BEST BOOKS ON INVESTMENT BANKING

REVIEWED BY BI ADVISORS | PUBLISHED ON NOV. 14, 2019 | 16 MIN READ

Best Books on Investment Banking

What are the best books on investment banking?

The list on the ‘best books on investment banking’ does not attempt to compile every book on the subject matter, however, the list attempts to bring different angles on the subject of investment banking that the reader can channel off of based on their interest. It is believed that through reading and studying material on a central topic that any individual can build a fundamental knowledge from. Books on investment banking can carry a wide range of angles, topics, and subtopics. It is up to the reader to decide what direction they want to pursue. Happy learning!

Best Books on Investment Banking

THE LIST:

1. Debunkery
2. The Accidental Investment
3. Investment Banking
4. On Money and Markets
5. Goldman Sachs
6. Investment Banking for Dummies
7. Investment Banking Explained
8. Investment Banking
9. Money Banking, Financial Markets, and Institutions
10. Liar’s Poker
11. Barbarians at the Gate
12. Den of Thieves
13. The Business of Investment Banking

1 – Debunkery | By Ken Fisher and Lara Hoffmans

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The expert Ken Fisher knows the fundamentals of the financial markets. Through his book called Debunkery: Learn It, Do It, and Profit From it – Seeing Through Wall Street’s Money – Killing Myths, he discussed 50 widely knowns and used investment myths on investment banking. Fisher expounds his writing through a straightforward style, collaborating with Lara Hoffman, a business writer in her own right. Both present in-depth research. Fisher applies the principle of “behavioral finance” to demonstrate why investors cling to these popular myths. While the format of the text appears to be gimmicky, nevertheless, it’s fun and offers valuable information to anyone that needs to dive into an understanding of these hidden mistakes that investors often fall prey to.  

The book addresses 50 common myths about the markets, including; bonds are safer than stocks; well-rested investors are better investors; retirees must be conservative; you should expect average returns; trust your gut; equity-indexed annuities are even better; a good con artist is hard to spot; dollar-cost averaging (DCA) is always a good idea; stop-losses stop losses; baby boomers retire, world ends; pray for budget surplusses and many others. 

Quotes from the author;

“There are no good or bad stocks. The company is either good or bad. Stocks are just stocks.”

-Beat the Crowd: How You Can Out-Invest the Herd by Thinking Differently

“Graham was not only the original quantitative analyst, to whom today’s whole school of such thinking owes its heritage, but he was also a source of much of the fundamental analysis and lore that Wall Streeters follow today.”

-100 Minds That Made the Market

“No professional Wall Street tipster or plausible promoter can turn a sane person into a stock gambler as easily as his next-door neighbor bragging about his winnings. If all men profited by experience, the world would be peopled exclusively by the wise….”

-100 Minds That Made the Market

“Stock watering, bribery, and stock corners were all methods to his madness, but for good reason. “My God, you don’t suppose you can run a railroad in accordance with the statutes of New York, do you?”

-100 Minds That Made the Market


2 – The Accidental Investment | By Jonathan Knee

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The effects of the actions in Wall Street transcend beyond the border of the U.S. Many people associate Wall Street with the likes of Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and J.P. Morgan Chase. However, what is truly behind the rise and struggle of Wall street? Jonathan A. Knee, an investment banker who can give an accurate picture of the current investment industry, describes how there is a fundamental shift from the original Wall Street mindset of J.P Morgan Chase’s “first-class business in a first-class way” to the 1990 Wall Street saying of “IBG-YBG” (“I’ll be gone, you’ll be gone”) and its current situation. The BI team recommends The Accidental Investment Banker: Inside the Decade that Transformed Wall Street to learn more about Wall Street. 

Quotes from the book;

Where once dressing down implied that a banker had cooler clients than the rest of us, now it implied that a banker had no client meetings to go to at all.”

“Among CEOs, one [now] finds an unprecedented level of cynicism, suspicion, and distrust of investment banks.”

Much of the fun of working for private companies as an investment banker is designing a customized process to achieve whatever idiosyncratic objectives the owner may have.”

“What sends an investment banking firm into decline is typically a major scandal, a capital crisis, a mass exodus of productive partners, or usually some combination of the three.”


3 – Investment Banking | By Alan Morrison and William Wihelm Jr.

