There are only a few good UK focused investment books and Tim Hale's Smarter Investing : Simpler Decisions for Better Results, now in its 3rd edition, is the daddy of those few. The knowledge gained from this book enabled the basic building blocks of the Retirement Investing Today Low Charge Strategy to be built.
Within the Low Charge Strategy I tactically adjust my allocation to UK, Australian and International Equities based on the Cyclically Adjusted PE Ratio (CAPE or PE10). You can find the latest ratio's under Latest Chart's. Andrew Smithers in Wall Street Revalued: Imperfect Markets and Inept Central Bankers uses both the CAPE and q (which is the ratio of the market value of equities to the net worth of the companies) to value the stock market arguing against the Efficient Market Hypothesis and instead suggesting A Moderately Rather than a Perfectly Efficient Market. He also discusses House Prices and the Price of Liquidity.
Phillip Anderson's The Secret Life of Real Estate and Banking: How It Moves and Why is one of the reasons I remain in rented accommodation. He describes that houses are not a risk free investment, that prices do not always increase and in fact can suddenly and dramatically drop. Anderson suggests a 24 Hour Real Estate Clock where hours 1 to 16 sees rising property prices which take approximately 14 years to peak followed by hours 17 to 24 where property prices fall over approximately 4 years
When an investing book that was first published in 1949 is still talked about today you know you are onto something worthwhile. When Warren Buffett describes it as by far the best book about investing ever written it becomes a must read. That book is Benjamin Graham's The Intelligent Investorwhich is the definitive book on value investing.
William Bernstein's The Intelligent Asset Allocator: How to Build Your Portfolio to Maximize Returns and Minimize Risk provides a simplified description of the theory of asset allocation and describes how to decide what asset classes to invest in and then how to allocate each of those asset classes. It is a good starting point for anyone who wants to take control of their own investments and is considering going DIY. The book also reinforces some of my approach to investing, which is to use low low cost index funds and to buy and hold investments for the long run.
John Hulton's EBook DIY Introduction to Personal Financeis another all too rare UK focused investment guide. This short low cost guide is an easy read and a good starting point for anyone living in the UK who is trying to get started along the investment road. A review of this guide is here.