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Read up on retirement, investments

If you're looking for new reading material, consider buying a book that could help you manage money and retirement better, recommended by those who eat, breathe and sleep all things investing and retirement.

Olivia Mitchell, a finance professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, said her all-time favorite investment-related book is "The Great Crash 1929" by John Kenneth Galbraith. "It's instructive -- especially now -- to look back at the last financial debacle as deep as the current one, and what the role of the government was then versus now," said Mitchell, co-author of "Restructuring Retirement Risks" and director of the Boettner Center on Pensions and Retirement Research. "As a talented storyteller, Galbraith is prescient in his discussion of investor psychology."

Another classic to consider: "A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing" by Burton G. Malkiel. It has been completely revised and updated, with a publication date of today.

Rodney Sullivan, editor of the Financial Analysts Journal at CFA Institute, said there are four books that provide well-grounded advice on successful investing: "The Elements of Investing" by Burton G. Malkiel and Charles D. Ellis; "Worry-Free Investing" by Zvi Bodie and Michael J. Clowes; "Winning the Loser's Game: Timeless Strategies for Successful Investing" by Charles D. Ellis; and "Don't Count On It," by John C. Bogle.

When it comes to recommendations, Rande Spiegelman, vice president of financial planning for the Schwab Center for Financial Research, also gravitates to the classics: "The Money Game" by Adam Smith; "Where Are the Customers' Yachts?" by Fred Schwed; "Investment Policy" by Charles D. Ellis; "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" by Charles MacKay; and "Reminiscences of a Stock Operator" by Edwin Lefevre.

Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at Standard & Poor's Equity Research, taps "The Stock Trader's Almanac" by Jeffrey Hirsch. Of note, check out Stovall's latest book, "The Seven Rules of Wall Street."

Christopher J. Cordaro, the chief investment officer of RegentAtlantic Capital LLC, reports that his current favorite is "The Investors Manifesto" by William Bernstein. "Bernstein is a master at explaining investment concepts for the average person," said Cordaro.

Nevin Adams, editor-in-chief of PLANSPONSOR, has several recommendations, including "The Wall Street Journal Guide to Understanding Money and Investing." "This is practically a 'graphic novel' approach to a very complex topic, but it works," Adams said.

Also on his list: "The Wealthy Barber" by David Chilton. "It's disarmingly simplistic -- but it covers a lot of ground in a very approachable style," he said. He also likes "Against the Gods: the Remarkable Story of Risk" by Peter Bernstein and "The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World" by Niall Ferguson. "Remarkable insights into how our system of saving and investing came into being," Adams said of the books.

A relatively new book that might become a classic is one that Stephen Utkus, a principal of the Vanguard Center for Retirement Research, just ordered: "What Investors Really Want" by behavioral finance expert Meir Statman. "Knowing more about the psychology of investing will make all of us better investors," said Utkus. "And it may also help discourage future market bubbles."

Investor behavior is also a focus for Dan Ariely, a professor at Duke University. His pick: "Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes and How to Correct Them: Lessons from the Life-Changing Science of Behavioral Economics" by Gary Belsky and Thomas Gilovich. (Ariely himself has two books worthy of this list: "Predictably Irrational" and "The Upside of Irrationality.")

Zvi Bodie, a professor at Boston University, and Rachelle Taqqu, CFA, co-authors of a forthcoming book on investing, suggest "Don't Count On It" by Jack Bogle, "The Investment Answer" by Daniel C. Goldie and Gordon S. Murray, and "Who Can You Trust With Your Money?" by Bonnie S. Kirchner. (Kirchner's ex-husband was Ponzi scammer Brad Bleidt.)

Michael Finke, associate professor at Texas Tech University, which houses the nation's only doctorate program for financial planning, chose Jane Bryant Quinn's "Smart and Simple Financial Strategies for Busy People." "This book presents advice in a format where it is most likely to be used and read," Finke said.

"Winning the Loser's Game" by Charles Ellis is another user-friendly book that will help investors refocus their efforts away from beating the system to winning within the system, Evensky said.

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