7 Best Investment Banking Books - Financial Analyst Insider
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7 Best Investment Banking Books

Many different topics fall under the umbrella of investment banking. Investment bankers play a critical role as a financial intermediary for large and complex financial transactions. Due to the complexity and scope of the material, finding a book that covers the specific topics you’re hoping to learn about can pose a challenge.

The following books cover many different aspects of investment banking at many different levels. Whether you’re considering a career in investment banking or looking for a refresher on some key technical concepts, one of these books should meet your needs. 

Monkey Business: Swinging Through the Wall Street Jungle

This book offers a peek inside the chaotic world of Wall Street in the 1990s. Written by Rolfe and Troob in 2001 after their time on Wall Street, the content may feel a bit dated at first. However, you’re not going to find a better book at giving you the unvarnished truth of the highs and lows of working as an entry level investment banker. 

In many ways if you want to learn about what this career path might be like for you, you are better off reading a book from ex bankers. They have no reason to give you anything but a truthful picture of their experience as they saw it. 

If you’re debating whether or not investment banking is worth it, this may be a helpful read. It manages to be both funny and grim. The no holds barred look at the culture in the fast-paced world of finance. 

Monkey Business won’t teach you much about building spreadsheet models, but it will give a humorous and highly entertaining picture of working on wall street.  If you’re interested in a finance career, you will have a hard time putting this book down.

The Best Book on Investment Banking Careers

In this book, Khalife’s goal is to help you land your dream investment job.  Donna Khalife is in the perfect position to provide this type of guidance.  She holds an MBA from Harvard and spent many years working in investment banking in JP Morgan’s M&A department.  She is very familiar with the point of view of a student trying to break in to the industry as well as the decision process utilized when recruiting new analysts and associates.

This is the perfect book for a college student looking for a little bit of extra advice for how to get that summer internship as well as strategies and tactics for landing that first analyst job out of school.  When you are in college, most students don’t learn about the important nuances that go into landing a first job out of school.  This is a critical part of your education and Khalife does a great job getting students up to speed on the most important elements of landing their first banking position.

Liar’s Poker

Liar’s Poker is a classic wall street book about the chaos and craziness of the trading floor.  This is a roller coaster ride through Michael Lewis’s experience starting out as a bond salesman at Solomon Brothers in the 1980’s.  Don’t be thrown off by the time period.  The information in the book is just as relevant today as when it was originally written.

You won’t learn how to create a valuation model on excel or what to say on your investment banking interview.  But you will get an unvarnished look at what it’s like to work on a trading floor of a large investment bank.  This is a timeless classic that all future investment bankers should read.

Investment Banking: Valuation, Leveraged Buyouts, and Mergers and Acquisitions 

Rosenbaum and Pearl look at some of the most common valuation methodologies used on Wall Street. They also discuss fundamentals, define useful terms, and review key financial concepts. Valuation is part art and part science and, importantly, this book contains a discussion of practical judgement skills, which touches on the “art” side.

The foundational concepts, definitions, and use of fairly simple and accessible language, make this a great choice for those who are newer to investment banking. One particularly useful aspect of this book is the in-depth examples that show you how to create Excel spreadsheets, which are heavily used in M&A. 

Middle Market M&A: Handbook for Investment Banking and Business Consulting 

This book covers mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and strategic transactions of middle market companies. Middle market investment banking is a unique niche within the larger investment banking universe.  Acquisition multiples and market trends in this space tend do not necessarily follow the larger corporate M&A market.

This book is best suited for current bankers in the field.  Whether you are a new analyst or associate or you are an experienced banker looking for a comprehensive reference, this book will fill that need.  This is also a great supplement for readers that are working towards their 79 license.

Some of the most important elements covered include financial analysis, transaction modeling, common financing structures, and legal document considerations.

Leveraged Buyouts: A Practical Guide to Investment Banking and Private Equity

Financing leveraged buyouts represents a highly lucrative, but very risky segment of the investment banking market.  As a result the market dynamics, conventions, and analysis required are particularly unique to this market segment.

This comprehensive review of leveraged buyouts discusses the concepts and mechanics of leveraged buyouts as well as touching on LBO modeling, accounting, financing structures, and funding sources.  Readers will benefit from in depth modeling treatment based on Excel spreadsheets.  

New analysts will benefit from step by step guidance for building LBO models from scratch in Excel.  The book also analyzes real transaction examples including a model built from public filings related to the Heinz transaction.  Many readers found the step by step modeling guidance to be particularly helpful.

Keep in mind this is a technical finance book that is intended for readers that are serious about working in a highly technical segment of the investment banking industry.

The Technical Interview Guide to Investment Banking

Earning an analyst or associate position at a bulge bracket firm is incredibly competitive and challenging.  Paul Pignataro’s book intends to provide future bankers with a comprehensive guide to the investment banking interview process.  The book offers a combination of technical information necessary for your interview as well as advice and guidance for what to expect on your interview.

Be prepared for a comprehensive guide filled with practical advance as well as technical knowledge necessary for the interview.  At nearly 300 pages, this is not a book to read on the weekend before your interview.  This is a book you need to keep as a reference because you will regularly utilize the material in the book as you prepare for your interview.

If you give yourself enough time to read this book gradually over a semester, you will put yourself in a much stronger position to make the cut when it comes time for you to perform on your interview.

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