4 Books Warren Buffett Recommends You Read

When the don of Omaha speaks, we listen.

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Warren Buffett is a notoriously frugal investor. After a lifetime of patience and strategy, he’s worth about $84 billion. He’s perhaps one of the greatest money men of our lifetime. His philosophies are studied by young investors hoping to make it, as well as seasoned financial professionals.

Just as Oprah Winfrey has her famous book club, Buffett has an unofficial book club of sorts. Over the years, through his shareholder letters and in interviews, Buffett has recommended books that he thinks the investment-inclined should read. And when he speaks, we should absolutely listen.

One last thing before we get to the list: These books aren’t necessarily page-turners. They’re all books you have to read deliberately, almost like a textbook, so grab your highlighter and get to it.

The Outsiders’ by William N. Thorndike Jr.

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Even if you’ve already read this book, it might be useful to read it again with a renewed mindset. According to Inc. magazine, in “Buffett’s 2012 shareholder letter, the money guru shouted out The Outsiders as ‘an outstanding book about CEOs who excelled at capital allocation.’ Apparently, Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett’s company, plays a major role in the book. One chapter is on director Tom Murphy, who Buffett says is ‘overall the best business manager I’ve ever met.’”

The book—which finds patterns of success from execs at The Washington Post, Ralston Purina and others—has been praised as “one of the most important business books in America” by Forbes.

You can pick up this book for $24 from Amazon

‘The Intelligent Investor’ by Benjamin Graham


Buffett picked up this book as a 19-year-old and has said he’s thankful he did because it was among the luckiest moments in his life and it forever shaped his investment philosophy. He’s also said that this particular book is “by far the best book about investing ever written.” The reason Buffett loves it so much is because, in his words, it’s full of “invaluable advice.” 


Pro tip: When you read it, make sure to pay special attention to chapters 8 and 20. Here’s one more word from Warren on why you should definitely check this out if you care about investing:

“To invest successfully over a lifetime does not require a stratospheric IQ, unusual business insights, or inside information. 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.”


You can pick up this book for $12 from Amazon.

‘Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits’ by Philip A. Fisher


This one is special because Buffett is a huge fan of Phil Fisher. In a 1987 article in Forbes, Fisher said his approach “is to find something so good—if you don't pay too much for it—that it will have very, very large growth,” and according to The Motley Fool, “Buffett has long shown that his investment philosophy goes well beyond simply trying to find the best bargains out there, as he often praises a company’s management and business before ever speaking of its valuation.” 

Besides getting technical, Buffett has praised Fisher’s work in the past, saying, “I am an eager reader of whatever Phil has to say, and I recommend him to you.” That sounds like enough for us to give it a read.

You can pick up this book for $19 from Amazon.

‘Jack: Straight from the Gut’ by Jack Welch

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In his 2001 shareholder letter, Buffett wrote, “Last fall, Charlie [Munger] and I read Jack Welch’s terrific book, Jack, Straight from the Gut (get a copy!). In discussing it, we agreed that Joe [Brandon, CEO of General Re] has many of Jack’s characteristics: He is smart, energetic, hands-on, and expects much of both himself and his organization.”

In commenting on the book, Bloomberg Businessweek wrote that “Welch has had such an impact on modern business that a tour of his personal history offers all managers valuable lessons.”

You can pick up this book for $11 from Amazon.

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