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The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  6,305 ratings  ·  178 reviews
The definitive work concerning Warren Buffett and intelligent investment philosophy, this is a collection of Buffett's letters to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway written over the past few decades that together furnish an enormously valuable informal education. The letters distill in plain words all the basic principles of sound business practices. They are arranged ...more
Unknown Binding, 246 pages
Published April 1st 2001 by Cardozo Law Review (first published 1998)
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Dec 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cunningham organizes the essays within seven sections between Buffett's Prologue (Pages 27-28) and his Epilogue (Pages 273-282):

I Corporate Governance
II Corporate Finance and Investing
III Alternatives to Common Stock
IV Common Stock
V Mergers and Acquisitions
VI Accounting and Valuation
VII Accounting Policy and Tax Matters

As Buffett explains in his Prologue, members of Berkshire Hathaway's shareholder group receive communications directly "from the fellow you are paying to run the business.
Rahul Agarwal
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I started with this book with a sort of apprehension. I don't have much domain knowledge in Finance and thought how I will be able to understand the jargon. One read later I can say that I already understand some of the things a little bit better. Although I skimmed some part of the essays because they didn't make much sense to me right as of now, I feel I will definitely be coming back to this book to read in its entirety.

The essays talked about various things. Here I put some of the most sali
Nov 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Another masterpiece. There are some books of 200 pages that take me more time to read than books of 400 pages. I read and then re-read every line to ensure that I don't miss one single insight. The book more than lived up to its promise. I recommend any investor, analyst and particularly accounting professionals to read it. ...more
Ravi Dawar
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Really not sure how I missed reading this book for so long. But they say better late than ever.
Daniel Olshansky
Jul 18, 2015 rated it liked it
It is difficult to judge this as a book, because it really is just a collection of Warren Buffet's letters to the shareholders. There is a very nice introduction that sums up Buffet's views, and is great for people who have not been exposed to, or are not very familiar with value investing.

The books lacks flow, with the order that the letters are listed in sometime jumping back and forth by a decade and two without preparing the reader to make the appropriate context switch. Since these are lett
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
It’s no wonder why he’s called the Oracle. Not only does Buffet have a strong understanding of finance and economics, he also has a very deep understanding of human nature/behavior & psychology, manufacturing & trade, management, leadership, corporate culture, corporate governance, influence, government / politics & law (particularly when it comes to regulations and anti-trust), philosophy, education, history, and many others. This makes him a three dimensional investor who has a vested interest ...more
Constantin Minov
Apr 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a child Buffet was obsessed with entrepreneurship. Only by desiring riches with a state of mind that becomes an obsession will bring riches. Obsession makes it more likely for you to stick to your plans with persistence but probably only few investors will devote their lives to their investment like Buffet did. From this book you will take away many lessons on investment from Warren Buffet which guided him in becoming the most glorified and respected investor of all times. This book also desc ...more
Kevin Manriquez
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Buffett establish that investors should go for good business rather than focusing on the market, buy at good prices and keeping them for long term, which actually is what Warren has done during his management in Berkshire. Buffett sent letters to the members of Berkshire shareholders in order to explain them what he is doing and why they are in for. He uses the letters to explain complex concepts to be easily understood and with some peculiar humor and a lot of wisdom.

It is, in my opinion, the f
Sep 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: money, economics
I thought this "book" was more direct advice on investing and personal finance. Through reading this book, I found out that it's about:

- High volume investing
- Operating a (public) business

But what I loved about the book is that it's not direct. Warren won't tell you how to be rich. He just lays out his philosophy and thinking about money, businesses and people.

I think it's not a very useful information for people looking to make small trades in the market, but a gold mine for those going in the
Harold Zable
Jan 05, 2016 rated it liked it
It's got some interesting points, and it taught me some stuff about businesses. But it's terribly repetitive. The main points could probably have been expressed in a ten-page essay instead of a 230-page book. I sympathize with the business students who have to use it as a textbook. ...more
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Even as a complete novice in this field I managed to gain so much from this book. And to think what a person, studying finances or working with investments, could learn from essays - is just mind-blowing!
Aug 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Oracle at his brilliant best. A must for anyone interested in investing
Henrik Haapala
Update 2020-12-04:
Lesson 1 fear and greed:

“Occasional outbreaks of those two super-contagious diseases, fear and greed, will forever occur in the investing community. The timing of these epidemics will be unpredictable. And the market aberrations produced by then will be equally unpredictable, both as to duration and degree. Therefore, we never try to anticipate the arrival or departure of either disease. Our goal is more modest: we simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be g
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of essays penned by Warren Buffett over the decades of his running of Berkshire Hathaway. They are collected and organized by theme.

