When it comes to the realm of investment books, there are tons of them. Some are written by famous greats, like Benjamin Graham’s The Intelligent Investor and Peter Lynch’s One Up On Wall Street. There are also books on the different portfolio styles, like The Permanent Portfolio by Craig Rowland and J.M. Lawson, Pioneering Portfolio Management by David E. Swensen, and not forgetting my humble contribution in the form of The Bedokian Portfolio.
There is another investment book which I felt is a must-read by both beginners (for learning) and seasoned investors (for re-learning), and it is Essentials of Investments. It is written by finance professors Zvi Bodie, Alex Kane and Alan J. Marcus.
Hold On, Is This a Textbook?
Well, yes it is, and it is about 700-plus pages thick.
A school textbook usually provides the basics of a subject in a structured, topical manner, along with worked examples, problem questions and a few real-life articles pertaining to the topics covered. Essentials of Investments is just that, as it covers almost everything you need to know about investing (and trading), plus the whats, whys and hows. It talks about equities, bonds, portfolios, options, futures, basic economics, financial statements, etc. Now you know why the book is that thick.
But 700+ Pages, It May Take Too Long To Read
In my opinion, if a reader has the drive, focus and passion, no measurement of book thickness is able to stop him/her (Harry Potter book fans are a good example). Granted, however, that the mathematics and formulae inside may be a bit daunting and dry to some, but you could casually read through at your own leisure or you could just jump around the chapters; After all your time limit is not one semester.
I personally feel the key takeaways in terms of additional knowledge gained are priceless and can open additional doors in your investment journey.
You can purchase Essentials of Investments from bookstores such as Amazon and Books Kinokuniya, or borrow it from the public and institutional libraries (use the respective library portals to search for it). Currently it is at the tenth edition, but you could still read up the previous editions.