Best Finance Books for Beginner and Advanced Traders 2021 • Benzinga


The word “finance book” conjures up images of pages riddled with math, graphics and dry verbiage, doesn’t it? Wait, though. The best finance books are still powerful teaching tools, and there are hundreds of “must-see” books just a click away. We will prove it.

At a glance: the best finance books to read right now

  1. A random walk on Wall Street by Burton G. Malkiel

  2. Deceived by chance by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

  3. Barbarians at the door: the fall of RJR Nabisco by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar

  4. Gambling by Adam Smith

  5. Dark pools by Scott Patterson

  6. I will teach you how to be rich by Ramit Sethi

What do good finance books have in common?

Good stories are the essentials of any financial book. A few of the books on this list are even full-fledged stories. Good financial writing should be:

  • Engaging: Good books let you turn the pages, without looking at your phone or TV.
  • Thought-provoking: You should learn new ideas or at least have a different perspective on some common ideas.
  • Offer a good mix of anecdotes and evidence: Every story needs evidence to back it up. A good mix of compelling anecdotes backed up by empirical evidence helps the reader fully understand the concepts involved.

Our most voted financial books

Here are six books Benzinga recommends if you’ve just finished college or starting to save for retirement.

1. A Random Walk on Wall Street by Burton G. Malkiel

A random walk on Wall Street
by Burton G. Malkiel

One of the earliest guides to investing and managing money from a seasoned economist who spent nearly 30 years with The Vanguard Group. Malkiel’s novel is a global financial journal filled with timeless advice. You will revisit the bubbles of the South Sea and the tulip bulb, two events that showed how emotions can transform our common desires into unleashed explosions. There are some heavy topics covered, but the author’s storytelling and personal financial wisdom keep you from letting him down. Oh, that and the jokes. There’s a reason it’s been in print for over 40 years.

Get it on Amazon

Kindle Edition: $ 11.98
Also available in paperback and hardcover

2. Deceived by chance by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Deceived by chance
by Nassim Nicholas TalebDeceived by Chance by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Speaking of storytelling, there is no better storyteller than the human brain. We are trained to look for trends in everything: stock charts, health habits, even the cards we receive in a game of poker. But what our brains struggle to understand is the concept of randomness. Why do we search so hard for the meaning of arbitrary events? One of the flagship works is contemplating how chance influences our lives and how many times we are mystified when we do everything right and still have no luck.

Get it on Amazon

Kindle Edition: $ 15.49
Also available in paperback and hardcover

3. Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar

Barbarians at the door: the fall of RJR Nabisco
by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar

Ross Johnson, CEO of Nabisco, and the excessive greed of the 1980s drove him into a high-stakes battle for his own business after he said he would take the private business. Investment manager Henry Kravis then staged one of the largest leveraged buyout deals in history and went to war with Johnson for control of Nabisco.

As the offers intensified, some major players on Wall Street entered the battle. Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, and Salomon Brothers all played a part in this battle, and we won’t reveal the ending. You will have to find out for yourself.

Get it on Amazon

Kindle Edition: $ 15.29
Also available in paperback and hardcover

4. Gambling by Adam Smith

The Money Game by Adam SmithGambling
by Adam Smith

This book was actually written by George Goodman, a vocal critic of economists, who he says often makes unwarranted assumptions.

His first non-fiction book is Gambling, one of the first publications to break down the financial markets by focusing on the actors involved (and their motivations).

The market is a game, and the scariest moment comes when players realize that they might not even know the ever-changing rules of the game.

Get it on Amazon

Kindle Edition: $ 9.99
Also available in paperback and hardcover

5. Scott Patterson’s Dark Pools

Dark Pools by Scott PattersonDark pools
through Scott Patterson

Technology has reshaped markets around the world, and Dark Pools tells the story of the prophets who changed them forever. Thanks to a few sophisticated mathematical geniuses, automation and AI began to creep into the world of finance.

Follow the life of computer assistant Josh Levine as he creates increasingly advanced trading systems. As technology increases, so does speed. Soon trades are completed in fractions of a second with huge sums of money chasing smaller spreads and arbitrage opportunities. Patterson explores the rise of high frequency trading, automated trading systems and whether we have the right tools to control an increasingly AI-infused world.

Get it on Amazon

Kindle Edition: $ 9.99
Also available in paperback and hardcover

6. I will teach you how to be rich from Ramit Sethi

I will teach you to be rich by Ramit SethiI will teach you how to be rich
by Ramit Sethi

When he wrote his book Common Sense, Ramit Sethi was a young professional trying to live on a budget. But the lessons in this book are something every student and recent graduate needs to hear.

You will get practical advice not only on budgeting and saving, but also on how to contact your bank and brokerage for better deals. Want to learn a way to get your credit card provider to lower your interest rate? Or maybe you would like your bank to waive overdraft fees? Sethi explains how to automate your money and take control of your finances without complex theories. This book is guaranteed to simplify your financial life, keep you entertained throughout.

Get it on Amazon

Kindle Edition: $ 1.99
Also available in paperback and hardcover

Honorable mentions

There are too many great reads on the market, but we can’t cover them all. Here are some extras to complete our list:

  • Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis: Lewis takes a look at Wall Street as mortgage-backed securities expand. This is the prequel to The big court.
  • Irrational exuberance by Robert Shiller: Nobel Laureate Economist Explains Crowd Madness. Posted a month before the dot-com bubble collapsed, Dr. Shiller turns Alan Greenspan’s most famous quote into a warning to overzealous investors.
  • Thinking About Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts by Annie Duke: Seahawks coach Pete Carroll cost himself a championship with a pass call goal line in Super Bowl 49… or did he? This book shows how we score decisions based on results and why that’s the wrong way to think.
  • Rich daddy, poor daddy by Robert Kiyosaki: Pay yourself first. It’s a simple rule that rich parents teach their kids, so why isn’t everyone heeding the advice? The rich teach their children money lessons that are different from those of the middle class, and Kiyosaki learned this difference from his two “fathers.”
  • Where are the customers’ yachts? by Fred Schwed: Have you ever noticed how the fund manager drives a more fancy car than any of his clients? A hilarious look inside the Wall Street promotion machine and some tips for keeping charlatans off your back.

Final thoughts

Good financial readings like these don’t require an MBA. The next time you’re getting ready for a relaxing vacation or even just a quiet evening at home, pick up one of these books. Chances are, you’ll end up improving your financial habits and having fun as well.

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