With Amazon’s Kindle eBook reader spreading as rampantly as a greedy European rodent in a New World ecosystem, more and more books and magazines are being adapted and republished in Kindle editions.
These include plenty of Kindle books about money and investing, although there are still lots of frustrating omissions. UK passive investors might mourn the absence of a Tim Hale’s Smarter Investing in Kindle format, for example.
But let’s consider the good news story…
Amazon says Kindle – which the cyber book peddler produces itself – is now its best-selling product. Going on all the Kindles I see on the Underground here in London, I quite believe it.
The latest generation of Kindle solves almost all the problems of the old Kindles, and are really priced to sell:
- The Kindle 3G costs £152, and as its name suggests it enables you to connect to the 3G network as well as Wi-Fi to download data. (For free, amazingly).
- The standard Kindle costs £111, and is identical to the 3G model except for the absence of that 3G connectivity. Instead, you must use a Wi-Fi network.
For anyone with a home Wi-Fi network, the cheaper Kindle is a fine option; realistically you won’t want to download ebooks on-the-go much. One sneaky benefit of the Kindle 3G though is that you can use its rudimentary web browser on the 3G network for free, which may be handy, particularly if you’re traveling in Europe and want to avoid data charges on your phone.
Either way, the clarity of text on Kindle is amazing, the ability to add notes is fantastic, and carrying all your books with you wherever you go is something you don’t appreciate until you can do it. About the only downside is the bland typography, which upsets old print lovers like myself.
When Kindles first arrived I wondered if they were a tax on reading, but now I’m sold. I love paper books, but Kindle has the edge once you toss the romance of paper overboard. I don’t think there’s much if any money saved from going digital, but I do hate clutter and having too much ‘stuff’ and Kindle deals with that. Perhaps it will save me ponying up for an extra bedroom cum library in my future house purchasing!
A dozen Kindle books about money and investing
To the money shot! I’ve dug into the Kindle Store to hunt out the following publications (they’re not all books!) that you could consider for your Kindle.
1. The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life
One of the best books you’ll ever read about investing, dressed up as a biography of a more bizarre individual than you probably imagine. I admire the man and the detail here – but Buffett was apparently so miffed by its candor that he no longer speaks to the author. More details from Amazon.
2. The Intelligent Investor
In-between speaking fluent Latin, writing his own plays, studying the classics and seducing the women of Manhattan, Ben Graham invented all the basic tenets of value investing. The Intelligent Investor is his classic introduction, and the 60-year old book will retain its popularity on in the eBook era. More details.
3. Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits
If Ben Graham is the father of value investing and Warren Buffett his most successful pupil, then Philip Fisher is the father of growth investing – and the author Buffett read as he started sneaking off the one true path laid down by Graham. Another timeless classic that’s essential reading for anyone whose heart is set on the dangerous game of stock picking. More details.
4. Enough: True Measures of Money, Business and Life
Not many people in the UK have read this brilliant book by Jack Bogle, the father of passive investing. It’s not really a how-to guide for passive investors (you can read our articles instead!) or even a case doing so – Bogle has made that argument many times. Rather it’s a thorough review of how the financial services industry repeatedly does wrong by its customers, culminating in the recent financial crisis. More details.
5. The Big Short
The Accumulator has recounted the lessons from The Big Short on Monevator, but this isn’t a book I’d just read to learn from. Like most of author Michael Lewis’ writings, it features an incredibly compelling collection of characters, too – you soon forget you’re essentially reading about maths geeks staring at spreadsheets most of the day. More details.
6. Anyone Can Do It
As I said when I reviewed it donkey’s years ago, Duncan Bannatyne’s best-selling biography is not beautiful writing. The entrepreneur’s story isn’t half as sexy as Richard Branson’s, either, with the (seemingly) surly Scot not getting going until his 30s, and beginning to make his fortune with an ice cream van. What it is though is fabulously readable and packed with practical insights into the mind of a down-to-earth rainmaker we can all learn from. More details.
7. Free Capital
I was surprised to find Free Capital on the Kindle store. A clearly written collection of profiles of 12 private investors who’ve made at least a million from the markets – several by ‘simply’ stock picking for their ISAs – the book is another to file under Inspiration, and is rare for its British focus. The fact that it’s on Kindle shows how the device is becoming ubiquitous. More details.
8. Eat that Frog!
This book isn’t about money or investing, but it is one of the best books on effectiveness and time management I’ve ever read. Mainly because it’s one of the shortest. Where most time management books drone on for hundreds of pages, Eat That Frog! steals their best ideas and repeats them in two. It’ll make you more efficient, and pays out that most precious commodity: time. More details.
9. The Financial Times
You can now get the Financial Times on Kindle, and as I write it’s priced at just under £18 a month – a decent discount to the paper edition. There’s a free 14-day trial, too. It all updates seamlessly and reveals the future of newspapers is surely digital, but the text layout isn’t perfect. In my opinion it’s the best business paper in the world, but then I don’t read German or Japanese! More details.
10. The Economist
Sticking with periodicals, The Economist is my favourite big picture read (although I also like Prospect for its wider cultural coverage) and a frequent edition to Monevator‘s Weekend Reading slots. The Kindle edition is fine, but a bit expensive compared to the other subscription options. More details.
11. The Greatest Trade Ever
If The Big Short doesn’t satisfy your cravings for a heady mix of credit crunch shenanigans and buccaneering moneymaking on the back of it, then this recap of how hedge fund manager John Paulson made $20 billion out of thin air surely will. More details.
12. More Money Than God
I confess, I’m fascinated by hedge funds, although I’ve never invested in one as a private individual – I think in practice retail investors are unlikely to do better long-term than if we simply buy an index tracker and save some cash, due to the high fees universally charged by hedge funds and the rarity of (and difficulty selecting) enduring out-performers. But in my daydreams I’d love to run one, and until then I aspire to manage a portion of my active portfolio like a hedge fund. More Money Than God recounts the most innovative hedge funds’ market-smashing capers. More details.
Have I missed one of your favourite Kindle books about money and investing? Let us know in the comments below – particularly if it’s a book targeted at the UK market, since most I know about and like aren’t on Kindle yet.