Warren Buffett, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A) (NYSE: BRK.B) is considered one of the smartest and successful businessmen around the world.
Buffett has a net worth of $81.8 billion and is the seventh wealthiest man in the world as of October 12, according to Forbes’ list real-time of billionaires.
People call him the legendary investor and the “Oracle of Omaha” because of his investing acumen, thus he has avid followers who want to learn his secret to becoming a billionaire. In fact, some of his followers are willing to pay millions of dollars to have the opportunity to have a private lunch with Buffett and of course, learn from him. Proceeds from the annual lunch with Buffett go to the Glide Foundation, a charity in San Francisco that helps the impoverished, homeless, and those suffering from substance abuse.
If you don’t have millions, you can still learn from Warren Buffett by reading his annual letters to shareholders and his favorite books. One of his fundamental advice on how to get smarter and become successful is to accumulate knowledge by reading. He once said, “I just sit in my office and read all day.” He said also said, “That’s how knowledge builds up, like compound interest.”
Here are Buffett’s ten favorite business books.
1. Business Adventures by John Brooks
At their first meeting in 1991, Bill Gates asked Warren Buffett to recommend his favorite business book. Without hesitation, Buffett knew right away what book to recommend.
“It’s Business Adventures by John Brooks. I’ll send you my copy,” Buffett said to him.
2. The Ten Commandments for Business Failure by Donald R. Keough
Like many great businessmen and women before him, even Buffett believes there are lessons to be learned from failure. After all, it is said that if history is not studied and learned from, it will repeat itself.
“Keough’s best ability is to cut to the chase on an issue, to cut through the bureaucratic fog. Keep it simple is his principle and mine too.”
3. How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
This is not just one of Buffett’s favorites. In fact, despite being written in 1936, the book still ranked 19th on Time Magazine’s list of 100 most influential books.
“In my office, you will not see the degree I have from the University of Nebraska, or the master’s degree I have from Columbia University, but you’ll see the certificate I got from the Dale Carnegie course.”
4. Limping on Water by Phil Beuth
In this book, Phil Beuth chronicles his 40 rises at startup media company Capital Cities/ABC-TV. I guess like many others, Buffett enjoys reading about people who work their way from the bottom all the way to the top.
“Much of what you become in life depends on whom you choose to admire and copy. Start with Tom Murphy, and you’ll never need a second exemplar.”
5. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
Everyone should read this classic business book. Just make sure to have some coffee standing by to help you stay awake as it is a bit dull. Regardless, The Intelligent Investor is widely acclaimed as one of the best books on value investing.
“I obviously recommend, first and foremost, this book, considered to be the ‘bible of value investing.'”
6. The Outsiders by William N. Thorndike
Buffett also seems to enjoy reading about CEOs and business people with “wild” ideas. Often times these are the people who bring the most revolutionary products and businesses to market.
“An outstanding book about CEOs who excelled at capital allocation.”
7. A Few Lessons for Investors and Managers by Peter Bevelin
For years Buffett has preached the importance of investing in financially sound companies for the long-term. This book explains that idea in a little deeper detail.
“Sums up what Charlie [Munger] and I have been saying over the years in annual reports and at annual meetings.”
8. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
Want to learn about how Nike grew to be the biggest shoe company in the world? Buffett did and he loved the story.
“The best book I read in 2015.”
9. Dream Big by Cristiane Correa
Buffett learns a lot by studying other business people, a lesson we should learn from studying him. This book chronicles the rise of three businessmen who built the largest business empire in Brazil during the 1970s.
“My friend — and now partner — Jorge Paulo and his team are among the best businessmen in the world. He is a fantastic person and his story should be an inspiration to everybody, as it is for me.”
10. The Farmer From Merna by Karl Schriftgiesser
This book should come as no surprise since Buffett is well known for his large insurance company holdings.
“By 1999, State Farm had amassed a tangible net worth exceeding that of all but four American businesses. If you want to read how this happened, get a copy.”
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