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6 Books Junior Officers Should Read to Learn About Investing

Investment Managing Your Finances

You've heard the saying. Leaders are Readers. It certainly applies to your military career. It is also important to read when it comes to developing your investing acumen. Whether you decide to manage your investments yourself or delegate it to a financial advisor or planner, here are 6 books that will give you a solid bedrock.

1. Why Stocks Go Up and Down by William Pike

Have you ever wondered how and why the stock market moves the way it does? Or what terms like “price/earnings ratio” or “price/cash flow ratio” actually mean? Pike offers a thorough guide to the questions a new investor needs to know in this wonderful introductory text. Indeed, just like it says on the cover, it is “the book you need to understand other investment books.”

2. A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel

For the casual investor who wants to feel more confident with investing in TSP or for anyone who is just starting to build their own portfolio, this book is a good read.  Malkiel covers the basics of investing and then introduces different investment products along with solid investment strategies. With over 1.5 million copies of this classic in print, you can feel confident that Malkiel knows what he is talking about. 

3. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham

This guide to investing was first published in 1949, and it is still one of the most read books on investing. There is a good reason for that: It works. The Intelligent Investor focuses on teaching readers how to minimize loses through value-based long-term investing. You won’t learn how to become a millionaire overnight with this guide, but it may keep you from losing your shirt. An updated edition of this classic covers recent changes to the market yet preserves the investing strategy of the original. 

4. The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John C. Bogle

When it comes to investors, the old saying, “that there is nothing common about common sense” is truer than you might expect. In The Little Book of Common Sense Investing, John C. Bogle, the founder of Vanguard Group, explores the benefits of investing in low-cost index funds as a way to capture market performance. Bogle describes why index funds are the best bet on Wall Street, and the reason you should opt for a buy and hold strategy for long-term gains. Investors who are looking to get their fair share of the market will find this book is a great place to start. 

5. Fail-Safe Investing: Lifelong Financial Security in 30 Minutes by Harry Browne

Does investing your money make you feel more than a little nervous? It is understandable. If you are a conservative investor who is more interested in protecting your money than dealing with the stress of large swings in the value of your portfolio, then this book may be what you want. Browne offers clear advice on how to preserve your wealth without messing around too much with your investments. While no portfolio is truly hands-off, the techniques in this book won’t require you to keep a constant eye on your balance sheet.

6. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

If you want to become a good investor, first you need the right knowledge, then you need the right way of thinking about your investment decisions. Learn to hone your thinking with this book by Kahneman, a Nobel Prize in Economics winner and psychologist. In Thinking, Fast and Slow, the author explores the advantages and disadvantages associated with quick, impulsive judgments and slower, more deliberate decisions. Readers learn why, when and how to apply each type of thinking to make the most profitable investment choices. 


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