Unless you read the forums of the Silicon Investor in the late ’90s, you know Michael Burry from Michael Lewis’ book The Big Short.
A Medical Doctor turned investor, Michael Burry was famously one of the first to short subprime mortgages at Scion Capital.
As an M.D., he taught himself to invest through reading books.
As an active blogger, as well as a forum poster, Burry’s education is Internet history.
While The Silicon Investor forum (one of the forums he was active in) no longer exists, you can access the archives on The Way Back Machine.
When asked about Michael Burry’s Recommended Reading List, he wrote:
The Michael Burry Recommended Reading List Part # 1
To get started, I’d suggest the following four books:
If you read these books thoroughly and in that order and
never touch another book, you’ll have all you need to know.
Another book you might want to consider is Value Investing
Made Easy by Janet Lowe – a quick read. I have
a fairly extensive listing of books on my site, with my
reviews of them, and links to purchase them at amazon.
sealpoint.com (Editor’s note: Unfortunately, this site isn’t archived.)
My problem is I’ve read way too much. One book stated, “If
you’re not a voracious reader, you’ll probably never be
a great investor.” But sometimes I wish I had a more
focused knowledge base so that my investment strategy wouldn’t
get all cluttered up.
Re: Security Analysis you can get a lot of the same info
in a more accessible format elsewhere, but everyone says
that Buffett’s favorite version is the 1951 edition. Yes
there are differences, and the current version has a lot
of non-Graham like stuff in it.
Good Investing, Mike
Here’s the archived post on The Way Back Machine
Michael Burry Recommend Reading List
Here are the six books Michael Burry’s recommends in that post:
- The Intelligent Investor by Graham
- Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits by Fisher
- Why Stocks Go Up and Down By Pike
- Buffettology by Buffett and Clark
- Value Investing Made Easy by Janet Lowe
- Security Analysis by Benjamin Graham (1951 Edition)
The Michael Burry Recommended Reading List Part # 2
If you read the book The Big Short, you’ll catch that there’s one book both Jamie Mai and Michael Burry’s recommends.
That book was You Can Be A Stock Market Genius by Joel Greenblatt.
Burry’s remarks on the book, were:
“I hated the title but liked the book.”
Another book Michael Burry recommended was The Art of Short Selling by Kathryn F. Staley.
His remarks on the books included,
For the last week I’ve been carrying “The Art of Short Selling” around with me just about everywhere. Every time I get a break, I just open to a chapter. Doesn’t matter if I’ve already read it. I just read it again.
If there’s one thing that keeps hitting me in the head about that book and its cases is that there’s a lot of time to short and still come out ahead. The problem with net stocks is that they appear as if they require constant capital infusions, which makes them good shorts. But they’re getting these infusions at will. That makes now now a good time. When the capital spicket is turned off, the stocks will react downward, but won’t fully account for how bad the news is then. They’ll be terminally wounded but the price won’t reflect it. That’s when IMO you’ll be able to grab a lot of the net stocks on their way to zero. But before that, a lot of smaller companies will pitch themselves to larger companies. So the wild card is that they get taken over by a bigger, stupider, more capital-rich, company, a la Yahoo of GeoCities, which stands out as the single most characteristic action of this era. The AofSS describes this risk as the thing that keeps ss’s sweaty-palmed and awake at night. I think for good reason.
Michael Burry’s Favorite Childhood Book
The name of Michael’s first hedge fund, Scion Capital, came from a book on Michael Burry’s reading list as a 19-year old, The Scions of Shannara.
Burry retired Scion Capital in 2008.
In 2013, he started a new hedge fund, Scion Asset Management.
You can find his current holdings at GuruFocus.