Reading List for the Incoming Analyst

bluepenguin's picture
Rank: Baboon | 147

I'm from a non-target and, in part, due to mistakes avoided by listening to you lot for the last few years, I've landed an analyst role, so thanks! :)

My generation primarily and increasingly uses the internet to gain information. Although a wonderful source, it rarely has the same, lasting impact as a book. Just like every CEO can be heard claiming the key to their success is to surround themselves by people better than them, a book is a fantastic opportunity to borrow someone else's brain and learn about a subject you have never considered before or even knew existed.

When it comes to interview, you can't predict every question coming your way. But if you have a holistic view of banking and life in general, you stand a much better chance. I've probably read a book a month for the last six years. That sounds a lot, but it's not really much of a sacrifice if it gets you to where you want to be.

Just to start us off, here are some books that I have read over the years that I either really enjoyed or learned a lot from:

1. More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite (S. Mallaby)

A nice primer for the hedge fund industry with a bit of history, a guide to the key players and some of the big deals.

2. Flashboys (M. Lewis)

If you ever wondered what happens in the milliseconds after a trader taps enter, this one is for you. The book explains the rise of High-Frequency Trading, how exchanges work (and the incentives they are driven by) and the rise of IEX.

3. Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure (T. Harford)

You can't go far wrong with Tim Harford, always insightful. The FT's "Undercover Economist" explores complex systems and how to deal with complexity. Will make you feel worryingly insignificant and question the way in which human beings have built and designed the systems that govern our lives.

4. Young Money: Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street's Post-Crash Recruits (K. Roose)

A beginners guide to what life is like at a Bulge Bracket for analysts. Some parts sensationalist but nonetheless entertaining.

5. Anything by Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point, Blink, What the Dog Saw)

He just seems to get people. The examples he uses are always insightful and helped me build a logical toolkit.

6. Freakonomics (s. Dubier, S. Levitt)

It's a classic. Why we don't read this in school is beyond me. Just because we have always done it/thought it, does not mean it's right. This should be the real takeaway. Some on here may disagree, but a lot of people that work in Finance are far from masters of the universe. Don't be afraid to challenge things that seem wrong. If they seem wrong to you, they probably are. This book should give you the confidence to think differently.

7. Money Mavericks (L. Kroijer)

Follows the author from IB analyst at Lazard to manager of his own fund. Helpful for those interested in hedge funds but also for those that want to set up their own gig; decent human element.

8. Poor Economics (E. Duflo, A. Banerjee)

Two wonderful development economists from MIT, a bit like in Freakonomics, challenge your inherent perception of the world's problems and how to solve them. Intuition is no match for data. They strip down macro problems to the human, micro level to aid the understanding of incentives and how to change them. Why are people in rural India averse to spending a days wages on a vaccine for their child but will spend a years wages and walk 50 miles to get them treated once they get ill? No, it's not because their stupid, it's all about incentives.

9. The Financial Times Guide to Investing (G. Arnold)

The driest book on this list, it's not designed to be entertaining. More of a textbook, it will give you a basic understanding of every major asset class from OEICs to convertible bonds. Afraid it just has to be done.

10. More Sex is Safer Sex (S. Landsburg)

The proof we have all been waiting for! Again challenges your perception of logic, but with more whacky examples.

11. The Great Crash 1929 (JK Galbraith)

Although an older title in it's writing style, goes some way to showing that humans are dumb and often fail to see the big picture.

Please add the titles you enjoyed, I need some more to read!

Comments (26)

Mar 24, 2016

nobody else read a single book??

Mar 24, 2016

Buy "Investment Valuation" by Damodaran to place on your desk

Mar 24, 2016

Pricey! But looks a good one for reference :)

Mar 24, 2016


Mar 24, 2016

For practical reading/desk reference:
- Distressed Debt Analysis (Moyer - more helpful if you're going into RX or Lev Fin but nevertheless interesting)
- Accounting for M&A, Equity, and Credit Analysts (Morris)
- Financial Modeling (Benninga)

General interesting finance/economics reads:
- The Alchemy of Finance (Soros)
- The Great Deformation (Stockman)
- Fooled by Randomness (Taleb)
- Quality of Earnings (O'Glove)

Not to shit on other's suggestions but I wouldn't recommend buying Rosenbaum & Pearl if you already have an offer lined up. You'll find most of the information it contains is base-level knowledge after about a month on the job.

