4 Books Warren Buffett Treasures


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What You’ll Learn

  • Why Warren Buffett loves these books
  • Buffett’s road map to investing
  • Ben and Dave’s teaching techniques

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“My intellectual odyssey ended, however, when I met Ben and Dave, first through their writings and then in person. They laid out a roadmap for investing that I have now been following for 57 years. There’s been no reason to look for another.”—Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett’s Four Favorite Books

security analysisIn the foreword to Sixth Edition of Security Analysis, here’s what Warren Buffett had to say about the four books he particularly treasures.

If it’s good enough for Buffett, it’s a safe bet to say that it’s good enough for us.

“There are four books in my overflowing library that I particularly treasure, each of them written more than 50 years ago. All, though, would still be of enormous value to me if I were to read them today for the first time; their wisdom endures though their pages fade.

Two of those books are first editions of The Wealth of Nations (1776), by Adam Smith (just $1 on Kindle), and The Intelligent Investor (1949), by Benjamin Graham. A third is an original copy of the book you hold in your hands, Graham and Dodd’s, Security Analysis. I studied from Security Analysis while I was at Columbia University in 1950 and 1951, when I had the extraordinary good luck to have Ben Graham and Dave Dodd as teachers. Together, the book and the men changed my life.

The Road Map to Investing

On the utilitarian side, what I learned then became the bedrock upon which all of my investment and business decisions have been built. Prior to meeting Ben and Dave, I had long been fascinated by the stock market.

Before I bought my first stock at age 11—it took me until then to accumulate the $115 required for the purchase—I had read every book in the Omaha Public Library having to do with the stock market. I found many of them fascinating and all interesting. But none were really useful.

My intellectual odyssey ended, however, when I met Ben and Dave, first through their writings and then in person. They laid out a roadmap for investing that I have now been following for 57 years. There’s been no reason to look for another.

Ben and Dave – How they Teach

warren buffett teachingBeyond the ideas Ben and Dave gave me, they showered me with friendship, encouragement, and trust. They cared not a whit for reciprocation—toward a young student, they simply wanted to extend a one-way street of helpfulness.

In the end, that’s probably what I admire most about the two men. It was ordained at birth that they would be brilliant; they elected to be generous and kind.

Misanthropes would have been puzzled by their behavior. Ben and Dave instructed literally thousands of potential competitors, young fellows like me who would buy bargain stocks or engage in arbitrage transactions, directly competing with the Graham-Newman Corporation, which was Ben’s investment company.

Moreover, Ben and Dave would use current investing examples in the classroom and in their writings, in effect doing our work for us. The way they behaved made as deep an impression on me—and many of my classmates—as did their ideas. We were being taught not only how to invest wisely; we were also being taught how to live wisely.

The copy of Security Analysis that I keep in my library and that I used at Columbia is the 1940 edition. I’ve read it, I’m sure, at least four times, and obviously it is special.

But let’s get to the fourth book I mentioned, which is even more precious. In 2000, Barbara Dodd Anderson, Dave’s only child, gave me her father’s copy of the 1934 edition of Security Analysis, inscribed with hundreds of marginal notes. These were inked in by Dave as he prepared for publication of the 1940 revised edition. No gift has meant more to me.”

In other words, 2 of Buffett’s treasured books is Security Analysis and Security Analysis.

Enjoy the reading.

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About the Author

hurricanecapThe pseudonymous Hurricane Capital was Born in the 80’s, lives in Sweden with a Masters of Science in Business and Economics from Stockholm University. Got interested in value investing and devotes his free time and investing. The main goal through the Hurricane Capital blog is to learn about different investing topics, investors and business cases for investment.

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