The list author says: "Books on this topic range from wildly speculative to well-researched and reasoned. Many fall somewhere between the two extremes, mixing fact with fantasy, wisdom with folly. In my opinion, the following books provide researched, thoughtful advice."
"If you want to invest in individual stocks or just understand the markets, this is your place to start. Graham mentored Warren Buffett, who still considers this the best book ever written on investing in stocks. Get this version, with the commentary by Jason Zweig (personal finance editor, The Wall Street Journal), which brings Graham's teaching up to date."
"Malkiel is smart (teaches at Princeton) and has done his homework. But he puts this book in layman's terms, advising a conservative approach to investing. Since few win at timing the market and picking individual stocks, go for mutual funds. Since few fund managers can pick the best stocks, go for low cost index funds."
"John Bogle, founder of The Vanguard Group, one of the largest and most trusted mutual fund companies, lays out in orderly fashion how to understand and invest in mutual funds. He has a way of helping us see through all the sensationalist nonsense to offer a sensible approach to investing."
"Yes, this is the shameless plug for my own book. Why write another investing/personal finance book? As one college student put it, "I've read a lot on investing, but I wish I'd read yours first." The reason? I took a lot of research, documented it, and put it in an accessible, story form. Reading it could save you from a multitude of investing screw-ups."
"It's one thing to read sound investing principles, quite another to read about the world's greatest investor and try to get into his mind. For me, the early chapters - following him through elementary school and college - enlightened me as to why he's so successful. His mind, personality, and passions work in perfect sync for investing."
"Buffett's wisdom is invaluable; his wit makes his wisdom accessible and memorable. When I hear "great" economists predicting the future of interest rates or insider tips on stocks that "assuredly" will go up, I remember a joke or story from Buffett that puts it all in perspective. Great collection!"
"The syndicated personal finance columnist for the Chicago Tribune gives the practical nitty gritty of investing toward retirement. Sure, she'll tell you the difference between an index fund and a managed fund, but she'll also help you understand your company's retirement program and figure out just how much money you'll need at retirement."
"Successful investing involves more than understanding stocks and bonds and real estate. It involves understanding the often irrational emotions that make it almost irresistable to, e.g., buy high (when everyone else is buying) and sell low. Understanding these emotions is critical to sound financial decisions. Zweig shows the way with sound research and a captivating, journalistic style."