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My best stocking filler investing books

If you’re anything like me, you’ll have left your Christmas shopping to the last minute. It’s not that you’ve forgotten about it, but rather that you lack inspiration. The question is: what do you buy?

Alternatively, people might be asking you for ideas about what presents you’d like.

Here are two stocking filler ideas for the investing friend or family member in your life. Or maybe even something to put on your own list.

The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder

This book contains all you need to know about Warren Buffett. Although Buffett has never written an autobiography, he did allow author Alice Schroeder unprecedented access to his life to write this book.

In The Snowball, Schroeder shines a light on the ups and downs of Buffett’s life.

Before I opened the book up, I felt like I already knew quite a bit about him. I’d read many of his letters to shareholders, followed stories about him in the business pages of newspapers and watched many of his interviews on YouTube.

However, when I started turning the pages, I felt like I got to know his character.

Although it seems like Buffett allows the press into his life, in reality he is quite a private person and only relays the stories he wants us to hear.

What jumped out to me was that he has run his businesses with heart. He genuinely seems to care about the people who work for and run the many companies he owns, which is a stark contrast to the cut-throat image of billionaires that many people have.

It’s interesting to read about how Buffett has thought about business, even from a very young age. From earning cash selling Coca-Cola door-to-door, and becoming a paperboy, selling used golf balls and cleaning cars, Buffett’s business life turned a corner when he bought an old pinball machine.

He negotiated with barbers to put the machine in their waiting areas, in exchange for half the profit. After a week, he had made $25, enough to buy another machine. He continued this scheme until there were multiple machines around town. It’s a simple lesson about passive income and reinvesting profits, which I think for a child to carry out, is remarkable.

The Zulu Principle: Making Extraordinary Profits from Ordinary Shares by Jim Slater

First published in 1992, this might not be the first investing book you think of when looking for Christmas present ideas.

Slater wrote the book when he was asked by his son to recommend a book about investing. He hunted bookstores but was unable to find anything suitable. Once it was published, it quickly became the greatest-selling investment book ever written by a British author.

It lays down several ‘Zulu Principles’, which claim to help investors find growth stocks. Mark Slater, his son, has adopted the principles at Slater Investments.

The main focus of the book is to have a disciplined focus on one thing. The PEG ratio (price-to-earnings-growth) is used to screen the stocks, before further due diligence is carried out.

It’s a work to inspire the UK-based growth investor.

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T Sligo has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.