Top 10 Books Every Investment Banker Should Have

Anyone that has ever had visions of being an investment banker has no doubt picked up a good banking book or two along the way. As they say, the key to success in any business is having a thorough knowledge of the industry and how to successfully perform your role in it.

Even though the Internet has become center stage in the last number of years when it comes to picking up tips on how to learn this and do that, there is still nothing quite as satisfying or educational as picking up a good book. After all, it can be a little tiring trying to highlight certain passages in that eBook or in that article you found online!

As many investment bankers can likely tell you, it is not a job that you just pick up overnight. In fact, it takes a good degree of financial wisdom to make the right calls and grow that money tree—and to get your clients and customers to truly trust you and what you have to offer to their financial success. When it comes to investment banking, even those just starting a business would be wise to polish up on their financial skills in order to set the right course for monetary success.

For those, however, diving right into investment banking, keep some of these titles in mind the next time you want to pick up a book and learn…they may help you figure out how to approach the job in a way that can lead to better results:

1. Liar’s Poker, by Michael Lewis
First hitting bookstores in 1989 and published by Penguin, this book is a solid read for anyone who wants a notion of what it’s like to be a bond salesman at a substantial firm, in this case, Salomon Brothers. Lewis describes his experience from start to finish, down to the cultural differences between trading desks, how much bankers can put away when it comes to food, and how to become a “big swinging Richard.”

2. Vault Career Guide to Investment Banking by Tom Lott
First published in 2007, this book provides readers with an overview of each and every aspect of the business, a crash course in equity and fixed income offerings, M&A, corporate finance, sales and trading, research, and syndicate.

3. Investment Banking: Valuation, Leveraged Buyouts, and Mergers and Acquisitions by Joshua Rosenbaum and Joshua Pearl
Written in 2009 by a managing director and director at UBS and published by Wiley, this read provides good insight for those individuals that conduct valuations. Those interested in M&A transactions, IPOs, and restructurings will learn frameworks for how to get deals taken care of. The book looks into primary valuation methodologies, something that pros will need to be successful on Wall Street.

4. Market Wizards by Jack Schwager
This gathering of interviews with traders published by HarperCollins in 1988 looks at their backgrounds, techniques, and tips for how to make a go of it in this line of work. Schwager interviews commodities traders such as Michael Marcus and Bruce Kovner, along with stocks and index futures traders like William O’Neil and Marty Schwartz.

5. Working The Street: What You Need To Know About Life on Wall Street by Erik Banks
A good read for aspiring bankers, this book takes its readers from the beginning to end of getting into the industry. He first provides an overview regarding how to acquire a job in investment banking, how to survive it, and finally when to walk away.

6. Killer Investment Banking Resumes by Wetfeet
Quick and to the point, this guide is littered with advice on how to turn your IB resume into something looking like a banker-friendly product. The guide also touches on investment banking cover letters.

7.How to Get a Job on Wall Street: Proven Ways to Land a High-Paying, High-Power Job by Scott Hoover
This publication takes the reader on a fast-paced ride via investment banking recruiting, starting from the very beginning (what is investment banking?) and traveling right through to the finale (how to perform in banking). Given this is a recent publication (2011), the reader also has the fortune of learning how to launch their career in investment banking in today’s world.

8. The Business of Investment Banking: A Comprehensive Overview, by K Thomas Liaw
Those wanting to learn more about investment banking, what a banker does, and what one can expect their investment banking internship salary to be will find this book a winner.

9. Career Guidebook for IT in Investment Banking (Essvale)
When a student interested in working their way into the IT side of investment banking requests a book recommendation, here it is. This can also be viewed as the book on IT careers in finance.

10. Investment Banking 101 – Investment Banking Explained: An Insider’s Guide to the Industry by Michel Fleuriet
Fleuriet breaks the IB industry apart and provides the reader with exactly what everyone does. When you put the book down for good, you will know the history of banking, the difference between S&T v. M&A v. Capital Raising, along with how it all interconnects. For aspiring bankers, even though this may not be the most exciting books their eyes have ever come across, it’s definitely one of the most important.

These are but a few of the countless investment banking periodicals that are out there. Whether new to investment banking or an old pro that could stand a refresher course or two, invest in some reading today.

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