The Best Private Equity Books Ranked #1 to #5

Interested in learning about private equity? Or maybe you're already in the industry and looking for a good resource to add to your bookshelf.

We’ve compiled the top five books related to private equity so you can learn everything from the basics of defining strategies and comprehensive approaches to private equity, to learning the psychological side of it through the story of the biggest private equity buyout in recent history and the thorough history of Blackstone.

With each book, you will be able to gain a more in-depth understanding of this industry and all that comes with it. So whether you are just starting out or are looking for a refresher on private equity, these books will have something for you.

Read on to learn about the greatest private equity books and what they have to offer!

How We Choose

Figuring out private equity can be really tough. There are a lot of technical terms and complicated ideas to master, which makes it difficult to know where to begin.

Even if you've been following the private equity industry for a while, there's always more to learn. The field is constantly evolving, and new trends are emerging all the time.

Our list of the best private equity books is here to help. We've read through thousands of reviews and star ratings to find the books that will give you the most insights into how private equity works and bring you up-to-date on the latest trends in the industry.

Competition Demystified: A Radically Simplified Approach to Business Strategy
No items found.

Why People Love This Book

People love this book because it provides a framework for thinking about business strategy that is both simple and easy to remember.

This competition-focused book provides readers with a fundamental understanding of creating and sustaining a competitive advantage.

With loads of examples and explanations of industry background and structure, this book is perfect for anyone without a business background.

You'll be able to follow the series from wherever you grew up.

And because each theoretical concept is accompanied by plenty of examples, you'll be able to see firsthand how the strategies described in the book can be applied in real-life situations.

What You Should Know About The Authors

Professor Bruce Greenwald is one of the world's leading authorities on value investing.

According to the New York Times, Greenwald is a Wall Street guru who is referred to as the Robert Heilbrunn Professor Emeritus of Finance and Asset Management at Columbia Business School.

He formerly served as the Heilbrunn Center for Graham & Dodd Investing's Academic Director and lectured there as well.

Beyond value investing, Greenwald has expertise in productivity and information economics.

In 2013, he was ranked #1 in the world in Economics & Country Risk by Thomson Reuters' Top 100 Global Experts.

Greenwald is the author of several books, including Value Investing: From Graham to Buffett and Beyond (Wiley, 2001), which has become a classic text in the field.

He has also co-edited two volumes on productivity, Globalization and Economic Policy (MIT Press, 2002) and Information technology, Productivity, and Economic Growth (MIT Press, 1997).

Mastering Private Equity: Transformation via Venture Capital, Minority Investments and Buyouts
No items found.

Why People Love This Book

Readers love this book because it offers deep insights into the private equity industry and a clear picture of how private capital markets will function.

This excellent guide goes through everything you need to know about private equity, from the fundamentals to more sophisticated ideas.

What sets this book apart is it's clear and concise writing style. The authors do a fantastic job of breaking down complicated subjects in an easy-to-understand format.

The book is also full of helpful references to industry materials, articles, books, and studies.

Whether you're a private equity novice or a seasoned pro, you'll find valuable insights in this book.

If you want to deeply understand private equity, "Mastering Private Equity" is the perfect resource.

It's a must-have for anybody involved in this fast-paced business.

What You Should Know About The Authors

The academic director of the university's private equity center, Claudia Zeisberger, is a senior affiliate professor at INSEAD.

She has over 16 years of experience in investment banking, and her research focuses on the emerging private equity market.

Zeisberger is renowned for her tight collaborations with family offices, sovereign wealth funds, institutional investors, investee enterprises, and private equity firms.

Michael Prahl is the co-founder and managing partner of Asia-IO Advisors, a private equity firm that specializes in Asia-focused and cross-border investment programs.

Prahl has over 20 years of experience in investment banking and private equity investing, and he has led or co-led investments in over 30 companies.

Prahl is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, and he has been interviewed by numerous media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, CNBC, and Bloomberg.

Bowen White is the Centre Director of INSEAD's GPEI, the institution's Center for private equity.

He oversees its outreach and research initiatives in this role. Bowen has written on various private equity subjects, such as creating private equity operational value, responsible investing, building LP portfolios, and minority investments in family businesses.

As an experienced academic and practitioner in the field of private equity, Bowen is well-positioned to continue advancing the GPEI's mission of providing world-class research and education on private equity investing.

Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco
No items found.

Why People Love This Book

People love this book because it provides a complete overview of private equity, the mid-to-late twentieth-century evolution of Wall Street finance, and how corporate governance plays an important role in business.

