10 Investing Books Recommended By Warren Buffett

Over the years, Warren Buffett has recommended many books in a variety of venues about a variety of subjects. Continuing our ongoing series of books recommended by Buffett (our last entry in this series was on Buffett’s political book recommendations) here we highlight ten books that Buffett has recommended on investing.


 

Take on the Street: What Wall Street and Corporate America Don’t Want You to Know. What you can do to fight back
by Arthur Levitt

 

Levitt, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s longest-serving chairman, supervised stock markets during the late 1990s dot-com boom. As working Americans poured billions into stocks and mutual funds, corporate America devised increasingly opaque strategies for hoarding most of the proceeds. Levitt reveals their tactics in plain language, then spells out how to intelligently invest in mutual funds and the stock market. His advice is aimed squarely at small, individual investors, as he explains how to look for clues of malfeasance in annual reports, understand press releases and draw more from reliable sources.

 

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

 

Filled with in-depth insights and practical advice, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing will show you how to incorporate this proven investment strategy into your portfolio. It will also change the very way you think about investing. Successful investing is not easy. (It requires discipline and patience.) But it is simple. For it’s all about common sense.

 

Speculative Contagion: An Antidote for Speculative Epidemics

by Frank Martin

 

Speculative Contagion is an insider’s riveting real-time and real-money account of the inflating Bubble, accented with the genuine suspense to be found only in real-life drama. The epidemic of tech-driven lunacy gradually affected more and more feverish investors all too prone to be infected by the insidious absurdity of the times. In the midst of it all, Frank Martin found sanctuary in the treasure trove of history.

 

Benjamin Graham on Value Investing: Lessons from the Dean of Wall Street

by Janet Lowe

 

In this book, Janet Lowe presents a brief but interesting biography of value investor Benjamin Graham. The book also provides a nice overview of the history and theories behind modern value investing.

 

The Theory of Investment Value
by John Burr Williams

 

Though the book was first printed in 1938, it is still the most authoritative work on how to value financial assets. As Peter Bernstein has commented: “Williams combined original theoretical concepts with enlightening and entertaining commentary based on his own experiences in the rough-and-tumble world of investment.” Williams’ discovery was to project an estimate that offers intrinsic value and it is called the ‘Dividend Discount Model’ which is still used today by professional investors on the institutional side of markets.

 

Where Are the Customers’ Yachts? or A Good Hard Look at Wall Street
by Fred Schwed, Jr

 

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.

 

The Intelligent Investor: A Book of Practical Counsel
by Benjamin Graham

 

Since it was first published in 1949, Graham’s investment guide has sold over a million copies and has been praised by such luminaries as Warren E. Buffet as “the best book on investing ever written.” The hallmark of Graham’s philosophy is not profit maximization but loss minimization. In this respect, The Intelligent Investor is a book for true investors, not speculators or day traders. He provides, “in a form suitable for the laymen, guidance in adoption and execution of an investment policy.” Where the speculator follows market trends, the investor uses discipline, research, and his analytical ability to make unpopular but sound investments in bargains relative to current asset value.

 

Paths to wealth through common stocks
by Philip Fisher

 

Paths to Wealth through Common Stocks contains one original concept after another, each designed to greatly improve the results of those who self-manage their investments — while helping those who rely on professional investment advice select the right advisor for their needs. In this book Fisher analyzes how worthwhile profits have been and will continue to be made through common stock ownership, and revealing why his method can increase profits while reducing risk. Many of the ideas found here may depart from conventional investment wisdom, but the impressive results produced by these concepts — which are still relevant in today’s market environment — will quickly remind you why Philip Fisher is considered one of the greatest investment minds of our time.

 

Bull: A History of the Boom and Bust
by Maggie Mahar

 

Citing studies by esteemed economists John Kenneth Galbraith and Charles Kindleberger, Mahar reminds readers that self-blinding euphoria is a regular feature of every bull market. In vivid detail, she documents the trends and outsized personalities that fueled this particular bull market, including the surge of leveraged buyouts of 1984-1987, the mania for junk bonds, falling short-term interest rates, the rush of individual investors into 401(k) retirement plans, the power (and appetites) of mutual funds and the media frenzy that lent an unlikely allure to quarterly corporate earnings reports. The book serves as a reminder that investors should employ skepticism towards information coming out of corporate management.

 

Security Analysis: Principles and Technique
by Ben Graham and Dave Dodd

 

Benjamin Graham’s revolutionary theories have influenced and inspired investors for nearly 70 years. First published in 1934, his Security Analysis is still considered to be the value investing bible for investors of every ilk. Yet, it is the second edition of that book, published in 1940 and long since out of print, that many experts–including Graham protégé Warren Buffet–consider to be the definitive edition.

 

Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits
by Philip A. Fisher

 

Regarded as one of the pioneers of modern investment theory, Philip A. Fisher’s investment principles are studied and used by contemporary finance professionals including Warren Buffett. Fisher was the first to consider a stock’s worth in terms of potential growth instead of just price trends and absolute value. His principles espouse identifying long-term growth stocks and their emerging value as opposed to choosing short-term trades for initial profit. First published in 1958, this investment classic is considered a must-read as the foundation for many of today’s popular investment beliefs.

