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A

Curriculum
For The

Modern Investor

Patrick O'Shaughnessy
Education is the key to successful investing—but most never learn the
right lessons, or learn them when it’s already too late. This curriculum—
which can be accessed mostly for free with a library card or kindle
unlimited subscription—is meant to fix this problem.

I’ve spent the last decade reading, watching, and listening to thousands of
different sources on the subject of investing. This curriculum lists only
the best of what I’ve found. It covers all aspects of investing—from basic
information about markets to detailed investment strategies—and will
leave you ready to build a successful portfolio. Let’s get started.

In addition to the resources in this curriculum,


I send out 3-4 great books each month to subscribers. SUBSCRIBE
? How to use this curriculum
The books, articles, reports, videos, and interviews in this curriculum cover every
facet of money and investing.

I am breaking them up into the following topic areas:


1 • Introductory
2 • Market History
3 • Market Overview
4 • Investing Strategies
5 • Investor Psychology: How to Get Out Of Your Own Way
6 • Investing Lessons From Non-Investing Books
7 • Entertaining & Educational
8 • Counterpoints/Glass Half Empty
9 • Business Stories
10 • Blogs

Pick the topics that matter most to you and dive in.
1 Introductory
For those just beginning to learn about investing.

Simple Wealth, The Little Book of


Inevitable Wealth Common Sense
by Nick Murray Investing
If I could hand just one book to a by Jack Bogle
novice investor, this would be it. Bogle, who created low-cost index
funds, has done more for everyday
investors than anyone else. A
lifetime of wisdom condensed into
a small book.

The Potential of If You Can: How


Every Dollar Millennials Can Get
(on my website) Rich Slowly
This brief article frames your by William Bernstein
basic investment choices (stocks,
bonds, cash) in terms of the A 30 page, high level overview of
potential of every $1. When you investing.
start—and what you buy—
makes a huge difference.
1 Introductory
For those just beginning to learn about investing.

Deep Risk: How The Richest Man in


History Informs Babylon
Portfolio Design by George Clason
(Investing for Adults)
Everything you need to know
by William Bernstein about personal finance (it’s not
Don’t mind the daunting title, complicated) told through a fun
this is a great overview of the story.
major risks in investing and how
to mitigate them.

The Behavior Gap: Your Money & Your


Simple Ways to Stop Brain
Doing Dumb Things by Jason Zweig
with Money We are our own worst enemy
By Carl Richards when it comes to money &
investing. These two books are the
antidote.
1 Introductory
For those just beginning to learn about investing.

This video, produced and narrated by Ray Dalio, explains the economy
in simple terms in just 30 minutes.
2 Market History
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. These sources will
help you learn from the mistakes of others.

Devil Take the The First Crash


Hindmost by Richard Dale
by Edward Chancellor A short book about the South Sea
The best collection of stories Trading Company bubble of 1720:
about irrational investors and the first great market bubble.
the damage they do.

The Worldly The History of Money


Philosophers: The by Jack Weatherford
Lives, Times And A page turner that will help you
Ideas Of The Great understand the evolution of
money.
Economic Thinkers,
Seventh Edition
By Robert L. Heilbroner Read also my own (much briefer)
“History of Money”
History told through the eyes of
geniuses.
3 Market Overview
Once you’ve formed a basic foundation, you can dive into markets themselves.

Triumph of the The (mis)Behavior of


Optimists: 101 Years Markets
of Global Investment by Benoit Mandelbrot
Returns
by Elroy Dimson, Paul Marsh,
Mike Staunton

The Most Important The Essays of Warren


Thing: Uncommon Buffett: Lessons for
Sense for the Corporate America,
Thoughtful Investor Third Edition
By Howard Marks by Lawrence A. Cunningham,
Warren E. Buffett
3 Market Overview
Once you’ve formed a basic foundation, you can dive into markets themselves.

More Than You The Outsiders: Eight


Know: Finding Unconventional CEOs
Financial Wisdom in and Their Radically
Unconventional Rational Blueprint for
Places (Updated and Success
Expanded) (Columbia by William N. Thorndike
Business School Publishing)
by Michael J. Mauboussin

Against the Gods: Saving Capitalism


The Remarkable From Short-Termism:
Story of Risk How to Build Long-
By Peter L. Bernstein Term Value and Take
Back Our Financial
Future
by Alfred Rappaport
3 Market Overview
Once you’ve formed a basic foundation, you can dive into markets themselves.

