Warren Buffett’s name is synonymous with investing success. The billionaire investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO has amassed over $115 billion in net worth through savvy deals, investments, and acquisitions. So, how does Buffett consistently make such intelligent financial decisions? His secret is simple – Buffett utilizes an extensive daily reading habit. He spends 5-6 hours daily consuming material to expand his knowledge.
“I just read and read and read. I probably read five to six hours a day. I don’t read as fast now as when I was younger, but I read five daily newspapers. I read a fair number of magazines. I read 10Ks. I read annual reports, and I read a lot of other things, too. So, I’ve always enjoyed reading. I love reading biographies, for example.” – Warren Buffett.
So Buffett says he reads around 5-6 hours daily, including newspapers, magazines, 10Ks, annual reports, and biographies.
The Omaha World-Herald reported:
“Eventually finding and reading productive material became second nature [to Buffett], a habit. As he began his investing career, he would read even more, hitting 600, 750, even 1,000 pages a day.”
For Buffett, reading is priority number one. While most executives focus on networking or analyzing financials, Buffett dedicates the majority of his workday to reading. His voracious reading gives him an advantage by supplying him with vast information to explore deals and opportunities. Over decades, Buffett’s commitment to daily reading has fueled his legendary investing prowess.
Warren Buffett’s Massive Daily Reading Habit
Warren Buffett is renowned for his massive daily reading habit. He spends at minimum 5-6 hours daily profoundly immersed in reading various material. For Buffett, constant reading is priority number one.
Buffett views reading as one of the most essential activities for his success. He has said he spends as much as 80% of his workdays reading and learning. This is almost unheard of among significant company executives.
While most people struggle to find just 30 minutes a day to read, Buffett dedicates the majority of his work time to reading and knowledge accumulation. His extreme focus on tasks has paid off, considering the growth of his wealth and the success of his company Berkshire Hathaway.
Buffett Reads For Hours Every Single Day
Buffett spends hour after hour daily with his nose buried in books, newspapers, magazines, reports, and more. Even at over 93 years old, he still maintains much of his voracious reading habit but he has slowed as he has aged.
For Buffett, reading is like oxygen – crucial for his survival and success. He has structured his entire lifestyle around maximizing time for reading and learning. There are no excuses for falling behind on reading with Buffett’s regimen.
Some people claim they are “too busy” to read consistently. But one of the busiest businessmen and investors in the world still carves out significant reading time every day. It is one of Buffett’s non-negotiable daily habits.
Newspapers, Magazines, Books – Buffett Reads It All
What exactly does Warren Buffett spend all those hours diligently reading? His daily reading list includes the following:
- Five different newspapers
- Hundreds of pages of magazines
- Entire books including biographies
- Annual reports from companies
- Corporate documents like 10-Ks
He takes in an incredibly diverse range of reading material every day. Buffett allows himself to read more than just financial and business content. He absorbs magazines across genres, various non-fiction books, biographies, and more.
For Buffett, all valuable knowledge is worth accumulating. He is a learning machine – consuming as much high-quality information as he can get his hands on. This builds the strong base of knowledge that enables his investing success.
Buffett’s Advice: Read 500 Pages Per Day
When asked directly about his reading habits, Buffett said:
“Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.”
While 500 pages per day is an extremely tall order, the underlying principle remains true. Consistent daily reading, even just 30-60 minutes, can add up over months and years to build an enormously solid knowledge base.
For Buffett, investing time in reading provides one of the highest returns of any activity. Even an hour a day can pay off exponentially in the long run.
Reading Builds Knowledge Like Compound Interest
Buffett loves analogies to compound interest and believes reading works the same way. The knowledge you gain from reading builds up incrementally day after day.
Reading leads to small daily knowledge gains. But when compounded over months and years, those small daily gains translate into significant personal improvements.
With decades of consistent reading, Buffett has accumulated vast knowledge of business, finance, economics, history, and more. He now uses this knowledge to make intelligent investments and critical management decisions.
In Buffett’s own words: “I read and think. So, I do more reading and thinking and make fewer impulse decisions than most people in business. I do it because I like this kind of life.”
Buffett Reads Facts, Not Opinions of Others
Buffett does not read to absorb other people’s opinions and predictions. As he says:
“We don’t read other people’s opinions. We want to get the facts and then think.”
