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Berkshire Hathaway Letters to Shareholders

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4.60  ·  Rating details ·  1,999 ratings  ·  68 reviews
This book compiles the full, un-edited versions of every one of Warren Buffett's letters to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway. In addition to providing an astounding case study on Berkshire's success, Buffett shows an incredible willingness to share his methods and act as a teacher to his many students. ...more
Paperback, 730 pages
Published April 25th 2013 by Max Olson
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Average rating 4.60  · 
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 ·  1,999 ratings  ·  68 reviews


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Gwern
Apr 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Moved to gwern.net. ...more
Shiva Shetty
Nov 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Mount Everest, K2 and Kangchenjunga are the 3 indisputable tallest mountain ranges out there. It is likely on the bucket list of many new and aspiring climbers, working as a backdrop siren call as they hone their skills on lesser mounds.

Book lovers have their own list but this list can never be definitive since there can be no universal consensus on what should go into “the toughest reads out there!” book list. Each person’s list, like the idea of utopia or hell, is personal and unique.

But odds
...more
Kelly
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally! This one took awhile, but I read through all of them. The way to read this book is to read one letter a day.

Here's the 2015 letter (the book stops at 2014): 2015 Letter
The 2016 letter: 2016 Letter

Going to my first shareholder meeting this May, so reading this was a great way to get the most out of the trip.
...more
Sujay Muzumdar
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Warren Buffett's letters to his shareholders for the past 50 years contain wisdom on business and investing like no other book. It is the unparalleled journey of the greatest investor of our age and the study of the unrelenting behemoth that Berkshire Hathaway has developed into, surely the best success story of capitalism.

It was one of those books that I wanted to read at least once in my life and after 77 days of patience and persistence, I'm glad to have reached the end of it! :)
...more
Zhou Fang
Dec 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Must-read for anyone interested in investing or business. Buffett is sometimes criticized in the financial media for being "folksy" and not offering more concrete insights on investment analysis due to his refusal to recommend specific stocks. Yet in these letters he lays out precisely how he has thought about large and sometimes very complex investments that he has made over time. Some of the lesser-known of these include:

1. Preferred investments in Gillette, USAir, and Champion, all of which w
...more
Zhong Sheng
Jun 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you have enough time, this book covers everything you need to know about the value investment, but it is a book require slow and repetitive reading and thinking. Highly Time consuming. Warren's letter and actions described needs to be related to that context of that year. Don't read those numerous related books, warren and munger's original writings are the best. ...more
Shahan Lilja
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Probably the best business book ever.
Carl Sandberg
Jun 23, 2018 is currently reading it
A collection of Warren Buffett's eloquently written letters to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway 1965-2017. The first thing that struck me was his level of honesty. Compared to other investors' account of their investment performance that tends to be first and foremost self-congratulatory, Buffett makes a decent attempt giving a more nuanced picture of his investment performance.

The letters provide you with a solid understanding of Buffett's investment philosophy and that alone makes the book
...more
Arpan Agrawal
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read through the letters from 2006 to 2012. They were excellent read. But some information, as expected, was repetitive. Post that, I read another book named The Essays of Warren Buffett - it is an excellent compilation of all the letters (without the repetition) by Lawrence A. Cunningham.

If you are going to read this book, I would recommend reading in reverse order. The later letters are much more informative.
Ask Franck
Nov 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Read every Berkshire annual letter published till now (2020). Found them dry at first, but about 100 pages into the book started to revel in the consistency, humility, rationality and financial brilliance of this guy.
Vipin Pandey
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fairy tale for a value investor

Reading the letters was like reading a comic that comes out in sequels. Just like a comic, the letters are fascinating to read. A good comic leaves you gasping for more after every chapter. The letters do the same. After every letter, you are keen to know by how much percentage points the co. grew, what were the new acquisitions, how were they made (some were made in 5 mins!), new accounting lessons, proverbs n phrases,country songs, jokes and so much more.

