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The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Investors and Managers

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  897 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Experienced readers of Warren Buffett's letters to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. have gained an enormously valuable informal education. The letters distill in plain words all the basic principles of sound business practices.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published 2009 by John Wiley & Sons (first published April 9th 2002)
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Filip Kis
This is a MUST read for anybody interested in investment, management or business in general. It not only provides, in my opinion, the most sound investment strategies and advice, but also provides guidelines on how to run businesses with moral integrity and focus on providing value. It heavily criticizes various self-serving practices of "modern" CEOs, while at the same time not saying CEOs should not be well compensated. In other words, Buffet and by extension Berkshire demonstrate how you can ...more
Henrik Haapala
"Inactivity strikes us as intelligent behavior. Neither we nor most business managers would dream of feverishly trading highly- profitable subsidiaries because a small move in the Federal Re- serve's discount rate was predicted or because some Wall Street pundit had reversed his views on the market. Why, then, should we behave differently with our minority positions in wonderful businesses?"
"To suggest that this investor should sell off portions of his most successful investments simply
Roy Chua
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If one were to be forced to judge a book on its projected utility - personal, professional, moral etc - I suspect this might go down as one of the most important books I ever read.
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although I have no formal background education or professional training in business or finance this collection has elevated my financial literacy as measured against peer-based discussions with a Senior Financial Analyst at a major commercial banking institution, a former Solomon distressed assets broker, and my general reading comprehension of business sources such as Motley, WSJ, Financial Reports, and more. In sum, Buffet's financially conservative, honest, owner-oriented, ...more
James Ford
Jun 13, 2018 rated it liked it
It was enjoyable, a little long and dry but lots of good content. Not sure how much I will really take away other than some big picture ideas and a better sense of Warren Buffet's style and way of thinking.
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Warren Buffett is fond of saying that he loves Coca-Cola (the stock) because of the virtue of knowing how its business will look a decade from now (i.e. the same). One can almost certainly say the same about his own writings: A century from now people will still marvel at the insights and resonance from Buffett s annual shareholder letters and other publications, trying to apply them in their own investments. If Security Analysis (Ben Graham) laid the foundations for valuing companies and Philip ...more
Nov 20, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, finance, 2008
Book provides a good selection of Buffett's essays and writings, organised in a clear topics. Buffett's writings are written with the average off-the-street person in mind, and is hence suitable for anyone with an interest in finance, who wants to learn more about Buffett's views on investing and management. Fundamental ideologies of Buffett can clearly be identified, and the book's layout makes it easy to refer to specific topics of interest. I did feel however, that some of the pieces were a ...more
Abhisheka Jhunjhunwala
To get an in-depth view into the investing philosophy of the Oracle of Omaha, this book is a very good collection of his essays. Lawrence Cunningham has organised them in good order so that one can choose which chapters to read depending on one's topic of interest.

The book covers not just equities, but other financial instruments as well - M&A, Valuation, Accounting Shenanigans to name a few, and on each subject Buffett gives his unique views.

As opposed to a university course, here is
Akshat Solanki
Aug 19, 2018 rated it liked it

The Essays of Warren Buffett, as the name suggests is the book about the investing style of Warren Buffett and his approach when it comes to investing in the businesses or buying them out.

The author has chosen these broad topics on which Warren Buffett have talked about to the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders through the company's Annual Report.

1. Corporate Governance
2. Merger & Acquisitions
3. Accounting Principles
4. Business ownership

You will get to read what does the great investor
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel privileged to have read the thoughts and principles of Warren Buffet.

Many of the poor reviews of this book said the information was dated. When are honesty and superior intelligence ever dated? Others claimed there wasn't any information about trading, but as Buffet says, comparing trading to investing is like comparing a one night stand with romance. Secondly, no trader in history has ever sustained the returns that Buffet has achieved. Comparing traders (paper shufflers) with Buffet is
Sagar Acharya
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Investors
Recommended to Sagar by: Dad

When Warren speaks, his words have a tinge of all point of views and while you may understand some prospects of the book, it's very difficult to understand everything since he has a diverse understanding of psychology, accounting, economics: both micro and macro and many more disciplines. Across the book, which is nothing but a mere compilation of the letters written by Warren to Berkshire Hathaway in his annual meetings plus some other short material written by him has been segregated into
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Warren Buffett has never written a book - in the absence of one, one can easily imagine that the wealth of information contained in this collection of his essays to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders would be the closest piece of work that accurately distills his investment and management philosophies. For those who find The Intelligent Investor or Security Analysis too tedious, this book also acts as an excellent summary of Benjamin Graham's principles. With copious wit to boot, it makes for a ...more
Rahul Lingala
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: value-investing
An excellent book on business.