To me there is a relatively small group of people that this book is very good for. One group would certainly be a Berkshire Hathaway shareholder or prospective shareholder. Buffett certainly does a great job making you want to own their stock. But much of the book is very specific to CEOs or CFOs of public companies. Certainly not all of it, and
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: investing
This book bolstered my passion for investing and cemented my desire to make it my vocation, rather than the many other prestigious paths to "money-shuffling" Buffett is notoriously critical of. I was surprised by some of the lessons I learned from Buffett. Two that immediately come to mind are 1) the malleability of Wall Street's most sacred metrics (net income, EPS to name a few), and 2) how important ethics in business are for both businesses' long-term economic health and individuals' persona ...more
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This collection gets 6 stars from me. Lots of questions and thoughts that have appeared in my mind since years when looking at the behavior of stock markets and corporations are discussed in detail.

What are the motivations and reasoning behind the ways companies operate today and why is it important? This book takes a deeper perspective on topics of management. Additionally it includes the historical perspective to explain why we are where we are today and opens up the insanity of how a lot of l
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can see how great this book can be, so I wanted to give it 5 stars. However, the verbiage and many concepts are currently beyond me so I can’t give it the review it truly deserves. It was very dry but a great resource for someone with a little more knowledge in the finance areas. I will eventually updated this with a more accurate review when I learn more and can fully comprehend the book.
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Reflects philosophy and strategy of W. Buffett and C. Munger. Useful.
Sam Demaree
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Glad I read it. Glad I finished it.
Barack Liu
Sep 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing

180-The Essays of Warren Buffett-Warren Buffett-Essays-1998

- People often overestimate a change in time can bring , and underestimate the change in 10 years can bring.

"The Essays of Warren Buffett" (The Essays of Warren Buffett), first published in the United States in 1998. It contains a letter written by investment guru Warren Buffett to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway, covering topics such as management, investment and evaluation.

Buffett was born in Omaha,
Mike Iacolino
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Cunningham has done a wonderful job at organizing some of Buffet's most insightful essays over ten topics. With lessons ranging from effective corporate governance to assessing a company's earnings quality, anyone interested in business or investing absolutely must read this book. The book is only 300 pages, but I wouldn't plan it to be a quick read. It's worth setting aside a decent amount of time to really chew on the ideas and philosophies that The Oracle of Omaha generously presents. You'll ...more
Kristinn Hróbjartsson
Insightful and entertaining

As expected, Buffett's writing is insightful, Interesting and inspiring. He has firm views and the record to back it up. The book beautifully arranges topics from various letters into chapters which in my view is a great way to experience Buffett's writing.
If, when I bring up that this is a "greatest hits" of excerpts from Berkshire Hathaway annual reports written by Warren Buffet, you are already wishing you clicked away from this to anywhere else on the Internet -- ANYWHERE, PLEASE -- then mentioning that Buffet is actually not too hard to read won't help much. Nevertheless, Buffet states and re-states his principles clearly and succinctly and often provides amusing anecdotes or related jokes, and if you're at all interested in how businesses sh ...more
Brady Bunte
Nov 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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,
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: investing, finance
My expectation before I started reading this book (as with books of this nature) was to understand how Buffett pins down a purchase.
- How does he think company A is better than company B, even if both are in similar business
- How does he arrive at a measure of intrinsic value
- How does he estimate the 'margin of safety'
('How does he exit' is probably not such a great question because Berkshire Hathway's fav holding period is 'Forever')

What I would say is rather than give exact answers, Buffett
Jan 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I thought this was all pretty good.

It's a strange compilation. Different sections from different reports in different years are arranged by topic. So, as business conditions change, the details of the advice changed. The fundamentals are always the same: Owning a business is good if the business is good and never invest because you think the price will go up rather than because the business is good.

Buffett is often funny (although some of his jokes are a little dated such that they're much less
Hariharan Ragunathan
I was searching for the hardcopy book of Buffet's letters to the shareholders, and landed with this book in library. But this is a good summary from all those letters organised like your corporate finance chapters. I should have read this book along with my Corporate Finance course text book during my course. This is just pure rational thought process of buffet, (even if he does not follow all those mentioned for the criticisms against him) gave a better idea of various concepts of running , own ...more
Jul 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in investing
This is an excellent book on how business should be run. Larry Cunningham does an excellent job rearranging Buffett's expositions in his annual report to show Buffett's approach on investing and life. In a world where Wall Street looks for short-term gains at all cost, Buffett stands out in making sure that his investing world is as equitable as possible. This book should be read by anyone interested in investing ...more
Yoo Jin
Slightly difficult to read through but with a little extra determination, I was able to finish this timeless collection of essays that helped me gain essential insights with real-life and straight forward examples. Great insight into Buffet's view on business valuation, capital structuring and importance and role of management in corporations. It's a book i'll most likely return to again from time to time! ...more
Pat Murphy
Aug 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
These were mostly letters to buffett's share holders. There is humor, and good naturedness. Some common sense investing knowlege. Of course he is a master. I don't know if I would read this knowing what I know now. But I am not discouraging others from it. It has some worth for anyone wanting to read what Buffett has to say in any case. ...more
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Warren Edward Buffett is an American investor, industrialist and philanthropist. He is widely regarded as one of the most successful investors in the world. Often called the "legendary investor, Warren Buffett", he is the primary shareholder, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. He is consistently ranked among the world's wealthiest people. He was ranked as the world's wealthiest person in 2008 ...more

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