Poor Charlie's Other articles:


Almanack: The Wit This article, written by Cliff Asness and
and Wisdom of John Liew, is the best I’ve read summarizing the debate
Charles T. Munger, between active managers (who try to beat the market) and
Expanded ThirdEdition passive indexers (who just want to earn the overall market’s
return).
by Peter D. Kaufman (Editor),
Ed Wexler (Illustrator), Seven Immutable Laws of Investing, by the
Warren E. Buffett (Foreword), great James Montier
Charles T. Munger (Author)
Having a global portfolio reduces your risk. Here’s why.
If you want to beat the market, you have to build a
different/unique portfolio. The legendary money manager
Howard Marks explains here.

Untangling skill and luck, a very useful paper from


Michael Mauboussin. More on the role of luck,
from Howard Marks.
4 Investing Strategies
Beating the market is hard (and it isn’t for everyone), but these will help you on
your journey.

What Works on Wall Contrarian Investment


Street (Fourth Edition) Strategies
by by James O’Shaughnessy by David Dreman
Uncovering the most successful Why going against the grain is the
investment strategies of the past best way to beat the market.
60 years.

The Little Book that Global Value: How to


Beats the Market Spot Bubbles, Avoid
by Joel Greenblatt Market Crashes, and
Buying good businesses at good Earn Big Returns in
prices leads to great results (so the Stock Market
long as you stick to it!)
by Meb Faber
Buying the cheapest countries
around the world is hard, but
rewarding.
4 Investing Strategies
Beating the market is hard (and it isn’t for everyone), but these will help you on
your journey.

Quantitative Value: Other articles:


A Practitioner's
Guide to High quality stocks beat low quality stocks
over the long-term.
Automating
Intelligent Warren Buffett has succeeded by focusing on four key
Investment and ideas: value, quality, low risk, and smart use of leverage.
Eliminating Read how here.
Behavioral Errors
What Has Worked In Investing, a great paper
(Wiley Finance) from Tweedy Browne that summarizes what strategies have
by Wesley R. Gray, Tobias E. worked best over the long term.
Carlisle
Using the lessons of great A Brief Survey of Quantitative Investing,
investors and researchers to great presentation by money manager Cliff Asness.
build a value based strategy.
5 Investor Psychology
How to Get Out Of Your Own Way

Inside the Investor’s Mean Markets and


Brain Lizard Brains: How to
by Richard Peterson Profit from the New
The best overview of the Science of Irrationality
investor’s brain and psyche. We by Terry Burnham
are wired to be bad investors.
Learning how is the first step to Why you should often do the
overcoming our wiring. opposite of what your brain tells
you to do.

The Little Book of Thinking, Fast and


Behavioral Investing: Slow
How not to be your by Aniel Kahneman
own worst enemy The defining book on human
by James Montier behavior, with countless lessons
applicable to investing.
Simple methods to get out of
your own way.

Are We in Control of Our Own Decisions? A great TED talk by psychologist Dan Ariely
6 Investing Lessons From Non-Investing Books
These books offer general lessons that can be easily applied to investing.

The Checklist Drunk Tank Pink: And


Manifesto: How to Other Unexpected Forces
Get Things Right that Shape How We
Think, Feel, and Behave
by Atul Gawande
by Adam Alter
Why having rules (and the
discipline to stick with them) is The title says it all: we are less in
the key to success in many areas control of our decisions and
of life.. behavior than we like to think.

Moneyball Expert Political


by Michael Lewis Judgment
How models beat humans. by Philip E. Tetlock
Never, ever, ever listen to expert
forecasts. They are seductive and
entertaining, but usually wrong.
6 Investing Lessons From Non-Investing Books
These books offer general lessons that can be easily applied to investing.

The Success Who's in Charge?:


Equation: Untangling Free Will and the
Skill and Luck in Science of the Brain
Business, Sports, and by Michael S. Gazzaniga
Investing A fascinating discussion of the
by Michael J. Mauboussin mind and our lack of control.

The role of luck in our lives, and


why we should focus on process
instead of outcomes.
7 Entertaining and Educational
These books and interviews are cautionary tales about investor psychology, Wall
Street shenanigans, and market history.