Though this book is more about how to manage CEOs (that's Buffet's job ;)), it is quite useful for an average business leader too.

Learnt a lot about the compensation structure to CEOs, the integration of taxation and compounding, goodwill accounting, the power of delegation and loopholes in the GAAP system.

Worth the time!
Sumeet Shah
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must read for anyone who is looking to enter value based investing as well as understand how to find good businesses and how the businesses run long term.

The essays basically helps us understand the thought process behind Warren Buffett and what made him reach this Peak in the Investing world and the world of business acquisitions.
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Now I understand what it means to say that a book is vascular - that if you cut the words, they bleed. I expected Buffet to be a great investor, but he is also an influential writer and thinker who is deeply self-reflective of his mistakes, and who beautifully comprehends human and institutional behavior like no other. Excellent read - took 15 pages of notes. Highly recommended
Jonathan Lomas
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this immediately after finishing the 1965-2014 Berkshire Hathaway shareholder's letters, and it was wonderful to read it all again organized thematically; such a different experience than the 'dear diary' experience of the chronological shareholder's letters.
Alessandro Orlandi
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: investors
Best summary of Warren Buffett's shareholder letters.
May 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finance
Mr Buffett has a way with words. If you're looking for an eminently readable, well-selected distillation of Warren Buffett's investing philosophy, look no further than this book.
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
2nd time reread. Have to revisit the book. Classic.
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
must read for those who are interested to invest in stocks and business
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
One of the best business books.
Sarah Elizabeth
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
May have to revisit this book down the road. I enjoyed learning about Buffets business philosophy and methods. However, a good deal of the material went over my head. Especially all the accounting. ...more
Ragavendhra Perumall
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Definite must read. A life long learning journey and a curious mind will be the one that evolves best in evolution fling term !! Read this and you will know as to what separates wheat from chaff
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful."
Apr 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I can't put this too strongly: this book is essential reading for anyone with the least interest in business, investing, or corporate ethics. It is an invaluable compendium of hard-won wisdom and plain old-fashioned common sense that provides a blueprint for how the relationship between companies and investors ought to work.

The book is arranged by Lawrence Cunningham in a series of chapters which contain extracts from Buffett's letters to his shareholders, written over a period of over 30 years.
Kristjan Gunnarsson
5 stars for Warren Buffets wisdom, but the book is not that great as it is just a collection of random writings by Buffet, many of which have little or no relevance to modern day investing. ...more
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A quintessential and essential read for anyone who seeks to be a serious investor.
Joel Gray
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it

Most of what WB does is imitable by the average person. His genius is largely a genius of character - of patience, discipline and rationality.

Corporate managers are the stewards of invested capital and the shareholder is the supplier and owner of capital.

What the wise do in the beginning fools do in the end.

WB believes accounting for investments (own<20%) should include the
Josh Taylor
Aug 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What you may like about this book

A great presentation of how a large company makes decisions and allocates capital effectively.
Written with (mostly) standard English so is easily understandable for a financial text less common financial terms are often explained.
Presents Warren Buffett's investment and company philisophies in an easily readable way, at least in comparison to an economics textbook.

Possible Drawbacks

Dates of essays are spread between 1979 and 2011 (this may vary depending on
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Lawrence Cunningham, who goes by Larry, has published many books, including:

Berkshire Beyond Buffett: The Enduring Value of Values

The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America

Contracts in the Real World: Stories of Popular Contracts and Why They Matter

The AIG Story

He loves teaching (a prawf at GW), windsurfing, reading, and spending time with his wife and two daughters, preferably at

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