The #1 Investing Book

I get asked all the time by friends and investors variants of the same question:

“If you could give someone just one comprehensive book to learn about investing, what would it be”?

So we chatted about it on the podcast the other day and I still don’t have a good, single answer.

We then put together a survey and received almost 1,000 responses.  I took the time to sort them, and below are the top 50 answers.  (This took forever and FYI readers there is no book called “The Magic Formula”.)

Lots of books on here I’ve actually never read. A few I’ve never heard of. But even more interesting, we received suggestions for over 200 different books!  That is astonishing to me…Part of me thinks “there is no one answer”, and that the learning process should be developed as more of a curriculum.  But to my knowledge there isn’t a good “Rosetta Stone for Investing” website or course for that either.  Hmmph, maybe a summer project…

Thanks to my readers for voting up my books, but I took out The Ivy Portfolio and Global Asset Allocation from the table…

Below are the top 10 books, in order of responses…The Intelligent Investor was #1 with 65 votes, and #2 and #3 received 49 and 24 votes.  After that it quickly falls off a cliff which goes to show just how varied the opinions are…number 50 only received 5 votes, and then the next few hundred only a couple votes…


1 to 10

The Intelligent Investor
A Random Walk Down Wall Street
The Most Important Thing
One Up On Wall Street
The Little Book of Common Sense Investing
The Four Pillars of Investing
The Little Book that Beats the Market
What Works on Wall Street 
Market Wizards
Reminiscences of a stock operator


Here, for reference are the next 40….

The Richest Man in Babylon
Buffet Letter to Shareholders 
If You Can
The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need
Winning the Losers Game 
Dual Momentum Investing
Rich Dad Poor Dad
Trend Following
A Wealth of Common Sense
Margin of Safety
The Elements of Investing 
The Millionaire Next Door
Expected Returns
Investing at Level 3
Investor’s Manifesto
Security Analysis
Simple Wealth, Inevitable Wealth
Stocks for the Long Run 
The Wealthy Barber
Unconventional Success
Fail-Safe Investing: Lifelong Financial Security in 30 Minutes by Harry Browne
Fooled by Randomness 
How To Make Money In Stocks 
The Alchemy of Finance
The Intelligent Asset Allocator
All About Asset Allocation
Asset Allocation
Common Sense on Mutual Funds:
Millennial Money: How Young Investors Can Build a Fortune
The Investment Answer 
The Laws of Wealth: Psychology and the secret to investing success 
Thinking, Fast and Slow
Unexpected Returns
What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars by Jim Paul and Brendan Moynihan
You Can Be a Stock Market Genius 
Your Money and Your Brain
Against the Gods…the Remarkable Story of Risk
Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits
DIY Financial Advisor: A Simple Solution to Build and Protect Your Wealth
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds