FocusInvestor.com: Recommended Reading

 

THE FOCUSED FEW by author Richard M.Rockwood, demonstrates that successful investing is about more than finances and the stock market.

Check out the seven principles of focus investing, including:
  • Develop a Mental Framework
  • Purchase High-Quality Companies at Bargain-Bin Prices
  • Understand the Importance of Bubbles and Credit Cycles
  • Learn to Engage in Special-Situation Investing
 
Quick links to the book recommendation sections:
Warren Buffett Book Recommendations
Charlie Munger Book Recommendations
Books & Videos about Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway
Modern Investment Books

Classic Investment Books
This list includes all the "classic" investing books that I recommend focus investors read. A careful examination of these books will certainly help you achieve your goal of becoming a better investor. Please note that this Internet site has a revenue sharing agreement with Amazon.com and thus receives a small commission on all books purchased through the links posted below.

Security Analysis
(Benjamin Graham & David Dodd)

725 pages, 1934 McGraw-Hill Reprint Edition
A Focused Must Read!

This book is considered to be the Bible of fundamental security analysis. Benjamin Graham (with David Dodd), the father of security analysis, wrote the first of four editions of this book in 1934. Mr. Graham teaches readers how to safely invest in businesses by covering, in detail, all the factors that contribute to understanding how to value companies. This book is not a light read and the reader will have to commit time and effort to complete it, but the effort will be well rewarded.


Security Analysis (1940 Reprint Edition)
(Benjamin Graham & David Dodd)

752 pages, 2002 McGraw-Hill
A Focused Must Read!

Kindle Edition

This book is considered to be the Bible of fundamental security analysis. Benjamin Graham (with David Dodd), the father of security analysis, wrote the first of four editions of this book in 1934. Mr. Graham teaches readers how to safely invest in businesses by covering, in detail, all the factors that contribute to understanding how to value companies. This book is not a light read and the reader will have to commit time and effort to complete it, but the effort will be well rewarded. The 1940 edition is considered to the best edition according to Mr. Warren Buffett (as stated on dust jacket of this edition) since it is the last edition written primarily by Mr. Graham and Mr. Dodd.


Security Analysis (1951 Reprint Edition)
(Benjamin Graham & David Dodd)

770 pages, 2004 McGraw-Hill
A Focused Must Read!

This book is considered to be the Bible of fundamental security analysis. Benjamin Graham (with David Dodd), the father of security analysis, wrote the first of four editions of this book in 1934. Mr. Graham teaches readers how to safely invest in businesses by covering, in detail, all the factors that contribute to understanding how to value companies. This book is not a light read and the reader will have to commit time and effort to complete it, but the effort will be well rewarded. The 1951 edition is quite a bit different then the two previous editions and focuses much more on equity investing.


Security Analysis, Sixth Edition
(Benjamin Graham & David Dodd)

766 pages, 2008 McGraw-Hill
A Focused Must Read!

Kindle Edition

Collector's Edition

This book is considered to be the Bible of fundamental security analysis.

Seth Klarman, one of the truly great investors of this generation, became the lead editor of a team of modern day investors who provided new prospectives on each chapter.

View a short introduction to the book by Seth Klarman here.


The Intelligent Investor
(Benjamin Graham)

340 pages, 1974 Harper & Row
A Focused Must Read!

Kindle Edition

Mr. Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway has called The Intelligent Investor "By far the best book on investing ever written."

Mr. Graham wrote this book to be more comprehensible to the average investor than Security Analysis. I consider this book to be a required read for anyone interested in investing, it provides a great framework for thinking about investing. Special attention should be paid to Chapter 8 (The Investor and Market Fluctuations) and Chapter 20 ("Margin of Safety" as the Central Concept of Investments). A through understanding of these two chapters is vital to successful investing. I would also strongly recommend reading Appendix 1: The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville, this essay proves how successful the approach taught by Mr. Graham can be in practice.


The Intelligent Investor: Revised Edition with comments by Jason Zweig
(Benjamin Graham)


640 pages, 2008 Collins Business
A Focused Must Read!

Kindle Edition

The same text as in the classic edition 4th edition but Mr. Zweig has included commentary on each chapter of the book and added recent examples to "...show you just how relevant - and how liberating - Graham's principles remain today."


The Intelligent Investor: The Classic Text on Value Investing
(Benjamin Graham)


304 pages, 2005 HarperBusiness
A Focused Must Read!

