the drain. Phil attempts to show you how you can handle your own investing and why you should start now. He also introduces the “payback time concept” and the idea of stockpiling investments. This book will help to prepare you to get going and to take care of managing your own financial future.

- Randy Tudor

Payback Time is a great follow-up to Phil’s first book. He introduces some new concepts, provides more examples, and pounds home the idea of investing for yourself very well. I really enjoyed this book and it’s a great way to get started with investing—you will learn the right principles in an easily followed way.

- Kevin Tudor

Starting from nothing, simply by picking stocks and companies for investment, Warren Buffett has become one of the wealthiest investors in the world. By reading this book, you will walk away with a much richer sense of who Warren Buffet is—how he grew up and formed his philosophy and what continues to make him a great investor even today. This book will provide you with a better understanding of what it takes to be successful in the investment arena. His awesome investment record has certainly stood the test of time.

- Randy Tudor

I was fascinated the first time I read this to learn about Buffett’s upbringing, and following his journey from childhood to the present. It’s amazing to see how his opinions on finance and life formed over the years. Any value investor or participant in the market should read this to get a better understanding of the world’s greatest investor.

- Kevin Tudor

Charlie Munger is one of the greatest investors of all-time, and one of the smartest guys we’ve studied. In this book, the author presents the essential steps of Munger’s investing strategy. It’s condensed from a lifetime of interviews, speeches, writings and shareholder letters which the author has studied. Many people think that Munger has more or less dismissed the principles he learned from Ben Graham; but Griffin points out that, instead, Munger has built on that base of knowledge to form his own investment style. This is what we are all doing as we learn and continue to grow with our experience in value investing.

- Randy Tudor

Charlie Munger is an interesting man to study and investors owe it to themselves to read this book. Munger has been investing alongside Warren Buffett for decades now, and even though Buffett makes the headlines, Munger has just as many insights, quotes and ideas that are incredibly useful for us as margin of safety, value investors. This book is a great start to studying him.

- Kevin Tudor

Philip Fisher is the second biggest influence on Warren Buffett’s investment style. He has said that he’s about 85% Fisher, and 15% Benjamin Graham. Reading this book, it’s easy to see why. This book was written a long time ago, but its’ core principles still remain today. He firmly believed in buying great, financially secure companies with plenty of room for growth. Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits is the guidebook for this investment strategy, one that still remains just as effective today…and still will be 100 years from today.

- Randy Tudor

This is an old book that has stood the test of time. Warren Buffett began utilizing many of Fisher’s principles from this book once he began to mature and grow as an investor; yet many people have never heard of Fisher. If it’s good enough for Buffett—it’s good enough for us. I like Fisher’s checklist and major principles he discusses and describes throughout.

- Kevin Tudor

The second of Fisher’s books, he goes on to examine and demonstrate his common stock strategy of purchasing stock of great businesses. He clearly explains why this strategy not only increases profit potential, but also serves to mitigate risk at the same time. A book written a long time ago, it’s since been updated by his son, another investment great, to fit in a little bit better with today’s investment world. It’s an outstanding read that shows some highly effective strategies…one that created this, and many other, investment legends.

- Randy Tudor

Intermediate Investment Books for Taking it to the Next Level

These books are where you can begin to greatly enhance your investment skills. None of them are too complex, but do talk about some more advanced subjects, using lingo and a style that assumes you have an investment foundation already forming.

Warren Buffett and George Soros started with nothing—just like many of us. They made their fortunes by following sound investment habits and strategies. Even though their approaches are different from each other, they do share the same mental habits and overall investment philosophies. This book provides great insight to the financial minds of the top investors in the world. Some of what you will learn in this book completely contradicts what you have probably heard from others.

- Randy Tudor

We’ve read almost everything we can get our hands on regarding Buffett and his strategies. Before this book, I didn’t really consider Soros as a guy to learn from, because his strategy is so much different than ours. However, this book is one of my favorites because it separates their investment approaches and boils it down to the 23 essential habits that are required—not just for them—but for any of us to become successful investors.