Every le
...more
Milan
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, markets
There is so much to learn from this book which is a collection of shareholders letters written by Warren Buffett for the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway. It took me a couple of months to finish it but it was really worth every minute I spent reading it. Buffett just doesn't talks about investing, but also about business, life, ethics, accounting and many practical aspects of life. He discusses his mistakes as keenly as his triumphs. This is one book that I’ll keep referring back to from time ...more
Sohil Gupta
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Warren Buffett is God at understanding capitalism, and dissecting businesses. Corporate Governance, Management Biases, Investment thesis, there is no one in the world that has more breadth of knowledge on Corporate America than Warren. Great learnings on analyzing balance sheets, P&Ls, Earnings, Cash-Flows, as well as building a definite and sound investment rationale. This book will definitely make you 10x better investor.
Mitesh
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I feel bad I kept postponing reading Oracle of Omaha's letters until now. So much to learn on investing and really gels wells with my investment philosophy. This is a must read for anyone who wants to seriously consider investing in equities. ...more
Gutenberg Neto
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Nothing better than to learn from the greatest investor of all-time! This book is a compendium of Buffett's legendary annual letters to shareholders since he took control of Berkshire Hathaway in the mid-1960s*. As expected, each letter discusses the overall performance of BH's business during the year (beginning with a focus on the original textile business, and expanding as the years pass to cover dozens of different business, insurance being the most important one), but what's most interestin ...more
NARENDER SINGH
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Buffet's letters are not just about Berkshire Hathaway. They go beyond just telling the affairs of one Company. Buffet is one of the rare business leaders who believe in passing on the wisdom that they have acquired over the years to the next generation. He does that through these letters. Though, the letters are really voluminous but the effort to complete the entire bunch is really worth it. Buffet has shared the thought process that has gone into making various investment decisions and has al ...more
Nicholas Wright
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: investment
One word: wow. It took me over 2 years to finish this book (with many sabatticals from it) but I'm so glad I persevered. The Berkshire journey is in incredible story of rags to riches (pun intended), and the crystal clear way in which Buffet takes his shareholders through every step of that journey over 50 years is incredible.

Buffet is a master of business, accounting, investment and PR - and to see his prowess in all 4 disciplines come together in such an easy to understand and personable way
...more
Cristobal
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
If you choose to read just one book on investing, this is it. Warren Buffett is the Einstein of investment, a figure so large it towers over any other. These compilation of his letters to shareholders serves as a compendium of his investment principles and how they not only shaped his company but also became sharper through the dull edge of experience.

I've read several books on Buffet, from biographies to essays and the collection of his letters is the best distilling of his philosophy you will
...more
TJW
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Incredible book. A textbook for finance, entrepreneurs, business management, and so much more. If you aspire to be great look to great people. Who else better to teach success than Warren Buffett. His letters to shareholders are unwavering consistent, unfailingly loyal to principles and standards, and kind to all readers and interested persons. Warren Buffett has not just a gift for capital allocation, but down-to-earth demeanor, attractive sense of humor, and uncanny ability to read people. Thi ...more
David Neal
I would recommend this book to anyone that is a business student and interested in the business world. Buffett has put together annual letters to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway over the last 50 years. It is an asset to any business student because it demonstrates how senior leadership communicates with its employees and its shareholders. He is able to break down on a year-by-year basis where the company has succeeded and where it has failed. It indicates to the reader how to write at a h ...more
Thasmai Blr
May 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Read it almost a decade ago, it's one of those collections you need to revisit every few years. Contains snippets from a 30-40 year period of Buffett's life, detailing the consistency in his actions, integrity, owning up to mistakes and his self deprecating humour.
Id say it's a must read for any long term focused investor or someone planning to enter business, most of the core points made in all std business books are present here, and it overall makes for a solid education.
...more
Nick Harris
Jan 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
I learned a lot from reading this. A bit repetitive, as you would expect, but it was interesting to see how the different businesses in the Berkshire portfolio changed over time as economic conditions changed.

The most interesting part for me was reading Buffet's views on the principal agent problem in respects to management of publicly traded companies, and how poorly aligned incentives and accounting loopholes can lead to disastrous results for shareholders.
...more
John
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finance
Learn from the master. Buffett is as transparent and self-critical as can be. His purpose in delivering his annual reports is "to put the reader in his postion if their roles were reversed." Year after year, Buffett explains his thought process. It's amazing to watch the inexorable growth of Berkshire Hathaway. The 2017 report is due tomorrow and I can't wait! ...more
Long
Sep 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Don't get me wrong, I like reading this book. That's what the 3* is suppose to represent. That said, the content is eye-opening and can be considered a treasure. The only problem is that because of the format (a collection of 50 letters), a major part of the book is repetitive. It can be less than 400 pages, or maybe even 300. ...more
Ragavendhra Perumall
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Business Bible . Not only for investors do business and professionals this is a must read ... Mr. Buffett is a master at making things simple . There’s no place that requires extra explanation and my investing philosophy has been shaped by reading letters to shareholders .
Guillermo Siliceo Trueba
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
You don’t need to read this book to get some of Buffet’s wisdom, but i enjoyed learning about his success throughout the years with a clear and simple prose he’s funny and informative now my role model for investments.
Boris Kalendarev
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
There is no one like Warren Buffett out there. He instills so many
Apoorv Agrawal
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very detailed letters - good intro to evaluating businesses with a strong dose of Buffettian humor.
Sheng Peng
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Common sense still wins the day. Don't fall for the pitches and salesmanship and fad and new 'investment style'. ...more
Mikhail Golub
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply the best book on business and investment. I wish I had read it earlier.
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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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