According to the greatest investors of all time, the best value investing books are Margin of Safety, The Most Important Thing Illuminated, The Intelligent Investor, and The Aggressive Conservative Investor.
As an active investor and certified market analyst for over 20 years, I have significantly invested in my learning library. I have personally read all of the books on this list. I rank them in order of how valuable the content is to build a great portfolio of Warren Buffett-style value stocks.
The Best Investing Books of All Time
The best value investing books help you learn about company valuation, specifically intrinsic value, to analyze a stock effectively. You will learn the criteria of value stocks and the margin of safety. Next, how to understand the rules and strategies to select your investments.
The Best Investors of All Time
The best investors of all time are measured by their accumulation of wealth. Joel Greenblatt, John Bogle, Peter Lynch, and William O’Neil are featured in this list. Add to this the legendary Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett, and Seth Klarman. Not only do great investors make money, but they also want to share their wisdom with the world so everyone benefits.
21 Best Value Investing Books of 2023
1. The Most Important Thing Illuminated
The Most Important Thing Illuminated is a book by Howard Marks, the co-founder and Chairman of Oaktree Capital Management. Published in 2011, it describes his unique insight into investing.
Filled with wisdom and advice about how to successfully predict market movements and how to invest in the face of uncertainty, it is valuable reading for any investor who wants to get ahead.
He explains the concept of margin of safety, how to identify undervalued stocks, and how to build a successful portfolio that produces consistent returns despite volatility. The book also contains a wealth of anecdotes from Marks’s experiences as an investor, which make for entertaining reading.
Howard Marks, the chairman and co-founder of Oak Tree Capital, is an investor Buffett admires. Buffett admired Marks’ client memos so much he offered to write a dust-jacket recommendation for a book of them.
In The Most Important Thing, Marks encourages investors to think for themselves by describing their mistakes and what they learned from them. Buffett describes The Most Important Thing as “a rarity, a useful book.”
2. The Intelligent Investor
The Intelligent Investor, written by Benjamin Graham in 1949, is one of the most important books ever written about investing. Buffett has referred to it as “the best book on investing ever written,” he even uses parts of it when giving speeches. The principles taught in this book are timeless and have been proven to work over time.
Graham emphasizes the importance of the margin of safety, which he believed was the cornerstone of intelligent investing. He also talks about how investors should look at value rather than price and how to evaluate a company’s financial statements to make sound decisions.
Graham strongly influenced Warren Buffet.
Benjamin Graham, the greatest investment advisor of the twentieth century, taught and inspired people worldwide. Graham’s “value investing” philosophy shields investors from substantial error and teaches them to develop long-term strategies. It made The Intelligent Investor the stock market bible since its original publication in 1949.
Positives: A huge amount of valuable insight and knowledge. The revised version, with comments from Jason Zweig, brings the book up to date with new examples of how the book’s tenets still hold.
Negatives: With an overwhelming 623 pages or nearly 18 hours of listening combined and a very dry writing style, you will need a lot of coffee to get you through it.
[Related Article: The Best Stock Screeners To Find Dividend & Value Stocks]
4. Value Investing: From Graham to Buffett and Beyond
Bruce C. N. Greenwald, Judd Kahn, and Michael van Biema
Value Investing: From Graham to Buffett and Beyond is a book that delves into the origins of value investing, tracing its roots from Benjamin Graham to Warren Buffett.
It features contributions from Bruce C. N. Greenwald, Judd Kahn, and Michael van Biema, covering growth stocks, stock selection criteria, financial statement analysis, and much more.
This book is an invaluable resource for all investors looking to gain insight into the principles of value investing. Furthermore, it provides a unique perspective on portfolio management strategies that will help all investors make sound investment decisions in today’s markets.
A history of value investing that introduces readers to the top minds in value investing and their theories. Lead author Greenwald teaches value investing at Columbia Business School in New York.
Greenblatt considers Value Investing a valuable resource because it contains case studies of the value investment masters’ techniques and strategies. This book is a must-read because it is an academic analysis of value investment and a great introduction to the markets for serious investors.
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5. The Little Book of Value Investing
The Little Book of Value Investing is a great resource for investors who want to learn the basics of value investing. This book introduces value investing principles and examines how they can be applied in various markets, giving readers a comprehensive overview. It also contains case studies from successful value investors, which provide valuable insights into how these strategies are
The Little Book of Value Investing offers investors the tools to follow a value-investment model that consistently beats the market.