Buffett reads specifically to gather key facts and data for analyzing himself. He wants raw information free of someone else’s slant or bias.
Buffett advises maintaining an open but skeptical mind while reading. You should be hungry for facts, but be careful of opinions until you can determine their validity.
Charlie Munger’s Hour-a-Day Reading Rule
Buffett’s business partner and Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Charlie Munger, also adopted a simple yet powerful reading rule. He set aside one hour every morning just for focused reading and learning.
Munger treated this hour a day as an investment in himself. He protected the time and used it to improve his knowledge and skills rather than letting it get eaten up by distractions.
Charlie Munger, as a very young lawyer, was probably getting $20 an hour. He thought to himself, “Who’s my most valuable client?” And he decided it was himself. So he decided to sell himself an hour each day.”
This is an excellent mindset that anyone can adopt. Treat yourself as your most important client and invest in yourself daily through consistent reading.
Reading Helps You Make Better Business Decisions
Buffett’s extreme reading habits have paid off in the form of brilliant investing and management decisions over the decades.
But why does Buffett read so much in the first place? He says it’s simple – to gather the knowledge necessary to make intelligent decisions. This reading gives him the foundational information to analyze business deals and make sound investments.
In investing and trading, you first need to have the right data and analytics before you can even begin to think about the right decision to make.
First Read, Then Take Action
While reading itself is crucial, you can’t stop there. Putting what you learn into action through thoughtful decisions and hard work is essential. Knowledge alone will not make you successful.
Of course, reading is only the first step; you still have to put what you learn into action through making the right decisions and doing the work necessary to reach your goals. To achieve success, you need to combine reading with proper application of the knowledge.
So, read first to gather knowledge, then put that knowledge to work.
Access to Information is No Excuse Not to Read
In today’s digital age, easy access to information is not an excuse for failing to read. Between the internet and e-readers, valuable and educational reading material is more accessible now than ever.
Despite a busy schedule, anyone can find at least 30 minutes daily to invest in reading. With a wealth of reading material available at little to no cost, there is no reason not to prioritize consistent learning.
In our time of easy access to Google and Kindle, good reading material has never been more quickly or easily available for free or at a meager cost. There is no excuse for not being able to learn anything you want when you have an internet connection and spend the time and energy to educate yourself.
Minor Daily Improvements Add Up Over Time
Reading every single day leads to small daily knowledge gains. But when compounded over months and years, those tiny gains translate into significant personal advancement.
Buffett emphasizes making minor, incremental improvements each day through consistent learning. Over decades, those incremental gains can add up to extraordinary knowledge and skill levels.
That is why the “Buffett Formula” for success is to learn a little more every day – go to bed each night a little smarter than when you woke up.
Reading is Key to Buffett’s Investing Success
When summing up his success, Buffett directly credits the huge role reading has played in his journey. The simple act of consistently reading daily is one of Warren Buffett’s holy grails for investing success.
Buffett views reading as a vital factor differentiating him from other investors and businessmen. His commitment to daily reading has fueled his legendary investing prowess.
For Buffett, reading is not just a hobby or an intellectual exercise – it is the foundation on which he has built his fortune over decades.
- Commit to reading widely every single day. Consistency is critical – make reading a non-negotiable daily habit.
- Read diverse material, including books, newspapers, magazines, and reports. Variety expands your knowledge base.
- Aim for at least 30-60 minutes of reading per day. The hours will compound over time into a knowledge fortune.
- Read primary sources to gather facts and data to analyze yourself. Avoid relying solely on others’ interpretations.
- Schedule time to invest in yourself. Treat learning like your most valuable task.
- Apply your knowledge through thoughtful decisions and diligent effort. Reading alone is not enough.
- Make small, incremental gains each day. Let tiny daily improvements compound over time.
- View reading as the gateway to intelligence. Use it as the fuel for your future success.
Buffett’s formula is to regularly devote time to reading, absorb information like a sponge, filter out noise to focus on key facts, and utilize his expanding knowledge to make intelligent choices. With decades of discipline, Buffett has leveraged reading to become one of the wisest and most successful investors in history. We can all apply pieces of his routine by simply picking up a book for 30 minutes a day – over a lifetime; the benefits will be immense.
Warren Buffett’s secret is simple – read, read, read. Consume as much high-quality information as possible across a broad range of topics. Buffett has built his empire through shrewd investing and the vast knowledge accumulated over decades of voracious reading.