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Warren Buffett writes with wit, wisdom and charm. He enjoys working with people he likes and he seeks out managers who have integrity and who run his businesses as if they were their own. The annual reports for Berkshire Hathaway could be somewhat dry and dull, but he enlivens them with some amusing asides - in one place he uses 'inexpensive lawyers' and 'lady mud-wrestlers' as examples of oxymorons. He is forthright in his denunciation of 'creative' accounting - the kind of accounting that led to the demise of Enron. In his opinion, a company's accounts should give a true reflection of the company's financial affairs and not inflate the earnings in order to give the executives obscenely large bonuses. But there are some subjects that even Warren Buffett cannot make entertaining - such as corporate taxation.
This is an important book that tells us more about the man Buffett than about the nuts and bolts of value investing. As such it is worth reading. Larry Cunningham has done a priceless job in putting together Buffett's thoughts in a thematic way. But I believe he could have done a better job by cutting out a lot of the repetition and by putting the dates of the writing in the text rather than in tiny footnotes. It makes a considerable difference to the reader to know if Buffett is writing in 1982 or 2010 since many important events - such as the Dot.com bubble and the fall of Lehman Brothers - occurred during that time span and the context is all important.
Although this book provides vital information about Warren Buffett, I'm afraid by the end I found it rather tedious. It could have been so much more inspiring. Perhaps a rewrite is in order with a tougher editor.
If you read this book irregardless of experience you will learn something. Warrens common sense approach and attitude towards investing really shines through and would give anyone a huge insight into becoming a great investor. However if you've never traded or read any books on the subjects this is not the place to start.
I'm a big fan of Buffet but this was purchased with someone wanting a lighter read on holiday. I must admit, as someone who doesn't work or have a degree in finance I did get a little confused with the technical side in a few chapters and found myself ocassionally lost whist reading. Some of the chapter were easy for me to digest and gave me a good insight into Buffets world. I'm not sure I'll be able to afford Berkshire shares this decade but if anything this book has made me want to work that little bit harder!
I bought this to try to learn a bit more about finance and the stock market. Pleasantly surprised by the clear and simple writing style of Mr Buffett. Towards the end it definitely starts to feel as if you are reading a series of distinct excerpts from business reports (which this book really is) but early on there is actually a good consistent flow to the selected reports. Definitely improved my understanding of business and finance.
This is a great gentle read through the thoughts of Mr Buffet as given to Berkshire's shareholders. There is a lot of insight into how to judge the performance of Companies, and how to act as an investor rather than an executive. I found it both entertaining and thought provoking.