- Kevin Tudor

Warren Buffet once said about this book that it is “by far the best book on investing ever written. I’m not sure about that, but I do know it is a very good book which teaches very valuable investing lessons. It speaks of the difference between investment and speculation, as well as introducing the starting lessons in security analysis. In this book, Ben Graham introduces the concept of “margin of safety.” This concept is something we believe is the central investment concept regardless of what markets you are trading. We recommend the edition with commentary by Jason Zweig—who offers a more modern spin on some of the concepts Graham extensively wrote about.

- Randy Tudor

This book has been around for a while now—and it shows. It feels a bit old and outdated, but that’s one of the great things about it. Graham’s strategies and beliefs toward the stock market are still—almost—as relevant today as they were when he wrote it many years ago. If you read just one or two chapters from this one (which you shouldn’t…read the whole thing!), then make it chapters 8 and 20.

- Kevin Tudor

Forbes once called Warren Buffet, “the richest person in America and an investment genius on a scale the world rarely sees.” The author studied and closely monitored Buffett’s shrewd investments and business ventures. In this book, readers will learn innovative investment strategies which are behind the amazing success of this living legend. It shows you how and why he invests in a company or in anything. Most people know that Ben Graham was Buffett’s teacher, but this book introduces us to the “two wise men” who were responsible for his investments strategy and philosophy.

- Randy Tudor

Along with Mohnish Pabrai, Guy Spier had an opportunity to spend a small fortune ($650,000, which was donated to charity) in order to make the winning bid to have a private lunch with Warren Buffet. As a result of this lunch, Spier forged a very close relationship with both Buffet & Pabrai—his investment mentors. This books shares his learning process as he nurtured these relationships and grew into a very successful value investor in his own right. It is an excellent read for anyone seriously committed to becoming an even better value investor themselves.

- Randy Tudor

One of my key takeaways from this book was how clearly Spier was willing to admit that he was nowhere near a perfect investor. His ego and pride don’t get in the way of him admitting that guys like Buffett and Pabrai are bettor investors than he, and even though he has achieved fantastic returns for him and his clients, he knows he still has a long way to go in getting better. This is a true education journey for all value investors to follow and learn from, since nobody is perfect.

- Kevin Tudor

This book is a thoughtfully organized compilation of some of the best investment insights you will discover. It’s based on interviews with some of the world’s most successful value investors, and includes discussions on a good bulk of the topics you might encounter during your practice of margin of safety, value investing. It provides a flow of so many great ideas for you to ponder; helping you to decide if some of those ideas should become an integral part of your investment philosophy.

- Randy Tudor

In this book, Train reviews some of the best investment experts and legends the world has seen. What makes this book different from some of the other “successful investor interview books,” is Train shows that he has come to personally know most of these experts and is writing in a much more ‘first hand” style. He has actually been able to sit and have face-to-face discussions with most of the investors he writes about. Train clearly explains the strategies, experiences and human quality of the money masters, allowing you to gather insight into what has made investors so successful in the past.

- Randy Tudor

I love studying what has made people successful throughout their lifetime. I’ve probably read Money Masters of Our Time 4 or 5 times—as a reminder to what qualities and characteristics make up a great investor. One of the most interesting things about this book is that there is no “one strategy” that is the holy grail. Sure, you could say Warren Buffett’s is best since he has amassed the most money by far (good thing we’re in his camp), but there are plenty of other successful investors highlighted in this book who don’t follow the same strategies as him. It takes a sound strategy that is logical, simple to follow, can be repeated with a relatively high degree of predictability, and works for you, specifically. I particularly like Train’s last chapter where he combines all of the strategies to point out the key, common elements that make up successful investing.

- Kevin Tudor

This book is all about 100-baggers—stocks which enable you to turn each $1 invested into $100 in the future. 100 baggers will turn every $10,000 invested into $1,000,000. Find 1 or 2 of those in a lifetime and you could be set. The book includes many examples of past 100 baggers, including stories and anecdotes to make the important points to learn from and replicate in the future. Searching for and finding great companies with impressive growth opportunities is one thing, but having the discipline and patience to hang on to these stocks through the ups and downs of the market is quite another. This book fully discusses both points quite nicely for us to learn from. It’s a very simple and inspiring book to read.

