The Little Book That Builds Wealth: The Knockout Formula for Finding Great Investments


"The Little Book That Builds Wealth provides a sensible framework for identifying companies that can sustain high returns on capital. Pat Dorsey tells the reader how to look for durable competitive advantage in choosing equities. His four sources of structural competitive advantage: (1) intangible assets; (2) switching costs; (3) network effect; and (4) cost advantage are particularly valuable in selecting long-term equity commitments."
—Louis A. Simpson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Capital Operations, GEICO Corporation

"Pat Dorsey provides a practical framework for integrating the realities of a changing future into today's investment decisions. A little art and a little science—key ingredients to successful long-term investing."
—Larry D. Coats, Chief Executive Officer, Oak Value Capital Management, Inc.

"Spend two evenings reading Pat Dorsey's The Little Book and you'll cast away all the techniques that failed for you in the past. This is the definitive text on how to identify strong-performing businesses for your portfolio and, more importantly, how to avoid thousands of investments that won't stand the test of time. It's must reading for every investor."
—Timothy P. Vick, Senior Portfolio Manager, The Sanibel Captiva Trust Co., and author of How to Pick Stocks Like Warren Buffett

Pat Dorsey, CFA, is Director of Equity Research at Morningstar, Inc. He played an integral part in the development of the Morningstar Rating for stocks, as well as Morningstar's economic moat ratings. Dorsey is also the author of The Five Rules for Successful Stock Investing: Morningstar's Guide to Building Wealth and Winning in the Market (Wiley). He holds a master's degree in political science from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in government from Wesleyan University. Please visit


Introduction. The Game Plan.

Chapter 1. Economic Moats.

Chapter 2. Mistaken Moats

Chapter 3. Intangible Assets

Chapter 4. Switching Costs.

Chapter 5. The Network Effect.

Chapter 6. Cost Advantages.

Chapter 7. The Size Advantage.

Chapter 8. Eroding Moats.

Chapter 9. Finding Moats.

Chapter 10. The Big Boss.

Chapter 11. Where The Rubber Meets The Road.

Chapter 12. What's A Moat Worth.

Chapter 13. Tools For Valuation.

Chapter 14. When To Sell.

Conclusion. More Than Numbers.