Financial economics deals with a multitude of complex concepts and theories that professionals need to know as they embark on their careers. While there are many important lessons to be learned throughout the history of financial economics, emerging technologies and increased access to vast amounts of information are changing investment and analysis methods. The following books provide a foundation of long-lasting principles of finance, as well as new strategies for economic and monetary activities.
The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
Benjamin Graham, the “father of value investing,” wrote this landmark book on approaches to long-term investing in 1949, and newly updated and revised versions are published regularly. Warren Buffett, who was a student of Graham’s at Columbia Business School, has stated that The Intelligent Investor is the best book ever written on investing. Future financial economics professionals benefit from understanding the systematic approach to value investing elucidated by Graham, which attempts to protect investors from error by focusing on what makes a business fundamentally strong and therefore a rewarding long-term investment.
The Alchemy of Finance by George Soros
George Soros, nicknamed “the man who moves markets” by Businessweek, is a highly influential figure in the worldwide financial community. The Alchemy of Finance provides valuable business lessons for finance professionals, along with theoretical and practical accounts of how financial markets function and how smart investors can capitalize on current trends. Soros also explains his theory of reflexivity in relation to financial markets, which aims to help investors understand how stock prices often reflect distorted views of reality.
The Handbook of Fixed Income Securities by Frank J. Fabozzi
Fixed income investing provides periodic returns through the trading of bonds, CDs, money market funds, and exchange-traded funds. Professionals thinking of investing in fixed income securities will benefit from reading Frank J. Fabozzi’s The Handbook of Fixed Income Securities, which is a substantial resource on analytical tools and strategies used to capitalize on the return potential of the fixed income securities market. The eighth edition provides a revised and updated breakdown on new major market trends, such as electronic trading, leveraged loans, and global portfolio management.
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Daniel Kahneman is a psychologist and a 2002 Nobel Prize winner for his work in economic science. In Thinking, Fast and Slow, he discusses two systems of thinking inherent in human beings. The first system, or System 1, represents the fast, intuitive, and automatic mode of thinking that allows for quick, effortless reactions, such as the ability to detect hostility in another person’s voice. System 2 represents the slow, deliberate, and consciously methodical reasoning of the world humans live in. This is the mode people are in when engaged in a particular task that requires concentration and attention. These theories are applicable to the world of finance, as they provide insight into how people’s judgments and decisions are formed, as well as the detriments of overconfidence in investment strategies.
Rational Investing: The Subtleties of Asset Management by Hugues Langlois and Jacques Lussier
Rational Investing provides an overview of key issues in asset management for future financial and economics professionals. Hugues Langlois is an assistant professor of finance at HEC Paris, and Jacques Lussier is the president of IPSOL Capital and former chief investment strategist at Desjardins Global Asset Management. The basis of Rational Investing revolves around balancing risk exposure, minimizing bad luck, and capitalizing on inaccurate market pricing. While their book requires a basic understanding of financial markets and statistics, they also delve deeper into market structure, the capabilities of forecasting, active and passive management techniques, and cognitive biases inherent in investment management. Their specific stylistic asset portfolio examples provide tips for investors on implementing performance drivers.
Common Sense on Mutual Funds by John Bogle
In 1974, John Bogle founded The Vanguard Group, a mutual fund and investment management company that currently has more than $4.4 trillion in assets under management. He was the first to promote index investing for retail customers, presenting investors with low-cost options that yield high returns. Common Sense of Mutual Funds is an excellent guide to mutual fund investing for its focus and simplicity. This resource provides future finance and economic professionals sound financial advice while detailing aspects of mutual funds, including asset allocation, tax costs, indexing, global investing, the reversion to the mean phenomenon, and the benefits of information technologies.
The finance industry is continuously in flux. To get ahead in this changing environment, research and analysis are paramount. Future professionals who have read these sources will continue to benefit from the insight provided by these industry leaders as they grow in their careers.
Today’s employers seek finance professionals who understand the links between the economy and financial markets; professionals who are adept at forecasting potential impacts and timing investments for maximum return. This is the level of expertise you can acquire with the Ohio University online Master of Financial Economics.