Warren Buffett's Favorite Books

And Other Billionaire's Favorite Books Too

Warren Buffett  (Net Worth $70 Billion) 

The Intelligent Investor 

According to Buffett, reading The Intelligent Investor was the best decision he ever made in his career. This book is a guide to the mindset of a successful stock investor. It can be difficult to read for first time investors due to fancy finanical terminology. A great book to supliment this one if you're concerned about the difficulty, is the 100 Page Summary of the Intelligent Investor. Fun fact: Benjamin Graham was Warren Buffett’s professor at Columbia – and Buffett was the only student to get an A+ in his investment classes - ever!

Security Analysis

This book is the text-book that Warren Buffett used in college when he studied under Benjamin Graham. In fact, the intelligent investor was a spin-off of the ideas found in this larger text. This book is difficult to understand and a summary guide is highly recommneded for new or intermediate investors. This book is the legacy of a great thinker and an investor who took on the most difficult aspects of investing and quantified them. Security Analysis is an all-time best seller, and Warren Buffett has repeatedly praised his investment success and valuation skills to this book. 

How to Win Friends and Influence People

In Warren Buffett's office, he doesn't hang his diplomas from college, instead he has a certificate that says he completed the Dale Carnegie Course.  "Dale Carnegie's writing and courses change my life." - Warren Buffett

His Own Writing: The Warren Buffett Shareholder Letters

This was written completely by Buffett, and it litterally has years of information that document his wise decisions. This book has an unpresidented amount of positive reviews because of the ever-flowing amount of insights that are contained in the book. Buffett's Shareholder letters are actually free and on the Berkshire Hathaway website, but the hardcopy is nice to have in the event the site no longer hosts the information.

Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits

"I'm 85% Graham and 15% Fisher" - Warren Buffett. There's no mistake about it. Buffett was highly influenced by this book. As his investment philosophy evolved through the years - to be more quality based - this book was one of the main reasons that occured. This book has been a #1 best seller for decades and it caters to investors interested in the proper valuation of growth companies and finding quality businesses that endure.

Bill Gates (Net Worth - $80+ Billion)

Capital in the Twenty-First Century

Bill Gates as well as the rest of the world has been amazed of Piketty’s work that outlines the problems with inequality in the world. Gates has personally told Piketty about his concerns regarding the suggested policy descriptions in the book, but has also praised him for the spark in the global discussion of the matter.

The Catcher in the Rye

Gates read this book when he was 13 and it resonated with him instantly. Gates stresses that this clever book acknowledges the fact that though young people are a little confused, they can be smart about things that adults don’t see. 

The Rosie Effect

Perhaps not the book you’d think a billionaire like Bill Gates would dive into. Nevertheless, Gates says that the book’s strong suit is that it reminds him of relationships and how he has to invest time and energy into making them better. 

Making the Modern World

Bill Gates is on a cause.  He wants to make the world a better place through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and it starts with how we consume. This is a data driven book that shows the catastrophic results of people using more material, silicon, wood, plastic and cement than ever.  This book has really gotten Gates thinking, and it will do the same for you!  

Richard Branson (Net Worth - $4+ Billion)

His Own Writing: Losing My Virginity

Richard Branson’s autobiography is a must-read for any entrepreneur. It’s an inspiring book that reveals his unique story and personal philosophy on life. It takes the reader on a journey that reveals how Richard began his early humble start-ups as a child, and to how he built the Virgin brand. Branson has amassed a fortune very few people match, and had more fun doing it than anyone. 

Long Walk to Freedom

As a book that chronicles Mandela’s journey from being a Tribal chieftain’s stepson to an attorney and from being a prisoner to a political, motivating leader, this book has served as a major inspiration for Richard Branson. Specifically, Branson says he has learnt not to be resentful or bitter when he has been wronged. In fact, Mandela has inspired him to devote every ounce of his creativity to build a lasting legacy. 

In-N-Out Burger

You might wonder why a book describing the story of a small American business that looks behind the counter of a fast food chain is one of Branson’s favorite business books. The answer is simple – it teaches that the key to any successful business is to do what you love, listen to your customer, and have a lot of fun while doing it. For anyone who knows Branson, this is his own recipe!

