- Paperback: 262 pages
- Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; Revised and Updates Edition edition (9 April 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0470820780
- ISBN-13: 978-0470820780
- Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15 x 2.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 479,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Investors and Managers, Revised Edition Paperback – 9 Apr 2002
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Buffett, the Bard of Omaha, is a genuine American folk hero, if folk heroes are allowed to build fortunes worth upward of $15 billion. He's great at homespun metaphor, but behind those catchy phrases is a reservoir of financial acumen that's generally considered the best of his generation. For example, in an essay on CEO stock options, he writes, "Negotiating with one's self seldom produces a barroom brawl." This is his way of saying that an executive who can give himself compensation totally disproportionate to his performance surely will. There are uncountable gems of financial wisdom to be harvested from these essays, taken from the annual reports he writes for Berkshire Hathaway, his holding company. Just to pick one more, here's a now-famous line about those he competes with when making stock-market investments: "What could be more advantageous in an intellectual contest--whether it be chess, bridge, or stock selection--than to have opponents who have been taught that thinking is a waste of energy?"
While Buffett has a policy of seldom commenting on stocks he owns--he feels public pronouncements will only lead to the public's expectation of more public pronouncements, and he likes to keep his cards close to his vest--he loves to discuss the principles behind his investments. These come primarily from Ben Graham, under whom Buffett studied at Columbia University and for whom he worked in the 1950s. First among them is the idea that price is what you pay and value is what you get--and if you're a smart investor, the first will always be less than the second. In that sense, the value of the lessons learned from Buffett's Essays could be far greater than the book's price. --Lou Schuler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"...a fascinating compilation of the philosophies and at time humorous observations of one of the world′s most successful investors. A business classic." (Lloyd′s List, 10 May 2002)See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Buffett comes across as the most genial, honest and no-nonsense guy in the financial world. He also has a wonderfully impish sense of humour and had me chuckling out loud (and then trying in vain to explain the joke to my girlfriend...) The only bits where he slightly lost me was when comparing investing with baseball, but I think I got the gist of it. Anyway, Buffett writes as clearly as he thinks and is as modest and self-deprecating as he is authoritative. He treats his readers like the investors they are, so this is not an "entry level" book and it might be a struggle if you don't know the difference between a fixed asset and a preference share, but otherwise it is a book that you won't regret buying.
I can't recommend it highly enough.
The undertitle of this book says that Buffett's observations also contain lessons to managers of corporations. I think this is correct; the book is a must read for both investors and managers.
I always enjoy watching those that enjoy being critical of Mr. Buffet. Their charges are absurd, ranging from he never changes his methods, or he did not buy into the technology sector. The year 2000 will be remembered for many things but the amount of money lost in the tech sector will always remain the stuff of which legend is made.
Mr. Buffet did in fact embrace technology as he saw fit, and last year the stock of his company went up by 14.4%. That is a number shared by other companies; however it is closer to what they are worth today as compared to one year ago if they are still alive and limping. We have embraced the 21st century by entering such cutting-edge industries as brick, carpet, insulation and paint, Buffett told his Berkshire Hathaway shareholders this year. "Try to control your excitement." More exciting is the holding's company's stock price in the last year, up 14.4%. Stings a bit to the nay sayers I would think.
The real treat for investors is that Mr. Lawrence A. Cunningham has earned the respect of Mr. Buffet and Mr. Munger unlike others who report from afar. In this his, "First Revised Edition", Mr.Read more ›
Some of the chapters, e.g. "An Owner-Based Approach to Corporate Charity", "Berkshire's Recapitalization", "Distribution of the Corporate Tax Burden", etc were not of any interest to me. Excluding such chapters, this slim volume would be even slimmer. However, the book is worth it just for the remainder.
His basic investment goal is simple: He tries to buy businesses that he can understand that have favourable, long-term prospects and are operated by honest and competent people at an attractive price. This is easier said than done, but there is some guidance in his essays as to how he does this.
Some examples of his way with words, taken at random from the first few pages:
"At too many companies, the boss shoots the arrow of managerial performance and then hastily paints the bullseye around the spot where it lands."
"A horse that can count to ten is a remarkable horse - not a remarkable mathematician."
"Should you find yourself in a chronically-leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Warren Buffett's insights are invaluable in any context, so this is no exception, hence the high rating. Here are essentially what seems to be some pretty old letters (1980s? Read morePublished on 8 Nov. 2008 by Ms. J. Francis
Too many books contain the word Buffett in their title but only this book comes from the annual letters to shareholders. Read morePublished on 4 Mar. 2008 by De Salvo Domenico
This book tells about company strategy of Berkshire Hathaway and the history of it. Very boring, nothing interesting to learn and badly written. Read morePublished on 30 Jan. 2008 by D. Giediminas
This is such a good read, I can't recommend it enough. It has short punchy chapters and is full of Warren Buffetts wit and expertise. Read morePublished on 26 Jan. 2007 by Spider Monkey
Ok, I'm not giving this 1 star because I think Buffett's shareholders letter are no good. It gets one star because the editing takes so much away from the letters. Read morePublished on 9 Jun. 2003 by Amazon Customer