This book is a detailed account of the egos and attitudes of the hundreds of real people involved in this massive hostile takeover.

You'll be led step-by-step through the byzantine world of leveraged buyouts, and you'll see firsthand how greed and competition can lead to very high stakes indeed.

Barbarians at the Gate is an intriguing story of how quickly things can change when money is involved.

The characters are genuine, and the stakes are significant.

What You Should Know About The Authors

Bryan Burrough started working for Vanity Fair in August 1992, and since January 1995, he has been a consistent contributor.

Before becoming a news reporter for Vanity Fair, he had been an investigative reporter for The Wall Street Journal.

Barbarians at the Gate (HarperCollins), which he co-wrote with Journal coworker John Heylar in 1990, spent 39 weeks at the top of the New York Times nonfiction best-seller list.

Burrough won the John Hancock Award three times for financial journalism excellence.

John Helyar is a journalist and author who has contributed to publications like Bloomberg News, The Wall Street Journal, and

In 1989, the Gerald Loeb Award for Deadline and/or Beat Writing was given to Bryan Burrough and John Helyar for their research into RJR Nabisco.

The book Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco, which was later adapted into an HBO Emmy-winning film of the same name, was based on their research.

The King of Capital: The Remarkable Rise, Fall, and Rise Again of Steve Schwarzman and Blackstone
No items found.

Why People Love This Book

Readers love this book because it offers a wealth of information. It provides a basic understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of private equity and leveraged buyouts to people who are unfamiliar with the subject.

This book does an excellent job of explaining the culture and world of finance without taking a side on whether or not it is right or wrong.

The authors stay factual throughout the book, making it an engaging read for those who are new to the finance world and those who are more familiar with it.

Steve Schwarzman is known as the king of capital, and this book dives into his story, as well as the stories of other major players in the world of finance.

It's an essential read for anyone who wants to learn more about how financing works and how it has evolved over time.

What You Should Know About The Authors

David Carey and John Morris are both experienced business reporters who have worked for some of the most respected financial publications in the world.

Carey has written for Bloomberg, The Deal, Adweek, Fortune, Institutional Investor, and Financial World, while Morris has been an editor for Bloomberg Brief, Dow Jones Investment Banker, and The Deal.

Both reporters have a deep understanding of the inner workings of the business world, and they use their knowledge to provide readers with insights into some of the day's most important stories.

In addition to their reporting skills, Carey and Morris are experienced editors who have helped shape the coverage of many major news events.

They are two of the world's most renowned business reporters today as a result of their success.

The Masters of Private Equity and Venture Capital: Management Lessons from the Pioneers of Private Investing
No items found.

Why People Love This Book

People love this book because it offers a clear view of some managerial techniques used by Private Equity professionals in the late 20th century, during the era of the tech book.

This book provides a comprehensive look at the risk management style of key PE investors, complete with interviews with reputable experts.

You'll learn everything you need to know about sourcing companies, vetting them, the due diligence process, and post-investment support.

No matter your level of experience or where you're based, this book has all the information you need to succeed in private equity and venture capital.

What You Should Know About The Authors

Prism Capital, a private equity company, was founded and is led by Robert A. Finkel.

He operates a $190 million private equity fund that invests in expanding businesses and gives funding to more established businesses.

On the other hand, David Greising is the head of the investigative watchdog Better Government Association.

As the Chicago Tribune's main business correspondent and columnist, he covered Illinois' corporate, civic, and political newsmakers for more than ten years.

Having earned a B.A. Denison University's B.A. in English and Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management's M.B.A.

He contributes a column to Crain's every month.

Private Equity FAQs

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about private equity.

What is the most prestigious private equity firm?

Some people may consider Goldman Sachs to be the most prestigious private equity firm, while others may think that Blackstone or KKR is more prestigious. Ultimately, it comes down to personal opinion.

What should I study for private equity?

Studying finance and accounting is a requirement if you want to work in private equity. Any private equity expert must have a solid grasp of the examination and valuation of financial statements.

Is private equity a stressful job?

Yes, working in the private equity sector could be very stressful. There is a lot of stress associated with performing well and meeting deadlines.

How hard is it to get into private equity?

Getting a job in private equity is certainly not easy. The top ten firms are very selective, and the probability of getting a position with one of them is only one in three hundred. 

How much money do you make a year doing private equity?

At the largest and most successful private equity firms, annual compensation can easily reach millions of dollars. Even at smaller firms or for those starting out in their careers, six-figure salaries are not unusual.

Which city has the most private equity firms?

