15 Books Billionaire Warren Buffett Tells Everyone to Read
If you want to be successful these are the 15 books everyone should read according to Warren Buffett. Let’s say you somehow manage to start a business without reading these books, but you won’t be able to last without knowing what you are doing, hence reading these books. Warren Buffett is one of the richest men in the world and has a net worth estimated by Forbes at $66.7 billion so let’s assume he knows what he is doing. In fact, when he started his investing career, he used to read 600,750, or 1,000 pages a day. Now, that’s how you stay in business! And even after all those years, he still spends about 80% of his day reading. “Look, my job is essentially just corralling more and more and more facts and information, and occasionally seeing whether that leads to some action,” he once said in an interview. “We don’t read other people’s opinions,” he said. “We want to get the facts, and then think.” Which is why he is the right man to give career advice. We’ve gathered 15 books he has recommended over 20 years of interviews and shareholder letters.
1:) Jack: Straight from the Gut’ by Jack Welch
They called him Neutron Jack. They called him the world’s toughest boss. And then Fortune called him “The Manager of the Century.” In his twenty-year career at the helm of General Electric, Jack Welch defied conventional wisdom and turned an ageing behemoth of a corporation into a lean, mean engine of growth and corporate innovation. In this remarkable autobiography-a classic business book and runaway, New York Times bestseller now updated with a new afterword by the author-Jack Welch takes us on the rough-and-tumble ride that has been his remarkable life. From his working-class childhood to his early days in G.E. Plastics to his life at the top of the world’s most successful company, Welch tells his intensely personal story with his well-known fire and candour. And although it chronicles billion-dollar deals and high-stakes corporate standoffs, Jack is ultimately a story about people from a man who based his career on demanding only the best from others and from himself. Click Here to Buy this book
2:)‘The Intelligent Investor’ by Benjamin Graham
This classic text is annotated to update Graham’s timeless wisdom for today’s market conditions…The greatest investment advisor of the twentieth century, Benjamin Graham, taught and inspired people worldwide. Graham’s philosophy of “value investing” — which shields investors from substantial error and teaches them to develop long-term strategies — has made The Intelligent Investor the stock market bible ever since its original publication in 1949. Over the years, market developments have proven the wisdom of Graham’s strategies. While preserving the integrity of Graham’s original text, this revised edition includes updated commentary by noted financial journalist Jason Zweig, whose perspective incorporates the realities of today’s market, draws parallels between Graham’s examples and today’s financial headlines, and gives readers a more thorough understanding of how to apply Graham’s principles. Vital and indispensable, this HarperBusiness Essentials edition of The Intelligent Investor is the most important book you will ever read on how to reach your financial goals. Click Here to Buy This Book
3:)‘Security Analysis’ by Benjamin Graham and David L. Dodd
“A road map for investing that I have now been following for 57 years.”
–From the Foreword by Warren E. Buffett
First published in 1934, Security Analysis is one of the most influential financial books ever written. Selling more than one million copies through five editions, it has provided generations of investors with the timeless value investing philosophy and techniques of Benjamin Graham and David L. Dodd.
As relevant today as when they first appeared nearly 75 years ago, the teachings of Benjamin Graham, “the father of value investing,” have withstood the test of time across a wide diversity of market conditions, countries, and asset classes.
This new sixth edition, based on the classic 1940 version, is enhanced with 200 additional pages of commentary from some of today’s leading Wall Street money managers. These masters of value investing explain why the principles and techniques of Graham and Dodd are still highly relevant even in today’s vastly different markets. The contributor list includes:
Seth A. Klarman, president of The Baupost Group, L.L.C. and author of Margin of Safety
James Grant, founder of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, general partner of Nippon Partners
Jeffrey M. Laderman, a twenty-five year veteran of BusinessWeek
Roger Lowenstein, author of Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist and When America Aged and Outside Director, Sequoia Fund
Howard S. Marks, CFA, Chairman and Co-Founder, Oaktree Capital Management L.P.
J. Ezra Merkin, Managing Partner, Gabriel Capital Group .
Bruce Berkowitz, Founder, Fairholme Capital Management.
