CFA CFA General What are some good recommended books?

What are some good recommended books?

  • This topic has 21 replies, 11 voices, and was last updated Sep-17 by mitch895.
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    • Dr_Pain28
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      I’ve been wanting to start reading another book recently and I am hoping to find a good read that will be somewhat applicable to my future career. So i was wondering if there is a good book about finance, personal finance, biography etc. that you enjoyed.

    • Zee Tan
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      There’s quite a few book recommendations in the Other section @Dr_Pain28. Here: http://forum.300hours.com/categories/other

    • Dr_Pain28
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      I tried to put it there first but it said i didn’t have permission to create a post in “other”. Thanks for the reply

    • Zee Tan
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      That’s odd. Is that still the case @Dr_Pain28?

    • Anonymous
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      @Dr_Pain28 Liar’s Poker is a finance/biography that’s pretty entertaining. A bit outdated context-wise, but still very relevant.

    • stt00007
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      The Big Short – Michael Lewis, same author as Liar’s Poker mentioned above by @tim, a little more recent I think. Read it in 2 days, couldn’t put it down! (was supposed to be studying for Exam as well)

    • Lagarta
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      I’m for the classics. Securities Analysis and The Intelligent Investor by Graham are both amazingly insightful.
      Malkiel’s A Random Walk Down Wall Street is a bit dated as well, but interesting read. See if you can find a version that includes a section on the 2008 crisis. My version was updated in 2006, so it talks about the Tech bubble as the major blow to the markets.

    • kungpow9960
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      Speaking just for myself, I always take the first two or three months post-exam to step away from reading anything finance-related outside of my job to let my brain refresh a bit. But, if that’s not your style, I’d recommend (in no particular order):

      “Capital Ideas: the Improbable Origins of Modern Wall Street” by Peter Bernstein is a great read in modern financial history, IMHO. He also wrote “Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk” which is a deep dive into how the concept of risk has evolved over the last few centuries.

      “The Innovator’s Dilemma” by Clayton Christensen is excellent for thinking about industry structure and how it can be changed from below.

      “The Wealth of Nations” by Adam Smith because anyone who’s going through the torture of the CFA Program should read this to explore one of the underpinnings of the CFA curriculum.

      There are others, but these were all enjoyable and challenging, while also being helpful in reinforcing CFA concepts in various ways.

    • stt00007
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      @Lagarta, what editions of Security Analysis and The Intelligent Investor would you recommend? I have heard a lot of people say the newer editions have lost a lot of the wisdom of Graham, with guest contributors for each chapter. The investment world has changed so much from the 1940 edition though would it still be as relevant today? Companies trading at net-nets are very rare these days. Either way great recommendations!

    • Dr_Pain28
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      Thanks for all the suggestions. I will definitely be checking this books out. @tim @stt00007 I almost bought these books a month a month ago, now I will have to go back and pick them up.

    • Lagarta
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      @stt00007 I think particularly in Graham’s case. The purists will whine about the injection of authors. The underlying lessons are still powerful. The version of Securities Analysis I read was my grandpa’s (written in 1951). Hardbound, old fragile thread glue binding, GREAT BOOK.

      I also vote for Liar’s Poker, fun read 🙂 good one, @tim

    • microeconomist
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      For Level I candidates who are adverse to, or just plain scared of, the Dismal Science, I recommend Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics to get you into an economists’ mindset. No worries, both books are very, very light reading.

      My next reads are The Snowball, Warren Buffet’s authorized biography and Poor Charlie’s Almanack.

      As an aside, I watched an hour-long interview with Harry Marcowitz on YouTube, very insightful on how “modern” portfolio theory really is!

    • microeconomist
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      Almost forgot to mention, I go here for the ethics articles and subject matter intro articles:

      http://www.cfapubs.org/loi/cfm

      Also light reading.

    • Zee Tan
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      +1 on Freakonomics and similar type books!

    • Dr_Pain28
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      I’ve hear that Freakonomics was a cool book. I guess to add to my own list, I enjoyed reading ‘The Millionaire Next Door’ and ‘The Richest Man in Babylon’.

    • shreeneewas
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      On recent meltdown – Fault-Lines

      +1 for Liar’s Poker and Freakonomics

    • mattyc
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      Also really enjoyed The Big Short. Not finance related but the best book I’ve read in a long time was Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. Excellent read.

    • Sophie Macon
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      Ooh what’s Shantaram about @mattyc? Looking for a good book next.

    • mattyc
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      @Sophie, its about an Austrailian prisoner that breaks out of maximum security prison and escapes to India for a fresh start. That all happens in the first few pages so the vast majority of the book is about his time in India, befreinding locals, living in the slum, working for the mafia, (not going to include any spoilers here) and this book is 900+ pages long so there is a lot that happens. The author does an incredible job describing the sights, smells and culture of India. The characters are so well written that by the end you feel like you actually know these people. My favorite character was the mafia don who was classically educated and also a philospher, extremely thought provoking. You wont be disspointed!

    • Sophie Macon
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      OMG that sounds amazing @mattyc, my kinda book 😉 Gonna get it now, thanks for the great recommendation!

    • shreeneewas
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      +1 for Shantaram recommended by @mattyc, though I found it little too dramatic, may be because I am am Indian.

      Its a very heavy book, go for kindle edition 🙂

    • mitch895
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      For lighter reading and some entertainment, Bernsteins “Against the Gods” is good, though for my money I can’t recommend Montier’s epic Behavioural Investing. Really gets into the psychology of markets and why people are hard-wired to keep making the same stupid decisions. Security Analysis is also good, though if you’re studying the CFA material you might find that you’re already overloading on financial statement analysis (still, a very good book. I have a 1940 edition on my shelf). Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Taleb is also pretty good.

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