Saturday 25 May 2013

Finance Books: The Best of Non-Technical Recommendations

If you are interested in finance and like reading, check out the books below. None of them are technical books – they’re all Wall Street War Stories. While some are hilarious stories of people who have worked in finance, others are gripping tales of hedge funds and the collapse of the world’s stock markets in 2008.

Every single one of these books comes heavily recommended and all are considered to be among the best books ever written on Finance. From a common-man point of view, believe it or not, some of the books listed here will beat the best thrillers that you have ever read.

Long considered to be one of the best books ever written on trading on Wall Street, this is a must read for incoming analysts and finance hopefuls. Based in the 1980’s, it provides a gripping inside view on the Salomon Brothers trading floor and tracks the journey of the protagonist from a Geek to a BSD. Don’t ask me what BSD is.

The ultimate book for Investment Banking Analysts. This book will shred the glamorous image of working as an Analyst in Investment Banking and will get down to the gritty details of working 100+ hours in a week. One of the most hilarious books I have ever read – uncensored, un-sanitized and uncut. Not recommended for the uptight.

The bible of Private Equity – this book traces the mother of all corporate battles, the Leveraged Buyout RJR Nabisco by the world’s largest and most reputed Private Equity Firm, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) in a $25 billion deal. This gripping narrative of a hostile takeover remains relevant even today, 20 years after it concluded.

This book follows one of the biggest and most hard-fought corporate battles of recent times – the hostile takeover of Areclor by the Indian tycoon, Laxmi Mittal. Arcelor’s refusal for a friendly merger sets the scene for a massive hostile takeover, the conclusion of which would result in the formation of world’s biggest steel maker, spreading a ripple effect across the whole world.

New York Times columnist and acclaimed financial journalist, Andrew Ross Sorkin provides a true the true to life story behind the global financial meltdown in 2008. He dives deep into the murky world of investment banks and his unprecedented access to the senior-most executives involved, both in the private and government sectors, results in the most authoritative book on the global meltdown.

How one man made $15 billion for his fund in one year. Follow hedge fund manager John Paulson as he embarks on a journey that will take him to making the greatest trade ever.

“Beware of geeks bearing formulas” – Warren Buffet
Get unprecedented access to the secretive, shadowy world of high frequency trading and quant hedge funds. A fascinating book one how some of the most brilliant people in the world nearly brought it down. CA’s, “Black and Scholes” rings a bell? Yup, the founders of the notorious Black and Scholes formula feature heavily in this book.

Honorary Mention - The Intelligent Investor
I’m going to make an exception here and mention one, and only one technical book in this list. The Intelligent Investor, written by Benjamin Graham in 1949, is considered to be the undisputed bible of Wall Street. Warren Buffet swears by it. Billionaire hedge fund managers follow in its footsteps. Even today, Ben Graham, the father of value investing, can teach a thing or two to the quants and the KKR’s.

There you go! You’re all set with a lot of books that you can read up on while hunting for that elusive break into finance. If you think that there are any other books that should be on here, feel free to drop a word!

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