They are written in an easy-to-understand tone by Christopher H. Browne, the managing director of Tweedy, Browne Company, one of the most highly-regarded investment firms in the USA.
This audiobook discusses the most important methods, ideas, and approaches in value investing. It includes chapters on finding value, buying stocks on sale, long-term investing, when to hold and let go, and how to be a knowledgeable investor.
It is a short audiobook at only 4 hours 32 minutes, but I think you will find interesting concepts and tips.
[Related Article: The Liberated Stock Trader Ultimate Guide To Value Investing]
6. The New Buffettology
Mary Buffett is a financial author and expert on Warren Buffett’s strategy. This is an updated version of the original book, The New Buffettology, written in 2000.
The New Buffettology explains how to invest like one of the world’s best investors using value investing principles and focusing on companies with excellent management teams, strong earnings histories, and low debt levels.
It also provides an overview of the different investment strategies used by Warren Buffett and advice on portfolio management.
The New Buffettology is a great audiobook for anyone who wants to learn more about value investing and improve their understanding of Warren Buffett’s thinking.
How Warren Buffett Got and Stayed Rich in Markets Like This and How You Can Too!
The New Buffettology is the first guide to Warren Buffett’s selective contrarian investment strategy for exploiting undervalued stocks – an approach that has made him the nation’s second-richest person.
Designed to teach investors how to decipher and use financial information the way Buffett himself does, this book guides investors through opportunity-rich bear markets, walking them step-by-step through the equations and formulas Buffett uses to determine what to buy, what to sell — and when.
We have also based our article on How To Build A Great Buffett Stock Screener on this book.
Authors Mary Buffett and David Clark explore Buffett’s recent investments in detail, proving time and again that his strategy has earned enormous profits at a time no one expects them to, and with almost zero risks to his capital.
7. The Aggressive Conservative Investor
The Aggressive Conservative Investor is a comprehensive guide for investors looking to maximize stock returns while minimizing risks. Authors Martin Fridson and Fernando Alvarez detail their investment strategy, which focuses on value-oriented portfolio management with an emphasis on understanding the underlying business fundamentals of companies.
The authors provide techniques to create a diversified portfolio that can withstand market turmoil and advice on picking and selecting stocks with the potential for above-market returns. With a combination of fundamental analysis and risk management, The Aggressive Conservative Investor is an invaluable resource for any investor looking to achieve consistent profits with minimal risk.
Seth Klarman recommends The Aggressive Conservative Investor because it is a good introduction to value investment.
Whitman introduces important value investment concepts in The Aggressive Conservative Investor, including stock analysis, risk minimization, and stock valuation.
If you want to learn value investing and how it works, The Aggressive Conservative Investor is the book for you.
8. The Warren Buffett Way
The Warren Buffett Way offers investors an in-depth look at the Oracle of Omaha’s business and investment strategies.
The book provides insight into Buffett’s “value investing” approach and how he applies it to the stock market. It also gives readers an understanding of the financial markets and what makes a successful investor.
The Warren Buffett Way is an excellent resource for investors looking to learn the fundamentals of the investing process and make profitable investments.
Hagstrom argues Buffett built his fortune and Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.B) by looking at stocks and companies as businesses rather than investments. Investors who want to imitate Buffett need to assume a similar mindset.
In the latest edition, Hagstrom argues investors need to think long-term and not obsess about loss aversion. Buffett’s greatest strength is his ability to think rationally about a changing market, Hagstrom writes.
Hagstrom analyzes Buffett’s investing strategies by examining his acquisition of H.J. Heinz, now Kraft Heinz Co (NASDAQ: KHC), and Berkshire Hathaway’s investment in IBM (NYSE: IBM). Those who want an in-depth study of Buffett’s methods must read The Warren Buffett Way.
9. The Education of a Value Investor
Guy Spier shares his philosophy on value investing. Light on actual strategies and more focused on developing your mindset to become a successful value investor. He discusses how having an elite education does not guarantee any investing success; it may hinder it.
If you need some investing soul food laced with positive anecdotes about the author’s life, this is the book for you. This book is extremely highly rated by Amazon buyers, who mostly attribute this book’s greatness to being able to relate to the author’s investing journey.
However, suppose you are looking for a solid education or strategies. In that case, this book only contains a lot of fluff about becoming more positive in your life and how being a good value investor makes you a better person.
10. Margin of Safety
Risk-Averse Value Investing Strategies for the Thoughtful Investor
Seth Klarman’s 1991 classic explains one of the essential concepts in value investing: The Margin of Safety.
