I am a big believer that you can learn a lot by reading the right books. Below are links where you can buy some investment books that I recommend. These are all books that I have read and found benefit from. These are not the latest investment books, but they all have timeless principles. Amazon appears to have good prices for books.
I notice that Amazon does not appear to list the year each book was published (which I think is very poor behavior on their part). I have indicated below each book the year which each was originally published.
If you can't decide which book, the following is a link to search for all items on Amazon.
Here is the first-ever authorized biography of Warren Buffett. A must-read for truly dedicated Buffett fans. Just released September 29, 2008. However, at 900 pages, it gets a bit tedious. Lots of detail on Buffett's personal life and not much on his investing methods.
(Warren) Buffett The Making of an American Capitalist. First published in 1995, the update has a brief afterword to address the period since 1995 but basically it says that nothing about Buffett has changed since 1995. This Book gives excellent insight into Buffett's investment philosophy and also very interesting history. I'm glad I read it. Wish I had read it years ago.
Warren Buffett Speaks. The above book was revised and updated for 2007. It consists largely of organized quotes from Warren Buffett with the author's introductory comments to each quote. This is a small book, a light enjoyable and educational read.
The above book was published in 2001. It analyses the characteristics of companies that achieve great levels of growth and profitability. It can help your understanding of what type of companies are likely to continue to be great and which ones are likely to falter. Unfortunately it now seems dated. (One of its Great Companies was Circuit City - once great it eventually floundered)
The Intelligent Investor has repeatedly been described by Warren Buffett as the best investment book ever written. The latest edition was written in 1973 shortly before Benjamin Graham died, but the above edition has some updated material. After reading an earlier edition around 1950, Buffett sought out Graham and became his pupil, and the rest as they say, is history. When the richest investor in the World claims that this book helped him greatly, can you really afford not to own it?
Value Investing. Published in 2001, this book details classic value investing strategies used by a number of famous and very rich investors, a number of whom, like Buffett, had studied under Benjamin Graham.
The Warren Buffet Way Published in 1995, this is probably the most comprehensive look at Buffett's investing methods.
Buffettology. Published in 1997 this book does a good job of describing how Buffett invests. Mary Buffett had been married to one of Buffett's sons and so had close contact with Buffett over a period of years.
How to Pick Stocks Like Warren Buffett. Published in 2000 this book also has good insights into the Buffett ways.
The Essays of Warren Buffett. Published in 1997 and revised in 2000. This book consists largely of exerts from the detailed annual letters that Warren Buffett writes to shareholders each year. Although the more recent years are not included, this book is a "must read" for the dedicated Buffett fan. The letters can also be accessed at www.berkshirehathaway.com, but this book provides an organization by topic rather than by year which is useful.
Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits. Much of this book was originally written in the 1950's but nevertheless much of it is still valid today. Philip Fisher is said to have had a significant influence on Warren Buffett.
Seven Years to Seven Figures. This late 2006 book profiles a number of people who accumulated $1 million in less than seven years. The author is a multi-millionaire who has a lot of common sense business advice and who has personally built up a number of multi-million dollar companies. It's a light and motivating read.
"The Little Books" - The following books are excellent; bite-sized, and very readable and focus on specific strategies for success in investing.
The Little Book that Builds Wealth. This book focuses on the different types of sustainable competitive advantages that allow certain rare business to make abnormally high returns on shareholder money and to do so year-after-year. Buffett describes such a competitive advantage as a "moat" that protects the company from competition. This book is copyright 2008, therefore the examples are recent. But the principles are timeless.
The Little Book of Value Investing. This 2007 book is by Christopher Browne of Tweedy Browne which firm has deep and close links to Buffett, Benjamin Graham and other great value investors.
The Little Book That Beats The Market. Also known as Magic Formula Investing. This 2006 book is a light entertaining read and explains why value investing makes sense. It provides a Web Site that screens for the best value stocks. The author has compounded returns of 40% since 1985. When people like this share their secrets it only makes sense for us to read their advice.
The Only Three Questions that Count. Ken Fisher is a billionaire investment manager who is the son of Phil Fisher (mentioned above) who had an influence of Warren Buffett. Ken has a very thoughtful and analytical way of looking at the markets. He accepts nothing at face value until he has looked at the data for himself. The book was completed in 2007 but most of the information is timeless. At 400 pages this is not a light read but is more suitable for the avid investor. If you can handle some heavy reading, it's well worth it.
Or, search for more books at Amazon.
Shawn Allen, President
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