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Professor Alan D. Morrison and William J. Wilhelm Jr. describe the evolution of investment banking from the 17th century and how it reached its present-day status. The authors also provide a concise introduction to institutional theory and possible hypotheses for business information. However, this is not a guide or a representation of the current competitive climate. The BI team thinks that readers who want to know how the investment banking has evolved in its current state today surely will appreciate the Investment Banking: Institutions, Politics, and Law. The authors have included a wide array of organized presentations and a variety of notable profound judicial, economic, and business knowledge.

Quotes from the book; 

“Securities markets are an important source of funds for corporations and entrepreneurs. Operations in these markets are intermediated by investment banks.”

“The central investment banking function is the generation and the retailing of price-relevant information.”

“Price-relevant information is valuable to the information producers who create it, to the investors who use it…and to the innovators who bring new securities to market.”

“Merchants with strong reputations and wide trading networks naturally chose to shift into the primary security markets, where their informational assets gave them an advantage in creating the quasi-legal structures upon which these markets rely.”


4 – On Money and Markets | By Henry Kaufman

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The autobiography of Henry Kaufman is unlike any others. Not only was Kaufman a scholar and a gentleman, but he was also an investment banker. The book On Money and Markets: A Wall Street Memoir shows the tale of the beginning of a man’s journey in the banking industry that started at the Salomon Brothers and eventually founding his own consulting business. The story began before World War II and ended until the late 20th century. It was Kaufman’s revelation of what transpired during the revolutionary years on Wall Street that make this riveting story. BiggerInvesting.com recommends this book to all executives and investors who are aiming to have a review of Wall Street history. 

Quotes from the book;

“Today’s financial markets are a tribute to the triumph of capitalism, to the progress of technology, and to the gains made by those favoring economic democracy over political control.”

“Today’s financial community is suffering from a bad case of amnesia. Most Wall Streeters are unaware of or have forgotten about the damaging effects of irresponsible behavior in their rush to innovate and profit.”

“It struck me as more than a little ironic that a firm that specialized in the creation and management of debt would not have a clear and systematic picture of its own leveraging and financial risk-taking.”

“The well-publicized events at Salomon since my departure in 1989 have only reconfirmed my conviction that the best safeguard for research objectivity is strong leadership.”


5 – Goldman Sachs | By Lisa Endlich

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Goldman Sachs is one of the world’s most prolific investment banks. The founder of Goldman Sachs began with just a horse-drawn wagon of goods that were traded. The author of Goldman Sachs: The Culture of Success discusses to the reader an enlightened history of the firm. She explains from a journalist perspective, yet internal insights. BiggerInvesting.com highly recommends this book due to its penetrating analyses into one of the world’s Wall Street investment banks. Note: the book’s narration stops prior to Goldman’s 1999 initial public offering. 

Quotes from the book;

“The 1980s would mirror the 1920s with an eerie deja vu. The market rally, the ensuing crash, the financial scandals, the merciless government investigations – all had been witnessed sixty years earlier.”

“Suddenly, CEOs across America were scared stiff. Everyone apart from the very largest corporations felt vulnerable to the hostile takeover. Goldman Sachs presented defense strategies.”

“For years the ‘Chinese wall’ – the veil of secrecy intended to keep confidential information from traveling from one department to another – between banking and arbitrage was paper-thin.”

“When asked in 1992 what could cause a firm to stumble, Bob Rubin replied, ‘Hubris, ego, arrogance, a sense of self-importance, if you allow them to develop.’”


6 – Investment Banking for Dummies | By Matthew Krantz and Robert Johnson

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Improve your job with a review of investment banking fundamentals. In Investment Banking for Dummies, Investment banking can be complicated even for those who are working in the banking industry. However, because it is one of the most profitable areas in business, people have no choice but to learn more about it. Investment Banking for Dummies straights out assumptions with a simple evaluation of banking basics. Written by multiple stock market procedure specialists, this book is equal to an initial course in investment. It contains information about risk management, critical investment banking operations, the latest news on the competition, and many more investment banking related topics. Understanding investment banking will be a lot easier with this reference. 

Quotes from the book;

“If you’re like most people, you probably figure investment banking got its start in a towering office skyscraper in New York City. But the real story of the origin of investment banking is far less metropolitan, yet arguably even more interesting.”

