Some of the world’s highest achievers have one thing in common: it isn’t a high IQ, nor is it an incredible lucky streak, but their appreciation for reading. Books were their most profitable investment.

by Sandra Wu

Two teenage boys found employment at a grocery store in Omaha, Nebraska. The older boy, from a poor family devastated by the Great Depression, bred and sold hamsters for spare change. The younger boy, grandson of the store owner, had been delaying college and working odd jobs, like selling chewing gum and coke bottles door to door. Back then, each boy made about $2 a day. Just a few decades later, they’d be raking in $20 billion in profit per year with their conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway. Who were these boys? None other than Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett.

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