The Dice Man

The story of the Dice Man is really simple. You compile a list of actions, and by throwing a pair of dice, you have to adhere to specific instructions. It introduces various unique, concepts of thinking and lets you do unexpected new things in your life. Branson states that he has been under the influence of this book, thanks its provoking principles. 

Elon Musk (Net Worth - $8+ Billion)

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

Franklin has always been one of Musk’s heroes. Although he’s living in a different time and age, Musk says that he has been inspired by Franklin’s success as an entrepreneur who started with nothing, a feat Musk can relate to. If you want to read how a great man can shape both the identity of a billionaire as well as America centuries later, this is the book for you. 

Howard Hughes: His Life and Madness

Many people have said that Elon Musk is a modern version of Howard Hughes as they are both obsessed with innovative transportation solution (and both have the means to do something about it). This is the book that breaks through the image to get to the man who inspired the making of ‘The Aviator’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio. 

Tesla: Inventor of the Electical Age

Elon Musk doesn’t just sit down and read. Driven by a passion to study any book in detail, Musk believes in absorbing what he reads. Musk’s passion has been no different for this book. Few scientists are known as rock stars that changed the world, but Tesla is probably the closest you can get! 

Charlie Munger (Net Worth $1 Billion)

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

"Robert Cialdini (the author) has had a greater impact on my thinking than any other scientist. This book demonstrates six to eight ways in which the quirks of your own mind will frequently prove dysfunctional to your best interests." -Charlie Munger.  If you have ever been to a Berkshire Hathaway meeting, you'll quickly find that Charlie is an extrodinary thinker, so we obviously take his recommendations to heart.  

Outliers: The Story of Success

In the 2009 Wesco Annual Meeting, Charlie recommended Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers to the attendees.  

Conspiracy of Fools

"The evil in this book is so extreme.  You see how ordinary people get sucked in by the evil environment around them.  You learn so much." - Charlie Munger in 2007

Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

In today's money, John Rockefeller would have been worth $340 billion dollars. In 1999, Charlie said, "I found this book very intriguing.  His life, his company, and his management style are all worth studying."

Mark Cuban (Net Worth - $2.5+ Billion)

His Own Writing: How to Win at the Sport of Business

It seems like all billionaire entrepreneurs are called lucky at some point. Although he built and sold a business that was worth a billion dollars just before the dot com burst, critiques haven’t been gentler on Mark Cuban. This book will reveal just how little luck and how much skill billionaire and Dallas Maverick owner Cuban has in business. It’s pumped with business lessons that any entrepreneur, offline and online, will find extremely useful on their own path to success. One teaser to How to Win in the Sport of Business is Cuban’s insightful thoughts that explain how businesses progress over many years, and not how much you squeeze out of any single deal. 

The Gospel of Wealth

According to Cuban, the best way to display patriotism is to get rich and pay taxes. The Gospel of wealth was originally a reading assignment for Cuban when he took his M.B.A. entrepreneurship class; however, it turned into an inspiration that can probably last a lifetime. 


Cuban says that he would rather invest in a person who has read “Rework” than a person with an MBA. Since this book stresses the vitality of focus for any entrepreneur who has just begun a start-up, Cuban encourages everyone to grab this book. 

The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need

Cuban might have been inspired by the very title of the book when he said that it’s the only investment book that made truly sense to him. This is a book that puts the investor and not the market in the driver’s seat.  

The Innovator's Dilemma

Just like anybody who would wonder about the intricacies of technology, Cuban has also pondered about why some things worked and some didn’t. It wasn’t before he read the innovator’s dilemma that he truly understood why. 

Steve Jobs (Net Worth at Death - $6.7 Billion)

Atlas Shrugged

This book takes an abstract look at United States, and investigates a number of theses that explain what would happen if society's most prominent and successful industrialists abandon their fortunes and the nation itself, as a response to aggressive regulation. No wonder why this abstract and free thinking Atlas Shrugged has served as an inspiration in Jobs’ work. 

