The list author says: "This is a list of books that I read in high school and college that I found very helpful in understanding finance and the stories behind it. I gave them grades from A+ to D to give the reader an idea of which ones are the most enjoyable to read."
"A: Third Epic I'll list. Published in 1923 this was one of four books recommended to me and my fellow interns at Tudor Investments by Paul Jones himself. Timeless wisdom on the markets and life as a speculator."
"A: This book tells a really captivating story that you probably haven't heard. David Einhorn, the famed hedge fund manager who is noted for calling the Lehman bankruptcy takes the reader through the long struggle he faced in exposing fraud at Allied Capital. It shows the reader what good investing and due diligence is instead of telling."
"A: Monetary policy is one of the most complicated and important things to understand about finance. Milton Friedman won the Nobel prize in part for his work in analyzing the history of monetary policy and this this shorter summary of some screw ups you learn the basics of what money is and how it is controlled."
"A- Niederhoffer is one of those tragic characters who embodies the life of a speculator. This book is just as much a memoir as it is a book on speculation, but it is a pleasure to read. The book is very personal and he is a brilliant writer. A bit of a modern Larry Livingston."
"A- This book consists of two parts, the first is a detailed account of the last week of Bear Stearns. The second is a detailed history of the firm, right up until the last week. I thought the latter was fascinating but its an all around great book."
"B+ This is basically a bunch of stories of different academics who made devolopments in understanding probability. Pretty smooth read, good for people with an appreciation for the quantitative side of life."
"A- A nice complement to Charles MacKay, Wisdom of Crowds has some great stuff on the power of markets under certain conditions, and the conditions that make them utterly wrong. This isn't really about trading or finance but the underlying message about markets is something that should help shape how you approach them."
"B+ The classic on financial bubbles. This should be read in conjunction with "Wisdom of Crowds" by James Surowiecki. Because of its age, it is more about identifying the universal qualities of man that provoke bubbles."
"B+ Liar's poker for the tech boom. Understand silicon valley and the tech bubble through the story of Jim Clark. Clark is a very unique charecter. Crazier than him are the IPO's and stock prices for the silicon startups."
"B- Welcome to the world of hedge funds...informative and pretty consistently entertaining. The main thing you'll take away is that its much more of a do or die industry than the media would lead you to believe."
"B- The diversity of approaches to the markets from the best in the world. Fair amount of repetition and a lot of these guys are old timers now, but its a good way to get an understanding of some of the original big names."
"B-: Decent book if you've done some trades and felt the anxiety associated with risk but will not be interesting to someone not involved in trading. If you have not then it may be harder to relate to and enjoy. Written in a very story telling fashion so it reads easy."
"C+ Anthology of financial panics. Its a good starting point if you want to understand tech bubble, 87 crash, LTCM/Russian default, and the recent crash(although his coverage on that was a little outdated by the time it came to press)"
"C This is more of a story of one kid that got really lucky with one trade than anything else. None-the-less this tells a pretty good story on par with Mezrich's other more famous book "Bringing down the house.""
"D: I thought this book sucked, but the underlying story was almost interesting enough to salvage it. Marc Rich was a shady commodities trader and his story can be read in pretty much a day if you want."