11 of the Best Investing Books for Beginners

Learn how to invest with these investing books for beginners.

When it comes to learning how to invest, the biggest hurdle can be figuring out where to begin. Finances and the stock market can be daunting in their complexity, but investing needn’t be hard or intimidating. In fact, as many of these great investment books will show, simple investing strategies are often better. If you’re ready to start investing and are looking for a guide, here are some of the best investing books for beginners.

“Money Honey” by Rachel Richards

You can’t invest unless you’re saving money and you can’t save money unless you have your current finances in order. This is why Vanessa N. Martinez, CEO and co-founder of Em-Powered Network, a network dedicated to helping female leaders and business owners, tells beginning investors to start with “Money Honey,” a book that guides you through getting your current financial situation in order. In it, Richards outlines the seven steps you should do before you start investing: budgeting, saving and reviewing your credit score, student debt, credit cards and mortgages. Once you’ve progressed through each of these foundational steps, Richards tells you how to start investing in chapter 9.

“The Simple Path to Wealth” by JL Collins

Beginning investors really need to read this one. What began as a series of letters from the author to his daughter has been transformed into one of the most loving financial guides anyone could read. There’s a reason it has 4.7 stars on Amazon from more than 8,700 reviews. “Not only does this book teach you practical personal finance concepts that are key to saving and building wealth, but it’s also a pleasure to read as the author’s own journey was not the most traditional path,” says Corbin Blackwell Donahue, a certified financial planner and senior financial planner at Betterment. “This book distills the basic concepts down to a very approachable level, and weaves together his personal stories and life lessons, making it perfect for someone who is new to investing or maybe not even fully interested in a deep dive of personal finance yet.”

“The Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School” by Andrew Hallam

If you’ve ever felt like the only way to be a successful investor is to already be rich, author Andrew Hallam is here to prove this isn’t the case. In “The Millionaire Teacher” he shows how he taught himself to invest and become a millionaire all while on a teacher’s salary. “I found the book concepts to be practical and the terminology easy to grasp,” says Barry Mulholland, director of the University of Akron’s financial planning program and lead organizer of Diversitas, which is dedicated to bringing greater age, gender and racial diversity to the financial planning industry.

“Reminiscences of a Stock Operator” by Edwin Lefevre

When Greg Thompson, now a chartered market technician and portfolio manager at Spectrum Wealth Management, was first learning about investing as a teenager, his father gave him this book and the lessons he learned from it have stayed with him ever since. The book is about the successes and failures of Jesse Livermore, one of the most successful stock market speculators in history and a pioneer of day trading. Throughout his lifetime, Livermore made hundreds of millions of dollars only to lose it all so it’s not hard to imagine the story of his life will be chock full of valuable lessons for beginning investors. The book explains the history of the stock markets from an early-20th-century perspective and, “most importantly, demonstrates that failure is always an option, but learning from one’s mistakes is crucial,” Thompson says.

“How to Buy Stocks” by Louis Engel

“This timeless classic on investing incorporates everything an investor would need to know to get started,” says Andrew Crowell, vice chairman of wealth management at D.A. Davidson & Co. In it, Engel uses a fictional company called Acme to portray the process of becoming a publicly traded company. “Taking the reader step by step from business concept to capital raising, Engel expertly but straightforwardly illustrates how capitalism and the financial markets work,” Crowell says. An excellent primer for investors who want to begin investing or simply gain a better understanding of how the system works, you’ll learn about all basic investment types — not just stocks — and get an overview of the financial markets.

“Your Essential Guide to Sustainable Investing” by Larry Swedroe and Sam Adam

Sustainable investing, where you align your investment choices with your values, is becoming increasingly popular, especially among newer investors. If you’re looking to get started with sustainable investing, look no further than “Your Essential Guide to Sustainable Investing.” The authors make the process of sustainable investing easy to understand and guide readers through the various methods you can use to implement a sustainable portfolio, says Peter Krull, founder and CEO of Earth Equity Advisors, a financial advisory firm that specializes in responsible investing. “Along the way, they cover motivations, performance and some history of the investing style,” Krull says. “They discuss if you should hire a financial advisor including questions to ask a potential fund manager.”

