Finance Industry Books to Supplement CFA® Exam Preparation

Finance Industry Books to Supplement CFA® Exam Preparation

Earning the CFA Charter is an integral step towards gaining expertise in the financial industry and advancing your career. However, finance knowledge can also come from books. Below are our top five book recommendations for aspiring CFA charterholders. Both CFA exam-focused and finance industry-focused, these books are inspiring and informative. Their contents will give you insight into the CFA exam preparation, the finance profession, and the role CFA charterholders play in the industry.

CFA Exam-Focused

1. Direct Path to the CFA Charter: Savvy, Proven Strategies for Passing Your Chartered Financial Analyst Exams by Rachel Bryant, CFA

Rachel Bryant’s book, Direct Path to the CFA Charter, is a fundamental guide to passing the CFA exams. Bryant is an internationally published author who passed all three CFA exam levels on the first try. She wrote this book to provide robust test-taking strategies that get results.

The book has sixteen chapters, divided into two parts, covering a high-level overview of the CFA Exam, secrets to passing the exam, study strategies and plans, and how to prepare for exam day. Reviews of the book describe it as an indispensable resource and “best friend” during the CFA exam process. The book is straightforward with practical advice for CFA candidates working to advance their careers in the finance profession.

2. CFA Confidential: What It Really Takes to Become a Chartered Financial Analyst by Gregory M. Campion, CFA

Another CFA exam-focused book is Gregory Campion’s CFA Confidential. The author describes everything you need to know to successfully get through the CFA Exam’s challenges and how to manage the stress that comes with working towards the CFA Charter.

The book’s eight chapters focus on the different levels of the CFA Exam while showing you how to strategize and plan to take the test. There is also guidance on managing all the stress and anxiety of studying for the CFA Exam. 

Positive reviews of the book describe Campion as a motivator and great writer and recommend that all current CFA candidates and those thinking about becoming CFA charterholders purchase this book.

Finance Industry-Focused

3. Liar’s Poker: Rising Through the Wreckage on Wall Street, by Michael Lewis

Liar’s Poker is a story about the author’s life during the 1980s on Wall Street, capturing Lewis’s frenzied years on Wall Street and the turbulent behind-the-scenes look into American business. Lewis details his insider’s account of an era of greed and outrageous fortune in the book. 

Reviewers describe the book as a stark look at how booms and busts are still with us. The book is referred to as “comical, yet a little disturbing at times.” Also, reviewers describe the book as “highly entertaining and educational,” even though it centers on investment banking.

4. Investment Banking: Valuation, Leveraged Buyouts and Mergers & Acquisitions by  Joshua Rosenbaum and Joshua Pearl.

Investment Banking is another career-focused book that focuses on the ever-evolving world of finance. Authors Joshua Rosenbaum and Joshua Pearl wrote the book to fulfill the need for a book like this when they were trying to break into Wall Street. 

5. The Handbook of Fixed Income Securities by Frank Fabozzi and Steven Mann

The Handbook of Fixed Income Securities is a trusted resource for fixed income investing. Authors Frank Fabozzi and Steven Mann added 31 new chapters to the latest edition to bring readers up-to-date on the latest tools, strategies, and methodologies for capitalizing on the potential of the fixed income securities market to enhance revenue. Both authors are considered leading experts on the subject.

New topics added to the updated edition cover electronic trading, high-yield bond portfolio management, tail risk hedging, and risk analysis from multifactor fixed income models, to name a few.

Reviewers describe it as a solid read for those new to the finance profession. The book provides a solid understanding of the fixed-income securities sector of the finance world.  Other reviews mention that the book will not make you an expert on any segment but provides a solid basis for all fixed-income asset segments.

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