I’ve taught myself everything I know about private investment – which granted is not all that much – but I’m learning all the time. If you are in a similar position then you might appreciate the below books which I found really helpful:
Michael Brett, How to Read the Financial Pages. This is an excellent primer which covers all the basics of investment and finance generally. It’s quite long but is worth the effort.
Jim Slater, The Zulu Principle and Beyond the Zulu Principle. The original book is a punchy, informative guide to growth investment and choosing shares in smaller companies. The sequel is pretty much more of the same. Jim Slater is an excellent and persuasive writer and makes you want to run off and plunge all your money into his system – however before you do so remember that he was writing in the 1990s bull market and it’s probably not as easy as it seemed back then!
Jim Slater and Tom Stevenson, How to Become a Millionaire. A continuation of Slater’s others books but with a broader focus, which is useful for getting you thinking about how investment fits into your long-term financial goals. The same cautionary comment above applies even more to this one – particularly as there are a couple of chapters about property investment in which the advice is somewhat dated and dubious.
Bernice Cohen, Backing Winners and The Armchair Investor. Mrs Cohen (who used to have her own programme on Channel 4) is a very likeable writer and I particularly appreciated her tips on researching companies and on technical analysis. Not as knowledgeable as Slater but just as interesting, especially when she throws in personal anecdotes about her own investments.