What are some of your favourite/must read books?

LBJ's picture
Rank: Senior Baboon | 199

I am currently in the process of reading/finishing these books:

-Talent is Overrated
-Art of War
-The 48 Laws of Power

What are some other books that you guys recommend be on everybody's book list?

Comments (196)

Apr 8, 2009

My answers are very, very different depending on which you are looking for

Apr 8, 2009

El-Erian - "When markets collide" very interesting perspective about the future of world economics (although I'm sure that in light of recent events he's probably alter some of his viewpoints)

Apr 9, 2009

When Markets Collide is a great book. I also like Liars Poker for a history of mortgage trading, Comical is Damn it feels good to be a banker, DAve Kansas The end of Wall Street as we know it

Apr 8, 2009

.

Apr 8, 2009

"Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Banker" - Leveraged Sell-Out

It may not be as relevant now that bankers aren't so glamorous nowadays in the public's eyes, but it's still good for a laugh.

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Apr 8, 2009

Some stuff I've read in the past year or two that I enjoyed (non-finance):

Against the Odds - James Dyson
From Beirut to Jerusalem - Thomas Friedman
Born Standing Up - Steve Martin
Kitchen Confidential - Anthony Bourdain

Apr 8, 2009

Leisure: Tom Wolfe. Hilarious and relevant.

Business / Finance:
Conspiracy of Fools
When Genius failed
Black Swan
Intelligent Investor.
Buffet stuff

ANyone read good books on the recent crises? Some the newest stuff seems rushed.

Apr 8, 2009

48 Laws of Power was entertaining :)
Don't let it get to your head though...

Apr 8, 2009

Love Tom Wolfe...can't wait for his new one to come out (Back to Blood, about Miami).

Apr 8, 2009

The alchemist

Apr 8, 2009

Intelligent Investor, Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits, and Hedgehogging.

The Last Lecture is great for just reassessing your perspective on life.

Margin of Safety is wonderful if you can get your hands on a copy.

Apr 8, 2009

The Dirt Confessions by Motley Crue

Apr 8, 2009

General good books:

  • Tom Wolfe: Bonfire of the Vanities
  • Robert Caro: The Power Broker, The Path to Power, Means of Ascent, Master of the Senate
  • T.E. Lawrence: The Seven Pillars of Wisdon
  • Michael Lewis: Money Ball, The Blind Side
  • Harman Wouk: The Winds of War, War and Remembrance
  • Mark Bowden: Killing Pablo, Black Hawk Down
  • Ben Mezrich: Bringing Down the House
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald: Great Gatsby
  • John Steinbeck: Grapes of Wrath
  • Mark Twain
  • Ayn Rand: The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged
  • Barbara Tuchman: The Guns of August
  • Hunter S. Thompson: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
  • H.G. Bissinger: Friday Night Lights
  • Slavomir Rawicz: The Long Walk
  • Leon Uris: Mila 13, Exodus
  • Sir Thomas Malory: Le Morte D'Arthur

Finance specific:

I'd suggest going on Amazon, ordering a shit ton of used books, plowing through them, and also using the related book list to find other ones that interest you. You could probably get every book on the list above for $200-$300

Apr 9, 2009

Fine Literature:

  • I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell by Tucker Max - http://tuckermax.com/
  • The Law (La Loi) by Frederic Bastiat (Great classic refuting socialism)
  • Barbarians At The Gate
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Atlas Shrugged
  • The Golden Age by John C. Wright (Excellent libertarian science fiction)
  • Free To Choose by Milton Friedman
  • Patrick O'Brien's many seafaring books
  • Parallel Worlds by Michio Kaku
  • The Singularity Is Near by Ray Kurzweil - http://www.kurzweiltech.com/aboutray.html great stuff
Apr 9, 2009

Thanks guys for your contribution. Really helpful!

Apr 9, 2009

The Alchemist

Apr 9, 2009

Aside from what's been mentioned, if you like IR, The Paradox of American Power was an interesting read by Joseph S. Nye. He also wrote Soft Power, which was interesting, but I didn't find it quite as good.

If you like behavioral economics, I absolutely loved The Wisdom of Crowds, thought it was well written and fascinating. Predictably Irrational was OK, writing was lacking a little but studies were interesting.

Apr 9, 2009

This doesn't happen often, but I am actually blown away by what some of you are reading. I am truly impressed.

For no real reason, I started reading The Shock Doctrine last night. Every single page pisses me off to no end, and most of it makes me want to punch Naomi Klein in the throat, but I can't seem to put it down. I suppose, if nothing else, it is a worthwhile glance at the convoluted way a socialist views his/her world. I am by no means recommending the book, but if you're a free market type looking to have a visceral reaction to something, check it out from the library.

As for books to have with you when stranded on a desert island (in no particular order):

Walden (and Civil Disobedience) - Henry David Thoreau
Following the Equator - Mark Twain
Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc - Mark Twain
Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace - Gore Vidal
A Moveable Feast - Ernest Hemingway
For Whom the Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway
Islands in the Stream - Ernest Hemingway
The Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee - Robert Edward Lee
The Douay Rheims Bible
Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
Anything by Robert Louis Stevenson, Jack London, and Rudyard Kipling

Of the more puerile, but no less enjoyable, selections in my library:

I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell - Tucker Max
Do Travel Writers Go to Hell? - Thomas Kohnstamm
The Great Shark Hunt - Hunter S. Thompson
The Helldiver's Rodeo - Humberto Fontova

Man, this is tough. There are just too many.

