Books





Investment Book Suggestions:

Click on the books’ titles or covers for more information and prices. Feel free to share titles of books that have helped you, and add the titles to the comments section at the bottom of the page.

 

For Beginners

These are the books I’d recommend for people who have never read an investment book before. But don’t mistake simplicity for something substandard. Following the strategies espoused in these books will, after all taxes and costs, have you beating at least 90% of professional money managers over your investment lifetime. That’s a fact.

 

In this book, I explain some essential financial rules that should be taught in schools… but aren’t…

Millionaire Teacher espouses the same investment philosophy as the books below, but there’s a significant difference:

it explains how investment theory was actually put into practice. Just three weeks after being released, it ranked number 2 on Amazon’s hottest new personal finance books. 

By November 2011, it was the #1 ranked Personal Finance book on Amazon. I think you’ll like it.




Read the reviews by the people who’ve purchased it.

 

Share these Amazon links with your friends:

 

 


In an easy-to-read conversational voice, financial planner Bill Schultheis proves why he’s considered one of the heroes of the financial service industry.

Promoting a low cost, index fund solution to investing, he guides his readers as if he’s your affable neighbour, explaining the process over coffee.

You can enjoy this book from cover to cover in a single afternoon.

I’ve gifted many copies of this book at my index fund seminars. You’ll like this book.

 

 

 


Paul Farrell ably introduces this book as something his wife encouraged him to write.

As a women “whose eyes usually glaze over” when he starts to talk finance, you get the idea, right away, that Dr. Farrell’s book is aimed at a broad audience, peppered with a fun writing style that’s missing in the vast majority of personal finance books.

His message is the same as Bill Schultheis’ but his voice is a tad cheekier.

This could be the first and only investment book you’ll ever have to read.

 

 

 


Cheekier still, but every bit as good, is Daniel Solin’s book, The Smartest Investment Book You’ll Ever Read.

This immodestly titled book is comprised of only 154 pages, and this leading securities arbitration lawyer guides readers to see that again, index fund investing gives the highest statistical chances of success.

With a spacious format, it’s another book you can read in an afternoon while learning how the industry of actively managed mutual fund investing is rigged against the average investor.

Like The Lazy Person’s Guide to Investing and The New Coffeehouse Investor, it’s going to make you smile from time to time, if you don’t chuckle out loud.

 

 


Perhaps the shortest book of them all, The Elements of Investing was written by investment legends Burton Malkiel and Charles Ellis.

As the bestselling authors of A Random Walk Down Wall Street (Malkiel) and Winning the Loser’s Game (Ellis) they’ve teamed together to produce an investment book that’s far simpler to understand than either of their former masterpieces.

From what I’ve learned, giving financial seminars, the average person has difficulty understanding terms and jargon that most financial writers take for granted.

As great as both of these gentlemen’s other books are, this one is far easier for the average reader to understand.

 

 


I bought this book as a gift, initially, but then I had to buy two.

I simply couldn’t give the original book away and be left without a copy myself.

It’s a fabulous read for new investors.

The author, Allan S. Roth, does his readers a wonderful service.

 

 

 


For Intermediate Investment Readers

 These are my favorite intermediate level  investment books.

 

I enjoyed Larry Swedroe’s book, The Only Guide to an Investment Strategy You’ll Ever Need and as the title suggests, I think he’s right, although it’s slightly more academic than the previous four books I mentioned.

After reading one of the four books I listed above, if you’re still not convinced, and/or you want more meat, then this could be the book for you.

Written in 2005, it has the qualities of a great book—because it’s timeless. Read this book twenty years from now, and the theory behind it will remain the same: solid, academically rigorous, relevant and accessible to the average reader.

 

 

 


Swedroe’s new book, The Quest For Alpha: The Holy Grail of Investing is a fabulously convincing read.

If you’re still not convinced that index funds offer much higher statistical chances of success, compared to the expensive products peddled by most financial advisors, then this book will very likely change your mind.

 

 

 

 

 


Written by a man named by Fortune Magazine as one of the four investment giants of the 20th century, Bogle packs a powerful punch with this little 214 page book.

Showing how index funds are superior investment vehicles, he loads the book with evidence and experience drawn from more than 50 years in the investment field.

I’ve gifted more than 40 copies of this little book to my colleagues, but I’ve listed it under “intermediate” as a reader, because it has terms that many of my college educated colleagues couldn’t understand, and it had my dad (a fairly well-read fella) running for the dictionary a number of times.

