Best Finance Books for Beginners and Advanced Traders 2022 • Benzinga

What do good finance books have in common?

Good stories are the essentials of any finance book. A few of the books on this list are even stories in their own right. Good financial writing should be:

  • Engaging: Good books allow you to turn the pages, without looking at your phone or TV.
  • Encourages reflection: You should learn new ideas or at least get 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 captivating anecdotes backed by empirical evidence helps the reader fully understand the concepts involved.

Our most voted finance books

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

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

A random walk down Wall Street
by Burton G. Malkiel

One of the original guides to investing and money management from a seasoned economist who spent nearly 30 years with The Vanguard Group. Malkiel’s novel is a global review of the world of finance filled with timeless advice. You’ll revisit the South Sea and Tulip Bulb bubbles, two events that showed how emotions can turn our common urges into messy outbursts. Some heavy topics are covered, but the author’s narration and personal financial wisdom keep you from asking. 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. Duped by chance by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Duped by chance
by Nassim Nicholas TalebDuped by chance by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Speaking of storytelling, there’s no greater storyteller than the human brain. We are trained to look for patterns in everything: stock charts, health patterns, even the cards dealt to us in a poker game. But what our brain has trouble understanding is the concept of chance. Why do we search so hard for the meaning of arbitrary events? One of the key works to contemplate how chance influences our lives and how often 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 Gate: 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 company after he declared he was going to take the company private. Investment manager Henry Kravis then staged one of the largest leveraged buyout bids in history and went to war with Johnson for control of Nabisco.

As the bids escalated, some major Wall Street players entered the fray. Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, and Salomon Brothers all played a role 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. Adam Smith’s Money Game

The Money Game by Adam SmithThe money game
by Adam Smith

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

His first non-fiction book is The money gameone of the first publications to break down financial markets by examining the players involved (and their incentives).

The market is a game, and the scariest moment comes when players realize they may 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
by Scott Patterson

Technology has reshaped markets around the world and Dark Pools tells the story of the prophets who changed them forever. Thanks to some sophisticated math geniuses, automation and AI have started to creep into the world of finance.

Follow the life of computer wizard Josh Levine as he builds ever more advanced trading systems. As technology increases, so does speed. Soon, trades are being made in fractions of a second with huge sums of money looking for the smallest 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’ll Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

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

When he wrote his Common Sense book, Ramit Sethi was a young professional trying to get through life on a budget. But the lessons in this book are something every college student or fresh graduate needs to hear.

You’ll get practical tips not only on budgeting and saving, but also on how to contact your bank and brokerage to get better deals. Want to learn a way to get your credit card provider to lower your interest rate? Or maybe you want 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, entertaining you all the way.

Get it on Amazon

Kindle Edition: $1.99
Also available in paperback and hardcover

Honorable mentions

There are too many great reads out there, 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 during the boom in mortgage-backed securities. It’s the prequel to The big court.
  • Irrational exuberance by Robert Shiller: A Nobel Prize-winning economist explains the madness of crowds. Published a month before the dotcom bubble collapsed, Dr. Shiller turns Alan Greenspan’s most famous quote into a warning for overzealous investors.
  • Thinking about betting: 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 play call at the goal line in Super Bowl 49…or did he? This book shows how we evaluate decisions based on outcomes and why that’s a terrible way to think.
  • rich dad, poor dad by Robert Kiyosaki: Pay yourself first. It’s a simple rule that rich parents teach their children, so why isn’t everyone heeding the advice? The rich teach their children different money lessons than the middle class and Kiyosaki learned this difference from his two “fathers”.
  • Where are the client’s yachts? by Fred Schwed: Have you ever noticed how the fund manager drives a more luxurious car than any of his clients? A hilarious look inside Wall Street’s promotion machine and some tips to protect yourself from charlatans.

Final Thoughts

Good financial reading like this doesn’t require an MBA. Next time you’re gearing up 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 money habits and having fun too.