Glenn H. Greenberg, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Chieftain Capital Management
Bruce Greenwald, Robert Heilbrunn Professor of Finance and Asset Management, Columbia Business School
David Abrams, Managing Member, Abrams Capital
Featuring a foreword by Warren E. Buffett (in which he reveals that he has read the 1940 masterwork “at least four times”), this new edition of Security Analysis will reacquaint you with the foundations of value investing―more relevant than ever in the tumultuous 21st-century markets.
4:) ‘Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits’ by Philip Fisher
Widely respected and admired, Philip Fisher is among the most influential investors of all time. His investment philosophies, introduced almost forty years ago, are not only studied and applied by today’s financiers and investors but are also regarded by many as gospel. This book is invaluable reading and has been since it was first published in 1958. The updated paperback retains the investment wisdom of the original edition and includes the perspectives of the author’s son Ken Fisher, an investment guru in his own right in an expanded preface and introduction
“I sought out Phil Fisher after reading his Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits…A thorough understanding of the business, obtained by using Phil’s techniques…enables one to make intelligent investment commitments.”
5:)‘Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises’ by Tim Geithner
Stress Test is the story of Tim Geithner’s education in financial crises.
As president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and then as President Barack Obama’s secretary of the Treasury, Timothy F. Geithner helped the United States navigate the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, from boom to bust to rescue to recovery. In a candid, riveting, and historically illuminating memoir, he takes readers behind the scenes of the crisis, explaining the hard choices and politically unpalatable decisions he made to repair a broken financial system and prevent the collapse of the Main Street economy. This is the inside story of how a small group of policymakers—in a thick fog of uncertainty, with unimaginably high stakes—helped avoid a second depression but lost the American people doing it. Stress Test is also a valuable guide to how governments can better manage financial crises because this one won’t be the last.
Stress Test reveals a side of Secretary Geithner the public has never seen, starting with his childhood as an American abroad. He recounts his early days as a young Treasury official helping to fight the international financial crises of the 1990s, then describes what he saw, what he did, and what he missed at the New York Fed before the Wall Street boom went bust. He takes readers inside the room as the crisis began, intensified, and burned out of control, discussing the most controversial episodes of his tenures at the New York Fed and the Treasury, including the rescue of Bear Stearns; the harrowing weekend when Lehman Brothers failed; the searing crucible of the AIG rescue as well as the furor over the firm’s lavish bonuses; the battles inside the Obama administration over his widely criticized but ultimately successful plan to end the crisis; and the bracing fight for the most sweeping financial reforms in more than seventy years. Secretary Geithner also describes the aftershocks of the crisis, including the administration’s efforts to address high unemployment, a series of brutal political battles over deficits and debt, and the drama over Europe’s repeated flirtations with the economic abyss.
Secretary Geithner is not a politician, but he has things to say about politics—the silliness, the nastiness, the toll it took on his family. But in the end, the Stress Test is a hopeful story about public service. In this revealing memoir, Tim Geithner explains how America withstood the ultimate stress test of its political and financial systems.
6:)‘The Essays of Warren Buffett’ by Warren Buffett
The fifth edition of The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America continues a 25-year tradition of collating Warren Buffett’s philosophy in a historic collaboration between Mr Buffett and Prof. Lawrence Cunningham. Like the book, Buffett autographs most, its popularity and longevity attest to the widespread appetite for this unique compilation of Mr Buffett s thoughts that is at once comprehensive, non-repetitive, and digestible. New and experienced readers alike will gain an invaluable informal education by perusing this classic arrangement of Mr Buffett’s best writings.
Essays In Persuasion written by legendary author John Maynard Keynes is widely considered to be one of the top 100 greatest books of all time. This great classic will surely attract a whole new generation of readers. For many, Essays In Persuasion is required reading for various courses and curriculums. And for others who simply enjoy reading timeless pieces of classic literature, this gem by John Maynard Keynes is highly recommended. Published by Classic House Books and beautifully produced, Essays In Persuasion would make an ideal gift and it should be a part of everyone’s personal library.
8:)‘Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street’ by John Brooks
“Business Adventures remains the best business book I’ve ever read.” —Bill Gates, The Wall Street Journal
What do the $350 million Ford Motor Company disaster known as the Edsel, the fast and incredible rise of Xerox, and the unbelievable scandals at General Electric and Texas Gulf Sulphur have in common? Each is an example of how an iconic company was defined by a particular moment of fame or notoriety; these notable and fascinating accounts are as relevant today to understanding the intricacies of corporate life as they were when the events happened.