Apr 9, 2009

A different focus in my reading list, but here's a few classics:

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Elements of Style by Strunk and White
Getting Things Done by David Allen

Apr 9, 2009
logimech:

Elements of Style by Strunk and White

I live and die by Strunk and White. Probably the best book ever written on English language usage.

Here is an excellent modern version that everyone should own in addition to The Elements of Style:

Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Apr 9, 2009
Edmundo Braverman:
logimech:

Elements of Style by Strunk and White

I live and die by Strunk and White.

Good to see some agreement on that! Writing is ubiquitous in our modern era of emails, pitch books, and memorandums. Does anyone know of a well-regarded guide for writing (or speaking, for that matter) in a corporate context?

Apr 9, 2009

But an excellent book on written communication in a non-fiction context, applicable to the corporate environment:

Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers' Guide from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University

    • 1
Apr 9, 2009

The best Finance book, way better than Liars Poker, is a book called:

FIASCO

It's about a Bond Salesman at Morgan Stanley who comes from Credit Suisse back in the late 80's I think.

Apr 9, 2009
trigger1:

The best Finance book, way better than Liars Poker, is a book called:

FIASCO

Great book. FIASCO stood for Fixed Income Annual Sporting Clays Outing, a debauched annual get-together for derivatives traders involving copious amounts of booze, loose women, and firearms. Ahhh...the good old days.

Apr 8, 2009

learned of the title through his Fresh Air NPR appearance on derivative dangers

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?story...
listen up peeps

Apr 9, 2009

(mis)behavior on markets - mandelbrot

Apr 9, 2009

For finance books, I'll echo what most people have said and go with:

-The Intelligent Investor (Ben Graham)
-You Can Be A Stock Market Genius Too (Joel Greenblatt)
-The Money Masters (John Train)
-Market Wizards (Jack Schwager) (Especially the part on the Commodities Corp. traders)
-The Black Swan (Nassim Nicholas Taleb)

For non finance-related stuff:

-All Quiet on the Western Front (Erich Maria Remarque)
-If This is a Man (Primo Levi)
-Swann's Way (Proust)
-The Fairy Gunmother (Daniel Pennac)
-A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
-plenty of other stuff I can't think of at the moment..

Apr 9, 2009

Entertaining book - The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort

If you end up buying it, the proceeds go to all the investors the author fucked over (court order).

Apr 9, 2009

I think the movie Boiler Room was modeled after Stratton Oakmont.

What a fucking derelict crew those guys were.

Apr 9, 2009

The selections so far have been very good.

My list of must-reads:

Atlas Shrugged - If you only read one book in your life, make it this.
The Fountainhead
Anthem
The Alchemist
The Power of One
I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell
Liar's Poker

Apr 12, 2009

Some of my favourites -

Albert Camus - The Stranger, The Outsider
Salman Rushdie - Midnight's Children, The Ground Beneath Her Feet
Vikram Seth - An Equal Music
Thomas Pynchon - Gravity's Rainbow
Joseph Heller - Catch 22
Umberto Eco - Foucault's Pendulum
Kurt Vonnegut - Cat's Cradle
The Future Of Freedom - Fareed Zakaria
Fyodor Dostoevsky - The Idiot, The Brothers Karamazov
Most of Joseph Stiglitz's stuff

As far as recent finance books go, I quite liked Jonathan Knee's book (The Accidental Investment Banker), if only because it solely focused on corporate finance/investment banking.

Apr 12, 2009

Also, my all-time favourite 'finance' book is probably Bombardiers by Po Bronson. Fantastically entertaining and so tongue-in-cheek.

Mar 29, 2010

Wolf of Wall Street is very entertaining.

This series isn't finance related, but Vince Flynn has about 10 books focused on a counterterrorist agent. I can't stand boring books, but I can't put down books like these.

I'd also recommend anything by Nelson Demille.

Mar 29, 2010

given this is the i-banking bullpen, i'm gonna have to go with barbarians

Mar 29, 2010

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance anyone?

Not much about Zen and barely about motorcycle maintenance but a great relatively modern philosophy book my professor recommended to me going into last summer. Anyone above that mentioned books that lead to a great deal of self reflection I'd recommend picking this up.

Mar 31, 2010
AspiringBanker21:

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance anyone?

Not much about Zen and barely about motorcycle maintenance but a great relatively modern philosophy book my professor recommended to me going into last summer. Anyone above that mentioned books that lead to a great deal of self reflection I'd recommend picking this up.

+1

I was surprised to make it that far down the list without seeing it mentioned...

Seriously though, do you guys really like Taleb's writing (Black Swan OR Fooled by Randomness). Granted the guy is smart, but he comes off as a huge condescending prick in his writing.

Apr 8, 2009
oversold:

Granted the guy is smart, but he comes off as a huge condescending prick in his writing.

That's because he's a huge condescending prick in real-life as well.

  • Commuter
  •  Mar 29, 2010

Nice Picks Edmundo

Ludwig von Mises - Socialism
Ludwig von Mises - Human Action
Murray Rothbard - Man Economy and State
Henry Hazlitt - Economics in One Lesson
Henry David Thoreau - Walden and Civil Disobedience
Robert Murphay - Chaos Theory

various other Economic History books, many more on monetary history (including coinage and currency) only fiction I read has been Ayn Rand and Garet Garret.