Klarman uses the margin to explain the value investing philosophy and its strategy. In the book, Klarman offers a blueprint investors can use to give themselves a margin of safety.
The margin of safety protects investors from unexpected losses and Black Swan events. If you want to keep your money, Margin of Safety is the investing book for you.
Some investors hold the Margin of Safety so highly that some will pay $3,000 for an original edition. If you want to learn how Klarman thinks and invests, Margin of Safety can show you.
11. Mastering the Market Cycle
Getting the Odds on Your Side
Howard Marks based this investment strategy book on insights from decades of his Oaktree memos. In Mastering the Market Cycle, Marks identifies market cycles as one of the most important concepts investors must master.
Marks believes that the market cycle determines investment prices and creates demand. Mark’s writing about Cycles is refreshing because he admits fear and greed distort people’s views of the market and close their eyes to problems.
Marks believes that accurate information about market outcomes will not guarantee investment success. Instead, Marks thinks making the correct assumptions about price and having the discipline to act on the assumptions is the key to making money in the markets.
Suppose you want to understand the relationship between human psychology and market cycles; Mastering the Market Cycle is a must-read.
12. Security Analysis
Security Analysis is a classic book on investing written by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd in 1934. It introduces the fundamentals of security analysis, helping readers assess the risk and potential return of investments.
Dodd and Graham’s classic is still the best in-depth on value investing around. In Security Analysis, Graham and Dodd first identified and introduced several principal value investing concepts.
The book explains how to analyze a company’s financial reports to assess its intrinsic value, perform fundamental and technical analysis, understand market cycles, and make wise investment decisions. It also offers advice on portfolio management, asset allocation strategies, debt management principles, stock valuation techniques, and tips for maximizing returns.
Security Analysis provides knowledge essential for understanding the stock market dynamics and making informed investment decisions.
Klarman regards Security Analysis as the “bible of value investing” and recommends you read it before you enter the markets.
All serious value investors need to read and reread Security Analysis.
13. The Little Book that Still Beats the Market
The legendary investor Joel Greenblatt does not need to sell books to make money. He is primarily concerned about helping ordinary people make great investing decisions with their hard-earned money.
This is a short but fascinating book looking at his specific system that the author declares and proves makes a regular profit.
I have back-tested this system, and it works very well; it is a little high maintenance, but the lessons are vital.
It is also quite humorous, which is welcome in the dry world of investing.
This is a great book to read, which provides real value to the investor; you have to read this book.
14. Mr. Market Miscalculates: The Bubble Years and Beyond
James Grant, the publisher of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, is one of Klarman’s favorite writers. In this book, Grant looks at the bubbles of the 1990s and how we can protect ourselves from them in the future.
This is an excellent read for investors who want to understand market movements better and those looking to develop their risk management skills. Grant points out that even “Mr Market” – an often-used metaphor for investors – can make mistakes! Highly recommended.
Mr. Market Miscalculates is a collection of essays from Grant’s Interest Rate Observer that contains Grant’s opinions on the Bubble Years of 2000-2008. Grant’s observations expose many economic problems and explain why the market failed in the early 21st Century.
Mr. Market Miscalculates is a must-read for anybody who wants to understand the roots of the modern American economy and its failures.
15. The Little Book of Common Sense Investing
The creator of the world’s first index-tracking fund shares the critically important reasons you should not be actively trading stock, commodities, and ETFs but investing long term.
The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John C. Bogle is a classic book for investors of all experience levels. It provides an easy-to-understand introduction to investing, offering advice on everything from asset allocation and diversification to taxes and expenses.
The book also offers a comprehensive guide to the different types of investments available, from stocks and bonds to mutual funds and ETFs. With its simple yet powerful approach to managing money, this book is an essential resource for anyone looking to build wealth over time.
It is a must-read for those wanting to understand the stock market, how it works, and why it often fails. It offers investors simple steps to help protect their money from losses or overpaying fees while providing tips on investing wisely and successfully. Whether you’re just starting or have decades of experience, this book will be invaluable.
The key messages are apparent and passionately explained in the book. Essentially, using any stock advisors, stock pickers, or mutual funds will work out negatively for your investments over the long term.
The book contains incredibly essential information that everyone needs to understand.
“Taxes, Broker Costs, Mutual Fund Manager Costs, and Financial Advisor costs will severely eat away at the long-term compounding power of your investments.” John Bogle
This book is short, sweet, and supported with plenty of proof to support his assertions.