Stories about Wall Street are infused with drama and adventure and reveal the machinations and volatile nature of the world of finance. Longtime New Yorker contributor John Brooks’s insightful reportage is so full of personality and critical detail that whether he is looking at the astounding market crash of 1962, the collapse of a well-known brokerage firm, or the bold attempt by American bankers to save the British pound, one gets the sense that history repeats itself.
Five additional stories on equally fascinating subjects round out this wonderful collection that will both entertain and inform readers . . . Business Adventures is truly financial journalism at its liveliest and best.
In Take on the Street, Arthur Levitt–Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission for eight years under President Clinton–provides the best kind of insider information: the kind that can help honest, small investors protect themselves from the deliberately confusing ways of Wall Street.
At a time when investor confidence in Wall Street and corporate America is at a historic low when many are seriously questioning whether or not they should continue to invest, Levitt offers the benefits of his own experience, both on Wall Street and as its chief regulator. His straight talk about the ways of stockbrokers (they are salesmen, plain and simple), corporate financial statements (the truth is often hidden), mutual fund managers (remember who they really work for), and other aspects of the business will help to arm everyone with the tools they need to protect—and enhance—their financial future.
“Allison’s comprehensive but accessible treatment of this vital subject is a major contribution to public understanding.” -The New York Times Book Review
Americans in the twenty-first century are keenly aware of the many forms of terrorism: hijackings, biological attacks, chemical weapons. But the deadliest form is almost too scary to think about-a terrorist group exploding a nuclear device in an American city.
In this urgent call to action, Graham Allison, one of America’s leading experts on nuclear weapons and national security, presents the evidence for two provocative, compelling conclusions. First, if policymakers in Washington keep doing what they are currently doing about the threat, a nuclear terrorist attack on America is inevitable. Second, the surprising and largely unrecognized good news is that nuclear terrorism is, in fact, preventable. In these pages, Allison offers an ambitious but feasible blueprint for eliminating the possibility of nuclear terrorist attacks, if we are willing to face the issue squarely.
11:)‘Where Are the Customers’ Yachts?’ by Fred Schwed
“Once I picked it up I did not put it down until I finished. . . . What Schwed has done is capture fully-in deceptively clean language-the lunacy at the heart of the investment business.”
— From the Foreword by Michael Lewis, Bestselling author of Liar’s Poker“. . . one of the funniest books ever written about Wall Street.”
— Jane Bryant Quinn, The Washington Post
“How great to have a reissue of a hilarious classic that proves the more things change the more they stay the same. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.”
— Michael Bloomberg
“It’s amazing how well Schwed’s book is holding up after fifty-five years. About the only thing that’s changed on Wall Street is that computers have replaced pencils and graph paper. Otherwise, the basics are the same. The investor’s need to believe somebody is matched by the financial advisor’s need to make a nice living. If one of them has to be disappointed, it’s bound to be the former.”
— John Rothchild, Author, A Fool and His Money, Financial Columnist, Time magazine
Humorous and entertaining, this book exposes the folly and hypocrisy of Wall Street. The title refers to a story about a visitor to New York who admired the yachts of the bankers and brokers. Naively, he asked where all the customers’ yachts were? Of course, none of the customers could afford yachts, even though they dutifully followed the advice of their bankers and brokers. Full of wise contrarian advice and offering a true look at the world of investing, in which brokers get rich while their customers go broke, this book continues to open the eyes of investors to the reality of Wall Street.
How speculation has come to dominate investment—a hard-hitting look from the creator of the first index fund.
Over the course of his sixty-year career in the mutual fund industry, Vanguard Group founder John C. Bogle has witnessed a massive shift in the culture of the financial sector. The prudent, value-adding culture of long-term investment has been crowded out by an aggressive, value-destroying culture of short-term speculation. Mr Bogle has not been merely an eye-witness to these changes, but one of the financial sector’s most active participants. In The Clash of the Cultures, he urges a return to the common sense principles of long-term investing.