But the first two had the biggest impact on my life.

Mar 30, 2010

The Alchemist is surely a great book

Mar 30, 2010

The Accidental Investment Banker
Liars Poker
Monkey Business
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Catch-22
Crime and Punishment
1984

Mar 30, 2010

Fountainhead. Will start Atlas Shrugged once I'm through with Fooled my randomness.
Others I have read that I enjoyed:
Black Swan
Barbarians at the Gate (one of the most entertaining books I've ever read)
Colossal Failure of Common Sense
Too Big to Fail
Myth of the Rational Markets
Liars Poker
Moneyball
Malcom Gladwell books (Outliers, Blink, Tipping Point)
Freakonomics and Super Freakonomics

downloaded to my kindle and waiting to be read
Greatest trade ever
When genius failed
Lords of Finance
The last Tycoons
Conspiracy of Fools
Fooling Some of the people all of the time
The Big Short (had to buy the book since it's not available on the kindle...)

Mar 31, 2010

I second Vince Flynn and Nelson Demille, both are really great reads.

Mar 31, 2010

I am halfway through Michael Lewis' The Big Short and it's really good so far.

Mar 31, 2010

Den of Thieves was good. I still need to read accidental investment banker which I have. Currently I'm reading House of Cards which is interesting however the writer is horrible.

Best book (ok poem) overall is The Divine Comedy hands down.

Mar 31, 2010

John Irving- A Prayer for Owen Meany
John Steinbeck- Travels With Charley
Michael Lewis- Moneyball

Apr 1, 2010

Adventure Capitalist
Fooling some of the people all of the time
Greatest trade ever
Stock market genius

I'm surprised some of you drop $1,000+ on Margin of Safety.

Apr 8, 2009
yung_gekko:

I'm surprised some of you drop $1,000+ on Margin of Safety.

There are PDFs online

Mar 30, 2010
drexelalum11:
yung_gekko:

I'm surprised some of you drop $1,000+ on Margin of Safety.

There are PDFs online

Thanks for the heads up. I just downloaded a copy. yet another book that I need to find the time to get to.
On a side note...anyone know if "The hankbook of the economics of finance" vol 1A is available anywhere as a PDF? I found 1B but cant seem to find 1A anywhere.

Apr 1, 2010

Merchants of Debt - The KKR story. Win!

Apr 1, 2010

I like Taleb's books. However, I feel that 1/5 of his book is good material and the rest is just repeating the same points over and over again

Mar 30, 2010
zer0zero:

I like Taleb's books. However, I feel that 1/5 of his book is good material and the rest is just repeating the same points over and over again

agreed. I read the black swan 1st and now i'm reading fooled by randomness. so far, its the same book but told differently. its as if he took one of those "generators" he talks about, where you can input varous pharases and the generator spits out a intelligent sounding paragraph,...and basically inputed fooled by randomness and hte generator spat out black swan.

But i still enjoy his theories and ideas.

Apr 1, 2010

sweet discussion. i am going to reply just so i can come back if i ever run out of stuff to read.

man made the money, money never made the man

Sep 11, 2010

48 laws is pretty good
Alchemist is a must read
Liars Poker was entertaining although I don't know how acurate it was
BLACK SWAN BLOWS...you could sum up that book in six pages, complete waste of time Taleb just spits out every useless fact he knows (and there's a lot) to sound intellegent

Sep 11, 2010

For the guys that mentioned Partnoy's FIASCO, I think you will like Infectious Greed even better.

Greatest Trade Ever was ok, but not that well written. Lowenstein's The End of Wall Street was very good. Drobney's Inside the House of Money, and to a lesser extent Invisible Hands are both worth picking up, just for the Leitner interviews alone. Thinking Strategically is a nice primer on game theory, if anyone is into that. Berne's Games People Play is a classic, and will change the way you view social interactions.

A few people already mentioned The Elements of Style, which is great to read on the toilet, and for that same purpose I'd also suggest The Art of Worldly Wisdom.

I don't think I've seen anyone mention Hesse's Siddhartha, which I would have expected from the same guys who mentioned Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. As Zen and the Art was to people in the 70's, Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose was to people in the 80's. If you pick it up, make sure you grab a companion book to translate the Latin for you and clue you in on the middle age references (or you won't get as much from the book).

Next time a bitch pisses you off, start reading a copy of The Arabian Nights (hint: they haven't changed in thousands of years...).

And finally, for some pure escapist fantasy, try out R. Scott Bakker. His Prince of Nothing trilogy was worth it if you are gonna read a fantasy series. If fantasy isn't your thing but you need some well written modern fiction, give Stephenson's Cryptonomicon a go.

Sep 13, 2010

MUST READS::::

McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld
Illicit: How Smugglers, Traffickers, and Copycats are Hijacking the Global Economy
Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror
Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army
The Wonga Coup: Guns, Thugs, and a Ruthless Determination to Create Mayhem in an Oil-Rich Corner of Africa
Killing Pablo: The Hunt for the World's Greatest Outlaw
How to Stage a Military Coup
On War
Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible
Coup d'Etat: A Practical Handbook
Confessions of an English Opium Eater
On Hashish

.

Apr 19, 2012

bump for anyone looking for good books!

