5 Non Finance Books That Will Make You a Better Investor

Now that you’re making a little bit of money, you may want to think about being wise with it. 

When it comes to investing, it seems everyone – from your dad and your coworker to best-selling business figures – has a different opinion on what makes the most sense.

But what does make the most sense?

We turned to Toronto young professionals (YPs) Matthew Castel and Peter Mantas, Co-founders of a closely held investment fund, Logos LP, for some insight when it comes to understanding where to put our money.

With a mandate to democratize finance and empower individuals to achieve their investment goals, the team tells us that becoming a smart investor is as simple as reading a few books. And, thankfully for most of us, they’re not “finance books” either. 

“If you Google how to get rich quick, you’ll find pages of books, pamphlets and newsletters claiming to offer the keys to financial freedom,” says Castel. “Yet the best investors didn’t become who they are overnight. Instead, those who understand the timeless game of moneymaking started early and honed their skills through years of patience and learning.”

Him and Mantas suggest five thought-provoking books – most of which have nothing to do with finance – to help fellow YPs on their way to becoming not just a successful investor, but a wise one:

1. Poor Charlie’s Almanack by Charles Munger

If you’re in the dark, Charles Munger is Warren Buffett’s lesser-known longtime business partner. This collection of his lectures and musings represents a glimpse into his unconventional decision-making mind.

Why to read it:

“Although long, it’s full of quotable practical wisdom that make it one of our favourite go-to books about how success in life is more about avoiding common mistakes than about being some kind of genius,” says Mantas. 

2. Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes and How to Correct Them by Belsky and Thomas Gilovich

“This book is exceptionally readable and full of convincing and downright mind-blowing statistics and experiments,” says Castel. “The authors explain some of the most common human behaviours that are responsible for poor financial decision-making.”

Why to read it:

“With clearly described symptoms and remedies, the authors give us the tools we need to recognize and avoid our natural money-losing tendencies,” says Castel. “This book has made a major positive impact on our decision-making, whether investing or simply dealing with our money.”

3. Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School by John Medina

In this easy-to-digest book, the author shares 12 principles about how our brain works based on mountains of scientific research. “Unlike other books on the subject, Medina presents his principles in such a way that we can actually understand and apply them,” says Mantas.

Why to read it:

“This is hands down one of the most fascinating books about the brain we’ve ever read,” says Mantas. “Of particular interest to the investor are the chapters on the effects of stress on our attention spans. When we’re more aware of our mind’s natural tendencies, we learn to think better, so we invest better.”

4. The Stranger by Albert Camus

“This colourful existentialist story of a man who murders someone for no apparent reason explores society’s attempt to rationalize and explain even the most irrational and random events,” explains Castel. 

Why to read it:

“The book’s theme of ‘the absurd’ serves to remind us that consistently looking for a rational meaning or explanation for moves in the stock market can be a futile exercise,” says Castel. “Instead, we should be open and comfortable with its periodical randomness.”

5. Skeptical Essays by Bertrand Russell

British philosopher Bertrand Russell has dedicated his life to advancing knowledge and defending noble values like pacifism and freedom of thought. “In these essays, his crystal clear writing suggests that we should cultivate a form of measured skepticism that asks us to question even our most confirmed beliefs, irrespective of the authority upon which they rest,” says Mantas. 

Why to read it:

“This book will help you cultivate the three key qualities a wise investor needs: emotional self-control, independence and skepticism,” says Mantas. 


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