Reminiscences of a Clash of the Financial


Stock Operator Pundits: How the Media
Influences Your
by Edwin Lefevre
Investment Decisions for
The story of famed speculator Better or Worse
Jesse Livermore, who teaches us
that the investing game never by Joshua M. Brown, Jeff Macke
really changes. Learn how to avoid the noise in the
news and focus on what matters.

Market Wizards, Barry Ritholtz, one of the most widely read market
thinkers, has a series of phenomenal interviews with
Updated: Interviews legends of business & investing. Each contains valuable
With Top Traders lessons, you can find them all here.
by Jack D. Schwager
Consuela Mack, like Ritholtz, interviews the leading
Learn lessons from the most minds in finance and investing on her weekly program
successful traders in history.
“Wealth Track.” Each program is full of valuable
insights.

The best of value investing video : Part 1 & Part 2.


8 Counterpoints/Glass Half Empty
Peopletend to only read/notice information that confirms what they already
believe (this is called “confirmation bias”). I therefore find it useful to read books
that make cogent arguments against my central beliefs.

The Death of Money: The Decline of the


The Coming Collapse West - Vol I - Full
of the International Formatting
Monetary System by Oswald Spengler
by James Rickards Why the modern west looks a lot
Why the U.S. dollar may face a like previous empires (Babylonian,
grim future. Roman, Egyptian, etc.) on the
precipice of decline.

Currency Wars: The The Dependency


Making of the Next Agenda (Encounter
Global Crisis Broadsides)
by James Rickards by Kevin D. Williamson

The secret world of currencies Why we may have grown way too
and the dangerous nature of the reliant on government, and may
modern financial system. be unable to depend on
government come retirement.
8 Counterpoints/Glass Half Empty
People tend to only read/notice information that confirms what they already
believe (this is called “confirmation bias”). I therefore find it useful to read books
that make cogent arguments against my central beliefs.

The Clash of Generations:


Saving Ourselves, Our Kids,
and Our Economy
by Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Scott Burns
Why we have borrowed from future
generations to fund cushy benefits for
ourselves; and why that trend cannot
continue.
9 Business Stories
Owning stock is the same as owning partial shares in a business.

The Fish That Ate the The Second Machine


Whale: The Life and Age: Work, Progress,
Times of America's and Prosperity in a
Banana King Time of Brilliant
by Rich Cohen Technologies
One of the all-time great rags- by Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew
to-riches stories about Sam McAfee
Zemurray, a Russian immigrant A brilliant look at the future of
who rose from nothing to machines, automation, lifestyle,
dominate the American fruit
business. and wealth inequality.
9 Business Stories
Owning stock is the same as owning partial shares in a business.

The Prize: The Epic The Lights in the


Quest for Oil, Money Tunnel: Automation,
& Power Accelerating
by Daniel Yergin Technology and the
Perhaps the best book I’ve ever Economy of the Future
read (disclaimer: it’s very long). by Martin Ford
What kinds of skills will matter in
the future.

Business Adventures:
Twelve Classic Tales
from the World of
Wall Street
by John Brooks
Twelve great stories, all of which
could have happened today.
10 Blogs
There are many incredibly well written and informative blogs to check periodically.

philosophicaleconomics.wordpress.com www.morganhousel.com
In depth discussion of investing topics written by the Well written, sensible, and approachable investment
smartest guy out there today (who’s appeal is enhanced advice from one of the best financial writers of our day.
by his anonymity)
www.thereformedbroker.com
pragcap.com Humorous but poignant takes on the major issues of
Cullen Roche writes about all things investing, money, the day. A financial equivalent of Penn & Teller’s
and finance. Also the author of the fine book debunking show “Bullsh!t”
Pragmatic Capitalism
awealthofcommonsense.com
www.mebanefaber.com Clean, useful, educational posts covering all things
If you like rules based, quantitative strategy, then Meb investing and personal finance.
Faber is the go to resource.
www.ritholtz.com/blog
abnormalreturns.com A one-stop-shop for news and insight on markets.
Check in daily for a list of the best stories out there. I
used to spend hours looking for interesting stories to 25iq.com
read. Now, with the help of abnormal returns, I spend Lessons from legendary investors and venture
no time. capitalists
Final Thoughts

It would be unreasonable to expect to get through all of


this, but that is not the point. Depending on your
current level of market knowledge, I hope that you will
find the appropriate resources in this curriculum to take
your investing plan to the next level—earning better
returns for yourself and your family in the process.

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