4 of the Best Value Investing Books Recommended by Top Investors

Updated 6/30/2023

So, you’ve reached the point in your investing career where you’re looking for the best value investing books out there for you to continue on your journey of expanding knowledge…congrats! 

But come on – hasn’t anyone told you that books are old fashioned and boring?  I mean, they’re out of style just as much as value investing is….

The thing that I quickly learned is that anyone and everyone can write a book or create a podcast, so it was hard to find the right information. 

After much trial and error, I’ve come with a list of my favorites. I hope you find a useful nugget or two in there for you too.

  1. Best for New Investors: The Little Book that Beats the Market
  2. Best for Learning from the Best: The Essays of Warren Buffett
  3. Best for a Quantitative Investor: What Works on Wall Street
  4. Best for a Seasoned Investor: The Intelligent Investor

For New Investors: The Little Book that Beats the Market

the little book that beats the market by joel greenblatt

I didn’t read this book until I was well into my investing journey, unfortunately, but it taught me a ton of great basics about investing.  Greenblatt’s entire philosophy throughout the book is that he’s going to explain things in a way that a child can understand.  I don’t know about you, but investing can get extremely complex at times, so it’s refreshing to have a somewhat “back to basics” book just to continue to strengthen that foundation that you already might have.

Like I mentioned, I was already well into my investing journey, but this book did help me a lot.  I learned a lot from the book that I previously thought I knew but I actually did not.

I am a very firm believer that if you don’t have a very strong base, foundational knowledge of something, then you’re just going to cause yourself lots of wasted time, and investing is no different.  The only difference with investing is that you might cost yourself a ton of money too! 

I was able to get this book at my local library, but even if you can’t find it there, you can get it on Amazon for $16 – not too shabby.

Learning from the Best: The Essays of Warren Buffett

the essays of warren buffet by lawrence a. cunningham

This book has been an absolute game changer for me.  No lie.  I am an extremely number-focused type of person, so when I was first beginning my investing journey, the first thing I did was go back and try to look at the most successful companies of the last 20 years, try to find some trends in their financial ratios and then look for similar stocks.

If you had asked me what Price/Book actually meant, I couldn’t tell you.  But I could tell you what a great P/B was in the eyes of many investors! 

That did absolutely nothing for me.  I was just a numbers freak.  I had no base knowledge as I mentioned with the book previously and I instead was just trying to find a way to get rich quick.  The Essays of Warren Buffett is an amazing book because he breaks down soooo many investing topics and things to look for in a company and gives real life examples of them. 

I have written quite a few different summaries on this book with my favorites being….

Normally I am one that always tries to think outside the book and take a contrarian view on something, but when you have the ability to learn from the GOAT value investor, why wouldn’t you? 

I thought going into the book that it was going to be very dry and boring but it’s the exact opposite.  It’s made up of many short, easy to read chapters, and Buffett keeps it interesting – and I’m gathering that he’s a pretty sarcastic individual…

For Quantitative Investors: What Works on Wall Street

what works on wallstreet by james p. o'shaughnessy

For a Quantitative Investor like myself, this book was truly a pleasure to read.  I had to force myself to take breaks from reading it so I could try to digest the information – dead serious.  I was binging it like it was Breaking Bad.

If you have a sincere desire in learning more about the numbers and seeing how they can be used to predict future success, then this book is for you.  O’Shaughnessy goes very in depth in what some of the best value factors are in identifying a great stock and he does so with lots of charts and examples.

With investing books, it’s easy to have your eyes glaze over at times.  O’Shaughnessy keeps the wording pretty short and puts an absolute ton of real-life data in there for you to read and comprehend for yourself.  If you’re a data nerd, this book is for you.

For Seasoned Investors: The Intelligent Investor

the intelligent investor by benjamin graham

This is the easiest answer ever if I do say so myself.  As I mentioned earlier, this book gets SUPER in the weeds.  As a new investor, stay clear.  This is not for you.  This is for the seasoned investor that has spent some time in the market and has a good base knowledge of investing.

One of the main reasons that I like this book is that it is so complex.  I have read it three times now and each time more and more information will stick.  So, essentially, I bought one book and am going to get many, many reads out of it.  Now that’s a good investment!

Not only will I put this as my #1 investing book but so will Andrew, and I think that his word goes a long way. 

If you’re at the end of this post and you’re still struggling of where to start, my recommendation is to continue to put together a list of books that might spark your eye!  Doing so will allow you to have a good list of what to have on deck before you even finish your first book, and it will motivate to read the books quickly!

All in all, just pick one up and start reading – I guarantee your time will be well spent regardless of the book choice!

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