“The critical part of the investment banking process is in the way cash is funneled from the people who have it to the people who need it. After all, traditional banks do essentially the same thing investment banks do – get cash from people who have excess amounts into the hands of those who have productive uses for it.”

“Investment banking isn’t just a theory or subject. Investment banking isn’t just an economic function, either. Investment banking is a profession that requires the efforts and expertise of armies of trained financial experts.”

“Investment bankers are the ultimate corporate matchmakers.”


7 – Investment Banking Explained | By Michel Fleuriet

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Investment Banking Explained: An Insider’s Guide to the Industry answers questions on what is investment banking, how bankers create profits for their customers, how the industry has evolved, and how each specialty works. It allows a comprehensive summary of this multifaceted industry. 

Written in lay man’s terms, Investment Banking Explained presents all that you need to recognize structures, strategies, and operational perspectives of investment banking. Every chapter is up to date. It contains information about vital relationships with large corporate clients, the role of technology, IPO, mergers and acquisitions, value creation in asset management, and startup financing.

This publication is drafted by experienced investment professionals who provide a complete insight of the modern investment banking practices. This book is perfect for those who want to join the industry or those who are in it already. 

Quotes from the book; 

“Even before the financial crisis of 2007-8, most people felt an overall level of negativity toward the investment banking industry, which they were under the impression had been created recently for the sole benefit of traders and speculators.”

“An IPO is the first sale of a corporation’s common shares to investors on a public stock exchange.”

“Investment banks fed the system by finding the necessary financing from investors via securitization, which has the advantage of diluting the perception of risk.”

“The explosive growth of these mortgages was based on the credit quality of the structured finance securities – their risk of nonpayment.”


8 – Investment Banking  | By Joshua Rosenbaum and Josuah Pearl

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The technical foundation is vital for success in the world of finance because it is ever-evolving. However, there is no proper distinction in the valuation of corporate financiers. Rosenbaum and Pearl answered this by creating a book that they hoped had existed when they were rising in Wall Street.

The Investment Banking: Valuation, Leveraged Buyouts, and Mergers and Acquisitions concentrate on the main valuation methodologies used in Wall Street, DCF, precedent transactions, LBO analysis, M&A analysis. It also presents a general summary of LBO fundamentals, an organized M&A sale process, and an analysis of merger consequences.

Rosenbaum and Pearl decided to release the second edition of their generally accepted book with updated information on valuation fundamentals and practical judgment skills and perspective due to the financial industry reverting to the basics of valuations and critical due diligence for M&A, investment opportunities, and various capital markets. This book also highlights investment banking tools, news, research, and analytics.

Quotes from the book;

“In the aftermath of the subprime mortgage crisis and ensuing credit crunch, the world of finance is returning to the fundamentals of valuation and critical due diligence for mergers & acquisition (M&A), capital markets, and investment opportunities.”

“Negotiated sales are particularly compelling in situations involving a natural strategic buyer with clear synergies and strategic fit.”

“The data room serves as the hub for the buyer due diligence that takes place in the second round of the process.”


9 – Money Banking, Financial Markets, and Institutions | By Michael Brandl

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Let’s face it! Banking, Money, and financial markets can involve fascinating concepts, enticing incentives, and even controversial discusses. Yet, much of the content can be written in a dull, boring, dry texture that can very well put the most enthusiast experts to sleep. This type of writing and teaching style really does no good to the student or reader. In Money Banking, Financial Markets, and Institutions the author writes in an engaging professional voice much like a conversation instead of a dry lecture. However, although the author does a fascinating job with the book, the concepts are still rather complex and take some commitment and resourceful study. 

Quotes from the book; 

“Banks face many risks or the potential for losses. Their ability to manage this risk is pitted against their drive to earn an accounting profit and satisfy the demands of their shareholders.”

“One of the reasons money does, in fact, make the world go around is because the growth rate of the money supply is very important to the proper functioning of a modern-day market economy.”

“The time value of money means, everything else being constant, people would prefer to the consumer today as opposed to in the future because life is uncertain.”

“Whenever the word finance is mentioned, people usually think of the stock market. This should not be a surprise; after all, stock prices are reported daily, if not hourly, in the press.”


