Here’s the Absolute Best Way to Learn About Stocks

I wanted to learn about stocks because I lost $15,000,000. Pixabay

This article originally appeared on Quora: Finance: Which is the best way to learn about stocks?

I wanted to learn about stocks because I lost $15,000,000. I lost everything.

And I wanted to maybe learn what I did wrong so I could start thinking how to make it back.

I was a gambler at heart. I went from playing poker every day to playing the stock market every day. That’s mistake #1. I had to end that habit. I hope I did. 17 years later I still hope every day that I ended that addiction.

But I did learn. Although I wish I had been smarter about learning. I wish I had read all of these books I’m about to recommend.

Now I’ve read them. Some of them are inspirational. Some are educational. Some are about famous investors. Some are by famous investors sharing what they’ve learned.

Anyone who reads all of these books will understand the stock market and investing at a very deep level.

Warren Buffett has his famous two rules about investing. But I would say for myself the biggest thing I learned were these ideas:

  • When you own a stock, you own part of a company. So study what makes a good company.
  • Risk management is everything. Which means keep your positions very small.
  • The unexpected always happens.
  • I had to model myself after the greatest investors in history.
  • Politics is short-term, economics is medium term, innovation is long-term.

I’ve since run a successful hedge fund, fund of hedge funds, I’ve done many successful angel investments, and I’ve written about stocks and investing for 17 years in books, in the Wall Street Journal, in the Financial Times, and with regular appearances on CNBC.

Here’s the books I recommend to get started (note: this is the start).

Essays of Warren Buffett by Lawrence Cunningham

Reminiscences of a Stock Market Operator by Edwin LeFevre

Famous First Bubbles by Peter Garber

Super Money by Adam Smith

The Money Game by Adam Smith

Confessions of a Street Addict by Jim Cramer

Market Wizards by Jack Schwager

Hedge Fund Market Wizards by Jack Schwager

You Too Can Be a Stock Market Geniusby Joel Greenblatt

The Little Book of Value Investing

Warren Buffet by Roger Lowenstein

When Genius Failed by Roger Lowenstein

Moneyball by Michael Lewis

Flash Boys by Michael Lewis

The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis

The Coffee Trader by David Liss (fiction)

Billion Dollar Sure Thing by Paul E. Erdman (or any of his financial thrillers from the 70s)

My Own Story by Bernard Baruch

Poor Charlie’s Almanack by Charlie Munger

Damn Right! (biography of Charlie Munger) by Janet Lowe

Education of a Value Investor by Guy Spier

Abundance by Peter Diamandis

Joel Greenblatt’s The Little Book That Still Beats the Market

Andrew Ross Sorkin’s Too Big to Fail

Dhando Investor by Mohnish Pabrai

Money by Tony Robbins

The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb

Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Taleb

A Man for All Markets by Ed Thorp

Read these and your life will change.

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James Altucher is a hedge fund manager, entrepreneur and best-selling author. Subscribe to his email by clicking here. Or visit his website to read free blog content. Here’s the Absolute Best Way to Learn About Stocks