"The best investment advice. Check out the "Chairman's Letters" at www.berkshirehathaway.com. See also Munger's "Poor Charlie's Almanack, 2d Ed." and Chapter 12 of J.M. Keynes "The General Theory" (Long-Term Expectation)."
"The difference between "investing" and "speculation." Focus on chapters 8 & 20. Also see the 1st through 4th editions of Graham's "Security Analysis" to learn how to think about valuation and Phil Fisher's "Common Stocks.""
"The best bio on any financier I've read. Chernow's "House of Morgan", Grant's "Baruch", J. Paul Getty's memoirs, Sarnoff's "Russell Sage", and Klein's "Jay Gould" (the Michelangelo of finance) are also great. Hagstrom's "The Warren Buffett Way" and Schroeder's new book "Snowball" are fair. See Fisher's "100 Minds" for more bios."
"Basics on valuation modelling. Skip the cost-of-capital nonsense. See also: http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~adamodar/ Next, check out John Burr William's classic "Theory of Investment Value" to see the first DCF model, and Poundstone's "Fortune's Formula." It's also worth taking the 3-year CFA course - you can do it in 18 to 24 months."
"Learn the ROE breakdown and accounting nuances. Also see Bernstein's "Analysis of Financial Statements." Kieso's "Intermediate Accounting" is a handy reference. See Graham's little book on accounting and Ryan's "Financial Instruments and Institutions.""
"This is the single best book on how to read a cash flow statement. It teaches one how to assess a company's SUSTAINABLE FREE CASH FLOW, which is what a rational investor uses to value a company. Practice by doing."
"A historical perspective on crashes and downturns. Markets are often fairly efficient, but not always. The difference is night and day. Chancellor's "Devil Take the Hindmost" is the perfect complement. Also the financial histories by John Brooks, Desai's "Financial Crisis," & Franklin Allen's "Understanding Financial Crises." See also Tvede's "Business Cycles.""
"Read all of Soros' books ("Soros on Soros" is the next best one). Soros and Warren Buffett are the two greatest investors from 1970 to today. Check out Jim Rogers' two travel memoirs (for country analysis), Victor Niederhoffer's books on speculation, and the PBS documentary "Trader.""
"Understanding the nature and basis of money is important. Also see two books by Milton Friedman: "A Monetary History of the United States" and "Money Mischief." Finish with Galbraith's "Money: Whence It Came" and James Buchan's cultural and literary history of money, "Frozen Desire.""
"Sovereign debt crises will continue (the profligate nature of government hasn't changed). Next read Roubini/Setser's "Bailouts or Bail-ins?", Bruner's "Panic of 1907", Taleb's "Black Swan", and Paul Blustein's sovereign default books."
"Learning the limits of bean-counting is important if you wish to really understand accounting. See Wells' "Fraud Casebook" for the dark side - avoiding junk. The best exercise is to reverse-engineer fraud from old 10-Ks."
"It's important to be hedged heavily near extremes and lightly in moderate times. See also Lewis's "Big Short." I haven't found a great book on creating hedged portfolios, but Jacob's "Market Neutral Investing" is the closest."
"The single best and most comprehensive book on the fixed income markets Â– a good place to start for intermediate readers. Next see "Fixed Income Securities, 2th Edition" by Bruce Tuckman (a former prop trader). Credit markets are larger and more important than equity markets - you should understand them."
"Foundations. Advanced qualitative tools for identifying good businesses. These are the economic value drivers behind the financial ratios. Read along with Porter's "Competitive Strategy." You need to understand the economic forces behind accounting numbers."
"Best book on behavioral finance. Also read this survey any anything by Thaler/Kahnemann/Tversky: http://badger.som.yale.edu/faculty/ncb25/ch18_6.pdf See Heuer's "Psychology of Intelligence Analysis" for thoughts on how to think."
"An out-of-print book on hedging. It's a classic, esp. for intelligent long/short work. A silly title, but the book is so good that it's expensive! See Frank Knight's "Risk, Uncertainty, and Profit" or read John Bogle's article: http://www.cfapubs.org/doi/ref/10.2469/faj.v64.n2.9"
"Bill Gates' preferred business history book. Other alternatives are Chernow's "Titan" (Rockefeller), Krass' "Carnegie", Chandler's "Pierre S. Du Pont", Klein's "Harriman," and Watt's "People's Tycoon" (Ford)."