Be Here Now

Jobs has stated that “Be Here Now” has changed him and many of his friends. It’s a guide to meditation, and was one the first and most influential books he read about spirituality.  

Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

In Jobs’ study of Buddhism, he practiced meditation and was deeply touched by the work of one of the first masters to teach his wisdom in the US. Jobs found what so many missed: “In the search for getting close to Zen, so many completely miss what it is all about”. 

Only the Paranoid Survive

This is Jobs’ favorite business book for good reason. He recommends anyone to read it as it is about the transition of a company’s competitive position and how to adapt to it. A transition everyone in business will experience at some point of time. Jobs would know! 

Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

This book comes highly recommended from Jobs, and he wasn’t shy to share it with his friends. It’s a non-nonsense book that takes a critical view of the path to self-development. The reader learns not to be sidetracked in his development, and to stay focused in an ever changing world.  

Jeff Bezos (Net Worth - $29+ Billion)

The Effective Executive

Bezos had top executives reading this book one summer to get a better understanding of how he was building Amazon. The book is a study that describes how to develop personal habits of time management, and also teaches executives to stay productive and contribute their best to the organization. 

Built to Last

Anyone who is familiar with how Jeff Bezos built Amazon will tell you that this book is the cornerstone for building the culture of the company. Built to Last shows how the company identity guides successful companies, but only for those who embrace the mission. Those who do not conquer should be excluded at all costs.   

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

Bezos does not only want his executives to read classic business books. He insisted that his executives read this book since it’s about a manager tasked with turning around a failing manufacturing plant. Even though this is not the most obvious plot for a bestseller or a book to inspire billionaires, this is a book that achieves both.  

The Remains of the Day

Jeff Bezos says that he learned more from novels than nonfiction. Therefore, when he proclaims that this is his favorite book, you should pay attention! Bezos says that he didn’t think a perfect novel was possible. It’s a book that taught him about life and regret. 

The Black Swan

When Brad Stone, the author of the most comprehensive book on Amazon, first approached Jeff Bezos for his permission to write the book, Bezos asked how “Narrative Fallacy” could be avoided. That is exactly what Bezos likes about the “Black Swan”. It describes how it’s a human trait that allows complex truth turn into oversimplified stories.   

Jamie Dimon (CEO of a $223 Billion Dollar Bank)

Jack: Straight from the Gut

When Jamie Dimon sent a reading list to his interns one summer, it came as no surprise that this book was on it. When one of the best CEOs of all times, Jack Welsh, speaks about rebuilding a company with the right people, everybody serious about business should listen.  

Sam Walton: Made in America

You’ll love the story about a visionary man who saw retail distribution like no one ever before. This is not your average academic management book promising a checklist to becoming successful. Rather Made in America is the openhearted account of how an empire was built with good old-fashioned elbow grease despite all the missteps he made on his way.

Life is What You Make It

As the son of multi-billionaire Warren Buffett, Peter Buffett could set out without a care in the world. Or could he? Peter realized that he could do anything if he really wanted to, and not because of money, but because he chose to find his own way in life.

Security Analysis

It doesn’t get any better than this! If accounting is the language of business, this book should be your dictionary. Coming from Benjamin Graham, known as the father of value investing, this comprehensive book will take your understanding of financial statements to a level of proficiency you wouldn’t dream possible. It can be hard to read for novice and intermediate investors, and you might find this summary guide useful.  

The Intelligent Investor

Widely known as one of the most defining investment books ever written, you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity of reading one of Dimon’s favorite reads. This is a no-nonsense book that teaches the investor how to think for himself, and not get carried away in a volatile stock market. When reading The Intelligent Investor, you’ll quickly see why the decision to buy a stock should be based on thorough analysis and facts, and not on everybody else’s opinion.  

Peter Thiel (Net Worth - $2+ Billion)

Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World

According to Peter Theil, the books that have the maximum influence on him are written by René Girard. This book is Girard’s masterpiece and completely blew Theil away. It’s a guide to understand other people, as well as yourself. 

The New Atlantis

Anyone who knows Peter Theil’s background in Silicon Valley should not be surprised as to why fiction, and especially this book, resonated with Theil.  It describes a utopian society where people are driven by the passion for scientific discovery. 