Feb 28, 2013

How about Jeffrey Archer's "Kane and Abel", alongwith "As the crow flies". Both are great reads about self-made business tycoons (fiction).. Malcolm Gladwell's books are great too. Those of you looking for entertainment (legal thrillers mostly), John Grisham is quite nice.. try "The Rainmaker".

There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or

Mar 1, 2013

I finished reading Goldman Sachs the culture of success a week or so ago. Very inspiring and shows you the culture of GS and why they're the Yankees of IB. For anything on Austrian economic theory I would visit mises.org. I've read several of their books and they are short but great reads.

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Mar 1, 2013

Is this limited to finance books ?

I really enjoyed The Count of Monte Cristo, such a classic.

Mar 1, 2013

USE THE F*CKING SEARCH FUNCTION

"Look, you're my best friend, so don't take this the wrong way. In twenty years, if you're still livin' here, comin' over to my house to watch the Patriots games, still workin' construction, I'll fuckin' kill you. That's not a threat, that's a fact.

Mar 1, 2013
Mark Zuckerberg:

USE THE F*CKING SEARCH FUNCTION

Wow, you should relax...

I've heard good things about "How a second grader beats wall street" and "Winning the Loser's Game."

Of course, the classics are "Intelligent Investor" (Warren Buffet's all time favorite book) and "A Random Walk Down Wall Street."

Mar 1, 2013

The Intelligent Investor
Liar's Poker
Den of Thieves
Barbarians at the Gate
House of Cards
Street Fighters
Colossal Failure of Common Sense
And Then the Roof Caved In
A Random Walk Down Wall Street
The Predator's Ball
Dangerous Dreamers
In Fed We Trust
Too Big To Fail
The Zeroes
More Money Than God
King of Capital

To name a few while respectably intoxicated...

Mar 1, 2013

The Big Short
The Working Poor
Adventure Capitalist

Happy New Year Monkeys!

Mar 1, 2013

The Quants
Entire Market Wizard series
Inside the House of Money
When Genius Failed
Liar`s Poker
Irrational Exuberance
Monkey Business
Traders, Guns and Money
Freakonomics
Undercover Economist

I win here, I win there...

Mar 1, 2013

I think your best bet is to go on half.com and find 5-6 year outdated textbooks in 1. equity securities 2. fixed income securities 3. micro and macro economics 4. (Kiesco) Intermediate financial accounting

If you are more inclined towards math or had an engineering background and can handle it see if you can find some on econometrics

What I mean by cheap is under 10-15 dollars each.... so if it's more than that just pick an older one.

However some of my favorite non-technical easy read books are:

Rework by Jason Fried
The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris
They are both short and free of BS.

Mar 1, 2013

All good books above, I'd also add the Accidental Investment Banker.

Mar 1, 2013

I didn't like freakonomics. More sociology than economics, IMHO.

Mar 1, 2013
Nachos:

I didn't like freakonomics. More sociology than economics, IMHO.

I'm an economics major, and I thought the book was definitely economics. Anything that studies decision making under contraints, any form of utility maximization, or people's responses to incentives is probably economics.

Mar 1, 2013

Against the Gods (great book imho)
The Ascent of Money
Animal Spirits
Inside the House of Money

Mar 1, 2013
Mar 1, 2013

Merger's & Acquisitions from A to Z is good if you want to familiarize yourself with M&A. Other than that read stuff online.

Mar 1, 2013

I LOVED Monkey Business. Face it, if you aren't a finance major then you don't need to get into detail (accounting, financial modeling). I couldn't put the book down...

Mar 1, 2013

double post

Feb 9, 2017

Probably best to stay current on the news / markets rather than reading all these books. Most traders don't know how to read anyways.

Mar 1, 2013

I am afraid you have read more than requisite.
I would recommend knowing Hull (the technical book on Options) cold! That will do you a bit of good
Also some books on Excel/VBA

Mar 1, 2013

As violet mentioned, if you haven't read Hull, do so. After that have a look at Dynamic Hedging by Taleb.

Mar 1, 2013

BEST BOOK EVER.

Mar 1, 2013

More "fun" books than anything else, but I thought the "Accidental Investment Banker" and "Bank" were pretty quick and good reads.

Mar 1, 2013

Blink is a good/fun/quick read. It doesn't apply directly to trading but I enjoyed it.

Mar 1, 2013

Finding a Fixed Income book by Fabozzi might be good. I dug up this book called Traders: The Jobs, The Products, The Markets by David Weiss in the library once. It's like 17 years old, but if you don't know much about anything, it went over all the basics you should know, what is what type. But if you already covered Hull and Fabozzi, it might look elementary.

Mar 1, 2013

Also I loved Bonfire of the Vanities. Not 100% Wall St., but you'll know what Masters of the Universe is.

Mar 1, 2013

"Inside the House of Money" by Drobny

"Reminiscences of a Stock Operator" by Lefevre

"The Last Tycoons" by Cohan

"Fortune's Formula" by Poundstone

Mar 1, 2013

I'm in the same boat - junior year internship interviews are coming up and I'm scrambling to read read read...

To address your interview concerns, I'm working my way through "Heard on the Street: Quantitative Questions from Wall Street Job Interviews" by Tim Crack. It's super thorough so far and the reviews on Amazon say it all in terms of its effectiveness.