"To understand finance, you need to understand the insurance business (many ideas overlap). Also look at: Wright's "Mutually Beneficial", Vaughn's "Fundamentals of Risk", Credit Suisse's "Property-Casualty Insurance Primer" (issued annually), Nissim's pdf "Analysis and Valuation of Insurance Companies," and Paine's "Reinsurance.""
"Sam Walton was a business genius and a class act too. He built the strongest company of the 20th century. Fishman's "The Walmart Effect" brings the story up-to-date. See Katz's "The Big Store" to learn why Sears failed and Lewis' "Great IKEA" on Kamprad (try his "Leading by Design")."
"Great entrepreneurs build companies worth investing in. Also see Morita's "Made in Japan," Kotter's "Matsushita Leadership," Benioff's "Behind the Cloud," Shultz's "Pour Your Heart Into It," and everything on Google and Oracle."
"Welch gives a solid, informed perspective on managing a multinational corporation; "Winning" is OK. Sobel's "ITT" is another conglomerate book, as are the materials on Floyd Odlum, Royal Little, and John D. MacArthur."
"Delusion can make a weak business into a great stock, as in Enron's case (but only for the short-run). Older, instructive failures are McDonald's "Insull", "Jay Cooke, Financier of the Civil War," and the Ivar Kreuger books."
"Livermore is the godfather of today's trader-speculators. Also see Jack Schwager's two "Market Wizards" books, which offer more insight on the trader-speculator, and "Where are the Customer's Yachts" (on how the Street screws everyone)."
"Loeb hits you hard; he tries both to invest and speculate. The line is thin and dangerous. Focus on pp. 49-62, 119-124. Levy's "The Mind of Wall Street" is a fun modern memoir, and John Train's "Money Master" series is decent."
"All investors need to understand bonds, the money market, and the yield curve. Also see "The Strategic Bond Investor" by Crescenzi, the books by Bill Gross and El-Erian, and the Pimco commentary (http://www.pimco.com/TopNav/Home/Default.htm) along with Howard Marks' superlative Oaktree memos (http://www.oaktreecapital.com/memo.aspx)."
"A gentleman scholar/banker offers perspective on interest rates, the lifeblood of finance. This book gives a needed, millennial perspective on the most important external input in valuation. Also see Homer's "Inside the Yield Book" to understand bonds better, and how they relate to stocks (twice recommended, doubly important!)."
"For the daring, full-time debt investors. Also see Rosenberg's "The Vulture Investors", any of professor Altman's or Gilson's books, Whitman's "Distressed Investing," Warren's "Chapter 11", and LoPucki's reference book, "Strategies for Creditors in Bankruptcy Proceedings.""
"Governance/ownership is important, and silly investors forget this (activists live on it). See Bebchuk's "Pay without Performance", Einhorn's "Fooling Some of the People", Stevens' "King Icahn," and Winan's "King of Cash" (Tisch)."
"Practical advice on how to capitalize on your area of knowledge and your strengths in picking stocks. Neff's "John Neff On Investing" is solid too. The key point is not to dally; use index ETFs, or put time/effort into your own investing."
"Rubin mentored some of today's best hedge fund investors (Lampert/ESL, Mindich/Eton Park, Singh/TPG-Axon, Och/Och-Ziff, Perry/Perry, etc.). Read the first third of this book; learn Rubin's probabilistic way of thinking. Then check out books on decision trees, real options, and game theory. Next read Ellis's "The Partnership.""
"Real estate can act like bonds, stock, options, or commodities, depending on the legal structure and asset. Also see Boyer's "Principles of Property Law," Block's "Investing in REITs", and research from Green Street Advisors (for facts)."
"Facts on asset classes, long-term returns, the impermanance of value. Seigel's "The Future for Investors" is worthwhile too. More and better detail in the Morningstar book on "Stocks, Bills, & Bonds" and Dimson's "Global Investment Returns" Book."