What are the best books you should read to become an Investment Banker? We enclose a list of the best books you should read if you want to become an Investment Banker. In addition to this, you need to seekho/ upskill/ learn Financial Analysis techniques if you’re going to become the best Investment Banker you can ever be. An easy way for you to do this is by visiting seekho.

Without any further ado, I will launch into an analysis of the best Investment banking books available.

Barbarians at The Gate by Brian Burlough and John Heylar 

Despite being a 30-year-old tome, it is an old-time classic and quintessential reading for an investment banker. Written by a pair of financial investigative journalists, it details the leveraged buyout at RJR Nabisco. RJR Nabisco is an American conglomerate mainly dealing in tobacco and food products. 

The book details the importance of financial structure decisions, especially too much leverage. The company evolved as RJR Nabisco after a $ 4.9 billion purchase and a stock swap of Nabisco brands Inc. The book describes the various trade negotiations, the valuation of the company and the larger than life personalities of the main corporate dealmakers.

The Partnership (The Making of Goldman Sachs) by Charles D. Ellis

Once a newcomer, it talks about the emergence of Goldman Sachs as the all-time great in Investment Banking. Charles Ellis traces its history from its entry into the Investment banking World as a neophyte to soaring to great heights as an elite Investment Bank. 

He brings out many nuances through different instances of how the customer is always supreme at Goldman Sachs, learning to keep egos in check and devising innovative strategies like asking the Bank of England to allow Goldman Sachs to borrow its gold to trade on it.

Buffett, the making of the American Capitalist by Roger Lowenstein

An analysis of investment banking books would not be complete without talking about Warren Buffet, the investment guru the whole world looks up to. Warren Buffett has his autobiography, but this book is written more than a decade before it. Instead of focusing on the areas of Buffett’s relationship with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and his philanthropy, the book focuses more on his time at Berkshire Hathaway and how it saved Coca Cola from going under by making a large scale investment in it in the 80s. It also talks about Buffett’s preference for traditional businesses.

Principles by Ray Dalio

Ray Dalio is an American Billionaire philanthropist and hedge fund manager. As an Investment Banker, you can learn a lot about the techniques behind his success from reading the book. He believed that every mistake he made led to value accretion. His principle philosophy in life was to win and learn. 

However damaging the mistake, he believed it would be a learning experience where he would never make the same mistake again. His methodologies for success, including note-taking, are outlined in great depth in the book and are a lesson for all, not only investment bankers. To become a successful investment banker, read books like this, and seekho/learn/ upskill.

The Essays of Warren Buffett; the lessons for Corporate America

Even today, Berkshire Hathaway’s minutes of the Annual General Meeting are read by investment professionals worldwide with interest. This is a compendium of Warren Buffett’s speeches at the Berkshire Hathaway Annual General Meeting. 

The sage of Omaha always has something to say that adds value to one’s knowledge, especially if you are an investment banker. Some of his sayings have become truisms like “Only when the tide goes out, you know who has been swimming naked”. This can become a permanent part of your library and an all-time reference book.

Silvio Berlusconi: Television, Power and Patrimony by Paul Ginsberg

You might know Silvio Berlusconi as a disgraced politician. Still, he was also a man of great business insight and a trend spotter, which enabled him to establish multi-million dollar businesses. The book covers all aspects of his life, his rise to glory and subsequent fall. But, the conclusion emerges that Silvio Berlusconi spotted emerging trends and was very good at them. Whether it was construction, media or sport, his skilful negotiation techniques and careful planning carried the day.

Hidden Champions of the 21st century By Hermann Simon

Hermann Simon is a German Management consultant who has analysed successful companies. The companies featured in his list are not in-your-face, successful companies but have become great in obscurity away from public scrutiny. He analyses what makes a successful company, and some of his approaches may change how you look at and analyse successful companies.

The Business of Investment Banking, A comprehensive overview by Thomas Liaw

In this book, Thomas Liaw outlines an overview of the sector, the emerging trends, and laws. The book is an extensive compendium of the basics of investment banking, international capital investment and flows, trading and risk management practices. This is a must-have book for Investment Bankers.

The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons learned from 15 years as the CEO of the Walt Disney Company by Rober Iger

This book is not directly linked to Investment Banking, but it is more about deal-making. Rober Iger presided over Walt Disney over a two-decade period when the largest amount of deals was made. Pay particular attention to the chapter “Marvel and massive risk that make sense.” The essence of deal-making is contained in this particular chapter. 

The book is an eye-opener, which outlines the Mergers and Acquisitions Strategies that Rober Iger pursued during his tenure at Walt Disney and his interactions with various company CEOs and the innovative strategies he pursued with them.

The Dark Side of Valuation by Aswath Damodaran 

Aswath Damodaran is an investment guru and a professor at New York’s Stern School of Business. His book analyses the various aspects of a company’s valuation. He especially focuses on complex, distressed and young businesses. He is esteemed as the father of Modern Company Valuation. He analyses the complexities and challenges that afflict company valuation. He is a great communicator, and throughout the book, he portrays complex theories in an easy to understand manner. All-in-all a great read for value addition to an investment banker.

Investment Banking: Valuations, Leveraged Buyouts, Mergers and Acquisitions by Joshua Rosenbaum and Joshua Pearl

In today’s corporate landscape with the start-up universe and where companies grow inorganically through mergers and acquisitions, knowing valuation methodologies is a must for investment bankers. This book could be a valuable addition to your investment banking library.

Key Takeaways

You can enrich yourself by reading books on or written by Investment Banking gurus or mergers and acquisition strategists. But your learning should not stop here. To become a successful Investment banker seekho/to learn/upskill yourself. Doing pertinent, related courses will only enhance your curriculum vitae and increase your knowledge base. To learn more about investment banking and other finance related content please Download the Seekho App.


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