 

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Comments

  1. Aleron's Gravatar Comment by Aleron on May 28th, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    Where exactly did he recommend them?

  2. vikram's Gravatar Comment by vikram on May 28th, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    “Take on the Street: What Wall Street and Corporate America Don’t Want You to Know. What you can do to fight back ”
    This is very interesting book i have read it completely , really full of excellent knowledge .. one must read this book.

  3. Jon's Gravatar Comment by Jon on May 28th, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    This is great thanks so much!

    One question, would anyone familiar with these books recommend an order to read them in?

  4. investmentplayground's Gravatar Comment by investmentplayground on May 31st, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    People who know Warren apparently have said that all this guy does in his spare time is read. Obviously these ten books must have shown him something!

  5. investmentplayground's Gravatar Comment by investmentplayground on June 1st, 2008 at 5:09 am

    Personally – I’d probably start with The Intelligent Investor – a staple on any value investor’s bookshelf. Then move on to Security Analysis followed by Fisher’s Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits. Then I’d move on to Fisher’s other book and the rest from then on.

  6. Mark's Gravatar Comment by Mark on June 2nd, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    I’m with Aleron. Is there any means of confirming that Buffet recommended these books? We don’t know if he’s ever even read these books, much less recommended others to do so.

    Any means of citing a source?

  7. pohick's Gravatar Comment by pohick on June 6th, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    well, you have to search through the annual meeting minutes; they’re there plus a bunch more, such as Old Charlie’s Almanack

  8. investmentplayground's Gravatar Comment by investmentplayground on June 10th, 2008 at 8:56 am

    You can definitely confirm that Buffet’s read and implements books/tools by Graham, Dodd, and Fisher. That’s for sure.

  9. David D's Gravatar Comment by David D on June 14th, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    Am I the only one to notice that this list of Ten Books has 11 books in it?
    The books look good, but can anybody offer a source or a reference where Buffet really recommended these?

  10. Richard R's Gravatar Comment by Richard R on July 7th, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    I know that WEB openly endorses Graham and Fisher. He had read John Burr Williams as a young man too. He also like the Enron Book, Smartest guys …, The other books, he may have mentioned in his Annual Meeting and word of mouth quickly prevails, everyone there hangs on his every word.

  11. Michael F's Gravatar Comment by Michael F on July 25th, 2008 at 7:59 am

    These are interesting books, but before one starts to climb their financial Mt. Everest, they need to have solid grounding. That said, they need to have a plan and these introspective books will get them to a place they can “safely” begin that wealth building Journey

    “The Total Money Makeover” – Dave Ramsey
    “Thou Shall Prosper” – Rabbi Daniel Lapin
    “Millionaire Next Door” – Thomas Stanley
    “No More Mondays” – Dan Miller

  12. Alisa's Gravatar Comment by Alisa on August 17th, 2008 at 5:00 am

    Without a doubt, Mr. Buffett is an expert in the field of investing who is worth following. I find that reading the shareholder reports of Berkshire to be very informative. In fact, for those who may be on a tight budget like me, it may be worth it to include reading these reports and gaining the best investing insight directly from the source.

    I recently started my investment journey and I like the principles and concepts that he has followed throughout his career. Feel free to stop by when you get a moment.

    http://www.ourstockmarketjourney.blogspot.com/

    Be well.

  13. Becky's Gravatar Comment by Becky on October 19th, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    I just finished reading, “The Big Gamble,” written by Jose Roncal and Jose Abbo- a very insightful book that taught me no matter what Wall Street says, nearly any so-called “investment” is in reality speculative – even those thought of as “safe” like T-bills, mutual funds or even savings accounts. Since I am still so new to investing, I have been looking other books to read and am excited to check out your book also.

  14. William's Gravatar Comment by William on November 3rd, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    “Earning Serendipity” is a book that illustrates a entirely new way of thinking about your business and everyday life. Great work Glenn! Glenn Llopis, your book offers more down -to-earth, practical and commonsense knowledge versus most other books that try to sell me unrealistic concepts. Earning Serendipity is a constant incentive and perennial source of inspiration for go-getters. It allowed me to experience my goals and taught me the meaning of success in simple ways that benefited me and those around me. I am motivated to take actions in the right way not the easy way Glenn, your book changed my life forever!

  15. Mika's Gravatar Comment by Mika on April 23rd, 2012 at 5:55 am

    “The small stock trader” by Mika is also a small unique book that covers almost all the major stock market topics such as the traits of a successful small stock trader, how to choose a few simple focus stocks, market sentiment and industry, fundamental analysis, technical analysis, short selling, your edge and competition, catalysts that move the stock prices, stock trading plan, discipline, risk management and psychology. It is a simple book of about 100 small-sized pages (more like a collection of tips, perhaps 4-5 hours read), but it will answer many of your questions, so, it is a great book to start (no need to mention that about 90% of your lessons you are going to learn from your own experience/mistakes). It is also a fun-to-read book, as it is accompanied by a few jokes and observations from poker, intelligence world, relationships, happiness, Zen, and psychology.

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