15 Best Value Investing Books of All Time: Every Investor Must Read

Listed below are few of the best 15 Investing books of all time, which I believe every investor must read at least once in their lifetime.

Related: The importance of reading if you haven’t made a habit of it.

These books are listed in the order of how you can start reading them, but there’s no rule. Start with whichever you feel like. I re-read many of these randomly because there’s always something new to be learnt from the same old books. This is why I prefer carrying hard copies along with me so you can go through them again anytime. You can click on the title if you’d like to grab any of them.

1. The Intelligent Investor : The Definitive Book on Value Investing (Benjamin Graham)

A book that every investor must own written by Benjamin Graham, who grew up under extreme poverty, which motivated him to earn more money. He studied, started with a job, left the job, then started his own investing firm. After the market crash of 1929, he took leverage (debt, to magnify returns) assuming the market would go up but it went further down turning out to be America’s great depression and lost huge fortune for his clients.

That is when he started focusing on value investing and wrote several books. This one is a classic masterpiece where he teaches us “value investing” and my favorite part of this book are the chapter 8 about Mr. Market and the market fluctuations and the chapter 20.

2. One Up On Wall Street: How To Use What You Already Know To Make Money In The Market (Peter Lynch)

Peter Lynch, who managed Fidelity’s Magellan mutual fund from 1977 till 1990 until he retired. When he retired, that fund grew from $18 million in assets to $14 billion. In those 13 years, a single share of the Magellan fund increased 900% in value, a 29.2% annual return, and outperformed the stock market by 13.4% annually. That’s an incredible run, without much question the best run of more than ten years ever by a mutual fund manager.

More importantly, in this book, he mentioned several advantages an individual investor has over the fund managers that can be used to create long term wealth. A great an easy read, written for new investors.

3. Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings (Philip Fisher)

Philip Fisher was a very successful investor. Moreover, he had a great influence on Warren Buffet. Buffett himself has stated he is “85% Graham and 15% Fisher.” Philip Fisher was interested in growth stocks. His philosophy was to invest in well managed high-quality “growth stocks” for long term. He was famously quoted as saying the best time to sell a stock is almost never. His most famous stock pick was Motorola, which he purchased in 1955 and held until his death.

4. Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T Munger (Peter Kaufman)

I feel this one is the best book after the Intelligent Investor on “value investing”. It takes us into the thought processes of Charlie Munger. He describes how and why he thinks the way he does, stresses the importance of learning the basics in the fundamentals of business in order to avoid becoming “the man with a hammer who sees everything as a nail.” i.e. A person who don’t know investing will probably only see the price chart of stocks to judge the business, which is in fact the last thing to look at while investing.

5. A Random Walk down Wall Street: The Time-tested Strategy for Successful Investing (Burton Malkiel)

Burton Malkiel is an economist who supports efficient market hypothesis over the long run. However, in the short term, markets are much more random than any person would believe. His long run = 10+ years. A good book to break the myth of making easy money from day-trading.

6. The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor (Howard Marks)

You can’t do the same things others do and expect to outperform. The most dependable way to outperform the market is to buy something for less than its value. It is price, not quality that determines value: high-quality assets can be risky, and low-quality assets can be safe. A great book for new investor to think and rewire themselves because the biggest problem of any investor is his brain itself and this book helps you to think differently than the crowd.

7. Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life (Alice Schroeder)

This one is a biography of Warren Buffett, the only authentic one and the interesting thing is that it’s written by a CPA (accountant). This book describes the life of Warren Buffett from humble beginnings to becoming one of the richest man on planet. The 3 most important take away from this book are start early, be patient, choose tomorrow over today. Although a biography, the lessons can definitely be applied in investing to develop patience and long-term thinking habit which many investors lack.

 8. The Little Book of Behavioral Investing: How not to be your own worst enemy (James Montier)

This one is a classic masterpiece for controlling our behavior when the market behaves randomly. As Ben Graham stated, often the chief problem of an investor is himself. This book helps us on how not to be your own worst enemy. Only when you understand the biases that we hold, you’ll be able to overcome them. A great read for someone who want to understand the psychological aspect of investing.

9. Value Investing: From Graham to Buffett and Beyond (Bruce Greenwald)

Although a little technical, this book goes into some numbers on showing how the value and price has often no relation and also using complex mathematical models are often of no help. Also you’ll be able to learn the investing strategies of all the famous and successful investors in this book.

Indian Authors

10. The Dhandho Investor: The Low-Risk Value Method to High Returns (Mohnish Pabrai)

We’re always told that the higher risk we take, bigger the reward. However, value investors believe something else. In this book Mohnish Pabrai walks us through the Dhandho investment framework with which you can earn high returns with low risk.

11. Coffee Can Investing: The Low Risk Road to Stupendous Wealth (Pranab Uniyal, Rakshit Ranjan, and Saurabh Mukherjea)

The word Coffee Can Investing comes from an old story where the people used to hide their valuables in the coffee cans and then the cans were put under a mattress to be kept for years or even decades. Similarly, there was a women who only listened to buy orders from the investment management firm and kept the share certificates in the coffee can to never see them again and ignored the sell orders. Which happened out to outperform the investment firms performance. Hence the approach of buying and forgetting.

12. The Unusual Billionaires (Saurabh Mukherjea)

This one is a very well written insightful book about the journey of few successful Indian Companies that have achieved long term success and made a great deal of money for investors. This book explains how to identify potential long term winners by carefully looking at the actions taken by the management of the firm.

13. Value Investing and Behavioral Finance: Insights into Indian Stock Market Realities (Parag Parikh)

From an Indian stock market investor point of view, this book does a good job in making sense about investing behavioral anomalies. You’ll be able to relate to the examples better as its full of examples from Indian companies which other books mentioned above don’t do as they’re filled with foreign companies.

14. Investing in India: A Value Investor’s Guide to the Biggest Untapped Opportunity in the World (Rahul Sarogi)

This book focuses on the value investing opportunities available today in India. The author is a managing director of an investment management firm. He explains certain criteria to separate out the value stocks from other expensive ones. Also a great thing about this book is that it gives you insight on the influence of government, politics and other factors on the Indian stock market.

15. Stocks to Riches: Insights on Investor Behavior (Parag Parikh)

Another book by Parag Parikh who explains different concepts of investing with example. Its a good book for know-nothing investors who wants to start the journey of investing. Things like loss aversion, sunk cost fallacy are explained nicely with example. Also we get to see how as human beings we treat same amount of money differently, if it comes from different sources (aspect of investor behavior).

This is definitely not a complete list. If you have any suggestion, mention in the comment below.

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