These books have helped me improve my technical analysis, fundamental research, and overall investment process.
Mastering the Market Cycle
by Howard Marks
A book from one of the industry’s greatest that introduces economic and financial cycles and their interrelationships. He also provides a helpful questionnaire that allows you to do your own survey of market sentiment, which can provide additional insight in determining where we in the cycle and how to invest accordingly.
Technical Analysis and Stock Market Profits
by Richard W. Schabacker
One of the first comprehensive books published on technical analysis back when it required graph paper, ruler, and pencil. The book covers Dow Theory, major continuation and reversal patterns, and teaches how to determine trend lines, support, and resistance.
Technical Analysis of Stock Trends
by Robert D. Edwards and John Magee
This book was actually written by Schabacker’s brother-in-law, who took up the mantle after Schabacker died. The book covers the same topics as Schabacker’s but with more detail around the implications of patterns. They also devote much more of the book to implementation and trading strategies. I would start here if I were new to technical analysis.
The Global Macro Edge
by John Netto
A modern encyclopedia of the discipline, covering much of the materials in the earlier classics plus a summary of oscillators, moving averages, candlestick charting, and more. It introduces some techniques like Elliott Wave Theory. Critically, it also provides checklists to help one understand and incorporate the analysis into one’s process.
Technical Analysis of The Financial Markets
by John Murphy
I have included this book for its coverage of risk management, but it actually covers a lot more. Netto is a trader, but I believe that many of the systems and processes he employs and describes in this book can be really important to long-term investors. Concerning risk management, his coverage of risk-reward and investing regimes is beneficial.
My Trading Bible
by Mark Ritchie
An entertaining and quick read on risk management by a trading legend. Again, this book focuses on traders but with important risk management lessons for investors. It boils down to discipline and respecting the process. Ritchie highlights the importance of understanding your strategy’s risk-return profile and using the Ritchie (also known as the Kelly) rule to size positions. Finally, he separates good strategy from good results and that even good strategies can have drawdowns. As such, successful investing requires a bit of emotional fortitude.
by Jack Schwager
A well-recommended book that interviews famous traders from the ’80s. It provides invaluable insights into successful traders’ processes that you can apply to your own. More importantly, it shows that many of them have made mistakes and are human, which is refreshing compared to much of financial media. The most important insights reaffirmed for me were cutting losers and letting winners run and that there is a case for using leverage in a portfolio.
The Psychology of Money
by Morgan Housel
A wonderful quick read on general feelings people have about money and wealth. The author outlines 18 different elements on the psychology of money and how people can adopt certain viewpoints that will aid their wealth and sanity. One I plan to re-read periodically.
by Steve Keen
It is a thick technical (but fortunately without the calculus) read but super important to understand mainstream economics’s many limitations. I hold a bachelor’s degree in the field, and this book reinforced my view of its limited practical usefulness. For me, the most important elements are the discussions on the dangers of aggregating supply and demand curves and the use of general equilibrium models.
The Mind of Wall Street
by Leon Levy
A biography and treatise from Leon Levy, one of the founders of Oppenheimer funds. Levy’s journey started in finance just after WWII and provides a first-hand account of many developments in Wall Street that most of us have no experience in, from Wall Street’s clubby feeling in the 1950s through the start of the LBO movement. It finally closes with his take on the bursting of the tech bubble.
Levy’s skill set seemed to run the gambit, and the book is good at synthesizing his takeaways from each period. Whether it be deep value investing, LBO’s, the journey of Oppenheimer as a business or even his later use of Eurodollar futures. I hope I can be as flexible and methodical in my approach to investing over time.
The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind
by Gustave Le Bon
Not technically an investing book, but a great exploration of the crowd and therefore market psychology.
Le Bon was writing over 100 years ago but highlights many of the crowd attributes that can be seen today, from the rise of memes, the failure of articulate conversation amongst large groups of people and the repeated failure of reason at a group level.
This book put in clear words a lot of points that many probably understand intuitively.
History reveals patterns over time and can inform our view of the future. These books have helped give me perspective on markets.
Anatomy of The Bear
by Russell Napier
The book studies the 1921, 1932, 1949 and 1982 market bottoms and finds commonalities that investors can use to improve their returns. Specifically, it puts forth common preconditions for market recoveries. It highlights that human behavior is enduring despite economic progress, and investors can use that to their advantage.
Devil Take the Hindmost
by Edward Chancellor
A survey of speculative manias starting in the 1600s. It highlights the recurring causes of many manias and the personalities involved On nearly everyone’s financial history must-read lists, and a quick, entertaining read.
The Great Wave
by David Hackett Fischer
This book surveys inflation cycles from medieval times to the 1990s and attempts to understand what has caused these cycles. Such a long term perspective is essential for putting modern times into context. It is a bit academic but very comprehensive.
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
by Charles Mackay
A book written in the 19th century that covers various hysteria. From investing in the Mississippi bubble to cultural obsessions like national thieves and religious relics, Mackay tries to tease out the commonalities across different events. Investors can improve their process by understanding how such popular narratives and delusions form and how they are prone to end.
