Here is a list of books that I would recommend if you want a better understanding of financial markets and investing. I have personally read each book and found them helpful.
1. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefevre--covers the life of legendary investor Jesse Livermore. A must for traders and serious investors. I have probably read this book over 30 times it is that insightful. Free E-Book: Click Here
2. Devil Tak the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation by Edward Chancellor--for the history buffs. Tells you about the history of financial markets along with the numerous panics, scandals, crooks, legends, etc.
3. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham with Commentary by Jason Sweig---the bible for value investing and recommended by Warren Buffett. This book describes how to evaluate and value prospective investments.
4. How to Trade in Stocks by Jesse Livermore---written by the master himself this book details Livermore's trading methods and strategies. I really liked this book and have reread it on multiple occasions.
5. Stocks, Bonds, Options, Futures by Stuart R. Veale---great introduction to different asset classes
6. Futures, Options, and Swaps by Robert Kolb--this is not for amateurs but it goes into great detail about these complex instruments.
7. Options as a Strategic Investment by Lawrenece G. McMillan--probably one of the better books concerning options. It is for people who already have a strong knowledge of options.
8. Structured Finance & Collateralized Debt Obliagtions: New Developments in Cash & Synthetic Securitization by Janet Tavakoli----This book is about derivatives and their uses. Very in-depth but this is not for dilettantes.
9.Structured Products and Related Credit Derivatives: A Comprehensive Guide for Investors by Lancaster, Schultz,--Another book about derivatives that would be helpful for investors.
10. When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management by Roger Lowenstein--This book is a great fly on the wall account of the Long-Term Capital Management (hedge fund) collapse and the turmoil on Wall Street it caused.
11. The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Taleb--Excellent book which gives readers a unique perspective concerning risk management.
12. Morgan: American Financier by Jean Strouse---Read about the legend himself JP Morgan the most powerful banker of his time. He personally saved the US Treasury in 1893 by lending it $65 million in gold. He also acted as his own central bank during the 1907 panic. One of the better biographies on Morgan. Loved it!!
13. Dying of Money: Lessons of the Great German and American Inflations by Jens O. Parsson---
Free Ebook available at http://www.delanion.com/main/dom.htm
14. Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity, and the Radical Remaking of Economics by Eric D. Beinhocker-- This book does an excellent job of challenging traditional economic theory and argues that it is deeply flawed. By relying on inaccurate models and faulty assumptions, the Keynesian have led western economies in the wrong direction. The author introduces a solution: complexity economics.
15. Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy by Joseph Schumpeter---This man was ahead of his time. He accurately predicted that socialism would eventually win as people become disenchanted by corporatism they mistakenly perceive to be capitalism. The US is on its way to being a socialist police state run by corporations.
16. Dark Genius of Wall Street: The Misunderstood Life of Jay Gould---by Edward Renehan---This is a revisionist history of perhaps Wall Street's most notorious and hated villains. In reality, he was no better or worse than all of the other robber barons. Yes, he manipulated stocks, traded on inside information, bribed judges and politicians, and even hired his own private army (for protection), but this was part of the game back in the late 19th century. There was no SEC to regulate the market so there was no limitations on what you could get away with back then. Highly enjoyable book.
17. The Book of Daniel Drew---by Bouck White---Daniel Drew was the original stock operator. Drew was the most powerful operator of his time (mid 1800's). He pretty much wrote the book on insider trading and stock manipulation. Great read for a look back at Wall Street legend, who is relatively unknown today.
18. The First Tycoon---by TJ Stiles---In-depth biography of Cornelius Vanderbilt, one the richest and most powerful man in US history.
19. Oil's Endless Bid: Taming the Unreliable Price of Oil to Secure Our Economy--by Dan Dicker--Veteran floor trader Dan Dicker explains the manipulation of the oil price by hedge funds and other financial speculators. It't a zero-sum gam: Wall Street wins and the American economy suffers.
I will be updating this list. Thanks
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