I've often been asked what are the best investment books for someone to read if they are just starting out. I've read a lot of books on the topic and I'm happy to share my opinion on what the best books are for someone just starting out.
One Up On Wall Street- If there is one book the average investor should read about buying individual stocks, this is probably it. It is very well written and offers very pragmatic advice on how tho think about individual stocks. It is written by Peter Lynch who became famous running Fidelity's Magellan fund and it is written to show how an ordinary person has some rather large advantages over the boys in Wall Street.
Robert Hagstrom's The Warren Buffett Way -Readers of my blog know how much I admire Buffet. I believe his technique (despite what I may espouse on this website) is the way to go. Buy well run companies that are easy to understand and that are attractively priced. Buffet himself has never written a book, but Hagstrom clearly outlines what Buffet has done to make himself one of the wealthiest men on the planet.
Pat Dorsey's The Five Rules for Successful Stock Investing - This is a really great book to teach you the basics of how to evaluate a company and what the important metrics are. I also like the fact that it has in its appendix how to evaluate companies in different sectors. Evaluating a bank is much different than evaluating a tech company, and this book shows you the basics so you can get started.
Joel Greenblatt's The Little Book That Beats the Market- The best book is the book that you read and you finish. That's why I put this book on the list. It's very short and a very quick read. The advice is actually half way decent, but more importantly it is simple to follow. He even has a website that does all the work for you. The thing I like about it most is that it should make it really simple for you to invest, and the most important thing when it comes to investing is to just start.
There are a lot more books I suggest you read, but this should give you an excellent starting point. Like I said, start with the basics and then go from there.