5 Must-Read Investing Books

The most successful leaders always had one thing in common: they never stopped learning. As Charlie Munger, Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway puts it:

Those who keep learning will keep rising in life

If you’re looking on improving your investing knowledge, you’ve come to the right place! Here are the 5 must-read investing books:

1. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham


Benjamin Graham forever changed the investing world with this timeless contribution. He builds the foundation of value investing by providing the concept of Mr. Market, defensive investing and margin of safety. This iconic book is considered by many the bible of investing, and for Warren Buffett:

“I picked up a copy of The Intelligent Investor. It not only changed my investment philosophy, it really changed my whole life- I’d be a different person in a different place if I hadn’t seen that book…it was Ben’s ideas that sent me down the right path.” 

Pick up your copy of this classic: here.

2. The Most Important Thing Illuminated by Howard Marks


Howard Marks shares his thoughts on value investing in this mind-shattering book. He gets straight to the point on investing subjects such as second-level thinking, market efficiencies, value, contrarianism, risk, randomness and the other aspects that make up the 20 most important things. To make this book even better, there are even commentaries from other leading investing managers such as Seth Klarman, Christopher Davis and Joel Greenblatt. Marks’ work is even praised by legendary founder and former CEO of The Vanguard Group, John C. Bogle:

“Few books on investing match the high standards set by Howard Marks in The Most Important Thing…If you seek to avoid the pitfalls of investing, you must read this book!”

Find this invaluable book: here.

3. A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton G. Malkiel


Burton G. Malkiel’s best seller is jam-packed with quality investment insights and financial history. It takes a look at stocks and their values, analyzes both fundamental and technical analysis while comparing them to the random walk theory. Furthermore, he explores the concepts of EMH (efficient market hypothesis), smart-beta and rebalancing. He puts much emphasis on indexing and diversification through no-load, low cost funds and ETFs. The later chapters consists of personal finance and investing strategies for different age groups. Whether you’re a starter or expert in investing, this book is a must-read. Find it: here.

4. Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits by Philip A. Fisher


Known as a pioneer of Growth Investing, Philip A. Fisher’s contribution to the investing world will not be forgotten. In this book, consisting of 3 parts, he lays out the a general description in what to look for in stocks, and when to buy. He opens the book with his concept of “Scuttlebutt”, then puts in 15 detailed points to look for in common stocks, as well as 10 investor don’ts. In the second part, Fisher outlines his 4 dimensions in which he describes cues to look for in companies, such as the company’s superiority in production, research, marketing and financial skills. He notes the importance of employees and management, investment characteristics of certain businesses, conservative investments and much more. Fisher closes the book with his philosophy along with its evolution that has made him one of the most influential investors. Find this book: here.

5. Technical Analysis of the Financial Markets by John J. Murphy


John J. Murphy provides the fundamentals of technical analysis in simple enough terms for anyone to understand. You’ll learn the trends and essentials of chart analysis. This book gives excellent graphical examples of various price patterns and reversals. Furthermore, it teaches the basic methods of analysis, you’ll learn about moving averages, MACD, RSI, Bollinger Bands, and all the other fancy technical indicator terms. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced investor, this is a classic for the technical investor. Find it: here.

Through chances various, through all vicissitudes, we make our way…


Those are the first words printed on The Intelligent Investor. I read this timeless classic some years ago and this quote made an impression on me. I’ve revisited it twice since, and every time I read it, not only does it get better, but I appreciate this quote more and more.

If it’s your very first time reading The Intelligent Investor, know that I am envious of you, the feeling of learning new knowledge of this quality is rare, and no words can describe that state of enlightenment. I invite you take your time and enjoy the invaluable information you will gain. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have, and that you will revisit it in years to come.

5 CEO Qualities You Need

Some of the greatest leaders and CEOs share very similar qualities and traits. There are so many factors that contributed to their success. We might not be able to reproduce their exact skills or knowledge, but we can gain their qualities! Below is your quality checklist:

1. Humility & Kindness 

Many of the greatest CEOs, including Ken Iverson, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett and Chuck Feeney are very quiet and modest individuals.
Inside The F8 Facebook Developers Conference
Photo from Wired.com
In fact, Zuckerberg doesn’t wear fancy chains or shoes, but wears a hoodie and t shirt to work. He plans to give away 98% of his Facebook stock during his lifetime.
Photo from Freebeacon.com
Warren Buffett still lives in his 50 year-old home in Omaha he bought for $31,500. For a long time, he drove a 2006 Cadillac DTS. Already donating more than $21 billion, he plans to donate more than 99% of his fortune.
Chuck Feeney
Photo from Wisdomspoon.com
Chuck Feeney, Co-Founder of Duty Free Shoppers, nearly donated his whole fortune, an estimated $7 billion to various education and health organizations. He even wears an under $15 Casio watch during interviews. His estimated worth today is $2 million.

