Benjamin Graham’s The Intelligent Investor is a book that everyone recommends, and nobody actually reads.
It’s almost always number one on any top 10 reading list for stocks and investing. And, it’s the book that famously introduced Warren Buffett to value investing.
However, The Intelligent Investor is a difficult read.
The writing style itself is fairly obtuse. It’s wordy, with Graham using lots of passive voice and non-essential clauses.
Additionally, The Intelligent Investor is technical.
Like early entries in the Market Wizards series, there’s a lot of good information here — but, most of it is too complex for the average person. If you’re new to investing, or want to learn more about picking stocks, don’t read the The Intelligent Investor.
Try this instead.
Learn About Different Industries
“When you buy a stock, you’re buying part of a business.”
Reading biographies about businesses and businesspeople helps you better understand specific industries and operating methods.
Avoid self-congratulatory autobiographies and focus on titles written from a historical or journalistic perspective. These are generally more informative. And, they give you a wider view on how a particular field or industry functions.
I’m currently reading a book called Ten Drugs, which is all about medicine and the pharmaceutical industry.
One interesting thing I learned almost immediately was the “Seige cycle.”
This is a concept where a new drug release is met with praise and enthusiasm. Years later, negative news articles start to come out about side-effects and inefficiencies. And then, finally, opinions level out and the treatment gets a more balanced perspective.
Reading about different industries like pharmaceuticals, food, energy, entertainment, etc… will give you a good insight into how these fields actually operate.
Plus, a lot of books on these subjects are fun, interesting reads.
Some excellent titles that immediately come to mind are: