The Best Way To Learn About Stocks

Mitch Nielsen / unsplash

I wanted to learn about stocks because I lost $15,000,000. I lost everything.

I was a gambler at heart. I went from playing poker every day to playing the stock market every day. That’s mistake #1. I had to end that habit. I hope I did. 17 years later I still hope every day that I ended that addiction.

But I did learn. Although I wish I had been smarter about learning. I wish I had read all of these books I’m about to recommend.

Now I’ve read them. Some of them are inspirational. Some are educational. Some are about famous investors. Some are by famous investors sharing what they’ve learned.

Anyone who reads all of these books will understand the stock market and investing at a very deep level.

Warren Buffett has his famous two rules about investing. But I would say for myself the biggest thing I learned were these ideas:

  • When you own a stock, you own part of a company. So study what makes a good company.
  • Risk management is everything. Which means keep your positions very small.
  • The unexpected always happens.
  • I had to model myself after the greatest investors in history.
  • Politics is short-term, economics is medium term, innovation is long-term.

I’ve since run a successful hedge fund, fund of hedge funds, I’ve done many successful angel investments, and I’ve written about stocks and investing for 17 years in books, in the Wall Street Journal, in the Financial Times, and with regular appearances on CNBC.

Here’s the books I recommend to get started (note: this is the start).

– “Essays of Warren Buffett” by Lawrence Cunningham

– “Reminiscences of a Stock Market Operator” by Edwin LeFevre

– “Famous First Bubbles” by Peter Garber

– “Super Money” by Adam Smith

– “The Money Game” by Adam Smith

– “Confessions of a Street Addict” by Jim Cramer

– “Market Wizards” by Jack Schwager

– “Hedge Fund Market Wizards” by Jack Schwager

– “You Too Can Be a Stock Market Genius” by Joel Greenblatt

– “The Little Book of Value Investing

– “Warren Buffet” by Roger Lowenstein

– “When Genius Failed” by Roger Lowenstein

– “Flash Boys” by Michael Lewis

– “The Undoing Project” by Michael Lewis

– “The Coffee Trader” by David Liss (fiction)

– “Billion Dollar Sure Thing” by Paul E. Erdman (or any of his financial thrillers from the 70s)

– “My Own Story” by Bernard Baruch

– “Poor Charlie’s Almanack” by Charlie Munger

– “Damn Right!” (biography of Charlie Munger) by Janet Lowe

– “Education of a Value Investor” by Guy Spier

– “Abundance” by Peter Diamandis

– Joel Greenblatt’s “The Little Book That Still Beats the Market

– Andrew Ross Sorkin’s “Too Big to Fail

– “Dhando Investor” by Mohnish Pabrai

– “Money” by Tony Robbins

– “The Black Swan” by Nassim Taleb

– “Fooled by Randomness” by Nassim Taleb

– “A Man for All Markets” by Ed Thorp

Read these and your life will change. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

James Altucher is the author of the bestselling book Choose Yourself, editor at The Altucher Report and host of the popular podcast, The James Altucher Show, which takes you beyond business and entrepreneurship by exploring what it means to be human and achieve well-being in a world that is increasingly complicated.

Keep up with James on Twitter and

More From Thought Catalog