Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger both cite their extensive reading habits as a major cornerstone of their success. Over the years they’ve shared book recommendations — and insights gained from their favorite reads — with Berkshire Hathaway shareholders.
1996: The book Buffett recommends “first and foremost”
“All of the important ideas in investing … are in that book”
Warren Buffett says Benjamin Graham, his former teacher, employer, and mentor, laid the foundation for his own investing philosophy. He consistently recommends Graham’s “The Intelligent Investor” to his shareholders and followers.
1998: Munger on “Guns, Germs, and Steel”
Munger: “It’s the best work of its kind I have ever read”
Munger recommends a book he would go on to cite again and again as one of his favorites: Jared Diamond’s “Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies.” The book presents the idea that certain societies were able to conquer others because of geographic advantages. Buffett recommends a lighter read.
1999: “Munger Book Club” recommendations
“I would heartily recommend those 3 books”
Charlie Munger shares a few of his favorite recent books, including one about Buffett, at the 1999 Berkshire annual meeting.
2000: Buffett on the “most representative book” of his views
“We’ve said exactly what we do”
At the 2000 shareholder meeting, Buffett says his favorite book on his investing philosophy is Larry Cunningham’s “Essays of Warren Buffett,” in which Cunningham thematically organizes selections from Buffett’s annual letters to shareholders. Buffett says he likes the book “because he essentially has taken my words and rearranged them.”
2004: Buffett on Phil Fisher’s books
“Those two books were terrific books”
Along with Benjamin Graham, investor Phil Fisher had a big influence on Buffett. Buffett and Munger discuss Fisher’s philosophy and Buffett recommends Fisher’s “Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits” and “Paths to Wealth Through Common Stocks.”
2005: A collection of Charlie Munger’s wisdom
“Anybody that reads it is going to learn a whole, whole lot”
Buffett and Munger discuss “Poor Charlie’s Almanack,” a compilation by Peter Kaufman of Munger’s talks and speeches.
2013: More on how Graham and Fisher impacted Buffett
″‘The Intelligent Investor’ changed my life”
Buffett expands on how Graham and Fisher’s writings underlie the way he approaches investing.
2015: How Adam Smith influenced Buffett and Munger
Munger: Adam Smith “has really worn well”
Buffett and Munger discuss the philosophical framework they took from Adam Smith’s 1776 economics classic, “The Wealth of Nations.”
2017: Keynes and the dangers of speculation
“Markets have a casino characteristic”
Buffett discusses what he learned from John Maynard Keynes’ “The General Theory” about the need for investors to guard against “rampant” speculation in the stock market.