Bogle is an academic. But he’s brilliant, a clear writer, and he’s definitely fighting for the little guy.

 


Written by the legendary finance writer, William Bernstein, both these books both give an extremely solid investment foundation.

If we were to ask Mr. Bernstein himself, he’d probably suggest that we read The Four Pillars of Investing first, and The Investor’s Manifesto second.

In the first book, he thoroughly discusses how people madly become euphoric when fad-like investments rise in value without solid fundamentals to back them up.

 

 

 

 


In Bernstein’s second book, The Investor’s Manifesto, he shows how the same emotional madness can sabotage investor’s accounts when the markets drop in value. What’s more, he does it with an ever-improving flair for imagery and humour:

“Your primary training tool is the rebalancing process, which forces you to sell high in the good years and to buy low when there is blood in the streets. In the really bad years, such as 2008-2009, this will mean pouring large amounts into falling equities, when your friends and family are running around like decapitated poultry.”

Both of these books, of course, promote indexed investing as well.

 

 

 


 Probably best for intermediate investors, this book assumes somes basic financial knowledge. 

But it’s an impressive read by a couple of millionaire senior citizens who are leaving a useful legacy.

 

 

 

 

 


For Advanced Finance Readers

These are my favorite advanced level  investment books, but unlike some of the books above, they aren’t entertaining for the average investor. And that’s fine. Investing isn’t meant to be fun. The same message is here that you can read about in Millionaire Teacher, but the evidence here is simply awe-inspiring.

 

For the most extensively researched books on indexed investing, nothing really compares with John Bogle’s updated 10th anniversary edition of Common Sense on Mutual Funds: New Imperatives for the Intelligent Investor and…

 

 

 

 

 


What’s interesting is that David Swensen, Yale University’s endowment fund manager, didn’t intend to write his book, Unconventional Success, about indexed investing.

But the more he researched, the more he realized that the financial service industry exploited individual investors. His book offers a fabulous solution to that problem.

 

 

 

 


For advanced investment readers, The Essays of Warren Buffett is a compilation of essays written by the Oracle of Omaha and arranged by Lawrence Cunningham.

If you want to know how the great Berkshire Hathaway chairman thinks, Cunningham has arranged Buffett’s essays beautifully.

 

 

 

 

 


   

And what about the books you’ve read ? Are there any books that have helped you?

 

Please add your comments below





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  1. Scott Graham

    says on March 20, 2012

    The book that you wrote"Millionair Teacher"
    I feel is a super book, I would like to know what to invest in.
    I'm a 57 year who is currently retired from 3M.
    Thank you for writing trhis book!
    Scott Graham

    1. Andrew Hallam

      says on March 20, 2012

      Thanks Scott,

      A great portfolio for you would be simplicity itself. If 3M offers a pension, you coud do this:

      40% Vangaurd total bond index

      30% Vanguard total stock index

      30% Vanguard international stock index

      If you won't have a pension, you could have 50% or so in the bond index, with the remainder split between the U.S. and international stock indexes. My recommendation is exactly the same as what you read in the book.

      Cheers,

      Andrew

  2. Brad

    says on March 22, 2012

    Andrew really the the book Millionaire Teacher. One question how do you feel about target date retirement funds for 401k and Roth IRA plans?

    1. Andrew Hallam

      says on March 24, 2012

      Hi Brad,

      I think Vanguard's target retirement funds are superb. Although, I would pay more attention to the allocation of the bonds and stocks than I would the actual target date, when it comes to selecting which one to buy. I mention them in my book, and mention this in a bit more detail there.

  3. Rachael

    says on May 7, 2012

    Hi Andrew

    I read your book over the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm a 34 year old recently married British expat living in Singapore. What indexes would you recommend I invest in and what split would you suggest for my portfolio between bonds, UK index and an asian/international index?

    Rachael

    1. Andrew Hallam

      says on May 13, 2012

      Hi Rachael,

      Please let me know if you still have questions after reading this link: http://andrewhallam.com/2010/11/how-british-expat

      Cheers,

      Andrew

  4. Barry

    says on May 13, 2012

    Just having a look, surprisingly the Vanguard international stock index has done well over the last 10 yrs when compared to the Vanguard total stock index

    I would have thought the latter would be the better performer, so was interested to see the results on Vanguard

    1. Andrew Hallam

      says on May 13, 2012

      Hi Barry,

      Don't look at past results, just current costs. It's the future that you should be far more interested in, not the past. And if your money is diversified, low cost, and gets rebalanced, you'll do very very well. The best indicators of future performance isn't past performance. There's no correlation there. But there is a correlation between low fees and future performance.

