9 Best Investing Books You Absolutely Must Read

A stack of financial books sit on a black desk surrounded by a plant and lamp.
If you're interested in investing, read these books before you dive into the world of stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

If you’re confused and a little intimidated by personal finance and investing, you’re not alone.

The good news is that investing doesn’t have to be difficult. There’s more resources out there than ever before.

Learning from the experts is a great way to strengthen your financial life. It’s how average investors graduate to extraordinary investors.

To save you time, we’ve compiled a list of the best investing books out there. A mix of classics and new favorites filled with useful insight on everything from managing a Roth IRA to picking the best stocks.

Adding our list of best investing books to your Kindle or Audible can help guide you on your investing journey — while saving you time and money.

Heck, they could even set you up to retire early.

Need a primer? Check out our guide on investing for beginners

Set Yourself Up for Success With the 9 Best Investing Books

New investors and professional investors alike can glean wisdom from these great reads.

Here are nine of the best investing books to check out before diving into the world of wealth management, Wall Street and financial planning.

1. ‘Your Money or Your Life’ by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez

Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence” is a nine-step guide to managing money and achieving financial independence.

The book advocates calculating how many hours of work something costs you instead of how much money it costs — and including hidden costs, like work clothes and commuting in your calculations. Then, it shows readers how to invest to ensure they won’t have to work forever.

Authors Vicki Robin and the late Joe Dominguez retired early using the principles they write about. Robin is passionate about sustainable living, and Dominguez combined frugality and a high savings rate to retire at 31.

“‘Your Money’ encouraged me to scrutinize my spending, and habits and patterns quickly emerged,” Concepción de León, digital staff writer at The New York Times, wrote. “There are spreadsheets and expense tracking, simple graphs and investment recommendations — but what I took away from it was a shift in thinking.”

“Your Money or Your Life” was first published in 1992 and has been updated four times, most recently in 2018 and translated into 12 languages.

This book offers simple solutions for building wealth for those who don’t geek out about investing. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

2. ‘The Simple Path to Wealth’ by JL Collins

When I started saving for retirement, “The Simple Path to Wealth” was the first book everyone recommended to me.

JL Collins is a blogger best known for his series on investing called the “Stock Series.” He wrote the series for his daughter, who wanted to save for retirement but didn’t want to obsess over it.

In 2016, he compiled the series of blog posts into an investing book called “The Simple Path to Wealth.”

Collins offers simple solutions for building wealth for those who don’t geek out about investing.

Of the books listed, “The Simple Path to Wealth” probably has the most aggressive investment strategy recommendations, making it a great read for younger investors who have time to endure the ups and downs of the market.

A woman holds up a finance related book to cover up her face
This book by George S. Clason uses parables set in ancient Babylon to explain basic principles for saving and investing money. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

3. ‘The Richest Man in Babylon’ by George S. Clason

In 1923, George S. Clason’s map company published the first road atlas of the United States and Canada. He then published pamphlets for banks and investment institutions with parables about “paying yourself first,” or saving for your future self before spending.

He later compiled the best ones into his investing book, “The Richest Man in Babylon.” The book uses parables set in ancient Babylon to explain basic principles for saving and investing money. Some are about making your savings work for you while others focus on the value of hard work.

Arlene of From Pennies to Plenty liked that the book was easily digestible. “It’s divided into short chapters, each with a story and lesson, and the entire book can be finished in a few hours. The lessons are stated in a practical way too.”

“The Richest Man in Babylon” was first published in 1926. It’s been reprinted dozens of times in many different languages.

4. ‘A Random Walk Down Wall Street’ by Burton G. Malkiel

A longtime best seller, Burton G. Malkiel’s “A Random Walk Down Wall Street” continues to top investor reading lists 50 years after it was first published — and for good reason.

Malkiel’s authoritative, gimmick-free advice on everything from real estate investment trusts and home ownership to balancing a 401(k) portfolio can help individual investors navigate financial decisions and the stock market with confidence.

Now in its 12th edition, “A Random Walk Down Wall Street” offers up insight on modern topics as well, including cryptocurrency and automated investment advisors.

5. ‘The Little Book of Common Sense Investing’ by John Bogle

If you like to break up the monotony of words with easy-to-understand charts, graphs and tables, you’ll like “The Little Book of Common Sense Investing.”

Author John Bogle is the founder of Vanguard Group and the father of the index fund, so he knows what he’s talking about.

But if an investment book about index funds written by the guy who invented them sounds a little suspicious, don’t write it off yet.

Bogle uses historical evidence from the stock market and experts in the financial planning industry who corroborate — even if they don’t necessarily agree with — his ideas.

“The Little Book of Common Sense Investing” was first published in 2007. An updated edition was released in 2017.

6. ‘The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need’ by Andrew Tobias

Former Democratic National Committee treasurer Andrew Tobias has written extensively about investing, but he is best known for his book “The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need.”

It’s a big claim for a single book, but it does a great job covering topics like purchasing stocks and portfolio management while using easy-to-read language.

The book also includes more in-depth coverage of saving for college and estate planning than the other investing books.

Tobias originally wrote this book in 1978, and it’s been updated nine times since. So in addition to being one of the most entertaining investing books on the list, you can be confident the advice is up to date and takes into consideration 40 years of stock market history.

7. ‘The Intelligent Investor’ by Benjamin Graham

Benjamin Graham, author of “The Intelligent Investor” is considered the father of value investing, a style that focuses on analyzing the fundamental value of a company before buying stocks at a discounted price.

In “The Intelligent Investor,” Graham lays out how to evaluate a company’s worth based on financial value, not short-term stock market trading techniques.

While “The Intelligent Investor” was first published in 1949, its most recent editions are edited by Wall Street Journal personal finance columnist, Jason Zweig, who offers modern commentary and insight on contemporary events.

This go-to investing book for beginners is a legend in the personal finance world. Even Warren Buffett has called it “by far the best book about investing ever written” and contributed to the fourth edition.

A woman reads
This book by William J. Bernstein emphasizes a conservative, lower-risk portfolio to build wealth. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

8. ‘The Four Pillars of Investing’ by William J. Bernstein

If you enjoy investing and want to know more — but still hate numbers — “The Four Pillars of Investing” is a great addition to your reading lists.

It’s got plenty of history and psychology, and very little math.

William J. Bernstein is a former neurologist who started writing books in 2000 for individual investors who wanted to make their own investment decisions within their portfolios.

Bernstein emphasizes conservative, lower-risk investment philosophies to help readers build wealth and explains the theory, history, psychology and business of investing.

9. ‘The Millionaire Teacher’ by Andrew Hallam

Andrew Hallam was a school teacher who built a million-dollar retirement portfolio, and he did it way before he turned 40.

The Millionaire Teacher” explains nine rules of wealth you should’ve learned in school, like the rule of compound interest and the benefits of low fees.

Joe Udo of Retire by 40 — who did in fact retire by 40 — highly recommends the book.

“[It’s] his own compelling story of how he became a millionaire on a teacher salary,” Udo wrote. “It is not impossible. Anyone can do this; it just takes a lot of time. He didn’t use any tricky get-rich-quick gimmicks.”

Jen Smith is a former staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. 

Rachel Christian is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance and a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder.