101 Reasons to Own the World's Greatest Investment: Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway

101 Reasons to Own the World's Greatest Investment: Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway

Posted by jack_miller | Published 7 months ago



With 14 ratings

By: Robert P. Miles

Purchased At: $23.95

Discover why the model-investment-firm-turned-household-word is the perfect investment--for virtually anyone
Robert Miles is a successful entrepreneur, business owner, and investor who believes that everyone can be a smarter investor regardless of background, education, and income. In fact Miles says that one investment is ideal for virtually everyone to own--Berkshire-Hathaway. Miles has attended the annual shareholders meeting for years, has met Warren Buffett, and is considered a company "insider" and Berkshire-Hathaway expert. In 101 Reasons to Own the World's Greatest Investment, Miles offers his insights into what makes Berkshire-Hathaway so profitable and why shareholders get such value for owning the stock. Among his explanations: Berkshire-Hathaway is run sensibly and frugally by Buffett--there are no lavish corporate head-quarters or extravagant spending by company executives. The company invests in companies it determines will produce steady profits for the shareholders rather than those companies with a history of erratic performance. This accessible, well-researched look at the leading company's investment strategy has received an "unofficial" endorsement by Buffett himself.
Robert P. Miles (Tampa, FL) is an entrepreneur and owns a small business. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan Business School, has been an active shareholder of Berkshire-Hathaway for a number of years, and is frequently asked to speak to other investor groups about Buffett.
I first read this book (not knowing at the time that it would be a book) as a series of email articles on the Motley Fool online discussion group. At the time, I appreciated Miles' energy in writing such a long series of articles. Then, as now, occasional thought-provoking nuggets appear within the general background of evangelical enthusiasm. However, there are better books about Berkshire and Buffett.
Spoiling what might have been decent book is the atrocious editing by the publisher, John Wiley. I do not remember ever having read a book that was this poorly edited. While we forgive the mistakes in emails, there is no excuse for a published book to appear with the same sloppiness. Many sentences in the book have to be read repeatedly to decipher what the author is trying to saying.
Like the original email source, Miles holds to a very colloquial style of writing. The problem is that it requires a great amount of effort by the reader to understand what Miles is saying. Commas are randomly strewn among rambling sentences. No apparent effort is made to improve the readability of sentences. Negligence abounds in style and grammar. This book is insulting to the reader, and an embarrassment to Warren Buffett. Don't major publishing houses have grammar checkers (human or otherwise)?
Miles is a businessman with some good opinions and no talent for writing. I do not hold that against him. The mystery is why a prestigious publisher would release a book that had not been edited? Wiley should be embarrassed to be associated with a book of this quality.

- zendaya_foster

This is a compilation of a series of articles ( think technical blog) written by the author building a case to invest in Berkshire Hathaway. Certainly a compelling read of all the good reasons to invest in this company and why this company continues to be a value investment.