The Intelligent Investor, called by Warren Buffett "by far the best book on investing ever written" was published in four editions. The first edition, published in 1949, is reproduced here.


The Interpretation of Financial Statements
(Benjamin Graham and Spencer Meredith)


Various Editions and Printings

An excellent beginner's guide on how to read and analyze financial statements. Accounting is the language of business and if you plan to become an investor you must learn how to read it. I would recommend the 1964 revised edition of this book if you can locate it.


Margin of Safety
(Seth Klarman)


249 pages, 1991 HarperCollins

A classic primer on value investing by Seth Klarman of The Baupost Group.


Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits
(Philip Fisher)


256 pages, 1958 Harper
A Focused Must Read!

This book is an investment classic because it's one of two books Mr. Buffett credited with helping in framing his investment thinking. Mr. Buffett once said that he was "15 percent (Philip) Fisher and 85 percent Benjamin Graham.". The key concepts of this book is Mr. Fisher explaining why investors should concentrate their investments and why they should hold their positions for the long term. Fisher's thorough examination of the fifteen qualities of an excellent business is just one reason to purchase this superb work.


Paths to Wealth Through Common Stocks
(Philip Fisher)


213 pages, 2007 Reprint
A Focused Must Read!

Kindle Edition

"I'd also recommend the first two books that Phil Fisher wrote back around 1960 - Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and his second one - Paths to Wealth Through Common Stocks. Those are very good books." Warren Buffett at the 1996 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting (p. 39, August 6, 1996, OID)


The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money
(John Maynard Keynes)


336 pages, 2009 Reprint
A Focused Must Read!

Kindle Edition

Mr. Buffett recommended reading Chapter 12 of this book at the 1994 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting and I certainly concur! (June 23, 1994, OID)


Where are the Customers' Yachts?: A Good Hard Look at Wall Street

(Fred Schwed, Jr.)


208 pages, 2006 Wiley
A Focused Must Read!

For anyone who has followed the activities of Wall Street for a prolonged period with a somewhat critical eye this book will certainly strike home. The author criticizes, in a humorous but thoughtful way, certain investment thought processes and the way Wall Street operates. The author spent two years on Wall Street in the 1920s and so had a fascinating perspective of the times.

He updated the book in 1955, supplying a new introduction in which he stated he didn't think the book needed retouching as it might spoil it. He also made fun of his own actions as a customer making purchases in the stock market. Truly a classic investment text!


Oldies but Goodies

The Money Game
(Adam Smith)


272 pages, 1976 Vintage

This book offers a unique view of how Wall Street works while playing "The Money Game". Nice commentary on how speculators "invested" in the sixties, I enjoyed comparing the environment then to what I observe happening today in the market. Also a interesting look at why people involved in "The Money Game" act the way they do.


Unaccountable Accounting: Games Accountants Play
(Abraham Briloff)


365 pages, 1972 Harpercollins

If your looking to improve your forensic accounting skills I recommend reading this book written by Professor Abraham Briloff (Emanuel Saxe Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Baruch College, New York). Here is a link to an Internet page about him.



More Debits Than Credits: The Burnt Investor's Guide to Financial Statements
(Abraham Briloff)


453 pages, 1976 Harpercollins

If your looking to improve your forensic accounting skills I recommend reading this book written by Professor Abraham Briloff (Emanuel Saxe Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Baruch College, New York). Here is a link to an Internet page about him.


 

Supermoney
(Adam Smith)

298 pages, 2006 Wiley

Kindle Edition

"In this book, Adam Smith says I like baseball metaphors. He's right. So I will just describe this book as the equivalent of the performance of Don Larsen on October 8, 1956. For the uninitiated, that was the day he pitched the only perfect game in World Series history." Warren Buffett

Supermoney discusses in detail the crisis the market was involved in during 1970. I strongly recommend reading Chapter 5: Somebody Must Have Done Something Right: The Lessons of The Master. The chapter discusses Benjamin Graham and Mr. Buffett and is a very interesting read. (Notice the year that Mr. Smith discovered Mr. Buffett!)


Contrarian Investment Strategy: The Psychology of Stock-Market Success
(David Dreman)


302 pages, 1979 Random House

This is the original edition of the Contrarian Investment Strategy book by David Dreman. Mr. Warren Buffett had this to say about the 1979 edition, "That rarity - An extremely readable and useful book that will be of great value both to the layman and the professional." I agree with Mr. Buffett and I also found the book to be a very interesting and insightful read.