The Only "Investing" Book You'll Ever Need
"To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge." - Confucius, as quoted in Walden (1854) by Henry David Thoreau, Ch. 1
Investing is primarily a behavioral exercise. Your behavior matters more than fees, the stocks you have in your portfolio and how your money is allocated. Heck, it matters more than how much money you have to invest. History is ripe with people who wasted fortunes away.
For e.g., Simon Sinek's Together is Better was a far superior primer in sensing great management behind companies like Costco.
None of my current goals, financial or otherwise, could have been set if I hadn't read Matthew Syed's Bounce and realized the importance of measurement and benchmarking to track progress.
Therefore I rarely recommend any "investing" books per se. Most what anyone really needs to know to "invest" can be paraphrased in one small paragraph.
But...if I had to recommend ONE "investing" book to anyone, Robin R. Speziale's Market Masters would be it.
Market Masters is simply a collection of detailed interviews with successful Canadian investors. The book breaks them up into different styles of investing, and then explores their personal flavor and their recipe for success.
You wont find charts or tables here, just stories, experiences and philosophies from folks who don't just talk the talk, but walk the walk too.
This deep dive into their psyche is what makes Market Masters so relatable. I got the distinct feeling that this conversation style format was honest and open. That doesn't happen in this day and age. Money is such a taboo topic, we have such a prohibitive culture around it. People are generally left to their own devices, listening to salesmen on BNN for advice, let alone getting access to elite fund managers with a track record of success.
The variety of perspectives from all these individuals is simply a pleasure to read. I may not identify myself as a value or a technical analysis investor, but I understand that are many ways to slice a pie. As has often been the case, I've learnt the most from people I don't identify with and from experiences that were downright uncomfortable.
As I have done in my financial independence endeavor, I always ask: how can I get the most bang for the buck? My BTSX/BDOW portfolios require only 4 hours per year of my time(!), while having historically performed better than their respective indicies.
So why is this the only "investing" book I would recommend to anyone? It's because the information contained in a hundred other books that cover the styles of investing that Market Masters profiles can be distilled down into this one book.
Enjoy, I hope you learn just as much as I did from Market Masters, if not more.
How to distill this book down even further, I hear you ask? Perhaps in a single blog post? Read this, then hang it up where you will always see it.