Whitney Tilson recommends3 min read

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The investor Whitney Tilson recommends

“Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert B. Cialdini

– Whitney Tilson

Also recommended by Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger

A book that’s earned its spot on the New York Times bestseller book list, Cialdini has concentrated over 30 years of research into how and why people respond with a “yes” instead of a no. Forbes magazine hailed Cialdini’s work on their favorite “75 Smartest” business books list, with its explanation of how people feel obligated to return favors (reciprocity) and why commitment is so powerful. Charlie Munger, the co-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and leader of Wesco Financial, also has a copy on his favorite reading list as one of the top three business books necessary for negotiation success.

  “Common Stocks andUncommon Profits and Other Writings” by Philip A. Fisher

– Whitney Tilson

Also recommended by Warren Buffett

Another on the must-read Warren Buffet book list, Philip Fisher has been quoted as even more influential than Benjamin Graham on the reading of the Oracle of Omaha. Fisher, like some other success icons, dropped out of a prestigious university (Stanford) to venture into the world of capitalism. Impressively, he had entered Stanford at age 15, and qualified for the graduate program only a few years later. Fisher lived his long-term advice on retaining stocks for years instead of months, holding Motorola stock for almost 50 years. Like Graham, Fisher advised extensive company research before buying, though he classed water-cooler chat (or “scuttlebutt”) as information.

 “Poor Charlie’s Almanack:The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger” by Peter D. Kaufman

– Whitney Tilson

Also recommended by Warren Buffett, Bill Ackman

Kaufman’s editorial tribute to Warren Buffet’s businesspartner and Costco director, billionaire Charlie Munger, underlines Munger’sfocus on lasting character traits and the importance of behavioral psychology.Since Munger believed in the importance of knowledge in a Renaissance-likearray of knowledge via extensive reading lists, Kaufman’s book displays avariety of ways to know Charlie. The biography shows Charlie’s personalbackground and experiences, the quotes show Charlie’s concentrated wisdom, andCharlie’s own words stand out in ten transcripts of his speeches.

“Security Analysis”by Benjamin Graham

Also recommended by Warren Buffett, Bill Ackman, Jamie Dimon

The logic of buying undervalued securities is laid bare in this 1930’s classic. It has ended up on a JP Morgan summer reading list for private bankers, while the real-life examples make this book accessible to more experienced individual investors. Other topics covered include the importance of dividends and diversity within the portfolio. Though this book is most known for being on the favorite list of Warren Buffet, who called it his “Bible”, it has also shown up on the favorite reading list of investments author Whitney Tilson, and billionaire Bill Ackman.

The IntelligentInvestor” by Benjamin Graham

– Whitney Tilson

Also recommended by Warren Buffett, Bill Ackman, Jamie Dimon, Kevin Rose

If investors are intimidated by Graham’s prior groundbreaking work, “Security Analysis”, this book makes a good introduction to the difference between making investments and capitalizing on speculation – a risky business. Another favorite book of Warren Buffet’s (who wrote the introduction), it covers emotional decision-making versus rational analysis of markets and their fluctuations. Forbes magazine author Jason Zweig also counts it at the top of his favorite book list, calling it “prophetic”. Graham’s own history as a survivor of the Great Depression stock crash, and master of detailed company research yielding 14% annual returns, qualifies him to mentor others down the investment path.

“You Can Be a Stock MarketGenius” by Joel Greenblatt

– Whitney Tilson

Also recommended by Bill Ackman, David Einhorn

Though the title may sound a bit far-fetched, Greenblatt asserts that the stock-picking individual does have distinct advantages over the professional. Without the pressure of quarterly returns, and without the distractions of making a living on educated guesses (especially spin-offs), Greenblatt asserts the ability of the little man over the master of the impressive portfolio. This work is a welcome addition to the reading lists of personal investors (and Columbia Business School students), a note of hope in a discouraging and confusing world of savvy (and sometimes criminal) investment schemes.

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