What books would you recommend I study to increase my financial I.Q.?
There are five books in particular that I’ve read in the last few years that I believe offer valuable and timely lessons on all things related to money:
The Random Walk Guide to Investing: Ten Rules for Financial Success by Burton G. Malkiel (W. W. Norton & Co. Inc.; $15.95). Malkiel authored the famous 1974 investing bible, A Random Walk Down Wall Street. In this book, he distills and updates his earlier guidance for today’s beginning investors.
Personal Finance for Dummies by Eric Tyson (Wiley Publishing Inc.; $21.99). Belittling title aside, this one-stop guide covers everything from balancing a checkbook to saving for retirement.
The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of The World by Niall Ferguson (Penguin Group; $16). Wise investors know their history. This book chronicles centuries of financial booms and busts—and the people who caused them—in dramatic style.
Jim Cramer’s Real Money: Sane Investing In An Insane World by James J. Cramer (Simon & Schuster; $16). Forget the loopy, bearded madman you see on television. As a writer, Cramer can actually lay out a calm, rational explanation of financial markets. Most important: He gives detailed advice on how to research and identify a good investment.
101 Things Everyone Should Know About Economics by Peter Sander (Adams Media; $13.95). Sander divides each of his 101 topics into two parts: “what you should know” and “why you should care.” Anyone who can crystallize credit default swaps in 500 words (which Sander does in this book) earns my respect.
Of course, don’t forget to carve out some time to keep reading Black Enterprise.