Whether you are new to the financial industry or an old pro, you probably spend a significant portion of each day reading. Whether you are analyzing stock charts and investment returns, examining the latest regulations the government has dreamed up or making sure your client statements are letter-perfect, reading is an integral part of your everyday activities.

Reading investment books should also be high on your priority list, and there are some excellent choices on the market. Some of the books on our list are brand new, while others have been around for awhile now. Some of our choices dispense timeless wisdom, while others are so timely they could have been ripped from the headlines. Taken together, this group of books is your list of must-reads for 2017 and beyond.

The Big Short

by Michael Lewis

The housing collapse and financial implosion that triggered the Great Recession and nearly brought the world economy crashing down may seem like a lifetime ago, but it is not even a decade old. It may seem that the lessons of the housing bubble and its subsequent popping would still be fresh on the minds of your clients, but a refresher course is definitely in order.

If you have not already done so, why not start 2017 by reading Michael Lewis' highly informative and surprisingly entertaining chronicle of the follies of the financial market and the needless risks it's best and brightest took? The lesson are as relevant as ever, and reading this book could help you spot, and profit from, the next big short opportunity.

Predictably Irrational

by Dan Ariely

Aptly subtitled "The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions," this long-time staple of behavioral finance has been revised and expanded, giving it a new relevance and making it a must for every financial advisor and wealth manager. Equal parts informative and entertaining, Predictably Irrational takes an in-depth look at why people behave the way they do, and why they repeatedly engage in behaviors that defy logic.

From why voters routinely cast their ballots against their interests to why even seasoned investors underestimate the amount of risk they are taking, Predictably Irrational shines an explanatory light on the strangest areas of human behavior. If you want to understand your clients better in 2017, Predictably Irrational belongs on your bookshelf, and on your required reading list.

Unexpected Returns: Understanding Secular Stock Market Cycles

by Ed Easterling

Whether you are a proponent of market timing or strictly a buy and hold investor, understanding stock market cycles can help you run a better practice and provide your clients with superior short-term and long-term returns.

The value of understanding stock market cycles and economic ups and downs is what makes Unexpected Returns such a valuable read. You do not have to be a market timer to realize that the stock market goes through extended periods of advances and declines, and that information is at the heart of this powerful book. From the unprecedented secular bull market that took place throughout the 1980s and 1990s to the secular bear market that made the Great Recession so painful, this book serves as a valuable history lesson.

It also serves as a prescient warning, providing financial advisors and wealth managers with extra insight into the causes of both secular and cyclical bulls and bears. If you want to gain a greater understanding of the stock market's gyrations in 2017, Unexpected Returns is a great place to start.

Storyselling for Financial Advisors

by Scott West and Mitch Anthony

Aimed squarely at the financial professional, Storyselling for Financial Advisors is a clear choice for your 2017 reading list. If you are looking for a way to improve client communication and build a more profitable and effective practice, this is the book for you.

One of the best things about this book is the way it helps financial professionals break free of the jargon that often plagues their industry. If your clients' eyes glaze over when you talk about P/E ratios and asset allocations, you can use the lessons you learn in Storyselling to tell a different tale.

Instead of relying on dry technical jargon, you will learn the effective use of anecdotes and metaphors, improving communication with your clients and helping you build a better practice for 2017. Whether your communications skills are stellar or substandard, you will find a lot to love in Storyselling for Financial Advisors.

Dear Investors, What the Hell Are You Doing?

by Ken Weber

This timely book certainly wins the prize for the most provocative title, but there is more to this tome than a memorable name. If you are looking for insight into why your clients react the way they do, this may be the read of 2017.

From panicking out in the depths of a bear market and buying back in at the top to eschewing risk and falling prey to inflation, investors make seemingly stupid decisions every day. This book is designed to help financial advisors, wealth managers, and other industry professionals understand the root causes of those decisions, allowing them to provide more effective guidance along the way. If you have ever had to talk a client out of a potentially disastrous investment decision, you need this book in your arsenal.

Around the Year with Nick Murray

by Nick Murray

Investment success is all about accumulated wisdom, and the pearls of knowledge contained in this classic yet timeless book have been gathered over more than 50 years. Through bear markets and bull markets, Nick Murray has gained a unique perspective on finances and investing, and he shares his knowledge in Around the Year.

Around the Year with Nick Murray also offers an enormous amount of insight and advice for financial professionals everywhere. Whether you work as an individual broker, a financial advisor or a wealth manager, you will find a lifetime of knowledge in these pages. If you have never read it before, pick it up and make it part of your 2017 reading list. If you have read it before, give yourself a refresher course with a reread.

The books on your bookshelf say a lot about you, from your background and training to your priorities in serving your clients. As 2017 gets underway, it is time to give your bookshelves a makeover, and you cannot go wrong with the titles on this list. From helping you understand the market's ups and downs to providing an entertaining insight into a financial world turned upside down, the books on our recommended reading list will give you new insight, new understanding and hours of entertainment and fun.

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Disclaimer

The above article is meant for information purposes only and is not intended in any way to provide legal or other advice for any specific situation.  Readers always should consult their own tax, accounting and legal advisors before taking any action related to the above article or subject matter.

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