Also, this is a pretty run of the mill suggestion, but the 7th edition of Vault's guide to finance interviews is coming out this Monday (I swear I'm not counting down or anything; just noticed on Amazon today) and since I've only ever borrowed it from friends to skim over, I decided to finally order my own. I'm hoping there is some updated information that'll help me out this January - you might want to look into it as well?

Mar 1, 2013

Cautiously recommend:

Education of a Speculator by Victor Niederhoffer.

I say cautiously because he is unconventional in some respects, and you may not want to walk into an interview quoting him, just due to reputation - blowing up his hedge funds in the Asian crisis, and possibly about to blow up 3 more.

Still he is extremely systematic and rigorous and will make you think. Thoroughly enjoyed the book.

Also: Soros on Soros.

Mar 1, 2013

Investing: Essays of Warren Buffett, Margin of Safety, Invisible Hands, Howard Marks' Memos, Distressed Debt Investing, Third Point Letter to Investors, Little Book that Beats The Market

Finance: Ahead of the Curve, Dylan Grice's Soc Gen pieces, Breakfast with Dave

History: Ascent of Money, Bridgewater Whitepapers, Collapse, Fooled by Randomness,

Other: Anything by Mauboussian, The Signal and the Noise

Biographies: Last Man Standing, Onward, Alpha Masters

Read on!

Mar 1, 2013

Financial Shenanigans by Howard Schilit is good for anyone interested in short selling

Mar 1, 2013

You Can Be A Stock Market Genius - Joel Greenblatt

However, I'm currently reading The Most Important Thing: Illuminated - Howard Marks, and it's definitely a contender.

You need to understand that a good firm, a profitable firm, and an attractive stock investment can be 3 unrelated things. -Epicurean Dealmaker

Mar 1, 2013

1. The Sleuth Investor - how to talk to company's customers, suppliers, and management

2. The Outsiders - on capital allocation

3. Security Analysis (Graham) - fundamental analysis

4. Market Genius (Greenblatt) - event driven strategies

Mar 1, 2013
Mar 1, 2013

I like the classics

Intelligent Investor, Security Analysis (for reference)
Financial Shenanigans
Competitive Strategy (or for a quicker read just Porters paper in HBR Essentials: Strategy)
Random Walk

Currently reading Oil 101, but after that am looking for my next read

Feb 9, 2017

Awakening of intelligence by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Ignore the title. This book will change your life immensely, the change might be good or bad but in the end you'll realise.... so f*cking what.

Absolute truths don't exist... celebrated opinions do.

Feb 9, 2017

Just read everything you can get your hands on. Read what interests you. If you like it, then great. (if you will read transcripts of Bershire's latest shareholders meeting you'll note Buffet offered this exact advice). There's a number of big finance books out there and you'll hear any number of them mentioned by your fellow Finance classmates...but just like Boiler Room or Wall Street, they may be more bullshit and amusing than actual ideas. Reading them won't make you a star.

Reading what interests you, and reading voraciously will serve you much better.

Feb 9, 2017

I'd recommend this book:

"Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" by R. Cialdini

Also, as a generality:

-books on public speaking/presentations
-books on networking

Feb 9, 2017

random walk down wallstreet

Feb 9, 2017

guide to your career... i picked one up at 15 and still read it..

Feb 9, 2017

Over the summer, I saw some of these books on people's shelves ... the rest I either own or want to own.

Barbarians At the Gate
Fool's Gold
When Genius Failed
The Smartest Guys in the Room
Atlas Shrugged

Security Analysis (Graham and Dodd)
The Intelligent Investor
Barron's Dictionary of Finance and Investment Terms

Damodaran on Valuation
The McKinsey Guide to Valuation
Principles of Corporate Finance (Brealey Allen Myers)

Heard on the Street
Options (Hull)
Distressed Debt Investing (Moyer)

The Boston Consulting Group on Strategy

Feb 9, 2017
chiphifrat:

Over the summer, I saw some of these books on people's shelves ... the rest I either own or want to own.

Barbarians At the Gate
Fool's Gold
When Genius Failed
The Smartest Guys in the Room
Atlas Shrugged

Security Analysis (Graham and Dodd)
The Intelligent Investor
Barron's Dictionary of Finance and Investment Terms

Damodaran on Valuation
The McKinsey Guide to Valuation
Principles of Corporate Finance (Brealey Allen Myers)

Heard on the Street
Options (Hull)
Distressed Debt Investing (Moyer)

The Boston Consulting Group on Strategy

did you work at half price books? or a book store?

Feb 9, 2017
chiphifrat:

Over the summer, I saw some of these books on people's shelves ... the rest I either own or want to own.

Barbarians At the Gate
Fool's Gold
When Genius Failed
The Smartest Guys in the Room
Atlas Shrugged

Security Analysis (Graham and Dodd)
The Intelligent Investor
Barron's Dictionary of Finance and Investment Terms

Damodaran on Valuation
The McKinsey Guide to Valuation
Principles of Corporate Finance (Brealey Allen Myers)

Heard on the Street
Options (Hull)
Distressed Debt Investing (Moyer)

The Boston Consulting Group on Strategy

Of these, which ones will become classics? Something that will still be on your list in 10 years?
I'm a fan of the historical fiction genre, but I don't think it has lasting appeal, besides for recent (current) events. Hull is definitely a classic, so is Security Analysis.

Feb 9, 2017

Letters to his Son, Chesterfield

Feb 9, 2017

wow talk about money loving bastards...how about the bible....

