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Investor Psychology

Boost Your IQ With a Good Book

A Random Walk Down Wall Street, by Burton Malkiel (W.W. Norton)
A classic primer providing basic tips, such as establishing investment goals and tailoring your holdings to your tax bracket. It also offers sobering caveats, including the Wall Street saw: "No price is too high for a bull or too low for a bear."

The Intelligent Investor, by Benjamin Graham (HarperBusiness)

Endorsed by Warren Buffett, this book offers tried-and-true advice, including the perils of trying to time the market. Written by the father of value investing, it also extols the benefits of dollar-cost averaging and diversification.

Irrational Exuberance, by Robert Shiller (Princeton University Press)
First released just before the stock market peaked in 2000, this book is a study of the psychological and economic elements that lead to market bubbles -- useful knowledge in any economy.

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing, by John Bogle (Wiley)
An ode to indexing, this is a good choice for those who question the merits of simply buying the entire market. Peppered with the wisdom of Buffett and other gurus, it convincingly makes its case with witty maxims such as "Don't look for the needle -- buy the haystack."

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The Smartest Investment Book You'll Ever Read, by Daniel Solin (Penguin)
This slim and easy-to-read explanation of the basics urges readers to do away with stockbrokers and other advisers and instead rely on low-cost index funds. Active managers, it argues, have a hard time beating the market.