16. How to Make Money in Stocks
With over 50 years of experience in the stock market, Author William O’Neil has perfected a system to give investors the most success. The book details how to identify great stocks and when to buy and sell them. He also explains his CAN SLIM system, a simple way for anyone to pick high-potential stocks.
Combining technical and fundamental analysis, this best-selling book gives you a good framework for building your stock market investing approach—one of the best-investing books ever written.
The book is packed full of clear examples with a very structured approach. The CANSLIM approach is easy to remember as a Stock Screening approach to finding good stocks and shares to invest in.
These ideas are integrated into our training courses and outlined in our Stock Market Strategy Böueprint. The book heavily promotes using Investors.com as a tool. You do not need to purchase this service; you can create your own CANSLIM stock screeners to achieve the same goal for free.
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17. University of Berkshire Hathaway
30 Years of Lessons Learned from Warren Buffett & Charlie Munger at the Annual Shareholders Meeting
This book reprints and retells many of Buffett’s classic writings, including his famous letters to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.B).
In the essays, Buffett offers investment advice in plain English on regulated industries, investing opportunities, market valuation, popular opinion of the market, financial crises, housing bubbles, acquisitions, and corporate governance.
This book is packed with down-to-earth and easy-to-understand investing advice.
Greenblatt admires this book because it offers a deep insight into Buffett’s thoughts, philosophy, and methodology. Those who want to learn how Buffett thinks and invests can learn much from this book.
18. One Up On Wall Street
A great book for beginner investors, with an excellent, down-to-earth approach, ideal for the beginner to show you how to apply your local knowledge to find winning companies.
This classic book by legendary mutual fund manager Peter Lynch, with investor John Rothchild, is about how individual investors can profit from their market knowledge.
It was first published in 1989 and has been updated several times. The authors explain how to analyze and select companies, including the differences between “growth” and “value” stocks.
They also discuss handling mergers, splits, spin-offs, dividends, earnings reports, and other market news. Additionally, they provide a comprehensive guide to mutual funds and offer investment advice on when to buy and when to sell.
One Up On Wall Street is an essential guide for any investor and should be part of every library.
Great stories, great anecdotes:
“The old Wall Street adage “never invest in anything that eats or needs repairs” may apply to racehorses, but it’s malarkey when it comes to houses.” Peter Lynch
“Know what you own and why you own it,” said Peter Lynch.
A straightforward and entertaining read authored by one of Wall Street’s great stock pickers.
19. The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing
Written by Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, and Michael LeBoeuf, The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing provides simple advice for investors who are just starting and those with a bit more experience.
It explains the basics of investing and how to develop a long-term investment plan. It also covers bonds, mutual funds, asset allocation, and retirement planning.
The book is based on the principles developed by John C. Bogle, founder of Vanguard Funds. The Bogleheads” Guide to Investing is a DIY handbook that espouses the sage investment wisdom of John C. Bogle.
This witty book offers contrarian advice that provides the first step to investment success, illustrating how relying on typical ‘common sense’ promoted by Wall Street is destined to leave you poorer.
This updated edition includes new information on backdoor Roth IRAs and ETFs as mainstream buy-and-hold investments, estate taxes, and gifting, plus changes to the laws regarding Traditional and Roth IRAs and 401k and 403b retirement plans.
With warnings and principles, both precisely accurate and grandly counterintuitive, the Boglehead authors show how beating the market is a zero-sum game.
20. A Wealth of Common Sense
Why Simplicity Trumps Complexity in Any Investment Plan
It is an interesting look at how remaining level-headed and balanced in your approach to value investing could be the defining factor in how successful you are.
Insightful research into how the best-performing value portfolios are often forgotten and not meddled by portfolio managers.
Also, discussing maintaining calm during stock market crashes and not selling your stocks at firesale prices will benefit you hugely in the long term.
Light on strategy and more focusing on mentality, this book is worth reading.
21. Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing (Avoid)
What the Rich Invest in That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not!
This book is loved by its readers; I have no idea why! Kiyosaki focuses on the mental shift needed to take you from how the school system and your parents educated you to adopting a rich investor’s mindset.
Covering the difference between running your own business and being an employee is incredibly insightful. However, the book, on the whole, is empty of any solid and practical advice.
The book covers investing in your business and truly understanding the difference between assets and liabilities.
According to the author, “If you do not understand that your house is a liability, not an asset, then you need to invest in your financial education.”
The focus is starting a business to get rich and structure your finances to maximize wealth.