“Fooled by Randomness” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

People and especially investors don’t often want to think of their life as being directed by randomness. Far better to believe you are in full control of the steering wheel, but to disregard the role luck and chance play in business and investing is an act of both willful ignorance and potential frustration. “While we can control many of our decisions — or at least we think we do — in reality the outcomes, and choices, may be beyond our control and completely random,” says David Blanchett, managing director and head of retirement research for PGIM DC Solutions. For this reason he recommends beginning investors read this book. “While this book isn’t necessarily foundational when it comes to investing, I think it can help people interested in investing get a holistic perspective on what constitutes a smart decision and better investors in the long term,” he says. The first book in a five-book series, “Fooled by Randomness” serves as both a standalone read and a launching point for a deeper dive into luck, uncertainty, probability and human error as they relate to decision-making.

“The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason

While this collection of short stories isn’t a how-to on investing or saving, it does provide valuable insight on how to think about building wealth, says Amy Oullette, a certified financial planner and vice president of product at Vestwell. And building wealth is ultimately every investor’s goal. “We all know we should save, but there are stories to help you ponder why, and what levers — your income, finding deals, and not giving up in your journey — you might have given less thought,” Oullette says. “An easy read with simple lessons along the way, this book may open your mind without getting lost in tactics.”

“Everyday Millionaires” by Chris Hogan

Who wants to be a millionaire? If you raised your hand, you need to read this book. Based on the largest study of millionaires ever conducted of 10,000 U.S. millionaires, “Everyday Millionaires” is “full of insights, myths and habits on what it takes to become wealthy,” says Nick Holeman, a certified financial planner and director of financial planning at Betterment. “It is incredibly empowering and inspiring to see evidence-based strategies that anybody can use to become financially independent.” Learn how millionaires adhere to the golden rule of living within your means, avoid debt and — of course — invest.

“Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor’s Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond” by Chris Burniske

If you’re a beginning investor, cryptoassets are generally not the place to start investing. The volatility and risk in such assets make them risky endeavors for investors who are inexperienced at handling market fluctuations. That said, if you’re already set on investing in cryptoassets, you might as well start with some solid background knowledge. “This book is the first attempt to give investors a framework and mental model for crypto,” says Eliézer Ndinga, director of research at 21.co, a leader in providing access to cryptoassets. “The Innovative Investor’s guide also introduces portfolio management techniques and a guide to trading venues and fundraising mechanisms to access this growing asset class.”

“If You Can” by William J. Bernstein

Last but not least, perhaps the easiest of all beginning investing books is “If You Can” by William J. Bernstein. No, this is not a Berenstain Bears picture book, but it’s almost as easy of a read and not much longer. Bernstein’s 16-page investment book for beginners breaks successful, long-term investing into a strategy “a 7-year-old could understand,” according to Bernstein. It’ll also “take you 15 minutes of work per year, outperform 90% of financial professionals in the long run and make you a millionaire over time.” A tall order for a small book, but Bernstein’s pamphlet may just be up to the task. As an added bonus, “If You Can” is available for free in Adobe Acrobat, Mobi and Kindle formats on Bernstein’s website, efficientfrontier.com.

Here are the 11 best investing books for beginners:

— “Money Honey” by Rachel Richards

— “The Simple Path to Wealth” by JL Collins

— “The Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School” by Andrew Hallam

— “Reminiscences of a Stock Operator” by Edwin Lefevre

— “How to Buy Stocks” by Louis Engel

— “Your Essential Guide to Sustainable Investing” by Larry Swedroe and Sam Adams

— “Fooled by Randomness” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

— “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason

— “Everyday Millionaires” by Chris Hogan

— “Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor’s Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond” by Chris Burniske

— “If You Can” by William J. Bernstein

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11 of the Best Investing Books for Beginners originally appeared on usnews.com

Update 09/23/22: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

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