The most impressive characteristic about Dr. Burry was that he was young. He had no professional finance experience, and yet he was impeccable. Burry read a lot and was well versed in any subject matter within finance. Experience is incredibly important, IMO, but one way to make up for the lack of experience is to read a lot. Reading about historical financial and economic events can help bridge the gap in one’s thought process. While I recommend the books below, I have sought out, and I urge anyone reading this as well, to seek out more books to read. I’m no Mike Burry nor do I possess the skill, focus, or analytical prowess he does, but what I do know is that knowledge never hurt anyone.
BTW, I think it is ridiculous to say that one must lose nearly all one’s money to have gained experience. I don’t recall Buffett losing all his money at any given point. And I don’t see where 30 years experience is any better than 5 years; the person matters much more. – (Michael Burry, Silicon Investor)
- Khan Academy – Economics (Just the Micro and Macroeconomics)
- The best way to learn Econ is to keep up with current events and read about historicals. I’m still learning and reading and will add more to this list as I go through more relevant texts on the subject.
- Take a Financial accounting course or read a book on it.
- Professor Damodaran’s Corporate Finance & Valuation Courses (Free on Youtube and iTunes). His website is also phenomenal.
- Professor Damodaran teaches Valuation and Corporate Finance at New York University, a highly regarded Business School, and he offers the course at no cost online!
- Why Stocks go up and down – Bill Pike
- Mr. Pike uses a hypothetical business to take the reader through a company from start-up to IPO. Its subtitle is “The Book You Need to Understand Other Investment Books,” and it is rightfully so. It was the second book I read after the Intelligent Investor per Michael Burry’s recommendation.
- The Intelligent Investor and Security Analysis – Benjamin Graham
- The Intelligent Investor and Security Analysis are classics every value investor has read. They are Buffet’s favorite books on investing.
- The New Buffettology – Mary Buffett & David Clark
- Mary Buffett is Warren Buffett’s ex-daughter-in-law. The book is phenomenal from an investing philosophy perspective and gives you some insight into the Oracle. Highly potent but easy to comprehend. This is one of my favorites.
- Financial Shenanigans – Howard Schilit
- This should be renamed The Little Book of How to Avoid Investing Landmines. It is amazing how far management teams will go to stretch the books and Financial Shenanigans dives into virtually every way management can do so (with historical real-world examples) hence the name, Financial shenanigans.
- The Art of Short Selling – Kathryn Staley
- The Art of Short Selling is another one of my favorites. It is similar to Financial Shenanigans, except that it focuses more on real world examples. Even if you don’t plan on shorting stocks, avoiding stocks that short sellers target will significantly improve your investment performance.
- Competitive Strategy – Michael Porter
- I call this the ‘Common sense’ book because.. you just have to read it to understand. You can learn directly from a distinguished professor about business strategy and industry analysis.
- Deep Value – Why Activist Investors and Other Contrarians Battle for Losing Corporations – Tobias Carlisle
- Tobias takes his readers through the performance of various quantitative investing strategies. What becomes apparent is that unconventionality outperforms, and asset prices revert to the mean over the long run.
- Michael Burry’s old writings and letter to investors. They are all over the web, but I have them in the cloud. Contact me if you want a link to download them all. His theses are particularly useful because you get to see how he thinks.
- Warren Buffett’s Partnership and Berkshire Hathaway Letters. The words of wisdom from the greatest investor of all time are infallible.
Note: Books 5, 9, 10,11, and 12 can be found as pdfs online for free. Feel free to contact me if you want more books recs or if you want to recommend a book you’ve read!