My students frequently ask me which books to read to get a better understanding of finance in general or to prepare for a post-secondary career in finance. My answer is usually get a subscription to The Economist. It is often not an easy read, as many articles assume a comprehensive understanding of financial and economic concepts. Don’t be intimidated by this - you will start to understand more and more as you learn more about finance. Alternatively, make it a habit to read the business section of your regular newspaper.
There are also several good podcasts, I can recommend as well. APM Marketplace is a daily podcast out of Los Angeles. NPR Planet Money and Freakonomics post roughly twice a week and cover specific topics. While overall very good, the quality of these podcasts can vary occasionally.
There are many finance and economics books written for non-professionals. Here is a list of my recommendations in no particular order.
- Free to Choose: A Personal Statement by Milton and Rose Friedman
- A Random Walk down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel
- A Capitalism for the People: Recapturing the Lost Genius of American Prosperity by Luigi Zingales
- The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis
- Too Big to Fail by Andrew Sorkin