By reading articles (like this one), you can learn much about Warren Buffett and his investment style. Having said that, the information contained in fewer than 600 words doesn't even begin to compare to the wealth of knowledge you can discover about the Oracle of Omaha in some of the books that have been written about him over the years.
With that in mind, here's a reading list for those who want to learn more about how Warren Buffett became, well, Warren Buffett -- along with a deeper dive into his investment methodologies.
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The Warren Buffett reading list
There have been plenty of books written about Buffett's investing style, life story, and more. But there are a few that stand out in my mind as must-reads for anyone who wants to learn more about how Buffett became the leading value investor of all time.
Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist, by Roger Lowenstein
This is perhaps the best biography of Buffett ever written, and was originally published in 1995. Lowenstein discusses Buffett's life in great detail and gives a fascinating account of how a boy from Nebraska became the most successful investor of all time. From his early life, to how Benjamin Graham became a mentor, to the humble beginnings of Buffett's leadership of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B), this is a can't-miss for anyone interested in how Buffett became who he is.
The Warren Buffett Way, by Robert G. Hagstrom
This is the best book describing Buffett's investment strategies. Hagstrom discusses how he approaches business valuation, fixed-income investments, equity securities, and more. While Benjamin Graham's books are often cited as the best books on investing by Buffett himself, there's no better book to learn about how Buffett applies his investment philosophy than this one.
The Warren Buffett CEO, by Robert P. Miles
This isn't about Buffett's life or his investment style. Instead, The Warren Buffett CEO takes a deep dive into the management behind Berkshire Hathaway's enormous success. And it doesn't just look at Buffett; it also discusses Berkshire's other key managers and how they've contributed to the enormous success of the $500 billion empire. You'll read about many key players in the organization, including potential Buffett successor Ajit Jain, Tony Nicely (GEICO), and the heads of several other Berkshire subsidiaries.
The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life, by Alice Schroeder
Among biographies, Schroder's book is neck-and-neck with the first book on this list. And the two books are different enough that it's well worth the time to read both. One key differentiator is that while researching the book, Schroeder had unprecedented access to Buffett himself, so there are many questions answered that had been mysteries before this 2009 book was published.
Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything, 1966-2013, by Carol J. Loomis
This book is actually a collection of Fortune magazine articles on Buffett that were originally published as far back as 1966, just a couple of years after Buffett took over a struggling textile company called Berkshire Hathaway. The best part: While Loomis' articles are great, many of the ones in the book were actually written by Buffett himself. I'm particularly fond of his first-ever Fortune article, "How Inflation Swindles the Equity Investor," written in 1977 -- just a short while before the runaway inflation of the late '70s and early '80s did swindle equity investors.
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