In the first part of this article (, I had excluded a few good books from Subramoney must read investing books list for their overlap of the content. I am including these books in this article. It helps to read all these books despite their overlap of the content because the more you read, the clearer your understanding of investing becomes.

I have not included the books that are more relevant for direct equity investors in both the articles.


The Four Pillars of Investing – William Bernstein

Like ‘A Random Walk Down Wall Street’ this book covers all important aspects of investing. It is more comprehensive and covers almost everything from William Bernstein’s earlier book ‘The Intelligent Asset Allocator’.


Stocks for the Long Run – Jeremy Siegel

This is a good book on equity investing. It is an optional read if you have read ‘A Random Walk Down Wall Street’, ‘The Four Pillars of Investing’ and ‘Bogle on Mutual Funds’.


The Black Swan – Nassim Taleb

‘The Black Swan’ improves your understanding of risk and changes the way you look at the world. This is a must read.


A Short History of Financial Euphoria – John Kenneth Galbraith

This small book briefly covers Tulip Mania, Mississippi and South Sea bubbles, the crash of 1929 and the meltdown of 1987. The language is easy to understand, and the book is full of insights and wisdom.


Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds – Charles Mackay

This classic first published in 1841 is a must read for its three chapters on Tulip Mania, Mississippi bubble and South Sea bubble. It is a fascinating book that provides accounts of these three economic bubbles better than all the books that followed.


The Great Crash 1929 – John Kenneth Galbraith

The study of the 1929 crash is an important part of investor education. ‘The great crash of 1929’ is therefore a must read for all investors and advisers.



Capital Ideas – Peter Bernstein

Many investing ideas and theories we use today were not always available for investors. There were men who developed these ideas and brought them into the mainstream. ‘Capital Ideas’ chronicles the history of these ideas and tells stories of the men behind them. It is a difficult book to read.


Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes – Gary Belsky & Thomas Gilovich

This book is a good introduction to behavioural economics. The awareness about psychological factors like mental accounting, sunk cost fallacy, confirmation bias etc. can change the way you think about money and help you form better thinking habits related to money.


Parag Parikh’s book ‘Stocks to Riches’ is also on behavioural finance. You may find nothing new in it if you have read other books in this list.


The Money Game – Adam Smith

This is an interesting book full of wisdom into the working of financial markets and different actors playing their part in it. The author is different from Adam Smith of ‘The Wealth of Nations’. Adam Smith is the pen name the author uses.


If you read all books in this list, you are unlikely to use actively managed funds. But if you use actively managed funds, it helps to read books on stock investing. Because, when you understand stock investing, you don’t have unrealistic expectations from the fund manager. You appreciate that all investing styles and fund managers go through periods of underperformance. You don’t expect your fund manager to outperform peers and benchmark every year because no fund manager can.



Swapnil Kendhe


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  1. Hariharan Ragunathan

    Have read all and loved each book.especially Galbraith’s euphoria book is good read at this time. One other book I would add in this list would be – How genius failed – about LTCM Failure.

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