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We are mere hours away from Black Friday. Naturally, for investors, this means thinking about investment books to buy for the holidays.
If you're looking for a hot seller, nothing is flying off the shelf faster than Michelle Obama's new book, Becoming, which hit No. 1 on Amazon's (NASDAQ: AMZN ) bestseller list Nov. 16, three full days before the former first lady's official book launch.
While not an investment book per-se, I'm sure it has lots of good nuggets about life and how to handle ups and downs, something investors are facing these days with regularity.
For the young investors in your life, I've gone ahead and combed Amazon's various bestsellers lists, hoping to find seven investment books to buy that will take them on a road to greater understanding.
And who knows, maybe some of these young investors will grow up to be just like Warren Buffett.
Investment Books to Buy: You Need a Budget, Jessie Mecham
Ranked 46th in Amazon's business and money section, I've included a book about budgeting in my list because it's hard for most young people to find the money to invest when they've got student loans, etc.
Jesse Mecham has taken everything he's learned from running his wildly successful app You Need a Budget and put that in book form.
Mecham, if you don't know his work, uses four simple rules to make money management a breeze. I know that if I had a system like Mecham's when I was in university, today, I'd have a much bigger investment portfolio.
You know what they say: It's not how much you make that matters, it's how much you save.
Yes, it's important to understand the main concepts of investing. However, by giving a young person in your life this book, you can be sure they'll want to learn about investing.
Investment Books to Buy: Shoe Dog, Phil Knight
Ranked 248th in Amazon's best seller list for biographies written for children, it's an updated version of the Nike (NYSE: NKE ) founder's 2016 classic of the same name.
If you have a young athlete in the house, Shoe Dog is a book that will get them fired up about sports and business.
Warren Buffett called it the best book he read in 2016.
"A refreshingly honest reminder of what the path to business success really looks like," Bill Gates said about the book, one of his favorites in 2016. "It's a messy, perilous, and chaotic journey riddled with mistakes, endless struggles, and sacrifice."
Here's what I said about the book in July 2017:
"I just finished reading Shoe Dog, Phil Knight's excellent book about the early days of Nike. If Nike's future is as good as Knight's storytelling, I'd buy NKE stock by the boatload."
Investing, to some young people, might seem like nothing but numbers, but it's really about understanding how a business makes money and how it will continue to do so.
Understand this and the rest will come quickly.
Investment Books to Buy: The Little Book of Common Sense Investing, John Bogle
I don't think you can have a list of investment books to buy, whether we're talking young or old investors, without including John Bogle. His book, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing, has been a bestseller since the first edition was published in April 2007 .
The founder of Vanguard mutual funds and ETFs continues to speak about the markets as he approaches his 90th birthday. The latest edition of his book is completely revised with two additional chapters. At more than 300 pages, it's hardly a little book, but one worth reading for investors of every age.
Bogle believes you buy and hold the stock market for the long term. Always be invested in stocks to some degree. Never get out of the market entirely or you'll miss those periods where it takes off with little notice.
"If you hold the stock market, you will grow with America," Bogle told CNBC in September . "In the long run, there is a high correlation between the stock market and U.S. economic growth. Stay the course … Always be in at a certain level."
If you want to give a young person a head start in their life, Bogle's book is a great choice.
Investment Books to Buy: The Intelligent Investor, Ben Graham
The Intelligent Investor changed Warren Buffett's life. Without it, he might not be one of America's all-time greatest investors.
Although it might be too much for anyone not in high school, the content from Ben Graham remains some of the best written.
I've read it many times. Like an investment colleague of mine likes to say: "My copy is very tired with lots of dog-eared pages."
The information is invaluable for anyone looking to know what investing is and isn't.
" All of the important ideas in investing really are in that book," Buffett said in 1996 at Berkshire Hathaway's (NYSE: BRK.A , NYSE: BRK.B ) annual meeting.
Adult investors understand the importance of this book. If you give it to a younger person, I'm pretty sure they'll come to the very same conclusion.
Investment Books to Buy: Investing QuickStart Guide, Ted Snow
Although the author's book gets four-and-half-stars from Amazon readers, I wouldn't exactly call it a bestseller, sitting in 1,200th place among introductory investment books.
However, Ted Snow is an accomplished financial planner and MBA who has appeared in countless financial publications, and that makes his Investing QuickStart Guide the ultimate beginner's guide to investing in the stock market.
Right there in Snow's introduction is one of investing's most timeless principles: the idea that the longer you are in the market, assuming you don't overtrade, the wealthier you will be in the future.
Snow has logically organized the book so that people new to investing will be able to learn on the fly. Once finished, they'll have an excellent resource for future reference.
"The Investing QuickStart Guide will help anyone who is serious about learning the important principles of investing," Denver-based CFP David Easton's said about the book. "It is an easy read, written in an understandable way, with great insights."
I'll be honest, I'm often skeptical about books geared to new investors, but this one appears to get the job done.
Investment Books to Buy: The Power of Investing Young, Maya Peterson
Although it's also not a bestseller, I put Early Bird: The Power of Investing Young - ranks 326,990th on Amazon's bestseller list - on here because it's written by Minnesota teenager Maya Peterson.
The 133-page paperback, which the 16-year-old St. Paul student self-published in November 2017, is an excellent way for young people to understand that there are investing opportunities all around them.
Peterson first got into the stock market when she was nine when she sold her American Girl doll for $100 and bought Mattel (NASDAQ: MAT ) stock (American Girl's parent) with the proceeds.
"I made a huge mistake with that one because Mattel stock has plummeted," Peterson told the St. Paul Pioneer Press shortly after releasing the book. "I think it's at $18 right now, and I bought it at $35. I still have it."
Mattel stock is now trading close to $13, a lesson the teenager surely won't forget on her way to investing stardom.
There are books about investing geared to young investors written by adults, and then there are books by young investors for young investors.
If you want a young person to get excited about investing, this is the book to give them.
Investment Books to Buy: Millennial Money: How Young Investors Can Build a Fortune, Patrick O'Shaughnessy
If the last name O'Shaughnessy seems familiar to investors, that's because portfolio manager Jim O'Shaughnessy has been talking about what works on Wall Street since 1997 .
Patrick O'Shaughnessy is Jim's son and the CEO of the family firm, O'Shaughnessy Asset Management. He's also a prolific writer and podcaster.
Anyway, I'd forgotten about the O'Shaughnessy name until Howard Lindzon recommended Patrick's podcast, Invest Like the Best. O'Shaughnessy's passion for investing, is unlike few others. He breaks the mold.
In 2014, he put out Millennial Money: How Young Investors Can Build a Fortune, a book about why young people need to start investing early and how they can buck the traditional methods for making money to build real wealth.
While Amazon readers only give it four stars, primarily because it's geared to people new to investing, Patrick Shaughnessy, like his father, won't steer younger readers astray.
The O'Shaughnessy clan know a thing or two about investing.
As of this writing Will Ashworth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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