When Warren Buffett started his investing career, he would read 600, 750, or 1,000 pages a day.
Even now, 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.”
To help you get into the mind of the billionaire investor, we’ve rounded up 18 of his book recommendations over 20 years of interviews and shareholder letters.
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‘The Intelligent Investor’ by Benjamin Graham
When Buffett was 19, he picked up a copy of legendary Wall Streeter Benjamin Graham’s “The Intelligent Investor.”
It was one of the luckiest moments of his life, he said, because it gave him the intellectual framework for investing.
“To invest successfully over a lifetime does not require a stratospheric IQ, unusual business insights, or inside information,” Buffett said. “What’s needed is a sound intellectual framework for making decisions and the ability to keep emotions from corroding that framework. This book precisely and clearly prescribes the proper framework. You must provide the emotional discipline.”
‘Security Analysis’ by Benjamin Graham and David L. Dodd
Buffett said that “Security Analysis,” another groundbreaking work of Graham’s, had given him “a road map for investing that I have now been following for 57 years.”
The book’s core insight: If your analysis is thorough enough, you can figure out the value of a company — and if the market knows the same.
Buffett has said that Graham was the second most influential figure in his life, after only his father.
“Ben was this incredible teacher; I mean he was a natural,” he said.
‘Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits’ by Philip Fisher
While investor Philip Fisher — who specialized in investing in innovative companies — didn’t shape Buffett in quite the same way as Graham did, Buffett still holds him in the highest regard.
“I am an eager reader of whatever Phil has to say, and I recommend him to you,” Buffett said.
In “Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits,” Fisher emphasizes that fixating on financial statements isn’t enough — you also need to evaluate a company’s management.