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Paperback The Essays of Warren Buffett : Lessons for Corporate America Book

ISBN: 0966446119

ISBN13: 9780966446111

The Essays of Warren Buffett : Lessons for Corporate America

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. The year 2015 marks the fiftieth anniversary of Berkshire Hathaway under Warren Buffett's leadership, a milestone worth commemorating. The tenure sets a record for chief executive not only in duration...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Not a fan of Buffett but a great compilation of his "wisdom"

Though I'm not a fan of Buffett, and I usually feel that his "wisdom" goes unchallenged in the media, in business circles and in academia because of his stature as an investor, this compilation is a great way to get a distilled collage of his annual report dissertations about many interesting subjects. Of course one could just go to the website and read the reports, but the selection and organization makes it worth the price. It is very interesting to read some analysis of market turmoil times and think that you are reading about the present, to then at the footnote see that it was written 10 or 20 years ago. It puts today's economic crisis in perspective, and certainly makes the 2008 recession look like one of those opportunities that comes once every 20 years, and not like the apocalyptic event it is perceived to be in some quarters. The fact that the book is the best compilation of one of the highest-regarded modern business philosophers earns the book 5 stars. The main ideas (and to me the most endearing) are that a corporation is a partnership and stock-holders, boards and managers should run companies with this "family-owned-for-the-long-term" attitude; that investing is about finding good businesses, with good and honest management, to be held for the long term, bought at discounted prices (with margin of safety), and that this should deliver wonderful results no matter what the vagaries of the market, political or social environment are. But if Buffett was not a muti-deca-billionaire, some of his ideas would (and certainly should) be challenged with more vehemence, because his stature and his influence in an Obama administration could permeate the regulatory environment and infect the intellectual drinking well of policy-makers and rule-writers. Buffett's analyses, metaphores, fables, simils, allegories and rants about subjects such as derivatives, low-grade bonds, financial advisory, all-stock mergers, etc could be serioursly challenged by an intellectually courageous business thinker that wouldn't mind going against a luminary (and investing the time and risking the reputation of challenging an Oracle.) Some of these challenges are not that difficult, and the internal logic that Buffett uses in some instances is flawed (and simply demonstrably so.) This is not the place to expound on it, but one of the pleasures of reading this compilation, is the excercise of mentally challenging Buffett. On the matter of style, one can say that part of what makes Buffett's business reports memorable is his hokey style where he parenthetically inserts (often times bad or crude) jokes and aphorisms. But I was surprised by the predominance of mating references (quite often so irrelevant and unnecessary that they seemed forced into the essay). If this phenomenon is not simply the selection preference of the editor, but Buffett's actual thought frequency, it would be interesting to see a psychological profile of the man in light of his personal biography (

The Best on Buffett and BRK

The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, Second Editionmade its debut at BRK 2008 annual meeting. It is a definitive and clear source on Buffett's views, and an excellent summary/interpretation of his letters to the shareholders. I believe this is the best work on Buffett written to date (I read all of them). If you want to read only one book on Buffett, this should be it. It is also Buffett's favorite book about himself. Why buy the 2nd addition instead of, or in addition to the first? Invaluable new additions (among the new gems are sections on audit committees, Buffett's views on debt, and mergers) make this book ever more pertinent to the current corporate environment and today's investment practices. This is a must-read.

Topical and timely additions

Without a doubt, The Essays of Warren Buffett : Lessons for Corporate America was a definitive and clear insight into the mind of a genius - just see my review for this first edition. The Second Edition, however, adds another dimension reflective of today's business and investing environment. Specifically: Corporate Governance - addition of "Audit Committees" section. As usual, a frank and down-to-earth assessment of just how honest an "audit committee" can be (it can't) - great addition, brings investors back to reality for believing these jokers. Corporate Finance and Investing - addition of "Debt" section, and in particular how Berkshire views debt, a section just about every business owner (home-owner too!) and profit/loss manager should read. Alternatives to Common Stock: - addition of "Foreign Currencies and Equities" section. Frankly, the decline of the dollar has made this topic of relevance to all investors - but Berkshire still loves America's "dynamism and resiliency." Yet another great, topical addition. - addition of "derivatives" section. Hedge funds have made this a household term, yet don't be fooled. Not surprisingly, Charlie Munger and Warren call them "time bombs." Accounting and Valuation: - addition of "Accounting for Mergers" section. Here, Charlie and Warren put forth their idea for dealing with accounting for acquisitions, whether it be "purchase" or "pooling." - addition of "Some Insurance History and Accounting" section. True to its name, Warren guides the reader from the birth of Lloyd's, through the asbestos crisis to Berkshire issuing a massive retroactive reinsurance contract. If you invest in Berkshire, you'll want to read this section too. In all, this updated version provides investors with a timely resource for investing in today's world. Additionally, all managers (and professionals who want to grow) should read this book because here, Cunningham neatly organizes selections from Warren Buffet's annual essays and guides them through a tough-minded, down-to-earth and common sensical manual for reference in today's (sometimes exceedingly) complex business environment. For these reasons, this reviewer highly recommends "The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America" - Second Edition.

Required reading material in an extremely useful format!

This book is a great, well organized compilation of Mr. Buffett's famous "Letters to Shareholders" which appear in the annual reports of Berkshire Hathaway.It has been recently updated to include the letters to shareholders written since the book was first released in 1996, a new introduction has been written, and a new, tougher, blue cover has been added. Mr. Buffett advised shareholders at the 1999 & 2000 Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting if he had to pick a single book describing his methods, this would be the one. It is a great tool to use when trying to compile Mr. Buffett's comments on a particular subject since it is organized by subjects he has discussed in his letters over the years. Trying to find all of his comments on a particular subject throughout the annual reports is a time consuming task when you have to look through many years worth of annual reports. Mr. Cunningham has made this task much simpler with this book.

Packed with wit, humor, and profound wisdom. Great read!!

At the 1998 Berkshire annual meeting, Buffett himself credited this book by saying it is better than all the other biographies and the best business investment book to read. Who could ignore such a high recommendation? Having read several other books claiming to have captured and outlined Buffett's investment wizardry, I am excited to report that finally some one has done so beautifully. Cunningham distills and presents the Berkshire philosophy in a coherent and organized manner that puts it in a whole new light. This book is an excellent investment guidance source for everyone, from the novice to the more seasoned investor. You will find yourself dog-earing pages and underlining like crazy. Absolutely brilliant!
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