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Buffett: The Biography (Duckworth) Paperback – 11 Sep 2008
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Other books have been written about Warren Buffett and his investment strategy ... this is the one to read --Bill Gates
The bonus of this fine, fine biography is that it could turn you into an investor if you're not already, or a better one if you are --Andrew Tobias, author of 'The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need'
The best book by far on this legendary character --Business Week
About the Author
Roger Lowenstein, reported for The Wall Street Journal for more than a decade, and wrote the Journal's stock market column 'Heard on the Street' from 1989 to 1991 and the 'Intrinsic Value' column from 1995 to 1997. He now writes a column in Smart Money magazine, and has written for The New York Times and The New Republic, among other publications. He has three children and lives in Westfield, New Jersey.
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I took a bit of time deciding on whether to read the longer and, if you can believe the reviews, more boring authorised biography Snowball. My other options were the shareholders letters books which are supposed to illuminate the man writing them or just working my way though the originals on the Berkshire Hathaway website.
I fund this book very interesting on a recent holiday. The detail presented starts with his childhood and progresses through the many highlights, and a few lows, of his life. Pretty much what you'd expect from a biography. It doesn't contain too much investment theory or analysis so it's good if you're looking for the personal information. I liked the way it included differing views of Buffett - I was worried that it would turn into a prolonged sycophantic trawl. There was a fair amount of congecture and pop-psychology towards the end that I could have done without.
Overall I would recommend it to someone with similar interests to mine but it may not be the only text I end up reading about him. A great all-round summary of Buffett's life
This book offers a very decent and detailed overview of Buffett's biography. Over 500 pages of nicely presented data from the life of the great investor, some of which you will certainly find rather surprising. I have heard of people paying thousands of dollars to lunch with Buffett (which, apart from being rather funny reveals a less known face of Mr B - the money from the auction went to charity as did most of his private money) so investing a few quid (and a few evenings, it takes time to get through this bulky volume) sounds like a fairly reasonable investment in times when reasonable investmens seem few and far between.
Written in the conventional style of a biography, this combines in about equal measure personal observations and a description of Buffett's investments and technique. Indeed, both are complementary, and the author makes the point well that one needs to know Buffett the man to understand his business success. This is moreover accessible to the complete layman, and though the more financially literate might have liked more detail on the exact structure of the Buffett partnership, for example, or on some of Buffett's investments and their individual performance, the book should appeal to anyone interested in the guru's investing principles. There are numerous Buffett quotes, moreover, themselves easily complemented by a look at the Berkshire Hathaway annual reports, all available online. And while Lowenstein's style is not particularly literary, this has its good moments, for example Buffett's 1991 rescue of Salomon Brothers. Buffett has been, or is, an extraordinary character, and his life is well worth reading about. For anyone with an interest in investing, it is also of essential relevance.
One note on the Kindle edition. I am generally appalled at the poorness of online publishing, but this really beats anything I have seen so far. The book's electronic version has typos everywhere. Paragraph tabs are constantly missing. The quotes are all over the place. For one full chapter, the same phrase 'she had a broken wrist' is repeat in front of every footnote after the one where it belonged, etc.. This looks as though it was put together, in Word, by a not particularly attentive first-year college kid. What does it take to re-read Kindle books before they are published? Five stars to Lowenstein, one star to Amazon for its Kindle version.
This book gives a very in depth look at the man himself and the works of his mind, for anyone interested in wallstreet or anyone in general this book is a very good read.
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