10 – Liar’s Poker | By Michael Lewis

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Back in the 1980s, Silicon Valley was unheard of in the public eye, Wall Street was the dominant force of the financial sector. However, just a few decades ago, the United States experienced an unprecedented wealth boom. Liar’s Poker: Rising Through the Wreckage on Wall Street is the chronicles of the rise and collapse of the Salomon Brothers in its aggressive expansion and decline. Lewis writes from a journalist’s perspective during this crazy period on Wall Street. The book is a historical snapshot of Wal Street. BiggerInvesting.com recommends this book to executives, students, businessmen, and readers alike. 

Quotes from the book; 

“Making profits on Wall Street is a bit like eating the stuffing from a turkey. Some higher authority must first put the stuffing into the turkey.”

“Because the 41st floor was the chosen home of the firm’s most ambitious people…the men who worked there had a hunted look about them.”

“Year-end bonuses are not tied directly to one’s profitability, but rather to the perception of one’s value by Salomon’s compensation committee.”

“The worst thing a man can do with a telephone without breaking the law is to call someone he doesn’t know and try to sell that person something he doesn’t want.”


11 – Barbarians at the Gate | By Bryan Burrough and John Helyar

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Greed, greed, and more greed bring never-ending reckless behavior. The Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco is a classic read as if the book is written today. The author reports on money-hungry CEO Ross Johson and Henry Kravis who is a power-hungry financier. Journalist Bryan Burrough and John Helyar capture behind the scenes of the deal of the decade. The BI team recommends this book to those seeking suspenseful, page-turning insights behind the deal of the decade. 

Quotes from the book;

“He felt like the man who entered the casino in a tuxedo one night and emerged the next morning in rags. Far worse, Johnson realized, he had lost all control of his fate.”

“Johnson remains a marvel at putting a salesman’s sheen on his actions and casting a blind man’s eye on their messy consequences.” 

“Reynolds Tobacco churned out $1 billion a year in cash, enough to fund the wildest schemes and cover the worst mistakes.”

“LBOs became a viable alternative in every takeover situation…because of they…promise[ed] operating autonomy and vast riches.” 


12 – Den of Thieves | By James Stewart

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Den of Thieves is a classic account of insider trading during the 80s, also known as the greed decade. Author and award-winning journalist James Steward attempts to turn an account of this market manipulation that ultimately led to the 1987 crash. The book is written in such a way that it keeps you in suspense and turning the page. Although the villains Ivan Boesky and Michael faded away in public light, their philosophical ideology still dominated the  Enrons, Tycos, and Adelphias. The BI team recommends this book as a must-read from the educational perspective to those who trust their careers or their savings in these markets. 

Quotes from the book;

“In ways large and small, legal and illegal, the ordinary discipline of a free market of arm’s-length buyers and sellers was undermined.”

More than any other single person, Milken had been behind the massive revaluation of stocks that had carried the Dow Jones average above 2,700.”

If ever there were people who believed themselves to be so rich and powerful as to be above the law, they were to be found in and around Wall Street in the mid-eighties.”

“Historians and philosophers will debate for years the question of whether, in the cases of Milken, Boesky, Siegel, Levine, and their allies, the punishments fit the crimes.”


13 – The Business of Investment Banking | By K. Thomas Liaw

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Many of us have a vague idea of the concept of investment banking, however, businesspeople specifically need to have a solid foundational knowledge of investment banking. The Business of Investment Banking: A Comprehensive Guide, pulls everything together that systematically explains the strategies and tools of the business. The book does include a technical complex perspective that is addressed by a finance professor. The book does include man colorful anecdotes and examples that bring out the content in a more appealing fashing. Nevertheless, the BI team recommends this book for its expertise in business investment banking. 

Quotes from the book; 

“As global markets have become more integrated, Wall Street firms have moved to establish a local presence in major financial markets around the world and to enhance this presence with broad cross-border capabilities.”

“Rapid advances in information technology and greater cooperation among financial regulators have led to closer links in the international capital markets.”

“Venture capital investing, buyouts, mergers, and acquisitions are interrelated. They are an integral part of the investment banking business.”

“To maintain growth and profitability, and because the U.S. market is mature and, to some extent, over-banked, all major investment banks have expanded abroad.”


Final Thoughts

The article was an attempt to consolidate the best books on investment banking. Obviously, the list is not an exhausted list of every book on the subject. The list attempts to orchestrate from different sides, angle, on the best books on investment banking. 

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Books Best Books on Investment Banking – Summaries – Quotes