Feb 9, 2017

let's add a bit of culture:

Infinite Jest (if you're already a banker you won't have time to read this till you retire)
This Side of Paradise
Walden ('Life in the Woods')
Pnin
The Death of Ivan Ilyich
Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow

Feb 9, 2017
International Pymp:

let's add a bit of culture:

Infinite Jest (if you're already a banker you won't have time to read this till you retire)
This Side of Paradise
Walden ('Life in the Woods')
Pnin
The Death of Ivan Ilyich
Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow

Shadow of the Hegemon (to add to the Orson Scott Card books)
Starship Troopers (great poli sci commentary)
Siddhartha (if you're throwing in Walden anyways)

Feb 9, 2017
International Pymp:

let's add a bit of culture:

Infinite Jest (if you're already a banker you won't have time to read this till you retire)
This Side of Paradise
Walden ('Life in the Woods')
Pnin
The Death of Ivan Ilyich
Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow

Infinite Jest is amazing. Seriously blew my mind, had me laughing one day and depressed the next. Have you read any Pynchon?

Feb 9, 2017

Bonfire of the Vanities

Feb 9, 2017

Think and Grow Rich. A book that changed my entire life. If I did an IRR on that book (76 cents outflow) it would probably have an IRR of 10000000000%

A powerful book with some incredible people who have vouched for it.

I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing.

Feb 9, 2017

^^^nice additions

Feb 9, 2017

Is it just me or is Atlas Shrugged severely out of place on chiphifrat's list?

And some additions:
Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Foucault, Discipline & Punish (Foucault on a wall street board? Horrors!)

Apr 9, 2009

Walden should be required reading for bankers, if for no other utility than perspective. Understanding the benefits of the minimalist lifestyle will go a long way to reminding you how little sense a life of acquisition makes. I'm not saying don't go make a bunch of money and have a bunch of toys, just realize that those things aren't necessary to be happy.

Feb 9, 2017
Edmundo Braverman:

Walden should be required reading for bankers, if for no other utility than perspective. Understanding the benefits of the minimalist lifestyle will go a long way to reminding you how little sense a life of acquisition makes. I'm not saying don't go make a bunch of money and have a bunch of toys, just realize that those things aren't necessary to be happy.

Agreed completely. I still want everything to excess, but that book helped to provide some nice perspective.

Feb 9, 2017

Eddie,

So very true on Walden. I've been reading Thoreau since high school and every year, I make it a point to reread Walden. That and Emerson's Self Reliance. Both are great essays that offer perspective we so sorely lack.

Now, to the OP,

I must suggest you read Suetonius' seminal masterpiece Die Vita Ceasarum, The Twelve Ceasars, about the lives of the first twelve Roman Emperors. It's a well written piece of silver age Roman writing worthy of at least a once through.

The other suggestion is the Tao of Wu, which is the Philosophy of the Wu Tang Clan's leader RZA. Definitely eye opening if you are a fan of the group and I highly suggest reading it. It was a really fast read and I went cover to cover in about 3 days, reading it over a weekend.

Feb 9, 2017

Haven't read Pynchon... I'll add it to the list.

you're right on Infinite Jest though --- that shit expands your mind.

  • eyelikecheese
  •  Feb 9, 2017

Great recommendations guys. Reading is my one one true passion in life. Dorky I know, but the only wisdom in life is attained through reading and experience. With reading, you learn from experience.
It is the only form of media that does not dilute the mind and. Diminish the sense of independent thought. I wish we had no televisions, just books an jiving amongst fellow human beings. The art of persuasive dialogue is non-existent in our society, inless it's a drunken insincere quarrel.

You'd be amazed and how many older professionals you impress by articulating the wisdom and knowledge gained through reading

Feb 9, 2017

For people who like Pynchon and DFW you guys should read Dhalgren. Weird but great book.

Feb 9, 2017

Eyelikecheese you need to read Infinte Jest. David Foster Wallace wrote a lot of essays about the impact of media (TV, especially) on our culture, and Infinite Jest incorporates a lot of his ideas about the destructive nature of passive entertainment. It's also pretty compelling sci-fi when you consider it was written about a decade ago-he very accurately predicts things like NetFlix/streaming video and iPhone FaceTime.

Feb 9, 2017

Foundation - Isaac Asimov.
'The Last Question' by Asimov. By far my favorite short story.

Sep 13, 2010

Must have:

Coup d'Etat: A Practical Handbook

Feb 9, 2017

Another one that just crossed my mind in the same vein as Asimov would be Ray Bradburry's Farenheit 451. Despite it's dystopian future, it really is a great picture of the world around us. I hightly recomend it for everyone to read.

Also, I just recently finished Lamb: The Life and Times of Jesus Christ as told by his best friend Bif. It's by Christopher Moore and I can't give enough praise to that book. It was an absolutel laugh from start to finish.

Feb 9, 2017
Frieds:

Another one that just crossed my mind in the same vein as Asimov would be Ray Bradburry's Farenheit 451. Despite it's dystopian future, it really is a great picture of the world around us. I hightly recomend it for everyone to read.

Also, I just recently finished Lamb: The Life and Times of Jesus Christ as told by his best friend Bif. It's by Christopher Moore and I can't give enough praise to that book. It was an absolutel laugh from start to finish.

