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Recommended Reading

The SmallCap Informer is committed to helping its subscribers become smarter investors. The following books can help any investor to learn more about financial markets and stock analysis. Click on a book cover or title to learn more about the book from Amazon.com.

Stocks for the Long Run: The Definitive Guide to Financial Market Returns & Long Term Investment Strategies, by Jeremy Siegel

Stocks for the Long Run This is the bible of long-term stock investing – not the how, but the why. Wharton School Professor Jeremy Siegel goes through estimated market returns for 200 years in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Japan to show a natural level of long-term return in these diverse markets over two centuries!

Now in its fourth edition, the book is considered the "bible" of long-term investing. But besides being filled with the data and analysis that demonstrates why investing in the stock market can provide superior returns, the book also discusses behavioral finance, global investing trends, Exchange Traded Funds, mutual funds, and index investing. Siegel also reviews the best-performing stocks in the Standard & Poor's 500 since the creation of that index, helping investors to understand the dynamics of successful stock selection.


Good to Great, by Jim Collins 

This is a follow-up to his book, Built to Last.  Good to Great is even more compelling as it shows how companies made changes that led to enduring improvement.  Understanding these techniques helps investors spotlight changes that could lead to significantly better future investment results.

Good to Great is even more compelling than Built to Last as it shows how companies made changes that led to enduring improvement. In the book, Collins and his team of researchers sorted through 1,435 companies, looking for those that made substantial improvements in their performance over time. In the process, they discovered common traits that challenged conventional notions of corporate success, and determined that making the transition from good to great doesn't require a high-profile CEO, the latest technology, innovative change management, or even a fine-tuned business strategy. Read Good to Great and you can gain a better understanding of techniques that can help investors spotlight changes that could lead to significantly better future investment results in your own portfolio.


The Little Book That Still Beats the Market, by Joel Greenblatt

Experienced investors will find Greenblatt's argument a little basic, but the author sneaks a lot of punch into this short, digestible book, updated in a revised edition in 2010 with the revised title The Little Book That Still Beats the Market.

In The Little Book That Still Beats the Market, Greenblatt advocates a value-oriented, buy-and-hold approach, focusing on companies demonstrating high returns on invested capital. There’s something here for everyone, but especially for those new to investing it’s hard to think of a better introduction.


The Battle for Investment Survival, by Gerald M. Loeb

When stocks were still considered purely speculative investments, and in the wake of the market crash of 1929, Loeb became an early exponent of stocks as safe investments. Warning investors that a focus on bonds could lead to long-term losses of purchasing power, Loeb argued that investors’ only hope for maintaining their principal was to invest for capital appreciation. Some parts of his argument are questionable  (Loeb recommended investors hold just one stock at a time, for example), but this excellent book presents a number of extraordinary, and still-relevant, insights on stocks as defensive investments .


A Random Walk Down Wall Street, by Burton Malkiel

The Princeton economist’s scholarly yet lighthearted presentation of the efficient markets hypothesis has driven Wall Street nuts to the tune of 1.5 million copies sold. Deeply skeptical of actively-managed mutual funds, Malkiel recommends investors seek diversification through low-cost index funds or, possibly, through self-directed, diversified long-term strategies—and watch out for those commissions!


The Investor’s Anthology, by Ellis and Vertin

Charles Ellis is a highly-respected investor and essayist in his own right. The Investor’s Anthology compiles his and fellow investor James Vertin’s favorite passages from over fifty writers, ranging from Warren Buffett to Daniel Defoe—a can’t-miss collection.


Economical Writing, by Deirdre McCloskey

This pamphlet-sized book urges writers to shoot for brevity, clarity, and precision. It’s packed with sound advice and sprinkled with good humor. Some the author’s examples of poor writing—many from her colleagues in academia—will leave the reader in disbelief at the inconceivably low standards professional thinkers apply to their own prose.


Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, by Edwin Lefevre

Lefevre recounts the trading career of Larry Livingston, a fictionalized version of Jesse Livermore. In real life, Livermore was a brilliant, depressive, and complicated man. Here Lefevre presents his alter-ego Livingston as a breezy, courageous, and a generally likable protagonist locked in constant battle against the “insiders” and “manipulators” rigging the market against the common man.


Liar’s Poker and The Big Short, by Michael Lewis.

Liar’s Poker is a firsthand account of the birth of the mortgage derivative. The young Lewis painted an ugly picture of the unrepentant greed, wrath, and ego running amok on the trading floors of Wall Street’s most respected firms. The Big Short tells the story of how those same mortgage derivatives eventually caused total financial collapse, and how when the music stopped playing, the greedy and sophisticated maneuvered to save themselves at the expense of the just plain greedy.