2020 showed us the impossibility of predicting the future. Fortunately, protecting your assets and increasing your wealth doesn’t require clairvoyance — just moderate foresight, good guidance and some creativity. With ultra-low interest rates, skyrocketing stock market values and a post-pandemic recovery in view, it’s more important than ever to think about investing in a different way.
This list of top investing books features both proven wisdom and cutting-edge approaches from breakout authors you need to know in 2021.
1. The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness by Morgan Housel
In The Psychology of Money, Morgan Housel discusses the mental game of investing. Through a series of short stories, Housel explores how your background, worldview, ego and pride — not to mention marketing techniques and hidden incentives — influence the financial decisions you make over a lifetime. If you’re an entrepreneur who is used to focusing on the math, this book will help you avoid the investing traps psychology may put in your way.
Best for: Recognizing bias and minimizing emotional decisions
2. The Lifestyle Investor: The 10 Commandments of Cash Flow Investing for Passive Income and Financial Freedom by Justin Donald
Quick disclosure: I’ve known Donald for a while, and he’s helped me turn down some potential deals that I thought were good but turned out to be horrible. An inspiring antidote to conventional investing tomes, The Lifestyle Investor aims to help investors generate positive returns in months rather than years (if ever). The book examines some of Donald’s 100+ unconventional deals, which generated him an eight-figure net worth while maintaining a family-centric lifestyle. This book is a must-read for anyone looking to invest their way out of a job.
Best for: Outside-the-box approaches to generating self-made wealth, passive and recurring income and financial freedom without a job
3. The Path: Accelerating Your Journey to Financial Freedom by Peter Mallouk and Tony Robbins
The Path is the authors’ follow-up to Money: Master the Game and Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook. Like its predecessors, The Path distills decades of financial experience into actionable wisdom. Mallouk helps the reader think like a top-ranked financial advisor, navigating volatile markets and vetting investment vehicles to design a personalized plan. Robbins reveals why now is the best time in history to become an investor and how to recognize your own human needs during financial planning. I’ve watched Mallouk from afar and been impressed with how he’s accelerated his growth.
Best for: Understanding how to create a personal wealth plan and manage risk
4. A Beginner’s Guide to Bitcoin by Matthew R. Kratter
A Beginner’s Guide to Bitcoin is a perfect primer for anyone puzzled by cryptocurrency and the recent surges of bitcoin and Ethereum. This short read contextualizes what bitcoin is, how it works, why it matters, how to buy and store it, where it’s going and how you can avoid beginner’s mistakes when investing. Whether you’re considering accepting bitcoin as payment or pondering ways to diversify your portfolio, this crash course on crypto has you covered. With bitcoin going wild, it’s been a good read for me.
Best for: Those unfamiliar with cryptocurrency and curious about bitcoin in particular
5. Rewire for Wealth: Three Steps Any Woman Can Take to Program Her Brain for Financial Success by Barbara Huson
In Rewire for Wealth, Huson addresses how neurological differences between men’s and women’s brains influence their investment decisions. After the men in her life left her in a financial lurch, Huson developed a proven, methodical approach to eliminating financial behaviors that prevent women from building wealth. Huson’s three-step formula — recognize, reframe and respond differently — will help women entrepreneurs invest with confidence.
Best for: Women who want to become better investors
6. How I Invest My Money: Finance Experts Reveal How They Save, Spend, and Invest by Joshua Brown and Brian Portney
How I Invest My Money, edited by Joshua Brown and Brian Portnoy with illustrations by Carl Richards, includes 25 essays discussing real-world investing decisions by leading financial advisors and writers. The book’s strength lies in the diversity of its perspectives, touching on topics like stocks, bonds, charity, funds, real assets and the psychology of personal financial decisions. This book’s lesson is that there’s no one right way to invest — rather, it guides you toward the ways that are right for you.
Best for: Down-to-earth perspectives on investing
7. The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America curated by Lawrence A. Cunningham
The Essays of Warren Buffett, curated by Lawrence A. Cunningham, features 50 years of the Oracle of Omaha’s famed shareholder letters arranged by topic. In addition to Buffett’s investment wisdom and perspectives on business ethics, readers will appreciate his commonsense approach and straightforward writing style. In these turbulent days, Buffett offers entrepreneurs investment guidance that has stood the test of time.
Best for: Those who want sound financial wisdom without the jargon
8. The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing by Benjamin Graham
Speaking of timeless investing advice, The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham was first published in 1949 and still tops bestseller lists for a reason. Described by Warren Buffett as “the best book on investing ever written,” the enduring wisdom in The Intelligent Investor gets a modern refresh with 21st-century market commentary by Money editor Jason Zwieg. If you’re looking for guidance that’s both time-tested and up-to-the-minute, The Intelligent Investor is for you.
Best for: Sage advice on portfolio management and loss minimization
9. The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns by John C. Bogle
First published in 2007, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing demystifies the investing world and simplifies its myriad of options into a straightforward buy-and-hold strategy of low-cost index funds. In the 10th anniversary edition, mutual fund pioneer John C. Bogle adds new data and two new chapters on retirement investing and asset allocation. If KISS is your mantra, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing will be right up your alley.
Best for: Those who want a simple, time-tested, no-hassle strategy endorsed by Warren Buffett
No matter your investment style, how diversified your portfolio is or your net worth, the most important investment you’ll ever make is in your mindset. These books are an excellent way to level up your financial literacy in 2021 and beyond.
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