7 Essential Books for Business and Investing

Photo of author

By Jacob Maslow

Knowledge is power when it comes to investing and business management. Everyone is engaged in a learning process, whether it is a beginning investor or a CEO. The following books 

will inspire and help you refine your strategies. 



  • One Up on Wall Street  by Peter Lynch


This book is ideal for beginners and experienced investors. Peter Lynch is a respected investor who began with Fidelity Investments and eventually started his own fund, the Magellan Fund which grew from $18 million to $14 billion in 23 years with an average return of 30%. Currently, Magellan is one of the most successful funds worldwide. 


Peter Lynch’s philosophy is to buy what you know and hold onto it. This strategy lessens risks and has been behind Magellan’s consistent gains for decades. The author’s style is clear, friendly, and not intimidating, which makes it a useful book for beginners, and yet has enough information and insight for investors who have some experience.  One of Lynch’s useful mantras for investing is “Know what you own and why you own it.” 



  • The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham 


Even 70 years after this book was published, it is still is current. The book is an investing classic, and was said by Warren Buffett to be “the best book on investing ever written.” Graham is often referred to as “the father of value investing,” and his philosophy focuses on researching holdings thoroughly, looking for inherent value rather than quick trading, and to invest with a margin of safety. 



  • A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel


This is another classic book on investing that is as fresh as it was when it hit the scene 50 years ago. It is ideal for those who want to choose their own stocks with a buy and hold strategy. Malkiel’s discourages attempts to beat the market and espouses the Random Walk philosophy that posits the stock market’s movements are random and can’t be predicted with accuracy. Some sections may be a bit complex for a beginner, but there are certainly valuable insights throughout the book for investors at every level. 



  • The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done by Peter F. Drucker


This straightforward guide is ideal for executives and managers. The guide has practical advice as well as general statements that hold true in any situation. It also explores the art of delegating tasks and managing upward. Drucker is known for distilling business wisdom into succinct phrases, such as “Management is doing this right; leadership is doing the right things.” 



  • Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity–David Allen


The balance between increasing productivity and avoiding stress is a challenge, and this book is an excellent guide to focused growth without undue pressure. Allen’s approach is capitalizing on ideas and creating a reasonable timeline for implementing them. Allen’s motto is “Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.” This book encourages the practice of having a weekly review to survey workloads and evaluating priorities. 



  • Great By Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck–Why Some Thrive Despite Them All–Jim Collins


This book is ideal for the business owner who is focused on growth and is seeking inspiration. Collins takes a close look at the decision-makers behind excellent companies and creates tips anyone can implement for scaling their business. Collins demonstrates how the structure of a company can help determine its growth potential and how this growth can be multiplied by making the right decisions. 



  • The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals (2012) by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, and Jim Huling



Although one of the authors, Sean Covey, is the son of Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, this book is not simply a spin-off of this classic but is a great business book in its own right. The book focuses on how to put plans into execution and outlines four disciplines: Focus, leverage, engagement, and accountability. The book also discusses how day-to-day activities (“the whirlwind”) interfere with achieving goals and recommends creating a time budget spending 20% on goals and 80% on the whirlwind. 

Finding Inspiration

The secret to success is getting inspired while keeping your focus. These books help you do both and give expert and relevant advice on managing a portfolio or expanding your company. Whether you are buying stocks for the first time or are a CEO expanding into new markets, these highly-rated books can help you achieve your objectives. 

Images Courtesy of DepositPhotos