There’s a timeless aspect to a great investment book.
You know it’s amazing when you can read it years or decades later, and its messages are still relevant and wise.
Benjamin Graham’s The Intelligent Investor.
John C. Bogle’s Common Sense on Mutual Funds is another.
Philip Fisher’s Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits is a third and
Burton Malkiel’s A Random Walk Down Wall Street is a classic fourth.
Read each of these books twice, from cover to cover, and I can promise you one thing: you will have read far more investment related material than is required for a Series 7 certification (Series 7 certification allows you to be a stockbroker in the U.S. and the academic component can be completed in less than a month) and you’ll have read much more “in depth” investing material (in quantity and quality) than is required for a Certified Financial Planning Certification. It’s hard to believe that a CFP designation can be earned in fewer than 6 months of formal coursework (not to mention the additional required time spent gaining sales and client experience at a brokerage).
Timeless Blog Entries
I’m going to suggest a few blog entries with a timeless component to them.
Sure, there are great bloggers writing daily contemporary reports, but I want to focus on some classic entries: stuff that you could read today, and then read again, twenty years from now, and say, “Yeah, that was super, timeless stuff.” Such posts are based, not on predictions, but on foundations and wisdom. And it’s a strong financial foundation that will make you rich over time: an understanding of human psychology, financial history, and the importance of keeping taxes, costs and fees at bay.
The Young are Rarely Wise
The first one I recommend is from Mike, “the Wise Guy” at The Wise Buck.com.
He outlines the valuable lessons learned after 20 years of investing. It’s my strong bias that wise investors (if they do choose to hire an advisor) should never hire somebody young—regardless of their grades in business school or finance school. Mike doesn’t discuss this bias of mine, but his rules speak more to wisdom than simply knowledge. And the young are rarely wise.
Making investment professionals look silly
Kathy Kristof writes on her blog at Money Watch.com.
Kathy Kristof talks about the benefits of couch potato investing. It’s simple, tax efficient, and can beat the clothes off most professional investors over time.
For a Canadian perspective on the same topic, check out Ian McGugan and Duncan Hood’s article from a 2006 edition of MoneySense Magazine.
Ian McGugan has really championed this strategy for Canadians. And the humble Globe and Mail writer/editor started tracking a Canadian version of the couch potato online, ten years ago. It’s impressive. World stock markets are currently lower than they were a decade ago.
But his couch potato portfolio is up from the year 2000. Way up. The premise of rebalancing, keeping costs low, and avoiding fads has bode well, historically for this concept. And it’s likely to bode well in the future as well.
Looking for other Timeless pieces
If you know of some other timeless, wise pieces from the blogosphere, please link them in the comment section below. There are some great pieces out there worth sharing.