- Randy Tudor

Author Christopher Mayer has a great track record to study. One of the key points from this book is that 100 baggers usually take a long time to turn into 100 baggers, and that it’s never a smooth, straight ride up. To experience a 100 bagger, you have to be willing to live through a 50-90% drop in price—without selling—and avoid the temptation to sell when the stock has doubled or tripled. He does a good job of detailing how to go about finding companies which have the potential to turn into 100 baggers in the future, and shows many examples of companies who have done so in the past.

- Kevin Tudor

Another great book from Joel Greenblatt, a very successful hedge fund manager. Although I don’t like the title of the book, Greenblatt provides many tools to help you become a better investor who can beat the market with confidence. In this book, he also uses many case studies to make his points. This is probably not a book for beginners because Greenblatt assumes the reader is already somewhat comfortable with moving around financial statements, but a good read once you feel comfortable doing so.

- Randy Tudor

Just as the name of the book implies, all fifty-one annual letters written by Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. to its’ shareholders are included all in one volume. Reading these letters provides you with a treasure trove of valuable insight into the thinking and experiences of one of the greatest investors ever. You can read these letters right on the Berkshire Hathaway website, but this book, for a very low cost on the Kindle edition, pulls all of the letters into one place for easy access anytime.

- Randy Tudor

Advanced Investment Books for Mastering Your Skill

These are the books that require some basic knowledge and understanding about investing in order to get the most out of them. They involve deep thinking, application, and in some cases, a lot of charts and numbers. Be sure to go through these slowly, highlight and take plenty of notes.

In their book, Buffett and Clark clearly outline Warren Buffett's approach to looking at financial statements with a very simple approach. You don’t have to be an accountant or financial whiz to learn from this book, and it’s the simplest you’ll see from the “advanced” section. It takes you through the financial statements making them something to dig into--not something to be afraid of. Once you have grasped the concepts from the book, you will be on your way to being able to identify companies with a competitive advantage versus those you should stay away from.

- Randy Tudor

This book was written by the Chairman and cofounder of Oaktree Capital Management. It’s a collection of thoughts expressed in various memos to clients over the years on “the most important thing” when it comes to investing. The secret is…there are many “most important things”. It provides the reader with an unprecedented look into how the top investors make their decisions and achieve their financial success. The “Illuminated” edition of this book expands on the original book, published in 2011 by allowing you to read the original manuscript along with comments, insights and counterpoints from four other well-known investors and educators including: Christopher Davis, Joel Greenblatt, Paul Johnson & Seth Klarman. It introduces the concept of “second-level thinking”—an often-ignored concept which is highly important to understand as an investor.

- Randy Tudor

This book delves into the minds of some of the world’s most successful traders, as author Jack Schwager interviews them with questions you would probably like to ask them yourselves. It provides an opportunity to mentor with some of the best investment thinking minds. It shows you there is more than one way to approach a market—but consistency, focus and determination are the key. Sometimes you just need to change your thinking. The New Market Wizards is an enjoyable and informative read.

- Randy Tudor

This book, along with the original from the same author, Market Wizards, is a great one for getting a different perspective on investing/trading. You won’t learn as much from this one as you will from some of the others on our list, as far as actionable advice or education goes, but I can almost guarantee you’ll enjoy it and get a couple of good nuggets of info to use down the road.

- Kevin Tudor

In this book, the authors very efficiently put forth how companies use deceptive financial reporting in order to distort the actual facts and financial results of the company. I have spent much of my career in public and corporate accounting and I have seen with my own eyes some of the shenanigans explained in this book. I think the authors did a very good job at helping investors identify the areas where misleading reporting is hidden and to help determine how to correctly determine the true effects on the financial statement. Not exactly an easy read, but an important one to get through if you truly want to understand financial statements and what to look for.

- Randy Tudor

This book will help you to deeply understand the true cash flow of a company—one of the most important financial metrics to consider. What’s reported on the financial statements is not always the real picture; Creative Cash Flow Reporting will help you identify the common steps companies take in order to mislead, or in some cases defraud investors and analysts. With this knowledge, you can better understand the cash flow statement. The book also provides concrete ideas as to how to manually adjust the cash flows, as reported, in order to reflect a more accurate picture of the actual cash flow of the business. Along the same lines as Financial Shenanigans (above), this is a must-read for those who want to conduct serious financial statement analysis in order to uncover potential manipulations, and avoid investing in the next Enron.