Wasn't a huge fan of Fahrenheit 451, maybe because we read it in middle or high school English class. Another English class book, Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt was phenomenal though, I want to read his second book about teaching when I get some time.

Feb 9, 2017

Read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Red Mars, Enders Game, Foundation, Dune, The Illustrated Man, Neuromancer, and I, Robot.

All good on the Sci fi front. And I used to like HP Lovecraft until it became mainstream and everybody thought it was cool to overuse the shit out of his stuff.

Feb 9, 2017

Elements of Investing. Wonderful read.

Mar 1, 2013

I enjoyed One Up on Wall Street.

Feb 9, 2017

Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Apr 9, 2009

The Alchemy of Finance by George Soros. I'm not even a third of the way through yet but it's no wonder the guy has done so well, even in the past three years, when you read this thing.

Feb 9, 2017

Ulysses

The price of a soul

Metamorphosis

A discourse upon the origin and the foundation of the inequality among mankind

When a man comes to himself

Anything of Dumas besides the classics, great descriptions of backstabbings and intrigue, office politics on crack

More is good, all is better

Feb 9, 2017

Meditations - Aurelius (one of the best books written period)
48 Laws of Power & 33 Strategies of War - Greene (because life is unfair...might as well be the guy on the right side)
Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive (no one digs being the guy people don't listen to)

Feb 9, 2017

...you should only own the books you can't get from the library, the internet or books that you can't sell above, at or marginally below cost.

I'm making it up as I go along.

Feb 9, 2017

mere christianity : )

Apr 9, 2009
monkeymonkeybusiness:

mere christianity : )

As loathe as I am to promote a religious book, this is probably one of the best ever written.

Feb 9, 2017

Interesting thread. A few that I've enjoyed in the last while:

The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life (Schroeder)
An Unfinished Season (Just)
Ascent of Money (Ferguson) -- the documentary film was a nice reading companion as well
A Colossal Failure of Common Sense (McDonald)
Confessions of a Wall Street Analyst (Reingold)

Feb 9, 2017

WSO's FAQ has a Recommended Reading section, FYI

Feb 9, 2017

THis you got to it a must no a definite heck vital to your survival

THE BRAVE NEW WORLD

The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause
While the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one

Feb 9, 2017

I would say, start with anything that gets you going...I have read a lot of OSHO books. Bible is always near to me. For my kids, I cannot think of anything better than Nancy Drew, Famous Five, Secret Seven etc..

Feb 9, 2017

Etsuko, have you ever read tempestuous three?

More is good, all is better

Feb 9, 2017

I love reading a lot! Probably I would pick a few of those suggested here and give them a go soon! This thread really has my attention for all the time now!

Feb 9, 2017

This is a great thread... Didn't expect WSO literature interests to be so broad!

I've just ordered Infinite Jest as I have a bit of time on my hands and need to catch up on my fiction reading.

By the way, many of the books you guys mention are in the public domain. You can find them in various formats (kindle, html, plain text, etc...) on Project Gutenberg. their search function is pretty good.

http://www.gutenberg.org

Feb 9, 2017

I fucking love Harry Potter. Not even kidding.

Also, Summerland, House of Sand and Fog, The Pearl, The Iliad (Buy a reader's guide with commentary if you want to really appreciate it).

And everyone should read Hamlet. Foundational text of English literature.

Feb 9, 2017

Watchmen (by Alan Moore) is also incredibly deep. Only graphic novel I've ever read.

Feb 9, 2017

I tried reading Robinson Crusoe a few months ago when I had some downtime at work - I remember it being pretty good when I read the (abridged and modernized) version when I was in middle school or so, but it was just really, really bad. Couldn't get past the first 5 or so pages, but maybe I'll give it another shot next time I'm bored and want to feel productive while actually not being so.

Feb 9, 2017

Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Edward Gibbon
The Road - Cormac McCarthy
The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde

Geez, I didn't realize I was so macabre until I listed my favorite books! Seriously though, those are masterpieces.

Feb 9, 2017
duquecatalan24:

The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)

All I care about in life is accumulating bananas

Feb 9, 2017

The Investor's Manifesto by William Bernstein. The basic ABC bible for all investors.

Feb 9, 2017

May 28, 2018

It's amazing how this enormous thread neglected a fundamental classic by reknown economist Harry Browne

How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World: A Handbook for Personal Liberty - Harry Browne

A mandatory read that lays out how to deal with important pillars of your life, facing conflict, dealing with decisions, relationships, work, and happiness. It's a great book to help you dissect things in a rational way. Lot's of original content that hasn't been rehashed from prior thinkers.

I believe a natural followup to the above book is a modern classic

Principles - Ray Dalio

If anyone can recommend more original mind-expanding books like these i'd appreciate it.

Jun 10, 2018

Catcher in the Rye

The Elementary Particles

Vineland

Jun 8, 2018

My favourite book is The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Also I like Paulo Coelho. And of course, detective novels by Agatha Christie and James Hadley Chase.

    • 1
  • r3volut1on
  •  Jun 8, 2018

this should probably be posted on the amazon review; will definitely look into it.

Apr 9, 2009

The Amazon reviews cracked me up. I saw it only got 3 stars and there were a bunch of negative reviews, and I couldn't believe it. Then I scrolled down and saw that the negative reviews were all Kindle users bitching about it because they couldn't buy it for $9.99. Kindle users (and I am one of them) need to get used to the new pricing structure of ebooks, and they have Apple to thank for it.