The American Challenge

Written back in 1967, the same year Peter Theil was born, the author introduces a bold vision for an accelerated American technological civilization. Peter Theil says that he likes to investigate why some of the predictions came true while others didn’t.  

His Own Writing: Zero to One

Peter Theil didn’t plan to write this book – it sort of just happened. Thiel gave a series of lectures about entrepreneurship, technology, and competition at Stanford University, and a diligent student made very detailed notes. Zero to One is the result of these notes. Theil’s way of thinking is as unique as the inspiration it delivers.  His discussion about how capitalism and competition is completely opposite is both insightful and brilliant. If you want to dig deeper into the universe with technology and business with Peter Theil, The Investors’ discussion of the book is highly recommended and so is the free executive summary of Zero to One.     

Charles Koch (Net Worth - $42+ Billion)

His Own Writing: The Science of Success

When billionaire Charles Koch reveals his secrets to success, you better pay attention! The master himself has written THE training manual and it’s extremely helpful for you to understand how to build a successful organization. If you want to hear a free discussion about the book, The Investor’s Podcast has featured a very popular episode, and also provide a free executive summary of The Science of Success.  

The Wealth of Nations

Few books can be listed as the ones that change the way our society is built, and the Wealth of Nations is truly one of them. This classic was the first to explain why some countries build wealth, and which underlying factors are essential for a country to prosper. At BuffettsBooks, free executive summary of this entire book is provided in a modern and understandable language.  The original book published in 1776 was great, albeit difficult to read.  

Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Pilosophy

In this highly recommended book by Charles Koch, the author Polayi argues and presents the main theme that all knowledge claims, including those that are derived from rules and rely on personal judgment. If you want to understand how Charles Koch develops and evaluates knowledge, you don’t want to miss out on this book.  

Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy

The author Schumpeter is one of the main influencer of Charles Koch’s libertarian life perspective. In this book, you’ll see counter arguments to Karl Marx of why Capitalism will not collapse and be replaced by socialism. Schumpeter’s main message in this book is “creative destruction” that explains how old processes will be destroyed and replaced by new ways. 

The Ultimate Resource 2

This book is fundamentally challenging the notion that we’re running out of natural resources. If a resource is scarce, the price will increase, resulting in the ultimate resource – the human mind – and an incentive to solve the problem. Solutions include discovering, ration, recycle, or often even substitute the resource. 

Larry Page (Net Worth  - $29+ Billion)

My Inventions: The Autobiography of Nikola Tesla

Larry Page already read this book at age 12. He has said that he cried in the end because he realized that this brilliant inventor Nikola Tesla basically was a failure, simply because he couldn’t fund his research. Tesla’s struggles taught Page that all scientists must understand the business side of work, and it also spurred him to achieve a position where he personally shouldn’t be bounded by money to get his own research and inventions out to the world.  

Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!

It’s easy for Larry Page to relate with the author Richard Feynman. They’re both highly intelligent and have a curiosity that isn’t limited by boundaries. This New York time bestseller autobiography about a brilliant Nobel Prize winner is just as funny as it’s insightful about life and knowledge. 

What Do You Care What Other People Think?

21 action packed short essays experienced firsthand by Richard Feynman – undoubtedly one of the most brilliant physicists of the twentieth century. Known as one of the most well-known essays, it’s an   investigation of the Challenger space-shuttle disaster that is covered in greater detail than any documentary so far. However, this is just one of many anecdotes of a man whose love and compassion matched his intellect 

QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter

Yet another great book by Feynman, and yet again comes highly recommended by Larry Page. Feynman has a rare talent for making very complex concepts easily accessible to the public. In this book he provides a detailed and easy-to-read outline of the quantum field theory describing the interactions of light with charged particles.

Snow Crash

Just like Page, this highly praised novel is ahead of its time. The novel made to Times 100-best English language novels, and is set in the future America that exists as a patchwork of corporate-franchise city-states. Snow Crash describes a future that is bizarre enough to be plausible. 

