The Making Of An American Capitalist

In Forex

Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist

Just enough of a wise outside council to give him the confidence to act aggressively without over-analyzing or diluting his ideas. When Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist things are cheap, Buffet acts quickly and aggressively . He uses his numerical margin of safety in place of extensive discipline.

I was a committed “growth” investor until I read this book. This book has completely changed the way I have thought about stock market investments & I am intensely relieved to have Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist come across it before making more baseless investment decisions. I have since read about four other books on Warren Buffett’s investment “styles” & this one is still the best.

Obviously, due to the publication date of the book, the events of the past 14 years are not included. Those who wish to learn more about Buffett’s sense of business ethics will appreciate Lowenstein’s extensive coverage of the Salomon scandal and Buffett’s rescue of the firm.

Unfortunately for Warren, the world of technology knows no boundaries. Over time, most business assets will be affected by technology’s broad reach—although Gillette, Coca-Cola, and See’s should be safe. For example, Warren likes to say that there are no called strikes in investing.

Berkshire Hathaway, General Re, And Franchise Risk

And despite the self-evident mathematics that there must be a price that fully anticipates all the good work that those companies will do in the future, he just won’t sell their stock no matter what the price is. I think his reluctance to sell is more philosophical than optimization driven, but who am I to second-guess the world’s most successful investor?

I think the book, and the general investing community, focus too little on this. One reason Buffett was able to buy in so many companies and inspire loyalty from those who worked with him was that people liked him because they knew he was consistently honest and moral. Its how he was invited on the board of the Washington Post despite the CEO’s initial fear of him as an investor who wanted to take over the company. Its how, in the 1980s, he was able to get into companies who wanted to avoid the aggressive and hostile overtures of the corporate raiders of that generation.

Buffet’s fundamentals never left him and he’s been able to adapt to the times. Like every genius and successful person, his quirks gave him character and that made for a more colorful story.

The great strength in Lowenstein’s biography is that he highlights just what Buffett is-an anomaly. His success on Wall Street is unique, and not merely because that success happened from a couple thousand miles away in Omaha.

Over the last several weeks, I’ve been reading Roger Lowenstein’s excellent and thorough biography of Warren Buffett. I didn’t pick it up to learn investment secrets – in fact, it’s pretty clear from the get-go that this book isn’t for you if you’re looking for specific investment tips. Instead, I picked it up to try to get a reasonably unbiased measure of the man, and that’s exactly what I got.

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  • His book is a comprehensive account of Buffett’s life with an emphasis on aspects of the story that pertain to his development as a businessman and investor.
  • Roger Lowenstein began his study of Warren Buffett in 1991 during the Salomon Brothers rescue and had followed Buffett for years as a Wall Street Journal reporter and shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway.
  • Its how, in the 1980s, he was able to get into companies who wanted to avoid the aggressive and hostile overtures of the corporate raiders of that generation.
  • I think the book, and the general investing community, focus too little on this.

Many of the assets he buys/invests in, he holds for years . He is also willing to take the time to thoroughly understand a business before jumping in rather than simply jump in on a “hot stock tip” or because the stock price seems to be on an upward trend.

Then Buffett took a brave step by buying a full control shares in Dempster Mill Manufacturing which was suffering at the time Buffett purchased the shares. The reason why Buffett did buy the shares is because I found by applying the intrinsic value analysis that the company had a solid intrinsic value; three years later, Buffett sold the company Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist with $2.5 million in profit. One thing I realized is that Buffet has spent a LOT of time reading stacks of annual reports all alone in his study. This is where he put his 10,000 hours and where he derived the insight behind his decisions. He has a wide network and makes a lot of calls but these are usually performed after he has an idea.

In the annals of investing, Warren Buffett stands alone. Starting from scratch, simply by picking stocks and companies for investment, Buffett amassed one of the epochal fortunes of the 20th century.

Berkshire Hathaway: A Successful Conglomerate And Not Just A Mutual Fund!

A scan of the numbers, a quick call to Charlie, and Bam! Lowenstein has an easy writing style and walks you through all the major events in Warren’s life, mostly professional but some significant personal events as well, from childhood through the mid-90’s.

Lowenstein also takes the time to point-out where and how Warren has learned from and added to the tenants of value investing established by his mentor Benjamin Graham. Journalist Roger Lowenstein draws on three years of unprecedented access to Buffett’s family, friends, and colleagues to provide the first definitive, inside account of the life and career of this American original. In my opinion, readers would be well served to read both books. However, if a choice must be made, I would favor Snowball because of the more extensive coverage of Buffett’s youth as well as the coverage of the past decade. In conjunction with one or both of these biographies, readers should review Buffett’s letters to shareholders either as they were written or by reading Lawrence Cunningham’s The Essays of Warren Buffett which I reviewed last month.

At times, I felt that the details provided were too extensive. I suppose that personal preference for such details may cause the reaction of other readers to differ from mine. Obsessed with numbers and accumulating savings from childhood, Warren Buffett began investing at a young age. His investment strategies as an adult, however, were primarily based upon the philosophy of a university professor at Columbia Business School, Benjamin Graham.

For me this was the best of about 6 stock market investment books I bought after selecting from a list of books touted by as good reading. I read this book straight after reading Ban Grahams book, The Intelligent Investor. The latter is regarded Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist as essential reading for security analysts, money managers, etc. but I found it relatively heavy going. Seeing Ben Graham was Warren Buffett’s inspiration I thought it better to read this first before moving onto Roger Lowenstein’s book about Buffett.

If you know nothing about investment, the book can educate you while telling a great story of one of the great minds of our time. Buffett is interesting because the way he lives and works is more akin to the style of an artist or philosopher; Berkshire is his ‘canvas’ and his relationship with his partners he sees as a sacred trust. Those who have invested with him tend to keep their shares for decades and consider themselves members of a ‘privileged tribe’, Lowenstein notes. If you’re interested in investing or a biography of one of the world’s most fascinating and successful people or just want a cool look at the inside of a few decades of business, I’d highly recommend the book. If there’s one thing I’ve observed its that Buffett is remarkably patient.

But the young city prospered, and Sidney prospered with it. By the 1870s, Omaha had cast-iron architecture and an opera house.

And yet, what is particularly inspiring is that these very human, “Main Street” traits seemed to have been at the core of his success. And, while those other “more sophisticated” investors came and went, Buffett has stuck through year after year delivering impressive results. ThriftBooks sells millions of used books at the lowest everyday prices. We personally assess every book’s quality and offer rare, out-of-print treasures.

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