Mar 24, 2016

True, but online PDFs are very easy to find. Good reference

Mar 24, 2016

The Great Rebalancing Michael Pettis
The Big Short, Lewis

Mar 24, 2016

How to Win Friends and Influence People

"It is better to have a friendship based on business, than a business based on friendship." - Rockefeller.

"Live fast, die hard. Leave a good looking body." - Navy SEAL

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Mar 25, 2016

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My Linkedin

Mar 25, 2016

Bertrand Russell's History of Western Philosophy

Mar 25, 2016

Great list. I thought Outliers was incredible as well.

Mar 25, 2016

Fun, Banking stories:
Monkey Business (Classic Summer Associate to Associate to quit the job)
Liars Poker (Michael Lewis about Solomon Brother's Rise and Fall)
Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco
When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management
Black Swan by Taleb

Real stuff:
Investment Banking: Valuation, Leveraged Buyouts, and Mergers and Acquisitions
Applied Mergers & Acquisitions by Bruner
Investment Valuation by Damodaran as mentioned above
Valuation: Measuring and Managing the Value of Companies by McKinsey & Co.
Security Analysis by Graham/Dodd

Make Donald Drumpf again

    • 1
Mar 25, 2016

Barbarians at the Gate is next on my list!

Best Response
Mar 25, 2016

Had Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis recommended to me.

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Mar 26, 2016

the finance club at my school puts out a fairly thorough guide every year that has a good reading list. i posted it on an earlier thread but thought id repost for this one:

Investing and Trading

  • The Intelligent Investor
  • The Little Book of Value Investing
  • Security Analysis
  • Distressed Debt Analysis
  • The Art of Value Investing
  • The Essays of Warren Buffett
  • Margin of Safety
  • Dhandi Investor
  • One Up on Wall Street
  • The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Common Investor
  • The Manual of Ideas
  • Creating Relevance, Differentiation, Energy, Leverage, and Clarity
  • Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits
  • Reminisces of a Stock Operator
    Contrarian Investment Strategy
  • Options Market Making
  • The Market Wizards

Concepts and Theory

  • Throwing the Elephant
  • The Black Swan
  • The Gervais Principle
  • Fooled by Randomness
  • Road to Serfdom
  • The Tulip
  • Guns, Germs, and Steel
  • A Prehistory of the Cloud
  • Irrational Exuberance
  • The Alchemy of Finance
  • Extraordinary Exuberance and the Madness of Crowds
  • Manias, Panics, and Crashes
  • American Mania
  • Mankiw's Principles of Economics
  • The Ascent of Money
  • Lapham's Quarterly


Strategy, Lifestyle, Growth

  • Never Eat Alone
  • Marcus Aurelius' Meditations
  • Awaken the Giant Within
  • The Art of War
  • The Four-Hour Work Week
  • The Prince
  • Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
  • Future Edge
  • Wolf Hall
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People
  • Superbetter
  • Wonderful Life
  • The Startup of You
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Apr 1, 2016

Great List Have you put this on Amazon on your Linked in Profile?

Apr 2, 2016

I didn't see The Predator's Ball in the stories recommended. I liked it!

Apr 2, 2016 and Seriously, just enjoy the time you have until you start. Keep abreast of commercial news and implications they might have on related industries and consumers.
No need to sweat it, if you've read the McKinsey way, you're waay ahead of where > 50% of my peers were when we started.

Also check into a 4/5* hotel and enjoy the novelty. Seriously.

[/embed] Corporate Whore - The Musings of a Legal Prostitute

Apr 2, 2016

Just in case you forget why you're there.

Apr 2, 2016

I'm a junior going into a buy-side ER internship and am glad you posted this. I'll order it soon.

Apr 2, 2016

great recommendation - thanks1

Apr 2, 2016

Great rec, thanks

Apr 2, 2016