Suggested Reading

Most of this information is freely available somewhere on the web, but it can be very helpful to have everything laid out in a logical, consistent format. I think everyone should read at least one book from the General Investing section.

I also strongly encourage everyone to read about investor behavior, since that's the source of the most costly investing mistakes. It's covered in the better general investing books, but I list a couple of dedicated titles for those who want to delve further into the topic.

The books in the Financial History section are for those who wish to go beyond the basics. A more comprehensive list is available on the Books: Recommendations and Reviews page of the Bogleheads Wiki.

Each one of these titles is worthy of inclusion on its own. Compiled by webmaster Alex Frakt.

General Investing

Bogleheads Guide to InvestingThe Bogleheads' Guide to Investing - byTaylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, and Michael LeBoeuf.

An easy to read, comprehensive guide to investing. It is suitable for investors of any experience level, and would be a good choice for a first investment book. It's written in a number of short chapters in light-hearted, plain language. It does not go into a high level of detail on most subjects, but the information presented is well-chosen, supplemented with lots of charts and references to other books and information if you want to delve deeper into a subject.

General Investing

Bogleheads Guide to InvestingThe Bogleheads' Guide to the Three-Fund Portfolio: How a Simple Portfolio of Three Total Market Index Funds Outperforms Most Investors with Less Risk - by Taylor Larimore.

The most popular portfolio on the Bogleheads forum. This all-indexed portfolio contains over 15,000 worldwide securities, in just three easily-managed funds, that has outperformed the vast majority of both professional and amateur investors. If you are a new investor, or an experienced investor who wants to simplify and improve your portfolio, this short, easy-to-read guide will show you how.

Retirement Planning

Bogleheads Guide to Retirement PlanningThe Bogleheads' Guide to Retirement Planning Edited and organized by Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, Rick Ferri and Laura Dogu.

This book was a collaborative effort by the members of the Bogleheads forum and covers the entire spectrum of retirement planning, including: investing, taxes, retirement plans, personal finance, insurance and estate planning issues. The book is an invaluable aid in helping understand and plan out the confusing array of financial options that we all face from the very start of our working lives all the way through retirement. As the investing section is necessarily brief, I would pair this book with one from the previous section.

General Investing

AllAbout Asset AllocationAll About Asset Allocation (2nd Edition) - by Rick Ferri

General Investing

CommonsenseCommon Sense on Mutual Funds: 10th Anniversary Edition - by John "Jack" Bogle

A very readable classic updated to cover the events of the '00s.

General Investing

InvestorsManifestoThe Investor's Manifesto: Preparing for Prosperity, Armageddon, and Everything in Between - by William ("Bill") Bernstein

You cannot go wrong with Bill Bernstein's books, this is my #1 choice for anyone interested in going beyond the most basic investment primer. My previous favorite all-in-one investing book, The Four Pillars of Investing, is an earlier work by Dr. Bernstein that covers much the same ground, but is a bit longer and more technically oriented. Note the link is to the latest version, with a 2010 postscript that brings the book up to date. For reviews and content, see the original version

General Investing

WiseInvestingWise Investing Made Simple or The Only Guide to a Winning Investment Strategy You'll Ever Need - by Larry Swedroe.

Larry's books on bonds and alternative investments are also excellent for investors thinking about moving beyond the basic asset classes.

General Investing

CoffeehouseThe New Coffeehouse Investor: How to Build Wealth, Ignore Wall Street, and Get on with Your Life - by Bill Schultheis.

Too light on content for my tastes, but a short and fun read and perhaps the best choice for introducing investing concepts to those who need to know them, but are unwilling to take on something more comprehensive. Our members give out a lot of these as gifts.

Investor Behavior

WhySmartWhy Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes and How to Correct Them: Lessons from the Life-Changing Science of Behavioral Economics - by Gary Belsky and Thomas Gilovich.

An updated version of this classic.

Investor Behavior

RationalInvestingRational Investing in Irrational Times: How to Avoid the Costly Mistakes Even Smart People Make Today - by Larry Swedroe

Investor Behavior

YourMoneyYour Money and Your Brain: How the New Science of Neuroeconomics Can Help Make You Rich - by Jason Zweig

Financial History

DevilTakeDevil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation - by Edward Chancellor