- Randy Tudor

Bonus Financial and Self-Improvement Books

Some of these are important financial books, while others are simply books to help you develop and grow all parts of your life. All of them have helped to form our financial and life philosophy.

I first read Napoleon Hill’s world-changing book back in 1984. It taught me the same things that “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne sought to explain many years later. It is a fascinating book which was written after Mr. Hill interviewed many of the most successful American’s of his time. It tells you the importance of believing in yourself and taking thoughtful action.

- Randy Tudor

The Millionaire Next Door is a story about America’s rich and how they got that way. The book paints a detailed picture of who the rich are.  It goes against conventional wisdom—which is that most wealthy people get that way from inheritance, advanced degrees or intelligence. Instead, the authors explain that most often wealth is the result of hard work, diligent savings, and living below your means. The authors reveal the seven common denominators that show up among the wealthy. This book will change the way you perceive what being wealthy really means.

- Randy Tudor

Without a doubt, this is one of the most important books I’ve read in my lifetime. I first read it in college and it has formed my philosophy about money and my financial goals. I can’t recommend this enough, along with Millionaire Mind by the same author.

- Kevin Tudor

This book is written by the author of The Millionaire Next Door but it goes even further. In the book, Thomas Stanley explains what it is that make wealthy people prosper when others might turn away dejected or defeated. Like, The Millionaire Next Door, this book represents a fascinating study of America’s financial elite.

- Randy Tudor

I was first introduced to Tony Robbins back in 1991 with the book, “Awaken the Giant Within.” While I don’t always agree with the way Tony lives his everyday life, I think he has proven that he knows what we all need to know and do in order to be successful in our life pursuits.  He has changed people’s lives in very profound and lasting ways.

In this latest book, as the New York Times recently stated, Robbins has assembled an invaluable “distillation of just about every good personal finance idea of the last forty years.” Tony has conducted many interviews with legendary investors and has conducted many hours in research in order to help the reader make better financial decisions. This book does not really support the concept of value investing, but we think it is still very valuable in order to be more well-rounded in all major areas of finance which we encounter during our lifetime.  It’s all about realizing financial freedom and Robbins explains the different levels of this freedom, and how to go about achieving them. A must-read for just about everyone from high-school age and beyond.

- Randy Tudor

I read this book twice through in a couple of months because you just don’t capture everything the first time around. It’s a big book with some important concepts, and the financial teachings that it’s based on should be a required course in every college across the country. There’s some ideas that many on Wall Street won’t agree with, but ones that will make you better off when it comes time to retire.

- Kevin Tudor

This book makes for a fascinating read. It’s concise but it has some great ideas and concepts. I am very familiar with Tony Robbins work and I think this book is great for a quick overview as to how you should control your own life and destiny. You certainly can’t help but benefit from reading this book.

- Randy Tudor

I didn’t think I would enjoy this book. Many of us have heard one of the important concepts discussed in this book that “in order to achieve mastery in a field, you must first experience 10,000 hours of practice.” I wrongly believed that this was the main message from this book. However, it is so much more. It is really a blueprint for making the most of your human potential. Gladwell points out that your success is much more dependent on legacy and opportunity than it is on having a high I.Q.

- Randy Tudor

The Holy Bible

The best motivational book ever written. It is estimated that the bible has total sales of over five billion copies—thought to be the best-selling book ever. There were at least 40 different people who wrote parts of the Bible, some were more prolific than others. The Apostle Paul wrote at least 13 books of the Bible. Moses wrote the first 5 books. The Bible was written over a period of about 1600 years dating from 1500 BC to 100 years after Christ. It has been translated in-part or in-whole into over 1200 languages and dialects. It was divided into chapters and verses in about 1560 AD in order to make it more consistent for study and discussion.

Although, I have attended church regularly most of my life, my many previous attempts to go through the Bible always ended in frustration.  It took more than fifty years before I finally decided to begin my conscious study of the Bible. It took me about 665 hours to study every word, verse by verse the first time. It changed my life profoundly in so many ways. If you have any interest in learning about the Bible, I would suggest you simply get started. Here is one resource I used which helped me immensely in my studies.

- Randy Tudor