- brenna_sanders

The shelves are full of books that are aimed at helping you learn how to invest like Warren Buffett does. I generally find those books to be a waste of time. If you want to invest like Warren Buffett, why not simply buy Berkshire Hathaway's stock? Well, this book takes the positive side of that perspective. In the process, you can learn much more about how Mr. Buffett has invested for himself and others at Berkshire Hathaway. Where most books about Mr. Buffett's work are overly simple and general, this one captures many fine subtleties. The book's main weakness is that Mr. Miles is not open to seeing the vulnerabilities for the future in Mr. Buffett's approach.
This book had an interesting genesis. It started as posts by Mr. Miles on the Motley Fool bulletin boards. I suspect that we will see more examples of this kind of authorship in the future, and think that it is a good idea. Authors get feedback on-line about their ideas, and can create a market for the book at the same time. Very nicely done!
The book contains literally 101 arguments in favor of buying and holding Berkshire Hathaway stock. I suspect that there was a target number set, because some of the arguments repeat each other. The appendix is very valuable in providing more fundamental perspectives on buying stocks for a new investor.
Space limits me from praising or critiquing each concept, so I will just focus on a few points. In doing this, though, you should realize that there is a lot of very solid and valuable material here.
First, just for the record, let me note that there are CEOs whose stocks have outperformed Mr. Buffett's record in the last 10 years. These are concentrated in the high technology and service business areas. I suspect that there will be more and more of these in years to come. My studies of the most successful CEOs show that these success rates are improving. Where Mr. Buffett was once near the top of the list, he increasingly is falling in the rankings. This is primarily due to his focus on avoiding technology investments. Those have been and will be the driving force of economic growth, and it's tougher to grow fast if you stick to the sidelines. As Mr. Miles points out, this avoidance does have advantages -- your stock is not as volatile on the downside (as we have seen in the last year or so).
Second, you will find it helpful to compare this book to John Bogle's excellent book, Common Sense About Mutual Funds, which makes the case for indexed fund investing. In many ways, Mr. Buffett outdoes the index funds -- by having lower management fees, less stock turnover, and fewer taxes incurred.
Third, Mr. Miles is in denial about that fact that Mr. Buffett is a man in his 70s. You will not be able to invest with Mr. Buffett after he is no longer active as CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. While no one knows when that will happen, and no one wishes it to happen, it will happen regardless. Mr. Miles treats this like it could be the best thing that ever happened to the company. I would have liked to have seen more discussion about the downside risk. Avoiding risk and losses, after all, is what Mr. Buffett's approach is all about. I know of no investment vehicle that did as well after its founder retired.
Even if you have no interest in buying Berkshire Hathaway stock, you can learn a lot about good investing from seeing what Mr. Buffett does, as expressed here.
As to buying Berkshire Hathaway, for most people this would be a good move as an alternative to some of the funds they would otherwise put into mutual funds that are actively managed. But I would argue that no one should have more than 10 percent of their financial assets here. A lot of Mr. Buffett's big winners in the past (like Gillette and Coca-Cola) are having real problems. He is also fueling the company's growth with exotic insurance products. The world is full of people who found the market could turn on them in specialized financial services.
If you do want to buy this stock, wait until the current bear market on Wall Street is over. The stock will probably be cheaper then. But feel free to follow and learn about Berkshire Hathaway in the meantime.
A good thing to do is to think about who is going to be the next Warren Buffett and is younger, and invest some there as well. Who are your candidates? I have mine.
Achieve your financial goals, whatever they may be!

- amora_ross

Many people misunderstand Berkshire Hathaway. The author argues that investing in Berkshire Hathaway is similar to investing in a mutual fund but paying virtually no management fees and having the best capital allocator, Warren Buffett, at the helm. For those who do not have the time to analyze individual stocks on their own, Berkshire Hathaway is a good place for the investment dollars. However, investors should keep in mind that as Berkshire Hathaway gets larger and larger, it becomes harder and harder to deliver above average investment returns. Because all the investments under the umbrella of Berkshire Hathaway are producing cash, Mr. Buffett has to find new places for these investment dollars. Investing in small-cap companies is simply not economical. Individual investors do not have this restriction.

- Mariusz Skonieczny, author of Why Are We So Clueless about the Stock Market? Learn how to invest your money, how to pick stocks, and how to make money in the stock market

- guillermo_castillo

I really liked this book. It is well written, designed and researched. The Appendix section is a really big bonus. The 101 reasons are simple and clear. Every owner of Bershire Hathaway should own this book for information and enjoyment.
What's my 1 big no vote?
You have to ask yourself, "How big of a hit would the stock take if Warren's health should fail?"
After all, drinking cherry cokes, going to Dairy Queen and eating hot dogs is not a very rational approach to optimal health for someone his age.
That's an important factor to consider as an investor as you read this delightfully brilliant book.

- tenley_rivera

Enjoyed this book and came to the conclusion that I had to buy the stock. Looking for a safe, value investment for the long term and his book explained clearly why you should buy Bershire Hathaway stock instead of a mutual fund. Preordered the author's next book on Warren Buffett.

- estelle_price

"REMARKABLE"

- hana_kim

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