After 80 years of investing, Warren Buffett has amassed a whopping net worth of over $100 billion and turned himself into the fifth richest man on the planet. In other words, he’s a good person to listen to if you want advice on investing, finance, business, or general life success! That’s where the books recommended by Warren Buffett come into play.
A veracious reader, the Oracle of Omaha’s been known to spend 80% of his waking hours consuming the written word. Moreover, he’s suggested a plethora of titles throughout his career that he thinks everyone should read. Ranging from classic works on investing to books full of managerial advice, here are 7 of his favorites.
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7 Best Books Recommended by Warren Buffett
1. The Intelligent Investor, by Benjamin Graham
Written in 1949 by renowned value investor Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor is often referred to as Buffett’s “holy bible.”
A classic and widely acclaimed work on value investing, Buffett once described it as “by far the best book on investing ever written.” He’s also said that “Chapters 8 and 20 have been the bedrock of my investing activities for more than 60 years,” suggesting that “all investors [should] read those chapters and reread them every time the market has been especially strong or weak.”
Heed Buffett’s advice and read The Intelligent Investor to learn how to value a company, diversify a portfolio, understand how stocks work, and much more.
2. The Little Book of Common Sense Investing, by Jack Bogle
In his 2014 letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, Warren Buffett wrote that,
“Most advisors…are better at generating high fees than they are at generating high returns,” and “Rather than listen to their siren songs, investors – large and small – should instead read Jack Bogle’s The Little Book of Common Sense Investing.”
For entry-level investors, very few books recommended by Warren Buffett will be as valuable. Instead, expect practical advice and detailed insights on index investing in Jack Bogle’s book. He was a legend of the mutual fund industry, creator of index funds, and founder of the Vanguard Group.
3. The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World, by Melinda Gates
Of all the books recommended by Warren Buffett, this one from Melinda Gates – the businesswoman, philanthropist, and ex-wife of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates – received exceptionally high praise.
He once described it as “one of the best books I’ve ever read.” And, in a 2019 interview with CNBC, he also said he “read it in one sitting, it captivated me so much…This is a story of her experiences that is absolutely sensational.” So put The Moment of Lift on your reading list for an inspiring education on the inequalities faced by women and how everybody wins when you address them.
4. The Most Important Thing Illuminated, by Howard Marks
This popular investing book is an updated version of Marks’ original, The Most Important Thing. Subtitled “Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor,” it now includes commentary from various high-flyers in the finance world. In addition, it provides invaluable investing insights gleaned from years of experience and success.
Indeed, Marks is the co-chairman and co-founder of Oaktree Capital, an investment firm with $170 billion in assets under management. The lessons within this classic tome’s pages are such that Buffett has reportedly called it “that rarity, a useful book.”
5. Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger, Edited by Peter D. Kaufman
While it’s more of a compendium of Charlie Munger’s teachings than a book specifically on investing, Buffett has nothing but praise for Poor Charlie’s Almanack.
At the 2005 Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, he said, “It’s a sensational book, and anybody that reads it is going to learn a whole, whole lot.” And, in his 2010 shareholder letter, he describes it as “the ever-popular book about my partner,” joking that everyone should “just buy a copy and carry it around; it will make you look urbane and erudite.” Read it for a well-curated set of Munger’s best speeches and essays – 500+ pages of financial wisdom interspersed with the man’s unique wit.
6. Stress Test, Reflections on Financial Crises, by Timothy F. Geithner
Timothy F. Geithner was the president of the New York Federal Reserve from 2003 until 2008 and served as the 75th secretary of the U.S. Treasury from 2009 to 2013. The result? He’s something of an authority when it comes to financial crises! This fascinating work gives a behind-the-scenes look at what they entail.
As for Buffett, he described Stress Test, Reflection on Financial Crises as,
“Sensational…Tim’s book will forever be the definitive work on what causes financial panics and what must be done to stem them when they occur.”
This is a must-read if you want to learn about economic disasters and how to make difficult managerial decisions under extreme pressure.
7. Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits, by Philip Fisher
Last but not least on this list of books recommended by Warren Buffett is one from Philip Arthur Fisher, the late American investor whose approach influenced Buffett’s own investing style. Pasted across the front cover of Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits are Buffett’s sentiments on the author and his work:
“I am an eager reader of whatever Phil has to say, and I recommend him to you.”
Follow his recommendation to glean wide-ranging insights on how to improve your investment strategy. Expect practical tips on evaluating a company’s stock, deciding the right time to buy, discerning whether you’re a conservative or high-risk investor, and much more.
Read the Books Recommended by Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett needs no introduction for those familiar with the twin worlds of business and investing. The fifth wealthiest man alive, this infamous nonagenarian has built a staggering net worth from the ground up, devoting 80+ years to mastering the art of investing.
These books recommended by Warren Buffett should offer the insights, ideas, and inspiration to help you follow in his footsteps.
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