      Cheers,

      Andrew

  5. Mohamed Ben Rhouma

    says on May 25, 2012

    Your book " millionaire teacher" is super! I understood "finally" why financial adviser prefer the mutual funds.

    Vanguard ! Vanguard ! here isn't in Dubai! I want to invest in bond, stock index. Could you please advise?

    Thank you for writing this book.

    Mohamed Ben Rhouma

  6. Mohamed Ben Rhouma

    says on May 25, 2012

    Your book " millionaire teacher" is super! I understood "finally" why financial adviser prefer the mutual funds.

    Vanguard? here isn't in Dubai! I want to invest in bond, stock index. Could you please advise?

    Thank you for writing this book.

    Mohamed Ben Rhouma

    1. Andrew Hallam

      says on May 25, 2012

      Thanks for the kind words about the book Mohamed. To purchase exchange traded funds (cheap ones) you might need to take a flight to Singapore to open an account with DBS Vickers. If you want to literally "own the world" you could have just two ETFs:

      VT (the total world market index)

      ISHG (first world bond market index)

      Check out my scroll down menu up top for "Expat Investing" and you'll see how you could do it.

      Cheers,

      Andrew

  7. Raman Minhas

    says on June 1, 2012

    Hi Andrew,

    I read your book a few days ago. It was an unexpected gem of a find while looking for something else. Your message had a big impact on me.

    I thought it would also be useful to a lot of folks within the industry I work, medical technology. So I wrote it up in a blog post:
    http://atpbio.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/millionair

    Thanks again for an excellent book and ongoing insights on your blog.

    Raman Minhas

    1. Andrew Hallam

      says on June 3, 2012

      Hi Raman,

      You wrote an amazing review!! I thought it was so well done that I even sent a link to my publisher. I'm really happy that you found the book so useful, and that we're both now spreading the word about low cost investing and how much more beneficial it is.

      Thank you!

      Andrew

  8. Tom

    says on June 3, 2012

    Hi Andrew,

    I got your book for christmas. Unlike Raman, I knew nothing about the world of finance. But your book was very disruptive for me in a different way. I was blissfully ignorant about where my money was invested before. Your book was one of those rare reads that opened a door for me that can never be closed now. I am now fully indexed except for my 10% play money (couldn't help it :).

    1. Andrew Hallam

      says on June 3, 2012

      Great to hear it Tom! And thanks for letting me know! If you have a couple of minutes, I'd be thrilled if you could write a few sentences on Amazon for review. http://www.amazon.com/Millionaire-Teacher-Wealth-
      Whether you can or not, thank you for letting me know that you have altered your investment approach. It feels great knowing that I've helped.

      Cheers,

      Andrew

  9. Ryan

    says on June 4, 2012

    Love your book. Following your recommendations as of the minute I finished reading the book.

    I am looking at buying a residential home in Canada and was wondering if you had any book suggestions for that topic?

    I am Canadian and know about as much of real estate as I did investing before I read your book ;-)

    thanks,

    Ryan

  10. Mohamed Ben Rhouma

    says on July 11, 2012

    Hi Andrew,

    Zecco allows overseas activity, and you don’t have to be a US citizen to open an account and through it I can purchase index bond and stock index but with the following expenses:

    -VBMFX : total expenses ratio = 0.22% and 12b-1 Fee =0.03%

    -VTSMX : total expenses ratio = 0.17% and 12b-1 Fee= 0.03%

    -VGTSX : total expenses ratio = 0.22% and 12b-1 Fee= 0.03%

    shall I go with or to ETF which more sheap but the total reture is less…

    Thank you for your super Blog.

    Ben

  11. Candace

    says on July 12, 2012

    Hi Andrew!

    Thank you for supporting and inspiring everyone with a different perspective on money. I would like to ask you for some guidance on my financial path. I am 32 years old and a single mother of 2 children. I have about 32k in a Vanguard IRA, 8k in a Vanguard mutual fund for the kids, 2k in savings bonds. I'm advised to put in $2k a year into my IRA which is a traditional IRA. But I didn't this past year since I opened up my own business last year all cash no debt. Please guide me with any advice for my future. Any comments would be greatly appreciated!!!

    God Bless!!!

