Warren Buffett’s Recommended Reading List

The Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett, has recommended many books about business and investing over the years. Here is the essential list:

Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings” by Phillip A. Fisher: Regarding this book, Buffett said, “I was as impressed by the man as by his ideas. A thorough understanding of the business, obtained by using Phil’s techniques … enables one to make intelligent investment commitments.”

The Smartest Guys in the Room” by Bethany McLean: Subtitled, “The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron,” this account of the collapse of the Texas energy company was recommended in Buffett’s annual letter in 2003.

The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham: This is an obvious choice. Buffett called it “the most important investment book” and highlighted chapters 8 and 20 as essential.

John Bogle on Investing: The First 50 Years” by John Bogle: The founder of the Vanguard Group penned a book intended for the fund investing crowd. Buffett has been known to advise people to invest in index funds if they don’t have time to tend portfolios. The Washington Post said the book contains the rock solid foundation for success in independent investing for the 21st Century.

The Essays of Warren Buffett” by Warren Buffett and edited by Lawrence Cunningham: There’s no better way to learn from Buffett than through his own words. He agreed that Cunningham penned a “representative book on my thinking.”

Sam Walton: Made in America” by Sam Walton: In another 2003 recommendation, the founder of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. recounted how he started his store in Arkansas and grew it into a giant retailer.

Buffett’s recommendations from the 2012 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Letter to Shareholders were “The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success” by William N. Thorndike Jr.: It’s a book about CEOs “who excelled at capital allocation,” Buffett said. Forbes magazine called it one of the most important business books in America.

Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything” by Carol Loomis: Publisher’s Weekly called the book an engaging picture of a great influencer of our time.

“The Clash of Cultures: Investment vs. Speculation” by John C. Bogle: This study of the financial system in the United States notes how the concept of long-term investing changed over time.

Investing Between the Lines: How to Make Smarter Decisions By Decoding CEO Communications” by L. J. Rittenhouse: This book helps the potential investor read between the lines in everything from news media releases to financial reports in order to evaluate the financial integrity of a company.

And while this pick was not selected by Buffett, it is an in-depth biography of him. Readers who are interested in the investing legend should check out “The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life” by Alice Schroeder.


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