facebook twitter instagram linkedin google youtube vimeo tumblr yelp rss email podcast phone blog external search brokercheck brokercheck Play Pause
7 Books on the History of Money & Investing Thumbnail

7 Books on the History of Money & Investing

About the author: Lamar Watson, CFP®, is a Fee-Only Financial Advisor in the Washington, D.C., area who works with clients virtually across the country. Dream Financial Planning is a Fiduciary Financial Planning firm specifically designed to help individuals in their 30s and 40s take control of their finances and fulfill their dreams. Feel free to schedule a Free Consultation to learn how we use the DREAM Financial Planning Process ™ to help our clients achieve their goals. 

There are so many great books about modern-day investing, but what about those on the history of the market? This article highlights seven books from which you can learn a lot about the history of money and investing to understand how far we’ve come.

These seven books are dedicated to divulging information on our rich market and everything it has been through. By understanding the history of investing, you may feel more confident in making informed decisions about your investments today.

1.   Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises, Seventh Edition by Robert Alibar

You don’t understand the market until you understand its ebbs and flows. In Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises, you will learn that the global financial crises in recent years were not independent events, but symptomatic of inherent instability in the international system. The book examines the most recent 2007–2008 financial recession, as well as others throughout history. In addition, it tells stories about the crises using hilarious anecdotes and fun language.

2.   This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly by Carmen Reinhart

While researching investments and crashes, have you ever heard someone say, “This time is different?” Reinhart set out to prove this statement wrong. In her book, she discusses how different countries throughout the world manage to lend, borrow, crash, and recover their way through financial crises. Because of her international background, Reinhart lends a unique perspective from which we can all learn.

3.   The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World: 10th Anniversary Edition by Niall Ferguson

Ferguson is known as a leading name in economics and financial writing, and this book is another in his impressive repertoire. In it, he tackles a number of financial topics, from recessions to bitcoin, with a clarity that’s easy to understand. He argues that finance is the backbone of history, and through that lens, he examines everything from the Renaissance and the French Revolution to Wall Street.

4.   The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis

The Big Short by Michael Lewis examines the real story of the crash (you might be familiar with the film of the same name). Lewis is heralded as one of the greatest financial journalists, and in this book, he uses fresh narratives, humor, and storytelling to paint a picture of the financial crisis you won’t find anywhere else. If you like The Big Short, you may also want to check out some of Lewis’s other works, including Moneyball and Liar’s Poker.

5.   Devil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation by Edward Chancellor

If you can believe it, the practice of investing is more than 500 years old, and in Devil Take the Hindmost, Chancellor explores today’s trendy investments, the investments of ancient Romans made, the psychology of investing, and how investing has changed and stayed the same throughout history. This historical dive will help readers further understand the economy through the ages.

6.   The Greatest Trade Ever: The Behind-the-Scenes Story of How John Paulson Defied Wall Street and Made Financial History by Gregory Zuckerman

Wall Street was a hub featuring a lot going on in 2006, and one investor bet everything he had, including his name and reputation, on an investment that other banks scoffed at. However, John Paulson believed in his knowledge that the housing market and the value of subprime mortgages were inflated, and with that knowledge, he made the greatest trade ever. Read more about the risks and rewards of his decision in this epic narrative.

7.   Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System—And Themselves by Andrew Ross Sorkin

Described as “one of the most gripping financial narratives in decades,” Too Big to Fail goes behind the scenes of the financial crisis and gives a definitive account of everything that went down. The narrative is engaging, dramatic, and detailed and was the inspiration for the HBO film of the same name. Step inside the shoes of some of the most powerful men and women in finance as they decide the fate of the world’s economy.

These books will give you a deeper understanding of the history of our economy. Which one will you read first?

Work With Us

Wealth Management - Combines ongoing financial planning and investment management. The financial planning fee is waived if we manage at least $500,000 in investments for you. Tax Prep will be included.

Ongoing Financial Planning - Our most popular program now includes tax prep. This is a good fit if you have several goals and want the option to manage your investments. We'll cover everything from spending, insurance, taxes, investments, retirement planning, and estate planning, just to name a few. Our goal is to give you and your family an easy-to-understand comprehensive plan to provide you with confidence you're making the right financial decisions.

One-Time Financial Plan With Ongoing Support - An accelerated version of the service above with additional support for one year after your start date. This service requires prepayment for the year and is offered at a significant discount from the annual pricing for ongoing planning.

Three-Hour Ask Me Anything - This is a good fit if you have 2-3 goals you want help with. These three one-hour meetings need to be completed within three months. The fee for this service is $2,000.    

Financial Coaching - Our financial coaching program starts at $99/month. This is ideal for someone who is looking to simplify and automate their finances. We'll also serve as an accountability partner and help you overcome obstacles that may be stopping you from accomplishing your goals. You can learn more about our coaching program here. If you think this program might be a good fit for you, schedule a 15-Minute Demo.

Tax preparation is now part of the ongoing financial planning program. This will be in addition to the Tax Report we already generate for clients and our work with the IRS Withholding Calculator to help prevent our clients from getting a surprise tax bill.

Paying for College

This service is an ideal fit for parents of high school juniors and seniors with a standardized test score (ACT/SAT) and a list of colleges they're considering. This is included as part of ongoing financial planning or as a stand-alone package. This service includes:

  • A college affordability assessment
  • How Much Colleges Think You Can Afford (EFC) 
  • If You Qualify for Need-based Grants
  • If You Qualify for Merit-based Scholarships
  • Help you search for scholarships
  • 1 Year Out of Pocket Cost (For Each College)
  • 4 Year Out of Pocket Cost (For Each College)    

I hope we get the opportunity to work together. If you'd like to see if any of these services are a good fit for you, feel free to schedule a free consultation or send me an e-mail.

Get More Personal Finance Tips

Weekly insights delivered directly to your inbox.

Financial Coaching From a CFP® Professional

2023 Important Numbers

What's My 2023 Tax Bracket?

Saving for College and 529 Plans

Mother's Day: Best Financial Tips for Mothers

How Much Do You Need To Make Work Optional?

Keep These Tips In Mind When Reviewing Your Tax Return.

Disclaimer: Dream Financial Planning, LLC does not warrant that this information will be free from error. None of the information provided on this website is intended as investment, tax, accounting, or legal advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as an endorsement of any company, security, fund, or other securities or non-securities offering. The information should not be relied upon for purposes of transacting securities or other investments. Your use of the information is at your sole risk. Under no circumstances shall Dream Financial Planning, LLC be liable for any direct, indirect, special, or consequential damages that result from the use of, or the inability to use, the materials in this site, even if Dream Financial Planning, LLC or a Dream Financial Planning, LLC authorized representative has been advised of the possibility of such damages. Please consult with your own advisor before making any changes to your Financial Plan, Investments, or Insurance coverage.