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One of our beloved Focus on industry Twitter Subscribers recently asked what books we suggest to investors.
In this clip from the show, Finance host Jason Moser and Fool.com contributor Matt Frankel, CFP donate some of their favorite old books, as well as newer books they love.
A full transcript follows the video.
This video was recorded on January 7, 2019.
Jason Moser: We got a tweet from @LeontheFixer. @LeontheFixer asks, “Were there any book recommendations that podcast guests gave in their 2018 wraps? I seem to remember them for the past few years, but there doesn’t appear to be any this year.” He wonders if we have any recommendations for books that we read during the year, or even earlier, something that we can offer listeners. Friends, you are in luck. Both Matt and I read a lot and we have some really good recommendations for you. Matt, I’ll let you start. What kind of recommendations do you have for readers?
Matt Frankel: A personal finance book I just read was called Your money or your life. I don’t know if you know this one.
Frankel: My wife and I just finished reading this. In my opinion, this is the best personal finance book I have ever read.
Moser: Oh really? Wow!
Frankel: When it comes to putting things in perspective, saving money and putting yourself in the mindset of a saver rather than a spendthrift. So if your New Years resolution was to be smarter about how you spend money and stuff like that, I highly recommend you read this one.
Beyond that I would like to recommend some of the classics, I know this was on my last list of books I made on this podcast a few years ago, but I have to reiterate Peter Lynch’s books, specifically A blow to Wall Street. We were just talking about Square. He’s the one that pushed me to invest in Square and find opportunities like this. The whole book is about using your advantages as a small investor versus big players like hedge funds, institutional investors, etc., just using what you already know. The reason I invested with Square was because I was walking through farmers’ markets in my area, a plumber came to my house with a Square card reader in his pocket, and I just observed how it was becoming more and more of a trend, before we even knew what the company was doing or who it was. This is how I put them on my radar as an investment, and it’s ultimately the best performing stock I have ever invested in. I bought it a few years ago for $ 11 and still own it today. Even after the recent correction, it’s a big winner. So it’s called A blow to Wall Street. Actually, I have a copy here.
Another book by Peter Lynch that I like, it’s less known, it’s called Learn to win.
Moser: Ah I remember it!
Frankel: This is a very good overview of the basics of investing. If you’ve ever tried reading a college finance textbook and found it sticking out your head, this breaks everything down in real, straightforward English in a very easy-to-understand way.
Beyond that, both of Benjamin Graham’s books are still great books to read if you haven’t read them already. The smart investor and Security analysis. The way I would put it is, The smart investor it’s like going to college to invest, and Security analysis is the top school. It’s a step beyond, it teaches you to dive into numbers and things like that. The smart investor, they updated it a few years ago. Probably the best book on value investing ever written. It’s Warren Buffett’s favorite book, if that rings a bell.
Moser: I enjoyed reading that one. Many of the principles Ben Graham wrote about then still hold true today. Obviously the world is a little different today, the way technology has changed the landscape. I never read Security analysis. I felt like it was a bit more in the weeds than I was looking for at the time. But I have heard from a number of people that they have benefited a lot from reading it, so maybe I should go in and read it too.
I’m going to go in a slightly different direction. You have given away a lot of books on large scale investing. We have read most of it. I love Peter Lynch’s perspective and cannot recommend it highly enough. If you read One Up on Wall Street, read Beat the street also, and you have Learn to win. These are three great books by Peter Lynch. These lessons are timeless.
Best book I read in 2018, and I’m going to thank one of our members and listeners, Greg Gajus, because he was the one who left me this book the last time he was in town for one. of our events. It’s called The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Healthcare, written by TR Reid. It’s easy to read, but it’s so informative. It gives you an overview of health systems around the world. He basically goes to all of these different places trying to find the strengths and weaknesses of each other’s system. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. There is no single answer to our problems here at the national level. This shows that it is not a simple solution. It’s going to be difficult when you have a lot of political influence one way over the other.
For me it all boils down to, what is the goal of your health care system? Are you trying to make sure everyone gets health care? Or are you trying to achieve some other goal? And with most countries, the goal was very clearly: “Let’s make sure everyone has health care.” After reading the book, I don’t feel so comfortable saying that our goal here is to provide health care for everyone. I think it’s to give everyone health care with certain conditions. And that makes things a little more difficult.
I think it’s a great book to give you a better idea of ââhow healthcare is viewed in the world. You acknowledge that this is not a one size fits all. It is certainly a difficult problem to solve. I found myself pointing out passage after passage in this book. I keep going back and looking at it again. Just a great read.
Another one, I read this a few years ago. Coca Citizen by Bartow Elmore. It’s good because he talks about the story of Coca Cola from the very beginning and how the business was built, how it changed, the parts of the value chain that made up the business. It goes into some interesting areas of the business that a lot of people might not think of. Essentially, each chapter is devoted to a facet of the business, whether it is the water, the bottling or the soda blending itself and the savings that benefit from the one over the ‘other. It was a fun read.
American icon: Alan Mulally and the fight to save Ford Motor Company. This one was written by Bryce Hoffman. It was published a few years ago. When the financial crisis hit, we saw all of these automakers struggling really hard. Ford was the one who was able to stand out from the crowd. One of the reasons is that they brought in Alan Mulally. He had a strategy in mind. He had a vision in place. He led this company from a very difficult position to a position of success, and Ford has done very well since then. Obviously the auto industry is tough at first, but I think it’s a really interesting story about Alan Mulally the guy, what he did with Ford, the other players in space and the guys. areas where they failed.
I was very fortunate to interview Alan Mulally for a year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Although it can be. It was a great thrill for me. One of the highlights of my life as an analyst. Meeting him and talking to him was really cool. Reading this book he touched even more.
These are three that, if you’re looking for great investing stories, these are great stories out there. Hopefully this will give @LeontheFixer and the rest of our listeners a fun list to choose from here in 2019.