Relatively few people read books nowadays, and the number has been declining quite steadily. There are several rather pragmatic reasons why this is happening. Thanks to the internet, mainly social media and video platforms, people have become accustomed to more interactive ways of consuming content.
The long-form content, especially in text, has been replaced with relatively smaller, bite-size pieces of content created around a particular topic. But that doesn’t mean books have become irrelevant — far from it. There are still pieces of wisdom and imagination experiences that only books can provide. This is true for both entertainment and reading for knowledge.
Two books every investor should read
Ideally, there are many books that an investor should read in order to gain more financial wisdom and increase their investing knowledge, but there are two that you might consider starting with.
The first is Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits by Philip A. Fisher. He was an American investor and one of the early proponents of growth investing strategies. You might find the book a bit dated. Still, if you use your imagination to try and translate the writer’s methods of hunting quality stocks to today’s internet-based stock research, you will get some genuinely illuminating ideas. The book has been endorsed by Warren Buffett.
The second book is Ground Rules: Words of Wisdom From the Partnership Letters of the World’s Greatest Investor. It was written by Jeremy C Miller and based on his research on Buffett’s letters to his partners between 1956 and 1970. There is a lot to be learned from Buffett’s investment wisdom, and this book discusses a lot of it.
A tale of growth
While it’s not exactly a book or a formal “tale,” but most TSX investors would probably be familiar with the growth story of Cargojet (TSX:CJT). It has been an exciting growth stock, especially in the last five years. The stock grew over 2,600% between 2011 and its recent peak in November 2020. And even though the stock has come down quite a bit from its peak valuation, it’s still a desirable growth stock.
It’s a Mississauga-based scheduled cargo airline that operates a fleet of 28 aircraft and covers over 71 daily routes. It carries (on average) 1.3 million pounds of cargo each night. Most of its international routes are from Canada to the U.S., but it also flies to some European and South American destinations.
The company has grown its revenue quite consistently over the last five years. It might see more competition now that Air Canada has started to focus more on its cargo-business, but it might still be a powerful growth bet.
Many investors think that “dated” books on investments have very little to offer to today’s investors. And it’s true that a lot of advice in books written decades ago might not be relevant today. But many of these books also offer timeless advice, like how you can keep sentiment out of investments and what fundamental metrics tell you about a company. This isn’t trivial knowledge and might help you transform your investment strategy and approach for the better.
Speaking of books that every investor should read...
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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.
Fool contributor Adam Othman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends CARGOJET INC.