According to a recent study, New York has the most private equity firms of any city in the world. This is not surprising, given that New York is a global financial center and home to many of the world's largest investment banks and financial institutions. 

Why does private equity pay so much?

Private equity pays so much because it is an asset class that can generate a remarkable rise and strong returns. Private equity investors invest in firms that are developing quickly and have the potential for significant development. This implies that the company has a lot of opportunities to turn a profit from its investment.

Is Private Equity better than Investment Banking?

It is determined by the sort of job you desire. Working with expanding companies is a wonderful option if you choose private equity. But if you're more interested in saving failing businesses or helping them get off the ground, Investment Banking might be a better fit.

Is working in private equity prestigious?

Private equity (PE) firms are often seen as being very prestigious and elite. This is because they typically invest large amounts of capital in high-growth companies, and their employees often receive very generous compensation packages.

Who is the largest private equity group?

The Blackstone Group is the largest international private equity group.

Where do PE firms get their money?

PE firms get their money from three primary sources: committed capital from institutional investors, individual investors, and banks. 

Where do I go after private equity?

One option would be to join a larger company as a senior executive. You could also start your own company or work in venture capital or investment banking. 

Who makes more money, hedge funds or private equity?

It really depends. Both hedge funds and private equity can make a lot of money, but it really varies depending on the situation. Hedge funds might make more money in the short term, but private equity could potentially make more money in the long term.

How long do private equity firms keep companies?

Private equity firms typically keep companies for 3-7 years. After that, the companies are either taken public or sold.

What happens when a private equity firm buys your company?

When a private equity firm buys your company, they typically do so with the intention of reselling it at a higher price. The mission of this management team is to enhance the company's operations and finances in order to make it more appealing to possible purchasers.

What are the different types of private equity?

There are four primary types of private equity funds: 

1. Venture capital 

2. Growth capital 

3. Leveraged buyouts 

4. Mezzanine financing 

Best Private Equity Books For You?

While there are plenty of books about private equity available, these five books on our list are a great starting point to better grasp how private equity works in the world of business investments.

Pick the one that best suits your current situation that you are looking for help on, or read all 5 for a varied experience and overview of the topic of private equity.

Our personal favorite is “Barbarians at the Gate,” as it is an entertaining read about how private equity works in real-world scenarios. Click here to check it out now on Amazon.

Related Buying Guides

If you're looking for a good read, check out our list of the best surfing books we discovered while scouring the internet for interesting books about surfing...
Colleen Hoover is a New York Times bestselling author who has written many novels. Check out our list of the top 5 best books she has written here...
If you're a fan of crime and mystery novels, then you need to check out Harlan Coben's best 5 books. You won't be able to put them down!..
These top 5 coaching books will help you effortlessly unlock performance and achievement in others they didn't know they had in them...
Are you looking to manifest your desires? Here's a 2022 guide to the 10 best manifestation books to help get you started | The Success Wire™
Looking for the best acting books? We've rated and reviewed the top three to help you make a decision when choosing which one is right for you.
View All Buying Guides
This website is not a part of Google™ website or network of sites such as Youtube™ or any company owned by Google™ or Youtube™. Also, this website is not a part of Facebook or Facebook Inc. Additionally this website is not endorsed by Google™ Youtube™ or Facebook Inc. in any way. Google™ is a trademark for all their respective companies, FACEBOOK™ is a trademark of FACEBOOK, Inc.
Need help? Let us know by emailing By submitting your information, you agree to The Success Wire's™ Privacy Policy and understand that we will use your information for the primary purpose of communicating with you and marketing our services. The advice provided on this website and publications within (The Success Wire™) is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or business needs. Before acting on this advice you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and business needs. To the maximum extent permitted by law, the author and related entities and the publisher disclaim all responsibility and liability to any person, arising directly or indirectly from any person taking or not taking action based on the information provided

DISCLAIMER: Any sales figures stated on any landing page on this site are our personal sales figures and in some cases the sales figures of previous or existing clients. Please understand these results are not typical. We're not implying you'll duplicate them (or do anything for that matter). The average person who buys "how to" information gets little to no results. We're using these references for example purposes only. Your results will vary and depend on many factors including but not limited to your background, experience, and work ethic. All business entails risk as well as massive and consistent effort and action. If you're not willing to accept that, please DO NOT PURCHASE ANY PACKAGE RECOMMENDED. We are reader supported.  The information provided is accurate and reliable. We may be compensated from the links in this post, if you use products or services based on our expert recommendations. Please read our Advertising Disclosure.