These books are less focused on markets but talk about the history and politics of many of the regions or countries I’ve written about. They help provide greater context on cultures and formative events.
The Silk Roads: A New History of the World
by Peter Frankopan
Raoul Pal has mentioned this book I don’t know how many times on RealVision. It’s a good but long read and covers the development of civilization from the perspective of the cultures that made up the silk roads. It makes the case that the peoples of modern western society were largely cultural backwaters from the fall of Rome up until they were able to circumvent the silk roads for trade.
All in all, the book provided a great shift in perspective and a good primer on the heterogeneity of the cultures between Italy and China.
Greece: Biography of a Modern NationHindmost
by Roderick Beaton
I grew up in a house that had a deep respect for the classics, and I had no idea of the complexities surrounding the development of a modern Greek identity. As much as modern western culture places Greece fully in its sphere, the history and development since the modern country was founded in the early 19th century are much more nuanced.
The author follows historical and political developments of modern Greece through a lens that highlights that Greece sits at the crossroads of western and eastern cultures and that the undulations in what we call Greece largely stem from influences related to both sides.
For me, the book sheds light on a background that helps to explain Greece’s political disfunction in the last decade.
Articles and Videos
Helpful articles and videos I’ve found researching posts and investments. Topics are varied.
The video is a great, simplified explanation of business cycle dynamics. I disagree with some points raised in the latter part of the video, but the short-term cycle description at the beginning makes up for it.
The article shares research on the different return profiles of stocks, bonds and cash during various economic cycles. The view is that, depending on the point in the cycle, different asset classes will perform better, with bonds performing best in the market top and bear market while equities perform best at the bottom and bull market.
Russell Napier covers his framework for understanding what causes markets to roll from market top to bear market and vice versa. He also covers the role of money supply and credit in predicting turns in the business cycle. It is a few years old but foreshadows issues in Turkey.
Go to websites for macro research, sector news, and ideas.
Harris Kupperman’s blog where he discusses the idea’s he’s investing in. If you have a value-bias, it’s a good read for ideas. I also admire his mental flexibility. It covers a wide variety of topics.
A great resource for understanding where we are in the cycle. ECRI publishes various lead indicators for various markets. These tools can help investors locate the current stage in the cycle and invest accordingly.
Hedgeye does a wonderful job mapping the cycle out based on their modeling of growth and inflation. They map out allocation recommendations based on where they see the economy in the cycle. There is no compensation here for the referral, but they are dedicated to their framework and explain it clearly to potential clients. Even if you don’t agree with all of it, there’s certainly something to learn.
A library of videos from financial minds covering a wide variety of topics. It is instrumental in getting to understand great investors’ processes. I also found it has been the most useful way of receiving contrary opinions to my own views.
Tim Staermose’s blog where he chronicles his own investing observations. He’s gone off the beaten path most of his career and has recently started an Africa-focused fund. To play on the name, there’s certainly value to be found in the investing world today, you just may have to explore a little.
Jamie Catherwood’s project to explore whether there is in fact anything new under the financial sun. The site attempts to take current trends and find where history has rhymed. As someone who is a fan of primary sources, the site documents nearly everything. I don’t go through every post in detail, but putting the events in historical context is a critical step in developing a solid investment plan.
A Bakersfield, CA-based financial advisor providing really good insights into the mechanics and behavior of the bond market. If you find yourself always in the bond-bear camp, Steve is usually full of helpful opposing views.
Topics ranging from timely macro updates, in-depth reviews of current social trends, and practical wisdom on various markets.
What is this doing here, you ask? BP is mostly focused on real estate, but I have found it useful on my own journey, especially as it relates to mindset. Sure real estate investing is different from many other forms. Still, many important habits and ideas in real estate investing (discipline, mindset, etc.) apply to all types of investing.
Grant was a co-founder of RealVision and has a fascinating background. He co-hosts three series of podcasts with Bill Fleckenstein, Stephanie Pomboy and Ben Hunt, covering various themes. Again the format is long-form, but I find they cover some niche experts or former real vision interviewees I haven’t heard from in a while. Grant and his co-hosts certainly have a view, but they make it clear.
I no longer read a lot of news either in newspapers or long-form (i.e., the Economist) but find this podcast covers many relevant topics in a long-form manner that actually educates listeners about the topic instead of passing an opinion as fact. The host also does a good job of covering finance topics as well. I stumped up for the first-tier subscription, and have found the extra overtime segments engaging and useful.
One of the OG’s of finance podcasts. They cover a wide variety of topics from multiple angles and do it well. Both hosts use technicals, so it is also a great way to catch up on general market levels if your away from the market and need to get caught up.
This podcast covers some pretty heavy finance topics in a really down to earth, fun and digestible manner. Their guests are a bit more under the radar than others, but that does not take away from the value add. The hosts also tend to disagree on many themes, which means that most points are debated. This is rare, super healthy and helpful.