  12. Luca

    says on September 21, 2012

    Hi Andrew

    I have just read your book, and finally I can say that thanks to you I am beginning to understand the world of investing and even the jargon that comes with it.

    I will continue reading on investing and maybe even take a course in the coming months to expand my knowledge.

    I am from the island of Malta, and as far as I know there isn't Vanguard services here. With the current job I have I can invest up to 100-200 euro a month, but I still have to find a service like Vanguard or something like it here and avoid the influence and pressure from banks etc that advertise mutual funds.

    I am 22 years old and i think this is best time to start when you re young

    thanks again

    Luca

  13. Bruce

    says on October 8, 2012

    I retired in may 2012 at 61 years old and am living on my RRSP as well as CPP for myself and wife and a small pension my wife has.

    I am needing to withdraw 5% of my RRSP which is currently in activity managed mutual funds in a 60% balanced and 40% income allocation.

    I have read your book "Millionaire Teacher" and would like to implement your suggested strategy. I am also following your Globe and mail article on your test portfolio.

    Can I set up a RIF to withdraw monthly revenue from without having to sell the ETF,s and brokerage costs for monthly income?

    Tks

    Bruce

    Winnipeg, MB Canada

  14. Invest Apprentice

    says on October 10, 2012

    Hi Andrew, happy to know that you are residing in Singapore! I'm a Singaporean, 32 and married with 2 kids.

    May I know if you have any advice on the best way for a Singaporean to do index investing?

    I'm currently vested in STI@ETF, but to gain exposure to international equity index, I'll have to invest through foreign exchange. I had tried investing in Vanguard index funds before, but that'll require me to convert to USD which I hesitate due to the currency exchange risk. I'm also concerned about the estate duty tax incurred on my investments should I pass on. I heard it's around 40% for a foreigner investor.

    I would like to know whether there are any suitable index funds / ETFs (besides STI@ETF for domestic equity exposure) you would recommend for a local Singaporean who is interested in index investing, suitable brokerage, and what would be a suitable asset allocation for a balanced risk profile.

    Thank you very much!

  15. Andrew Hallam

    says on October 28, 2012

    Thanks so much Ryan. I'm really glad my book was helpful! I don't have any real estate book recommendations, unfortunately, but if I write another book, I would really like to add a chapter on this needed area of discussion.

    Cheers,

    Andrew

  16. Andrew Hallam

    says on October 28, 2012

    These options look very good to me Ben!

  17. Andrew Hallam

    says on October 28, 2012

    Hi Invest Apprentice,

    I have written about how Singaporeans can invest in the 6th chapter of my book. Also, I have written about it under the heading Expat investing. Here's a link: http://andrewhallam.com/category/expat-investing/

    Cheers,

    Andrew

  18. Andrew Hallam

    says on October 28, 2012

    I believe that you should be able to transfer your assets into a RIF Bruce, without taxable consequences.

    Andrew

  19. Andrew Hallam

    says on October 28, 2012

    Sorry for taking so long to get back to you Candace. If you can maximize your IRA each year with a diversified portfolio of low cost indexes, this would be great. If not, invest as much as you can. Congrats on the business! I'm sure it will take much of your money to keep going. Just remember to add to the IRA, as you have been doing (or more, if possible)

    Cheers,

    Andrew

  20. Andrew Hallam

    says on October 28, 2012

    Hi Luca,

    In Malta, is there a discount brokerage available? My guess is that there is. If you can find it, you should be able to build a portfolio of exchange traded funds, much as I have done.

  21. Philip

    says on December 4, 2012

    Hi Andrew,

    Not sure if you've already read it but another great investment book is "The Fundamental Index" – http://www.amazon.ca/The-Fundamental-Index-Better… by Robert Arnott. I think it's a game changer in the world of Indices.

    I just purchased your book and can't wait to start reading it! It's refreshing to see someone who is not a professional financial "guru" to be very successful in investing. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

    1. Andrew Hallam

      says on December 5, 2012

      Thanks for the recommendation Philip,

      I look forward to seeing how fundamental indexes pan out. Unfortunately, when patterns emerge, they usually revert back to the mean once discovered, as stocks within fundamental indexes get bid higher and consequently, return less in the future. Human psychology thwarts plenty.

  22. twentyone

    says on December 8, 2012

    hey Andrew,

    i am currently on the book "the little book of common sense investing" but John Bogle. In his book, he does not seem to be pro etf, and instead, he sort of criticise etf saying that it is narrowly diversified for sector etf and that the spider held long term is okay but the cost is also an issue. i went and googled on his views on etf, and there are so many article regarding John's negative view about etf. below are the main pointers that i gathered(correct me if i'm wrong):

    1) dont not buy etf of certain sector, or capitalisation, instead, go broad.

