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The Top 10 Investment Banking Books Every Aspiring Banker Must Read

How new or future bankers can learn from the brightest minds
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By Mike Hinckley
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    In this article, I provide a recommended reading list for those interested or already pursuing an investment banking career. 

    If you want to make it in this lucrative yet complicated industry, you should educate yourself from the brightest minds in the field.  

    Investment Banking Books Criteria

    This list was created based on research to assist you in learning about the investment banking industry.

    If you’re just getting into investment banking or want to break in, you will need to be familiar with fundamental financial principles before you show up for your interview. 

    Even if you’re a managing director responsible for driving business and closing deals, cultivating a lifelong learning habit can be helpful!

    That’s why I’ve included a mix of books that will help you learn technical skills, but also learn about the history and background of the industry.

    Liar’s Poker – Michael Lewis

    The original investment banking classic!

    Michael Lewis’s Liar’s Poker is an insightful and amusing insider’s account of a time of extraordinary greed, gluttony, and extravagant wealth. 

    If you want to understand banking culture, this account of Lewis’ time as a junior banker describes everything in great detail, from the banking culture to the reasons behind the seemingly inexplicable things they do and the behavior that would be repugnant to the general public.

    Investment Banking: Valuation, Leveraged Buyouts, and Mergers and Acquisitions – Joshua Rosenbaum

    Investment Banking: Valuation, Leveraged Buyouts, and Mergers & Acquisitions, Second Edition is a comprehensive and credible book about the main methods of valuation used on Wall Street right now. 

    This new edition of the best-selling book in its genre is especially relevant in the current climate of the financial services industry. 

    Throughout the book, the authors define key vocabulary, financial ideas, and procedures and provide step-by-step instructions for implementing each methodology.

    The Accidental Investment Banker: Inside the Decade that Transformed Wall Street – Jonathan A. Knee

    The Accidental Investment Banker provides a fascinating look at the inner workings of the most powerful businesses on Wall Street, and is full of insightful information about what investment bankers truly do. 

    It follows a tech banker, but the book isn’t simply about tech or investment banking. Its lessons can serve as a lifeline in any time of financial uncertainty.

    The Partnership: The Making of Goldman Sachs – Charles D. Ellis

    Strategy consultant Charles D. Ellis, who worked for Goldman Sachs for almost thirty years, writes about his old firm in The Partnership. He explains the company’s remarkable resilience in the face of numerous catastrophic disruptions. 

    The primary takeaway for financial experts is Goldman Sachs’ exceptional adaptation skills have led toward bigger profits. Competitive drive, teamwork and bottom-line concentration, recruiting excellence, and a high esteem for intellectual prowess are just some of the ideas whose importance will be repeatedly demonstrated to readers through numerous real-world examples.

    Vault Career Guide to Investment Banking – Tom Lott

    A classic, this book is one of Vault’s top sellers because it explains everything you need to know to get started in the financial markets, from stock and fixed income offerings through mergers and acquisitions and private placements. 

    Learn everything from pulling all-nighters to creating the ideal financial model in this in-depth look into the lives of investment bankers. This book will also help instruct you on how to become the top analyst.

    The Business of Investment Banking: A Comprehensive Overview – K. Thomas Liaw

    An in-depth look at the modern financial world’s most important banking operations, The Business of Investment Banking is a must-read for anybody serious about going deeper into investment banking operations. 

    To better manage deals and incorporate trends, banking and finance professionals can consult this handy reference that identifies and analyzes major trends worldwide. 

    Professor K. Thomas Liaw’s The Business of Investment Banking covers a wide range of topics beyond those typically associated with banking. This book provides an in-depth introduction to investment banking for both experienced bankers and novices.

    Investment Banking Explained, Second Edition: An Insider’s Guide to the Industry – Michel Fleuriet

    Investment Banking Explained is an easy-to-read guide that covers all the bases in defining the industry’s structures, strategies, and processes, as well as providing in-depth analyses of the best companies in the globe. 

    Investment Banking Explained is one of the few books that provides a comprehensive introduction to modern investment banking from the perspective of a working professional in the field. 

    Whether you’re already in the investment banking industry or hoping to break into it, you’ll find all the information you need here.

    Financial Modeling and Valuation: A Practical Guide to Investment Banking and Private Equity – Paul Pignataro

    People looking to learn how to model financial statements, this book is for you. Investment banking preparation is also simplified in the book. 

    The three-statement model, the depreciation plan, the discounted cash flow plan, the debt repayment plan, the working capital structure, etc. are just a few of the important models you’ll be developing. 

    Regular interview questions will be available to you as well, so that you may prepare thoroughly.

    Investment Banking: Institutions, Politics and Law – Alan D. Morrison

    Investment Banking: Institutions, Politics, and Law is a seriously dense piece of work that will explain the development of the investment banking business, as well as current shifts in its organizational structure. 

    I wouldn’t necessarily say this is a must-read for newcomers, but if you are interested in the broader impact of investment banking on society or just want to go deeper, it’s a good title for you.

    The Best Book on Investment Banking Careers – Donna Khalife

    The Best Book on Investment Banking Careers is a reliable guide to breaking into the investment banking industry and succeeding in the world of Wall Street. 

    The author provides an accessible overview of investment banking and its different job functions, covering ground beyond the requirements of a typical employer. 

    People interested in a career in investment banking will find helpful information here, including how to ace the requisite resume and cover letter writing exercises and what to expect during a prestigious job interview.

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    Mike Hinckley

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