* Updated for Summer 2020
Most people probably wouldn’t consider Bill Gates a value investor.
After all, Microsoft was basically the poster child for the tech boom of the 1990s – a boom that Warren Buffett famously did not participate in – and the company continues to be considered a “growth” stock today.
But I’d have to disagree.
Bill Gates might not be picking stocks, but he still thinks and acts a lot like a value investor. At the very least, he has more than a few things in common with Warren Buffett. Here are a few examples:
- Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are very close friends, and the two often play bridge together.
- Gates sits on the Board of Berkshire Hathaway and Berkshire is the largest holding in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation portfolio.
- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s portfolio is managed by a guy called Michael Larson. Larson is a buy-and-hold value investor, with a strategy similar to Buffett’s. Since Larson started working for Gates in 1994, the billionaire’s net worth has increased from $5 billion to $80 billion.
- And, just like Warren Buffett (who reads 500 pages a day now and used to read 1,000 pages a day when he first started his career) and Charlie Munger (whose secret is to “go to bed smarter than when you woke up“), Bill Gates is a voracious reader and reads over 50 books a year.
So, if you’re looking for some good books to read this summer and want to expand your knowledge, here are 5 books that Bill Gates is recommending for 2020:
by Dr. Edith Eva Eger
Gates: This book is partly a memoir and partly a guide to processing trauma. Eger was only sixteen years old when she and her family got sent to Auschwitz. After surviving unbelievable horrors, she moved to the United States and became a therapist. Her unique background gives her amazing insight, and I think many people will find comfort right now from her suggestions on how to handle difficult situations.
by David Mitchell
Gates: This is the kind of novel you’ll think and talk about for a long time after you finish it. The plot is a bit hard to explain, because it involves six inter-related stories that take place centuries apart (including one I particularly loved about a young American doctor on a sailing ship in the South Pacific in the mid-1800s). But if you’re in the mood for a really compelling tale about the best and worst of humanity, I think you’ll find yourself as engrossed in it as I was.
by Robert Iger
Gates: This is one of the best business books I’ve read in several years. Iger does a terrific job explaining what it’s really like to be the CEO of a large company. Whether you’re looking for business insights or just an entertaining read, I think anyone would enjoy his stories about overseeing Disney during one of the most transformative times in its history.
by John M. Barry
Gates: We’re living through an unprecedented time right now. But if you’re looking for a historical comparison, the 1918 influenza pandemic is as close as you’re going to get. Barry will teach you almost everything you need to know about one of the deadliest outbreaks in human history. Even though 1918 was a very different time from today, The Great Influenza is a good reminder that we’re still dealing with many of the same challenges.
by Paul Collier
Gates: Banerjee and Duflo won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences last year, and they’re two of the smartest economists working today. Fortunately for us, they’re also very good at making economics accessible to the average person. Their newest book takes on inequality and political divisions by focusing on policy debates that are at the forefront in wealthy countries like the United States.
If you’re interested in books, you should check out our free E-book on how to value invest like the professionals.
Have you read any of these books? If so, let us know what you think in the comments section!