    2) etf encourages investors to trade because of it's buy and sell during the day characteristic (but an article from vanguard shows that vanguard investor does not trade that often, but it's the traders that got into etf)

    3) and of course, the cost is higher

    but i'm in Singapore, there's no index fund right? there's only bond index etf, sti etf..

    1. Andrew Hallam

      says on December 9, 2012

      Hi twentyone,

      ETFs are great if you don't get wrapped up in the frenzy of trading them. Bogle correctly notes that the most active equity on the New York Stock Exchange is actually the ETF for the S&P 500 (SPY). Who would have thought? If you have the discipline to buy and hold them, however (as I do) they are very worthwhile indeed. They are cheaper than regular indexes (the expense ratios are lower) but for those who trade them regularly, they become very expensive products indeed.

      Cheers,

      Andrew

  23. stephanie

    says on February 2, 2013

    hey im stephanie from London, UK. I am 22 years old..23 in May with an 18 month daughter.. single, living with parents for now so no bills. Im struggling to just get started, i find myself procrastinating in not knowing where to start.

    I love your book and it made me realise its not just luck or fate it is understanding and knowledge. it made me realise that I too can accumulate wealth so thank you so MUCH..ITS ALSO A WELL WRITTEN book that made everything easy to understand and realistic in comparison to others.

    I have informed myself and would like to use Vanguard Index 500 fund.. will this be it? do i need to diversify further and also what other should i look into.. do I jut contact vanguard to start or do i need to go through a brokerage service. do i need to open an investment account what would you suggest i use? What would you advise I invest in??? I would really like to start investing and would appreciate all feedback and guidance. Thank You and God Bless

    1. Andrew Hallam

      says on February 4, 2013

      Thank you for the kind words Stephanie,

      I'm thrilled that you're inspired to get started. Vanguard UK is a platform you could use with a broker. In other words, unless you have large sums of money, you will need an advisor to buy those funds. But the good news is that HSBC offers index funds as well and you won't need an advisor to buy them. They're called "tracker funds" in the UK, and the HSBC products are very good!

      Let me know if this link helps: http://andrewhallam.com/2012/05/millionaire-teach

      Cheers,

      Andrew

  24. Glen

    says on March 29, 2013

    I have read many of the books recommended here and I agree with the accompanying comments. One writer that stands out for me that we don’t hear that much about is Richard Ferri (he is one of the authors of the Bogelheads listed above). I read his book “The ETF Book” and I have never been the same DYI investor since. The amount of research he does in his books is really quite astounding. I have never been bored reading any of his books ( and I think I’ve read them all ) in fact I have read the aforementioned “The ETF Book” and “All about Asset Allocation” twice. Extremely well written and researched.

    1. Andrew Hallam

      says on March 31, 2013

      Thanks Glen,

      And I agree 100% with you. Rick Ferri’s stuff is excellent!

      Cheers,

      Andrew

  25. Michael Mazo

    says on April 12, 2013

    Dear Andrew:

    i read your book a little while ago and was impressed and suitably inspired by your simple, but pragmatic approach. My wife and my income is marginal, with absolutely no room for any savings–let alone investments. But, recently, i had the good fortune of freeing up around $10,000 for investments. I would like to do as you advised, but i'm a little confused about whether I should find a financial advisor or just go to a bank and proceed to invest in Index funds through them (RBC).

    i live in Vancouver and wonder if you have any advice of an advisor, or, just which way to go as far as wise investments for my whopping $10,000 invest opportunity!

    thank you for your sage advise and continue the good work.

    Sincerely,

    Michael

    1. Andrew Hallam

      says on April 12, 2013

      Hi Michael,

      Open an account with QTrade. They're based in Vancouver, and they're great.

      I don't know your age or risk tolerance, but you could split the money this way, if you have a moderate tolerance for risk and are between 30 and 40:

      $3000 in VSB (Vanguard Canadian bond index)

      $7000 in VCE (Canadian stock index)

      You could add more money over time, introducing a U.S. and International ETF to the mix. I suggested just these two to start. You'll pay about $25 commission per transaction, but then, you'll have the cheapest Canadian portfolio in the world. Gotta love that!

      Cheers,

      Andrew

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