The Best Beginner Personal Finance Books to Learn How to Invest

1. More Straight Talk on Investing by Jack Brennan

First on our list is More Straight Talk on Investing by former Vanguard CEO Jack Brennan. It’s an update to his 2004 book Straight Talk on Investing and could easily be the only book on investing you ever read.

He covers every topic a new or experienced investor needs. The book assumes no previous knowledge on investing, and walks through everything from asset allocation to mutual funds, diversification to fees. Perhaps the most important part of the book comes in Part IV, Stay the Course. It’s here that Jack discuss the importance of sticking to your investment plan, in good times and bad.



15. Japanese Candlestick Charting Techniques

Book: Japanese Candlestick Charting Techniques Author: Steven Nison

This book introduces candlestick charting, which some investors may find useful in their trading. It sure helps to make charts more visual!

Best for Millennials: The Financial Diet

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An Indie Personal Finance Bestseller, The Financial Diet is a great starting point for millennials who need a crash course on managing their finances. It focuses on how to create and adhere to a budget, tips for having those awkward money conversations with friends, and even what ingredients to keep stocked in your kitchen (because eating out is a major budget killer). It also hits on more advanced finance topics, such as how to care for your house or get started with investing. Author Chelsea Fagan founded the popular website and YouTube channel, The Financial Diet.

4. Retirement Planning Guidebook: Navigating the Important Decisions for Retirement Success by Dr. Wade Pfau

For those in or near retirement, the Retirement Planning Guidebook is a must read. Dr. Pfau covers every aspect of retirement planning, from sustainable spending to annuities to long-term care planning.

What I appreciate most about this book is that it is agnostic when it comes to strategy. He’s neither pushing insurance products such as annuities are running away from them. They are just one of many tools a retiree can consider to help them reach their goals.

His discussion of the 4% rule is alone worth the cost of the book. He walks through the origins of the rule, and then puts it through his own evaluation. He tackles tough questions such as income investing, retirements that last longer than 30 years, and spending patterns in retirement. He even covers the bucket strategy, an approach I don’t embrace.

If you are in or nearing retirement, this is the book for you.

20. Encyclopedia of Chart Patterns

Book: Encyclopedia of Chart Patterns Author: Thomas Bulkowski

An extremely detailed work that rivals “Technical Analysis of Stock Trends” and should provide traders with a complete understanding of chart patterns. The hard work is to apply the knowledge.

Best for Value Investing: The Little Book of Value Investing

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Value investing is the practice of purchasing stocks that are undervalued and holding them for longer periods of time, ideally earning returns when those stocks rebound. Though not a new concept, it’s an undervalued one for many investors (pun intended). Christopher Browne’s The Little Book of Value Investing shows readers how to put this strategy into action to purchase bargain stocks and grow your portfolio. This title has earned glowing reviews from The Independent, Financial Times (U.K.), Bloomberg, and The Wall Street Journal.

Best on Index Funds: The Little Book of Common Sense Investing

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The updated 10th-anniversary edition of "The Little Book of Common Sense Investing" came out in 2017, and it’s another that belongs on the bookshelves of both professional and armchair investors managing their own accounts at home.

This book explains one of the most popular investment strategies today and one that works in employer-sponsored retirement accounts and accounts you run on your own: index funds.

Author John C. Bogle believes that low-cost index funds are by far the best option for investors and leans on other investors to prove his case. But his theories go beyond those of academia — Bogle is the founder and retired CEO of Vanguard, an investment management firm with over $5 trillion under management.

Best on Housing Market: Irrational Exuberance

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Robert Shiller is such a well-known and well-respected economist that he has his own index named after him. The Case-Shiller Home Price Index is based on work by Shiller and Karl Case. The Nobel Prize winner forecasted the tech and housing bubbles, and readers look to his text to better understand how bubbles happen.

Bubbles and market cycles are important to understand, and a well-formulated investment strategy can help you avoid the biggest pitfalls of the boom and bust cycle. Shiller argues that psychologically driven volatility is a risk in all asset markets, including the stock market.

This updated edition of "Irrational Exuberance" includes a look at the stock, housing, and bond markets so you can better spot the next bubble and prepare yourself before it bursts.

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