Own up to your mistakes.

Top CEOs will acknowledge when they have made a mistake. No one is perfect and mistakes are part of learning.
Warren Buffett publicly speaks out about his mistakes. Of course, admitting is not enough, you must prepare a course of action so mistakes do not repeat themselves.
“Most of you have never heard of Energy Future Holdings. Consider yourselves lucky; I certainly wish I hadn’t…About $2 billion of the debt was purchased by Berkshire, pursuant to a decision I made without consulting with Charlie. That was a big mistake”… “we suffered a pre-tax loss of $873 million. Next time I’ll call Charlie.”
-Berkshire Hathaway Annual Letter 2013

WE, not I.

The greatest CEOs have always credited the individuals whom contributed to the company. They seldom spoke about themselves during interviews and when they did, they never boasted.Be humble and understanding. The expert was once a beginner:
“Don’t be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn’t do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today.”
– Malcom X

2. Ever-growing passion

“Without passion, you don’t have energy, without energy, you have nothing.”
– Warren Buffett
Many of the greatest entrepreneurs and CEOs work in fields they love. Bill Gates loves computers and the technology sector. Warren Buffett loves investing and businesses. Richard Branson has a passion for space and innovations. Steve Jobs had a passion for simple innovations.
“…the only way to do great work, is to do love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it”.
– Steve Jobs
With passion, comes continuous learning.
A true passion of a subject will drive you to learn everything you can about it. To be curious and to master it. To continuously innovate and envision.
“Vision is perhaps our greatest strength… it has kept us alive to the power and continuity of thought through the centuries, it makes us peer into the future and lends shape to the unknown.”
-Li Ka Shing

3. Independent thinker

“You are right not because others agree with you, but because your facts and reasonings are sound.”
-Benjamin Graham
The greatest leaders were never afraid to stand alone, go against the status quo and defend their beliefs. They are able to ignore the noise and concentrate on the facts and their own ideas. They don’t allow the opinion other’s to drown out their own.
Steve Jobs believed and stood firm on his designs when they were deemed unconventional and highly probable to fail.
Warren Buffett bought shares of companies (such as Goldman Sachs) during the financial meltdown in 2007-2008 while everyone else was selling and panicking. Learning to hold your head in while everyone else is losing theirs is crucial. One contributing factor that will help you in times of mayhem is emotional intelligence.
“The key to success is emotional stability.” -Warren Buffett

4. Adaptability & Open-mindedness


 Photo from Maniacworld.com
“Notice how the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, but the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”
-Bruce Lee
The top of the food chain has seen it all; from the flash- crash in 1987, dot-com bust, the sub-prime mortgage crisis to falling crude oil prices (again): their company will go through hell, but they adjusted their strategies and afterwards, not only survived, but excelled. Change when the facts change and always having the ability to adapt will help you overcome unforeseen obstacles.
“In Chinese we have a saying: If you want to be successful, whatever your business or position, you need to accept different opinions and different people.”
– Li Ka-Shing
Viewing the opinions of peers and competitors will always be beneficial. The more knowledge, the better your chances are at success. The open-minded individual is able to extract ideas from all sources; studying their weaknesses and strengths may contribute to innovative ideas.
“Why did the Yangtze become a long river? It’s because it can accept smaller rivers and become big.”
-Li Ka-Shing

5. Patience & Persistence

 “Patience is a key element of success.” – Bill Gates
These are self-explanatory qualities. Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither was Microsoft, Apple or Berkshire Hathaway. The latter required more than 50 years of consistently good management and decision making for it to become the giant it is today.
It takes time to master skills, to implement business strategies and to see results. Long term objectives paired with persistent day to day actions are key.
“The stock market is designed to transfer money from the active to the patient.”
– Warren Buffett
Notice that the qualities of some of the greatest CEOs are very simple. Nothing too fancy requiring excessive human intellect (lucky for us, eh?).
Here is a quick summary:
1. Humility: Practice humility. Be Humble and give back when you can.
2. Passion: Be passionate, love what you do. It will give you the energy to excel in it.
3. Independent thinking: Think for yourself, know the facts and stand your ground when
4. Be open-minded: be open to new knowledge, be curious and also have the willingness to adapt when needed.
5. Patience: Great things take time to build. It’s not gonna be easy, but nothing of value comes easy. Time is the ally of the one who is passionate and willing to learn.
I would recommend the following combination on leadership:
The Outsiders by William N. Thorndike
Good To Great by Jim Collins
The Boston Consulting Group on Strategy by Carl W. Stern & Michael S. Deimler
Of course, JMO (just my opinion) Cheers 🙂