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The best books on investing specially chosen by Downing Fund Managers

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Have you ever wondered what books to read if you’re looking to get into a career in investment?  

There are countless books on investing, spanning theories and practices, from managing funds and assets to selecting stocks and equities; books delving into sector-specific investing, as well as micro and macroeconomic trends, and other more specialised topics.

This raises the question: how can you most effectively allocate your time to decide which books to read if you're aiming to pursue a career in investment?

Top book picks for a long-term investor

Downing Fund Managers have combined their decades of experience to come up with a tailored list of their top book recommendations for investment professionals or for individuals looking to get started in their careers in finance.  

You can download a digital copy of the list here.

  1. John Neff on Investing - John Neff

Packed with solid advice and guidance for anyone aspiring to execute value investing.

  1. Dumb Money - Ben Mezrich

To bring back some of 2021 – Dumb Money by Ben Mezrich about Roaring Kitty/Gamestop.

  1. 100 Baggers - Chris Mayer

A book about 100-baggers. These are stocks that return $100 for every $1 invested.  

  1. Liars Poker - Michael Lewis  

Stories on real- life events of the author’s experience as a bond salesman on Wall Street.

  1. Flash Boys – Michael Lewis

Uncovers the hidden world of high-frequency trading and exposes the flaws in the financial system.

  1. The Rise and Fall of Long- Term Capital Management - Roger Lowenstein

As it states in the title, this book explores the rise and fall of Long-Term Capital Management.

  1. Quality Investing - Lawrence Cunningham

A book with lots of insightful European company case studies.

  1. The Art of Execution - Lee Freeman-Shor

This book provides an easy-ish read on portfolio management which can otherwise be a bit dry.

  1. Thinking in Bets – Annie Duke

A good read on decision making and how it impacts investing.

  1. Seven Sins of Fund Management – James Montier

A book discussing how behavioural finance can inform the investment process.

  1. Grow the Pie - Alex Edmans  

A good book on challenges and opportunities around ESG investing.

  1. Moneyball – Michael Lewis

Moneyball illustrates the usefulness of approaching a problem in a completely different way to the prevailing wisdom.

  1. The Loser’s Game - Charles Elis

A book that advocates for passive over active investing.

  1. The Goal – Eliyahu Goldratt

Possibly the only novel ever written about the highs and lows of trying to optimise inventory management in a factory. A fascinating explanation of constraint optimisation.

  1. Only The Best Will Do – Peter Seilern

Everything you need to know to practice the art of quality growth investing.

  1. Fooled by Randomness – Nassim Taleb

A collection of essays on the impact of randomness on financial markets and life itself.

  1. The Wisdom of Crowds – James Surowiecki

The book explores how a diverse group of individuals can collectively make better decisions than even the smartest individual among them.

  1. Freakonomics - Steven Levitt & Stephen J Dubner

An economics-based book exploring theories that impact culture in ways beyond economics, including why people cheat and why names are important.

  1. The Big Short – Michael Lewis

The book exposes the true nature of modern capitalism and forces the reader to seriously question the wisdom of the financial elites.  

  1. The Little Book of Behavioural Investing - James Montier

Another excellent book by James Montier on how behavioural finance impacts the investment process.

  1. The Most Important Thing – Howard Marks

Howard Marks explores such concepts as "second-level thinking”, the price/value relationship, patient opportunism, and defensive investing.

  1. Nomad Partnership Letter  – Nick Sleep and Qais Zakaria

The full collection of the Nomad Investment Partnership Letters 2001 – 2014.

  1. Howard Marks’ Memos - Oaktree Capital  

Memos from the co-founder and co-chairman of Oaktree Capital, Howard Marks.

  1. How to pick quality shares – Phil Oakley  

A three-step process for analysing a company’s financial position.

  1. Shareholder Letters - Berkshire Hathaway  

A favourite for value investors. Some of the letters that go through recessionary periods are particularly relevant and engaging.

This list isn’t exhaustive and as stated earlier there are many books available to investors. These books have been specifically selected by Downing Fund Managers as a helpful reference for investors looking to bolster their knowledge and better navigate the markets.

Download the reading list:

Who are Downing Fund Managers?

Downing Fund Managers is a specialist investment boutique that provides a distinctive suite of products and services that differ from the mainstream. We pride ourselves on our entrepreneurial culture, in which experts are given the freedom and independence to support your successful investment journey.  

Meet the managers  

Risk warning  

Please note that past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results. Capital is at risk. Investments and the income derived from them can fall as well as rise and investors may not get back the full amount invested. Investments in our funds should be held for the long-term and are higher risk compared to investments solely in larger, more established companies. Opinions expressed represent the views of the fund manager at the time of publication, are subject to change, and should not be interpreted as investment advice.

Important notice: This content is for information only and does not form part of a direct offer or invitation to purchase, subscribe for or dispose of securities and no reliance should be placed on it. This content contains information that is believed to be accurate at the time of publication but is subject to change without notice. Whilst care has been taken in compiling this content, no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made by Downing as to its accuracy or completeness, including for external sources (which may have been used) which have not been verified. Downing does not offer investment or tax advice or make recommendations regarding investments. Downing is a trading name of Downing LLP. Downing LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Firm Reference No. 545025). Registered in England and Wales (No. OC341575). Registered Office: 6th Floor, St Magnus House, 3 Lower Thames Street, London EC3R 6HD.


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