Learnings/ Inspirations

5 best books on stock market investing…… ever……

The recommended list should help investors as well as traders - fundamental or technical or both !
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” - Mahatma Gandhi Click to Tweet

Let me first admit – I don’t claim to have read every single book on stock market investing. Learning is endless and I continue to be a student !

However, I believe that the list presented below covers most of the areas that a stock market investor should be conscious of. Further, the presented list is in no particular order and every book has it’s own unique points to be learnt from.

1. The Intelligent Investor – by Benjamin Graham

Originally published in 1949, this book is considered as the “stock market Bible”. The book has been praised by every stock market veteran. Warren E. Buffet has described it as “the best book on investing ever written.”

The book teaches us the underlying principles of stock market investing. It doesn’t provide any get rich quick formula and focuses upon the underlying value of any Company and hence it’s stock price. The inherent value of a stock is actually what is relevant in the long term.

The intelligent investor estimates the value of a stock based on the key parameters of the Company including it’s prospects, quality of management, financial performance and strength, dividends etc.

The book is a must read to understand the core of any stock market and hence is highly recommended for everyone, even if you are a pure technical trader.

2. Trade Like a Stock Market Wizard – by Mark Minervini

This is the book that improvised my thinking and approach towards stock market investing over the last few years.

Traditionally, I have always been a pure value investor focused on identifying undervalued companies. However, in the process, many a times I ended up buying/ selling too soon or too late.

The fact remains that valuing a Company is more of an art than a science. 

Consequently, it’s almost impossible to value a Company with precision and confidence. There are too many moving parts in the equation and hence one needs to be careful.

Mark’s approach helps you create a cross between fundamental and technical approach to investing – the best approach in my personal view. The approach combines careful risk management, self-analysis, perseverance, entry/ exit points selection and capital conservation.

3. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator – by Edwin Lefèvre

First published in 1923, the book is a classic and is as relevant today as it was then.

It’s a story based on the trading career of Jesse Livermore – a Wall Street Legend. He during the course of his career had made and lost his fortune several times over.

The book is a very interesting and insightful read for anyone who wants to closely look at the life of a professional trader.

Ups, downs and bounce backs of Jesse Livermore, explained in the book, make it a very intriguing read. You will be riding the journey with him and in the process learn some very valuable lessons.

What makes this book highly recommended, are the observations that the author records about investing, speculating, and the stock market psychology.

4. How I Made $2 Million in the Stock Market – by Nicolas Darvas

Another classic, the book was originally published in 1960.

It’s a must read as it details the unusual success story of the author, Nicholas Darvas, in the stock market. He  was actually a professional dancer and was neither a professional trader nor an investor.

This is very unique, as most of the popular books on investing are otherwise authored by professional investors/ traders.

The author was able to make himself a millionaire several times over by his unique investment approach. The book makes for a very interesting read about his investment journey over the years.

The basic principles of investing highlighted in the book continue to remain as relevant as ever.

5. Bulls, bears and other beasts – by Santosh Nair

The last book in the list is more local – as Lalchand Gupta (a fictitious character) takes you on an exciting journey through the history of the Indian stock market post liberalization.

I can not recommend the book enough – it’s a must read for anyone having slightest of interest in the Indian stock market.

Actually, let me correct myself – it’s a must read for everyone !

The book covers many interesting periods and topics – tech boom, tax evasions, money laundering, fixers, Harshad Mehta scam, Satyam scam, operators, IPO rigging and many-2 more. Everything is explained in the simplest possible manner.

The book beside being an enjoyable read provides many valuable lessons to investing. The most important – it brings a different but practical perspective to many questions to which we don’t have answers in the normal course.


The above are my 5 recommended reads. I believe all of these together, provide a nicely balanced perspective of various factors that one should keep in mind while pursuing his own investment strategy in the stock market.

“Yesterday I was clever, so I changed the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” – Rumi Click to Tweet

Disclosure – I have no direct or indirect commercial interest in recommending any of the above books. All the recommendations are purely personal.

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About the author

Nitin Jain

A finance professional with around 20 years of investing experience in Indian markets both on buy and sell side, equity and debt, private and public with some of the best organizations globally including Goldman Sachs, ICICI Group, ICRA and others. He is a All India Silver Medalist CA by qualification.

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