6 Billionaires Who Recommend Reading Warren Buffett’s Shareholder Letter Every Year

Buffett's annual letter "hasn’t received nearly as much attention as it deserves," said Bill Gates.

Warren Buffett published his 2023 shareholders letter on Feb. 24.
Warren Buffett published his 2023 shareholder letter on Feb. 24. Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Warren Buffett’s annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A)’s shareholders is a must-read in business highly recommended by investors and entrepreneurs. The 93-year-old “Oracle of Omaha” published his 2023 shareholder letter on Feb. 24, in which he reflected on his long career in investing, how he picks stocks, and his view on unpredictable market panics.

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Prominent business and finance figures, from Bill Gates to Bill Ackman, have credited their success in part to Buffett’s insightful writing going back decades. Even Buffett himself often recommends reading his letters for those interested in understanding his investment philosophy and approach.

Here are six investors and entrepreneurs who are big fans of Buffett’s annual shareholder letter.

Charlie Munger, former vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and Buffett’s lifelong business partner 

Munger, who passed away in November 2023, often praised Buffett’s annual letters. He commended Buffett’s clarity of thought, his ability to communicate complex investment principles in simple terms, and his focus on long-term value creation.

“I really think it’s a must-read. There’s no reason why everyone shouldn’t read it,” Munger said during Berkshire Hathaway’s shareholder meeting in 2002.

“I think it’s the best letter in corporate America. We’re lucky to have it,” he said in 2013. And in 2017, he told shareholders, “There’s no other place I’d rather be than getting the Berkshire Hathaway annual report and having Warren’s letter in the middle of it. It’s educational. It’s funny. It’s instructive.”

Bill Gates, cofounder of Microsoft  

Bill Gates built his fortune from running a tech company rather than investing, but that doesn’t prevent him from becoming a close friend of Buffett. And Buffett’s annual letters are rated highly among Gates’ expansive reading list.

Warren Buffett’s new annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway’s shareholders hasn’t received nearly as much attention as it deserves,” Gates wrote in a 2015 blog post. “I wonder if that’s because financial journalists feel like they just can’t write another story about how wise Warren is. Fortunately, I don’t have any such limitation.”

Bill Ackman, founder of Pershing Square Capital Management

The billionaire hedge fund manager calls Buffett his “great professor” in investing from reading Berkshire Hathaway’s annual reports and Buffett’s annual letters going back decades.

“Most of what I’ve learned in the investment business, I’ve learned from Warren Buffett,” Ackman said in a podcast interview with Lex Fridman earlier this month. “I eventually got to the Buffett [shareholder] letters, which are an amazing read to go back to the mid 1950s and read what he wrote to his limited partners when he first started out and just follow that trajectory over a long period of time.”

Seth Klarman, founder of Baupost Group

Klarman is a prominent value investor, just like Buffett, and calls himself a student of the Oracle of Omaha. “He is, first and foremost, a teacher, a deep thinker who shares in his writings and speeches the depth, breadth, clarity, and evolution of his ideas,” Klarman wrote in an essay titled “What I’ve learned from Warren Buffet” a few years ago. 

Howard Marks, cofounder and co-chairman of Oaktree Capital

“I admire and strive to emulate his turn of phrase,” Marks said a podcast interview with David Perell last week when asked what he admired about Warren Buffett’s writing. “He said ‘it’s only when the tide goes out that we find out who’s been swimming naked.’ What a great image!”

Marks is also known for his own insightful memos to clients. In his memo last year, he recalled wisdom shared in Buffett’s shareholder letter that year: “I believe the ingredients of Warren’s and Charlie’s great performance are simple: (a) a lot of investments in which they did decently, (b) a relatively small number of big winners that they invested in heavily and held for decades, and (c) relatively few big losers.”

Mohnish Pabrai, founder of Pabrai Investment Funds

Pabrai is a loyal follower of Buffett’s value investing philosophy. In his book, The Dhandho Investor, Pabrai called Buffett’s annual letters “a treasure trove of wisdom.”

He jokingly calls himself an “unabashed imitator,” drawing from the wisdom of Buffett and Munger. “Every aspect of my life is a clone… I possess no unique ideas,” he said in an interview with Quartr last year.

6 Billionaires Who Recommend Reading Warren Buffett’s Shareholder Letter Every Year