Investment Books

Click on the underlined, blue book titles or the cover photograph if you are interested in purchasing any of Jim Slater’s investment books.  The Zulu Principle and Beyond the Zulu Principle have been reprinted and are available from the publisher.  The links to purchase all of Jim’s other investment books are directed to Amazon.

Below his own books Jim has compiled a short recommended reading list of investment books by other authors.

The Zulu Principle

The Zulu Principle CoverJim Slater’s seminal book The Zulu Principle has been brought back into print by specialist financial publisher Harriman House.

“One of my sons is interested in the stockmarket. After reading a number of quite advanced American books on investment, he asked me if I could recommend a British book of a similar nature. I searched my mind and then the book shops, only to find that there was nothing beyond the primer stage. Market forces usually begin to fill a gap; hence my decision to write this book.” Jim Slater – 1992

The Zulu Principle was written for active investors and explains several methods of investment, including growth shares, cyclicals, shells and asset situations. However, there is no doubt that The Zulu Principle majors on how to invest in small dynamic growth shares. In particular, Jim Slater explains how to use the PEG (price-earnings growth factor) for deciding whether or not a growth share is cheap or dear in relation to growth rate. He also explains other important investment criteria like cash flow and relative strength and shows readers how to construct a margin of safety as a kind of safety net under any investments they might make.

Explanation of the Zulu Principle

“Private investors can develop their investment expertise by applying The Zulu Principle. This became the title of my first book on investment, taken from an idea I had after observing my wife read a four-page article in Reader’s Digest on the subject of Zulus. As a result, within a few minutes she knew more than I did about Zulus and it occurred to me that, if she had then borrowed all the available books on Zulus from the local library, she would have become the leading expert in the county. If she has subsequently been invited to stay on a Zulu kraal (by an unsuspecting chief) and read about the history of Zulus at Johannesburg University for another six months, she would have become one of the leading experts in the world.

The key point is that my wife would have applied a disproportionate effort to becoming relatively expert in a very narrow subject. She would have used a laser beam rather than a scattergun and her intellectual and other resources would, in that narrow context, have been used to maximum advantage. So it is with investment – concentrate on an approach, such as buying growth shares or asset situations, or concentrate on a particular sector. That way, you will become relatively expert in your chosen area. It is only necessary to be six inches taller than the other people in a room to see above everyone’s heads. Applying The Zulu Principle helps you grow these extra six inches.”  Jim Slater

“For anyone seriously interested in investment, this book is essential reading. I recommend it strongly.” Lord Hanson

Beyond the Zulu Principle

Beyond The Zulu Priciple CoverBeyond the Zulu Principle focuses on how to make extraordinary profits from growth shares. Jim Slater believes he has discovered a major market anomaly that should enable both private and institutional investors to enjoy exceptional returns in the stockmarket.

Beyond the Zulu Principle has been reprinted by specialist financial publisher Harriman House.

How to Become a Millionaire (2000)

Jim Slater & Tom Stevenson
How to Become a Millionaire CoverThere is no need to fantasize about winning the lottery. Written by Jim Slater and Tom Stevenson, the former City Editor of the Independent, this book is a clear blueprint for making your first million. It really could be you.

“If anyone knows the secret of becoming a millionaire it is Jim Slater. He has done it himself more than once. His original approach combined with the measured thinking of Tom Stevenson, who is one the country’s most respected journalists, has produced a book that is both a page-turner and a work of reference.”

Terry Bond – private investor and a director of ProShare

Buy ‘How To Become A Millionaire’

Return to Go

Jim Slater’s autobiography (first published 1977)
Return To Go CoverThe following quote is taken from Luke Johnson’s recommended reading list:

“Jim Slater’s autobiography is titled Return To Go. The paperback edition I have was published by Future in 1978. I fear the book may now be out of print, but no doubt one of the internet services could obtain a copy. In the late ’60’s and early ’70’s, Slater was a business phenomenon, who then suffered a terrible reverse when his master company, Slater Walker, got into difficulties in 1975. This book is a compulsive account of that wild ride. Although a lot of the subject matter is stock market related, there is plenty of actual business detail. It covers his early career at Leyland and then his meteoric climb, all in his lucid and detailed style.
There are those, such as Charles Raw, author of an alternative version of events called Slater Walker, who disagree with Slater’s depiction, but his memoirs still make excellent reading. In recent years, Slater has enjoyed quite a comeback as a stock market guru and author of investment books, and his wit, energy and originality are all on display in Return To Go. It is especially recommended for those who have suffered a setback.
Slater shows how even legends can come unstuck in the unpredictable world of capitalism, and the importance of not believing your own hype.”

Recommended Reading List

“In one respect investment is no different from cooking or gardening.  If you want to become a better cook or gardener you would not hesitate to buy a book on the subject.  If you want to become a better investor there is a vast array of excellent books at every level.  However, rather than overwhelm you here is a small selection of books that will help you to become a more advanced investor.  Obviously I recommend starting with my own books - The Zulu Principle at intermediate level and Beyond the Zulu Principle for more advanced investors.”  Jim Slater

Primers

How to Read the Financial Pages- by Michael Brett

Intermediate

Accounts Demystified: The Astonishingly Simple Guide to Accounting – by Anthony Rice

How to Make Money in Stocks: A Winning System in Good Times and Bad – by William O’Neil

Financial Times Guide to Selecting Shares that Perform: 10 Ways to Beat the Stock Market – by Richard Koch and Leo Gough

Too Big to Fail: Inside the Battle to Save Wall Street – by Andrew Ross Sorkin

More Advanced

Interpreting Company Reports and Accounts – by Geoffrey Holmes, Alan Sugden and Paul Gee.

What Works on Wall Street: A Guide to the Best-Performing Investment Strategies of All Time – by James P O’Shaughnessy

Quantitative Strategies for Achieving Alpha – by Richard Tortoriello.  To read Jim Slater’s recommendation Click here.

The Art of Execution – by Lee Freeman-Shor.

This book describes how 45 of the world’s top investors were given between $25m and $150m to invest in their 10 best ideas.  Surprisingly, most of them were wrong on many occasions but still ended up making a lot of money.  The key to how they did this was in their execution, which makes fascinating and instructive reading.  A good example is how they tackled shares that had a significant fall.  Most of them did not just sit there like frightened rabbits caught in headlights, they either cut the loss or added to the holding according to their judgment of the company’s future.

If reading all of these books sounds like a lot of work, remember the words of Mark Twain:

‘The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.’