Mark Zuckerberg (Net Worth - $35+ Billion)

The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation

You wouldn’t believe that Mark Zuckerberg of all the people would need to read this book today. The core of the book is the concept of collaboration between business and science that has proven to be extremely profitable throughout history. The Idea factory is as relevant as ever to anyone who has or will succeed in combining the two fields, just like Zuckerberg. 

The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood

It’s understandable why this book comes highly recommended by Mark Zuckerberg. While some people are cautious about the flood of information as something negative to humanity, James Gleick, sees a plethora of opportunities that are unfolding endlessly. If you are equally curious and drawn to the history and application of information, you don’t want to miss out on this book.   

Einstein: His Life and Universe

Whether a future technology genius will be nicknamed as ‘Zuckerberg’ is unknown; however, it’s obvious that the nickname “Einstein” will not go away anytime soon. In this comprehensive Einstein-biography, you can study a man who might appear theoretical, but everything else apart from that was uniquely creative. 

Physics of the Impossible

It’s seldom that you hear that physicists are great writers, but bestselling author Michio Kaku is surely the exception to the rule. This book takes the reader through predictions of the universe's physical laws that may occur in the near and distant future.

The Giving Tree

As a children’s book for all ages that will touch you with the tale of sadness, gratitude, and the cost of conditional love, The Giving Tree is both a lesson and a powerful message of the feeling all mothers experience as their children grow up and grow apart.

John Templeton (Net Worth at Death - $1+ Billion) 

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

A classic originally published in 1841, it has been republished with foreword by Templeton, and is as relevant as ever. You’ll learn about how it’s a human trait to be delusional, and why we will therefore always see bubbles in financial markets. As Templeton says himself in the foreword: “They abandon critical analysis of the investment's fundamental value. Like gamblers in a casino they play against the odds, paying inflated prices and dreaming of quick profit”. 

His Own Writing: Templeton Plan: 21 Steps to Personal Success and Real Happiness

Templeton, a gifted writer and human being, has shared his own blueprint for personal success and happiness with the rest of the world in The Templeton Plan. He lays out the twenty-one guiding principles by which he governed both his professional and personal life. His 21 steps will help readers make lasting friendships, reap significant financial rewards, and find personal satisfaction. 

His Own Writing: 16 Rules for Investment Success

Templeton is undoubtedly one of the best contrarian stock pickers in the last century. It is said about John Templeton that "he bought low during the Depression, sold high during the internet boom and made more than a few good calls in between”. Templeton is even more humble about his own performance. He rather likes to say that: "If you want to have a better performance than the crowd, you must do things differently from the crowd”.This book is free and can be downloaded through the link above.

Michael Dell (Net Worth - $22+ Billion)

The Second Machine Age

Michael Dell likes this book because the author makes a case for a future world that is better – not worse. The reason for the optimism is simple: Technology. It makes impossible things possible, and the progress is expanding exponentially. Dell thinks that it’s possible for technology to solve the greatest problems in humanity including world hunger, clean water, energy, and medical cures. 

Abundance: The Future is Better than You Think

This book made Michael Dell happy that he ditched his dream of becoming a doctor and entered the world of IT instead. With technology as the driver, Abundance outlines why we might be facing a significantly better standard of living for everyone on the planet. 

Breakpoint: Why the Web Will Implode

We are in a middle of a network revolution where it’s the quality of your network that determines your success, not the quantity. Scientist and entrepreneur Jeff Stibel takes the reader through the understanding of the human brain, and why that gives few exceptional online businesses a competitive advantage in building more effective websites, engaging social media, and monetizing effectively.

Big Bang Disruption: Strategy in the Age of Devastating Innovation

This book comes highly recommended from Michael Dell who says that “Downes and Nunes provide some very thought-provoking guidance to existing businesses about how to compete, innovate, and win in this new world of the disruptive startup”.

The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success

Few management books come with as much praise as The Outsiders. Dell says that: “Thorndike explores the importance of thoughtful capital allocation through the stories of eight successful CEOs. A good read for any business leader but especially those willing to chart their own course”. Endorsers of this book include Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger.