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Warren Buffett’s favorite books: a guide to the billionaire’s bookshelf

Warren Buffett's favorite books: a guide to the billionaire's bookshelf
Nemanja Curcic

As one of the richest people and perhaps the most famous investor in the world, Warren Buffett has been actively investing for more than half a century. The Sage of Omaha has a treasure trove of business and financial knowledge he often credited to the books he read. Today, we’ll cover Warren Buffett’s favorite books and why he recommends them.

Who is Warren Buffett?

Warren Buffett is a famous American investor, philanthropist, and one of the world’s richest people. As the founder and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK), he transformed it from an ailing textile manufacturer into one of the most successful holding companies today. 

Focusing on stocks and practicing value investing since his earliest business ventures, Buffett has amassed a net worth of $135 billion as of April 12, 2024. Buffett has pledged over 99.9% of his assets to philanthropic causes over time.

Warren Buffett’s favorite books: 7 book recommendations for every investor

When he read One Thousand Ways to Make $1000 at the age of seven, Warren Buffett was inspired to start earning money. Since then, he has read and recommended various books to hone business, investment, and finances and improve other important skills, but also increase the quality of life in general. 

Recommended video: Warren Buffett: Read Everyday 5-6 hrs

Besides his investing prowess, Warren Buffett is an avid reader. In fact, he often credits his investing success to the advice he found in books from other experts, including those of his mentors and influences. Here are ten of Warren Buffett’s favorite books:

1. The Intelligent Advisor, Benjamin Graham

“I read the first edition of this book early in 1950 when I was nineteen. I thought then that it was by far the best book about investing ever written. I still think it is.”

– Warren Buffett

Buffett fully embraced and praised The Intelligent Investor dozens of times throughout his life. Furthermore, he stated in his 2013 annual letter to shareholders: “Of all the investments I ever made, buying Ben’s book was the best (except for my purchase of two marriage licenses).”

The Berkshire CEO described how reading the book completely transformed his view of the market. He still adheres to the business and investing principles laid out in the book. Additionally, despite one of Warren Buffett’s favorite book’s first edition being published in 1949, he stated that Graham’s ideas still apply today and will apply to business one hundred years from now.

2. Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger, Charles T. Munger

Charlie Munger was the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffett’s longtime colleague and business partner. His book contains many lessons in investing approach, as well as philanthropy and tips on living a life upholding rational and ethical values.

Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett. Source: CNBC

Poor Charlie’s Almanack is characterized by a peculiar and enjoyable humor Munger shared with Buffett, as well as wit and insights, but also cautionary tales and strict advice. In his 2010 shareholder letter, Buffett joked that carrying around even the Chinese version of the book will make a person look urbane and erudite. Therefore, the close relationship between the two Berkshire leaders is why this is definitely a Warren Buffett book to read. 

3. Shoe Dog, Phil Knight

A New York Times bestseller, Shoe Dog is the story of Nike (NYSE: NKE) co-founder and chairman emeritus of the renowned company. The book offers “a rare and revealing look at the notoriously media-shy man behind the swoosh” and the history of the iconic brand.

In his 2016 annual letter, Warren Buffett said the book was “the best he had read in the past year.” He also complimented Phil Knight as being “wise,” “intelligent,” and “a gifted storyteller.” 

4. Limping on Water, Phil Beuth and K. C. Schulberg

Limping on Water tracks Beuth’s lifelong broadcasting career at Capital Cities/ABC-TV, which started in 1955 as the first employee of a budding company and went on for more than four decades. In the meantime, Capital Cities evolved to become one of the U.S.’ most influential media companies. 

Buffett recommended the book in the 2015 letter, mentioning that Tom Murphy and Dan Burke, the company’s leaders, were the best managerial pair Buffet had witnessed.

5. Where Are the Customers’ Yachts?: or A Good Hard Look at Wall Street, Fred Schwed

One of Warren Buffett’s favorite books provides a critical and sarcastic look from an insider’s perspective about Wall Street and its many “residents.” Buffett praised it on several occasions and as early as 2006 when he described it as “the funniest book ever written about investing” and highlighted it delivered important messages related to the topic. 

6. Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything, 1966-2012, collected by Carol J. Loomis

Carol Loomis, the Fortune journalist, first mentioned Warren Buffett back in 1966, unaware that the person behind the article would eventually become the world’s greatest investor.

The book is a collection of articles covering Warren Buffett or even written by the investor himself. She has collected and edited numerous pieces. She also had a front seat to everything as she formed a close friendship with Buffett. In his 2012 letter, he stated she has been an invaluable editor of his letters.

Tap Dancing to Work provides various insights into Buffett’s way of life, from investment and management strategies to philanthropy and even parenting. 

7. The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns, John C. Bogle

Frequently described as “the investing Bible,” this best-seller is a classic guide to learning the market written by the legendary mutual fund pioneer. The book describes the most effective methods for increasing money in the long term.

In his 2014 shareholder letter, Buffett recommended the book for both beginners and seasoned investors. One of Buffett’s favorite books presents its lessons concisely and clearly, something that the Berkshire CEO values in his writings and speeches.

Warren Buffett’s favorite books – the bottom line

The Oracle of Omaha has never been shy to share his role models and teachers. Also, he has frequently disseminated his own financing and investment conclusions in writing, speeches, conferences, and interviews.

Some of the great investor’s most important and memorable lessons have come in the form of investment books. Following his “best investment advice” of investing in yourself, you should at least consider reading some of the literary gems presented in this list. It costs nothing but some time, is tax-deductible, inflation-proof, and uniquely yours. 

Disclaimer: The content on this site should not be considered investment advice. Investing is speculative. When investing, your capital is at risk.

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