Provocative and refreshingly candid, this book discusses Mr Bogle’s views on the changing culture in the mutual fund industry, how speculation has invaded our national retirement system, the failure of our institutional money managers to effectively participate in corporate governance, and the need for a federal standard of fiduciary duty.
Mr Bogle recounts the history of the index mutual fund, how he created it, and how exchange-traded index funds have altered its original concept of long-term investing. He also presents a first-hand history of the Wellington Fund, a real-world case study on the success of the investment and the failure of speculation. The book concludes with ten simple rules that will help investors meet their financial goals. Here, he presents a common-sense strategy that “may not be the best strategy ever devised. But the number of strategies that are worse is infinite.”
The Clash of the Cultures: Investment vs. Speculation completes the trilogy of best-selling books, beginning with Bogle on Investing: The First 50 Years (2001) and Don’t Count on It! (2011)
13:)‘First a Dream’ by Jim Clayton and Bill Retherford
Warren Buffett read ‘First a Drem’ then bought Clayton Homes. “It’s an interesting success story filled with terrific business lessons. Learn how he created, expanded, and sold his premier company to me. . . It’s all here. He is a wonderful guy. . . and picks better than I sing.” — Warren Buffett.
14:)‘Poor Charlie’s Almanack’ edited by Peter Kaufman
Poor Charlie’s Almanack contains the wit and wisdom of Charlie Munger: his talks, lectures and public commentary. And, it has been written and compiled with both Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett’s encouragement and cooperation. So pull up your favourite reading chair and enjoy the unique humour, wit and insight that Charlie Munger brings to the world of business, investing and life itself. With Charlie himself as your guide, you are about to embark on an extraordinary journey toward better investment, decision making, and thinking about the world and life in general. Charlie’s unique worldview, what he calls a ‘multidisciplinary’ approach, is a self-developed model for clear and simple thinking while being far from simplistic itself. Throughout the book, Charlie displays his intellect, wit, integrity, and rhetorical flair. Using his encyclopedic knowledge, he cites references from classical orators to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European literati to pop culture.
15:)‘The Most Important Thing Illuminated’ by Howard Marks
Howard Marks’s The Most Important Thing distilled the investing insight of his celebrated client memos into a single volume and, for the first time, made his time-tested philosophy available to general readers. In this edition, Marks’s wisdom is joined by the comments, insights, and counterpoints of four renowned investors and investment educators: Christopher C. Davis (Davis Funds), Joel Greenblatt (Gotham Capital), Paul Johnson (Nicusa Capital), and Seth A. Klarman (Baupost Group).
These experts lend insight into such concepts as “second-level thinking,” the price/value relationship, patient opportunism, and defensive investing. Marks also adds his own annotations, expanding on his book’s original themes and issues. A new chapter addresses the importance of reasonable expectations, and a foreword by Bruce C. Greenwald, called “a guru to Wall Street’s gurus” by the New York Times, speaks on value investing, productivity, and the economics of information.
Howard Marks, the chairman and co-founder of Oaktree Capital Management, is renowned for his insightful assessments of market opportunity and risk. After four decades spent ascending to the top of the investment management profession, he is today sought out by the world’s leading value investors, and his client memos brim with insightful commentary and a time-tested, fundamental philosophy. Now for the first time, all readers can benefit from Marks’s wisdom, concentrated into a single volume that speaks to both the amateur and seasoned investor.
Informed by a lifetime of experience and study, The Most Important Thing explains the keys to successful investment and the pitfalls that can destroy capital or ruin a career. Utilizing passages from his memos to illustrate his ideas, Marks teaches by example, detailing the development of an investment philosophy that fully acknowledges the complexities of investing and the perils of the financial world. Brilliantly applying insight to today’s volatile markets, Marks offers a volume that is part memoir, part creed, with a number of broad takeaways.
Marks expounds on such concepts as “second-level thinking,” the price/value relationship, patient opportunism, and defensive investing. Frankly and honestly assessing his own decisions–and occasional missteps–he provides valuable lessons for critical thinking, risk assessment, and investment strategy. Encouraging investors to be “contrarian,” Marks wisely judges market cycles and achieves returns through aggressive yet measured action. Which element is the most essential? Successful investing requires thoughtful attention to many separate aspects, and each of Marks’s subjects proves to be the most important thing.
“This is that rarity, a useful book.”–Warren Buffett