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Essay of Warren Buffet

  • Date Submitted: 09/24/2011 12:28 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 39.5 
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The Essays of Warren Buffet
Lessons for Investors and Managers
Selected, Arranged and Introduced by
Lawrence A. Cunningham
John Wiley & Sons, 264 pages
Rating: 8
This is as near as you will get to a book “by” Warren Buffet, and for this reason more
than any other, it is the best of the Buffet book bunch. Buffett has not actually written or
published any book on investment, and all the other books are based upon insights
gathered from his corporate essays/letters reported in the Berkshire Hathaway (BH)
annual report (see below) or from discussing investment with him and learning from his
ways. What makes this book so good, is that there is very little comment or interpretation
– this is pure Buffett which has been “selected and arranged” from his many essays.
Therefore, it is hardly surprising that, even with his genuine modesty, Buffet says that “If
I were to pick one (Buffett) book to read, this would be the one”.
Cunningham is Director of the Centre of Corporate Governance and Professor of Law at
the Cardoza Law School, New York City; another example of how much closer law and
finance co-exist as disciplines in the US. The origin of the book (I read the revised 2002
edn) is a symposium held at Cardoza featuring this compendium of Buffett’s letters –
which was attended by Buffett and his “partner” and BH Vice Chairman, Charlie Munger
– another lawyer!
If you have read no other work on Buffett, you can safely start with this work and get
right into it, beginning with the foundations of investment through the principles laid out
by Ben Graham and David Dodd, who themselves taught Buffett. Don’t be concerned
that some essays are a little old hat, in that some text goes back to the late seventies (all
yearly references in the footnotes). Reason: Buffet pulls apart and denounces many of
the modern theories of finance/investment and illustrates why the basic principles
espoused by Graham and Dodd are superior to modern financial theory....


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