9 Books Warren Buffett Would Have You Read

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A voracious reader, Warren Buffett has had a longstanding practice of endorsing books that he finds riveting, relevant and some that are even humorous. As the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway who has amassed a multi-billion-dollar fortune, it's a gross understatement to say that Buffett knows a thing or two about finance and investing. So when Buffett endorses a book, which is often in Berkshire Hathaway's annual shareholder letters, it shoots up bestseller charts and immediately secures a place on many gift lists.

1. “The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham

“By far the best book on investing ever written.” -- Warren Buffett

Almost 70 years after he read the first edition of this book (in 1950, when he was 19 years old), Buffett still considers it the definitive book on investing. As Buffett writes in the Preface to the Fourth Edition, he believes this book provides the proper framework to help readers make intellectual investing decisions without allowing their emotions from sabotaging that framework. Buffett thinks as highly of the author as he does of the book’s content, noting that Graham influenced his life more than any other man except Buffett’s own father. You can purchase this book on Amazon.

2. “Where are the Customers’ Yachts?” by Fred Schwed Jr.

“The funniest book ever written about investing, it lightly delivers many truly important messages on the subject.” -- Warren Buffett, 2006 Berkshire Hathaway shareholders’ letter

Even though this book was first published in 1940, its anecdotal humor and investing lessons are still relevant for today’s investors. This is not just a book for big money players; it’s also filled with advice for the individual investor. Schwed delivers a heads-up warning for small investors to keep an sharp eye on their fund managers with an admonition to “stop making your own mistakes.” You can purchase this book on Amazon.

3. “The Little Book of Common Sense Investing” by John C. Bogle

Warren Buffett endorsed this book in his 2014 Berkshire Hathaway shareholders’ letter and offered these words of caution to investors: “There are a few investment managers, of course, who are very good – though in the short run, it’s difficult to determine whether a great record is due to luck or talent. Most advisors, however, are far better at generating high fees than they are at generating high returns. In truth, their core competence is salesmanship. Rather than listen to their siren songs, investors – large and small – should instead read Jack Bogle’s “The Little Book of Common Sense Investing.” You can purchase this book on Amazon.

4. “Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger” compiled by Peter D. Kaufman

“Scholars have for too long debated whether Charlie is the reincarnation of Ben Franklin. This book should settle the question.” -- Warren Buffett, 2004 Berkshire Hathaway shareholders’ letter

As Warren Buffett’s partner and Berkshire Hathaway’s Vice Chairman, Charles Munger, shares his investing philosophies in this book, in part through talks he’s given. One of his talks, “Psychology of Human Misjudgment,” educates readers about navigating the mental traps that can trip up investors. You can purchase this book on Amazon.

5. “The Most Important Thing Illuminated” by Howard Marks

“When I see memos from Howard Marks in my mail, they're the first thing I open and read. I always learn something, and that goes double for his book.”

Howard Marks is the chairman and co-founder of Oaktree Capital Management. He draws from his own financial experiences through the mistakes he’s made to educate his readers about the same pitfalls. And he does this, in part, through excerpts of some of the same memos that Buffett mentions in his endorsement of this book. You can purchase this book on Amazon.

6. “Dream Big” by Cristiane Correa

“My friend – and now partner – Jorge Paulo and his team are among the best businessmen in the world. He is a fantastic person and his story should be an inspiration to everybody, as it is for me." -- Warren Buffett

For readers who enjoy inspirational finance and investing stories, Correa’s book delivers. She tells the true story of the three Brazilian businessmen whose meteoric rise over the last five decades includes the acquisition of Anheuser-Busch, Burger King and Heinz. And it all started with a newspaper ad placed by Buffett’s friend and partner in Rio de Janiero. You can purchase this book on Amazon.

7. “First a Dream” by Jim Clayton and Bill Retherford

Warren Buffett endorsed this book in his 2003 Berkshire Hathaway shareholders’ letter after acquiring Clayton’s company.

After teaching a group of finance students from the University of Tennessee, the students gifted Warren Buffett with a copy of Jim Clayton’s book. Buffett acquired Clayton Homes, a manufactured housing company founded by Clayton, after reading Clayton’s autobiography. A true rags-to-riches story, this book is not just a detailing of Clayton’s own life. It also shares the business and leadership lessons Clayton learned along the way to help other entrepreneurs. You can purchase this book on Amazon.

8. “Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits” by Philip Fisher

"I sought out Phil Fisher after reading his Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits. When I met him, I was impressed by the man as by his ideas.” -- Warren Buffett

Time has not diluted the relevance of Fisher’s book, which was first published in 1958. Buffett supports the value of this book by noting that it is regarded as “gospel” by present-day financiers and investors. Fisher outlines specific evergreen investment techniques in his book, which equips the reader to make intelligent instead of emotional investing decisions. You can purchase this book on Amazon.

9. “Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crisis” by Timothy F. Geithner

“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.” -- Warren Buffett

Timothy Geithner, former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, offers organizations as well as individuals some insight for navigating their financial crises based on his accounts of navigating the country through its 2008 financial crisis. You can purchase this book on Amazon.

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About the Author

Victoria Lee Blackstone was formerly with Freddie Mac’s mortgage acquisition department, where she funded multi-million-dollar loan pools for primary lending institutions, worked on a mortgage fraud task force and wrote the convertible ARM section of the company’s policies and procedures manual. Currently, Blackstone is a professional writer with expertise in the fields of mortgage, finance, budgeting and tax. She is the author of more than 2,000 published works for newspapers, magazines, online publications and individual clients.