The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Investors and Managers

The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Investors and Managers

Posted by jack_miller | Published a year ago

With 72 ratings

By: Lawrence A. Cunningham

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An updated edition of the bestselling collection of timeless wisdom from the world's greatest investor Readers of Warren Buffett's letters to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders have gained an enormously valuable informal education in the art of investing. Broad in scope and long on wisdom, Buffett's letters explain his principles on sound investing, selecting managers, valuing businesses, using financial information profitably, and other vital topics for investors. This newly updated Fourth Edition includes Buffett's latest wisdom on such topics as the financial crisis, the housing bubble, corporate governance, Berkshire Hathaway's acquisition of Burlington Northern Santa Fe, the role of oversight in heavily regulated industries, today's best investing opportunities, and the weaknesses of popular option valuation models. * Features investing advice in plain English from one of the world's most legendary investors * Includes Buffett's insights on the current financial crisis and recession * Offers new and potent insight on good corporate governance and other issues vital to executives and managers For investors, corporate executives, managers, and Buffett fans, The Essays of Warren Buffett, Fourth Edition features the kind of wisdom on investing, finance, and leadership that can be found nowhere else.
This is a must read, great first investing and general business book.

- simone_campbell

Good reference book for Buffett's thinking topic by topic

- amalia_gonzales

One of the best books I've ever read, better than what you'll learn in most college classes. You will be impressed by Buffett's insight into a wide variety of topics.

- ramon_edwards

Does the job!

- oaklyn_ramos

Excellent book. Graduate course in business and economics. Sophistication blended with common sense.

- treasure_ortiz

I enjoyed this book. Warren Buffett stands for something far greater than himself or the wealth he has generated. He is in what he does rather countercyclical, rather old fashioned, and fabulously good.

These essays introduce us to Buffett's way of thinking and doing business. There's a lot to learn from both aspects. Some of the book is rather technical, but most is straightforward enough, and I found many places where he made me think. I think our world at many levels- individual, corporate, government would be better if we adopted many of Buffett's ideas.

Buffett is an example of thinking from the ultimate to the proximate. He makes decisions for the long term, based on value. He cannot be bothered chasing the ups and downs of the market. It's like trying to stand still on a rolling wave. Prices go up, prices come down, the long investor treats them both the same and focuses way beyond the short term. Buffett is interested in the fundamental value of a business- does it provide worthwhile goods and services? Does it do it well? Is it well led and well managed? Is this likely to continue through time? Can he understand the value that the business offers to its customers and shareholders? If he can then he's likely to invest. In this he's exemplifying the principles of The Three Rules: How Exceptional Companies Think, and revenue before cost. It's not that he doesn't see cost- it's that he puts cost within the context of value, and more especially the context of value over time.

He's scathing about short term speculation, complex financial instruments, short term thinking, responding to mood. His comments about buying cheaply are sharp. Something may well be cheap for a reason- and trying to make it better will likely be a losing struggle. If something is unintelligible it's probably concealing a lie, and an untrustworthy person behind it. If a manager is promising that they will make the numbers, sooner or later they will be tempted up the numbers. We live in a short term appearance world and pathologies such as probophilia (as described in Between Health and Illness: Explorations in and around medicineafflict too many institutions.

Buffett is an example of a man who knows what he is doing, why he is doing it, and what outcome he wants. He's a straightforward, honest guide to the benefits of thinking long term, and to the benefits of thinking about what value is and where it is to be found. He challenges the modern world with its immediacy, its distractions, its fads, its madnesses of crowds. He takes us back to a much slower paced world, and we'd be better if we learned from him. He teaches us to look for true value and the long term.

There's much in this book about good personal and corporate governance, about discernment and about living life well. Readers will learn a lot from Buffett's patterns of thought and action.

- amaya_ramos

Enjoyed the book.

- barrett_king

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 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.

- javon_ortiz

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!

- elizabeth_gonzales

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.

- hope_evans

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.

- terrance_cox

Nice book for investment. Suitable for both beginners and experienced investors

- leilani_lewis

No bad but no great

- oaklynn_bennet

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.

- yosef_cox

Brilliant product, very happy with the purchase, arrived quickly, Thank you! A++

- sage_rodriguez

Well written and easy to understand.
Lawrence Cunningham's work on the Oracle of Omaha examines in detail and anecdotal fluency,the fundamentals behind Buffet's thinking.
A great source of knowledge.

- jaylee_adams

All good

- maisie_white

Good information. enjoyed it very much

- louis_kim

Very enjoyable book.

- bexley_harris

really good a great man

- kylie_wilson

It is a classic and a must read. I liked it a lot in my first read. I'll read it again in near future.

- kole_reyes

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