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The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America [Paperback]

Warren E. Buffett , Lawrence A. Cunningham
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 8 2013 1611634091 978-1611634099 3
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.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Buffett, the Bard of Omaha, is a genuine American folk hero, if folk heroes are allowed to build fortunes worth upward of $15 billion. He's great at homespun metaphor, but behind those catchy phrases is a reservoir of financial acumen that's generally considered the best of his generation. For example, in an essay on CEO stock options, he writes, "Negotiating with one's self seldom produces a barroom brawl." This is his way of saying that an executive who can give himself compensation totally disproportionate to his performance surely will. There are uncountable gems of financial wisdom to be harvested from these essays, taken from the annual reports he writes for Berkshire Hathaway, his holding company. Just to pick one more, here's a now-famous line about those he competes with when making stock-market investments: "What could be more advantageous in an intellectual contest--whether it be chess, bridge, or stock selection--than to have opponents who have been taught that thinking is a waste of energy?"

While Buffett has a policy of seldom commenting on stocks he owns--he feels public pronouncements will only lead to the public's expectation of more public pronouncements, and he likes to keep his cards close to his vest--he loves to discuss the principles behind his investments. These come primarily from Ben Graham, under whom Buffett studied at Columbia University and for whom he worked in the 1950s. First among them is the idea that price is what you pay and value is what you get--and if you're a smart investor, the first will always be less than the second. In that sense, the value of the lessons learned from Buffett's Essays could be far greater than the book's price. --Lou Schuler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"...the only compendium of writings from the Sage of Omaha himself...a carefully chosen selection of Buffett's famous annual letters" (CityWire.co.uk, January 16th 2009) 'This book is highly rated by Jason Ashman of Chatfield Private Clint, for both investors and managers.' (The Week, 28th April 2012) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By Robert Morris HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This is my review of the THIRD EDITION, dated March 18, 2013. If you wish to read my review of the SECOND EDITION, it follows.

This is the Third Edition of an ongoing process by which Warren Buffett presents a "chairman's letter" (i.e. progress report with his unique reflections) to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders at their annual meeting. Lawrence A. Cunningham edited each of the three editions, with the latest including Buffett's annual letters to Berkshire shareholders since 2008, the date of the prior edition. Other new material includes:

o The financial crisis and its continuing implications for investors, managers and society;
o The housing bubble at the bottom of that crisis
o The debt and derivatives excesses that fueled the crisis and how to deal with them
o Controlling risk and protecting reputation in corporate governance
o Berkshire's acquisition and operation of Burlington Northern Santa Fe
o The role of oversight in heavily regulated industries
o Investment possibilities today
o Weaknesses of popular option valuation models

Some other material has been rearranged to deepen the themes and lessons that the collection has always produced:

o Buffett's "owner-related business principles" are in the prologue as a separate subject
o Valuation and accounting topics are spread over four instead of two sections and reordered to sharpen their payoff.

According to Cunningham, "Those who are familiar with The Essays will notice that we have made the cover snappier than has been our custom. (Thanks for the cover design to Tim Colton, of Carolina Academic Press, which will continue to partner with me in the distribution of the book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Warren Buffett's writing is sophisticated, yet eloquent that anyone that puts the effort and time to study his essays are sure to learn a lot about corporate america. Buffett's wisdom is so valuable yet many people in finance have neither read nor learned his principles that he applies. He puts his money where his mouth is. It will not guarantee that you will make billions reading his essays, but you sure will make a lot less investing mistakes. If you have a passion for finance/investing then read it, study it, and enjoy its witty, colloquial essays. Cheers, and happy investing.

(Read other books like, The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham, Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits by Philip A. Fisher, The Five Rules for Successful Stock Investing by Pat Dorsey and you sure will be ahead of the crowd)
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5.0 out of 5 stars An indispensable reference Nov. 20 2013
By Yves
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic collection of Warren Buffett 's writings, providing an in depth tutorial on corporate finance, management, and investing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Speedy delivery Nov. 9 2013
By oogie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have not yet been able to read the essays as I have been quite busy.The provider of the essays sent it in timely fashion and they came in very good condition
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By Robert Morris HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
This is the Third Edition of an ongoing process by which Warren Buffett presents a "chairman's letter" (i.e. progress report with his unique reflections) to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders at their annual meeting. Lawrence A. Cunningham edited each of the three editions, with the latest including Buffett's annual letters to Berkshire shareholders since 2008, the date of the prior edition. Other new material includes:

o The financial crisis and its continuing implications for investors, managers and society;
o The housing bubble at the bottom of that crisis
o The debt and derivatives excesses that fueled the crisis and how to deal with them
o Controlling risk and protecting reputation in corporate governance
o Berkshire's acquisition and operation of Burlington Northern Santa Fe
o The role of oversight in heavily regulated industries
o Investment possibilities today
o Weaknesses of popular option valuation models

Some other material has been rearranged to deepen the themes and lessons that the collection has always produced:

o Buffett's "owner-related business principles" are in the prologue as a separate subject
o Valuation and accounting topics are spread over four instead of two sections and reordered to sharpen their payoff.

According to Cunningham, "Those who are familiar with The Essays will notice that we have made the cover snappier than has been our custom. (Thanks for the cover design to Tim Colton, of Carolina Academic Press, which will continue to partner with me in the distribution of the book.) The main reason: the book's traditional covers could be seen well in physical form but pictures of them, shown on the internet, could not.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read Nov. 25 2012
By Gary
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Warren Buffett never disapoints, and neither have his letters to shareholders. Only Warren Buffett can explain the most difficult things in the world of high finance and make them so simple to understand. This is probably one of the top 5 books on investing I've read. If you are considering this book you should also see books by David Dreman and James Montier.
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