Great book; can't recommend it enough.

Jun 8, 2018

Thanks Edmundo Braverman.

now i'll probably read this book instead of studying for CFA this upcoming weekend. :(

Jun 8, 2018

Wow, after reading your review, it makes me want to read it so much! I should head to the bookstore right away.

Jun 8, 2018

Sounds good,... I wonder if it's available on audio

Jun 8, 2018

Great review; I think your post is going to make me buy the book.

Related question: what other (industry-related) books would you recommend that are 'easy' reads (aside from Liar's Poker)?

Jun 8, 2018

Thanks for that helpful review. It definitely looks like a very worthwhile read!

Apr 1, 2010

here is bloomberg article on the book:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601088&si...
this book looks pretty legit.

man made the money, money never made the man

Jun 8, 2018

Thanks Braverman that was a great review, i'll definitely buy this book now and check it out.

It is without a doubt the best book I've read on the market since the crisis (and it feels like I've read all of them)

Can anyone name a few of the other good post-crisis books?

Mar 31, 2010

House of Cards...I'm having to read it for a class. Although it's mainly about bear stearns and the crash itself and not so much post-crisis.

Apr 1, 2010

if you want to be informed, i would recommend following the economist, ft, bloomberg, wsj, cnbc, etc. you dont need to read books about the crisis, but it doesnt hurt to either.

man made the money, money never made the man

Jun 8, 2018

I am hoping to read Hank Paulson's new book "On The Brink". I have read some small adaptions from the book and they are great. He made huge decisions for our country and in my opinion did a great job. Nonetheless, it's still supposed to be a great insider's view to the crisis from our Treasury secretary.

Jun 8, 2018

Paulson's book should be great. For all you Michael Lewis fans out there, make sure you check out "Panic" as well as his new book due in March called "The Big Short" that will be very much like House of Cards, etc. with Lewis' great style of writing.

Another interesting book I read over the summer about the recent crisis was Dear Mr. Buffett. Check it out.

Apr 9, 2009

I'll probably read Hank's book too, but I can't say how much of it I'll believe.

Jun 8, 2018

i'll look into this. thanks!

Jun 8, 2018

Too Big To Fail is an entertaining read. Not very in-depth as to the details of the crisis, but reads like a novel. This can definitely be made into a movie down the road.

Panic by Michael Lewis came out WAY too early, and I did not find it that impressive, largely other people writings anyway.

I am intrigued to read the Quants. Seems like much more than a crisis story, more of a "how the street really works" story.

Jun 8, 2018

Burnt through this book in two evening sessions... really a great read especially for the PE/Banker types... It's one to do a deal and another to understand the mathematical genius people shaping our markets...

Jun 8, 2018

Well...just got home from Borders. Looking forward to reading it!

And yes, Panic did come out too early, but nonetheless an interesting read.

Jun 8, 2018

Nice review, I feel like reading it this weekend.

Someone asked about other easy reads, and I read Gillian Tett "Fool's Gold" which I liked alot.

Jun 8, 2018

Edmundo and others: What are the top 3-5 must read crisis books in your opinion? or recent finance books in general?

Jun 8, 2018

Edmundo - thanks for the heads up. I'll pick up a copy one of these days.

Jun 8, 2018

House of Cards, Fooled By Randomness, and The Quants

Jun 8, 2018

"How Ed Thorp was asked to analyze the returns of an options trading strategy that never seemed to fail. Upon analyzing the strategy, Thorp recommended the fund pull out of the investment completely, immediately. The year was 1991. The investment was Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities."

You can see that hte book is just trying going way over the top with things like this. I think the common view is that Madoff went from running a legit fund to a ponzi around 1994. So either Thorp was lucky, or then the author is just trying desperately to relate things to current events...

Jun 8, 2018

Great review Edmundo, thanks for taking the time to write it. So good in fact that I'll even buy it from Amazon using your affiliate link rather than drive over to Borders, heh. You earned it.

Sounds like a very good read - extra points if it is in fact accessible enough that I can hand it to my mother (like Liar's Poker).

Jun 8, 2018

Nice review. Here's an interview with the author that's just popped up on YF

Jun 8, 2018

Don't you think that you should read the book before you interview the author?

Jun 8, 2018

I'm only midway through the book but the theory on Jim Simons' RenTech is pretty fascinating. The author believes RenTech uses information theory and speech recognition (basically electrical engineering topics) because their recent hires previously worked in those areas.

I wonder what happens when other HFs start piling into this strategy (or whatever strategy RenTech uses - I'm sure someone out there will hit it by chance). Since RenTech has probably anticipated this, what do you guys think is going to be the next secret sauce?

(I know this sort of speculation is useless but I thought it'd be fun to try anyway...)

Jun 8, 2018

can you explain RenTech a little more

Jun 8, 2018
adapt or die:

can you explain RenTech a little more

Most likely some form of principal component analysis using Markov Models to do pattern recognition of trading signals which are similiar to wave signals in speech.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principal_component_a...

Apr 9, 2009
Jun 8, 2018

great review! I'll definitely check it out once i get the chance

Apr 1, 2010
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man made the money, money never made the man

Jun 8, 2018
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Sep 13, 2010
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Jun 8, 2018
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Let n be a fixed positive integer greater than 1...

Feb 9, 2017
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