Gems from Warren Buffett: Wit and Wisdom from 34 Years of Letters to Shareholders
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In one sentence: "A lifetime of Warren Buffett's Wit and Wisdom in 122 pages" Warren Buffett is the world's most famous and successful investor. Every year, he writes a 30-40 page letter to shareholders of his company, Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. These letters have become required reading for people seeking success in all walks of life, but especially business and investing. "Gems from Warren Buffett" is a collection of 240 of Warren Buffett's wittiest and most insightful thoughts ("gems"), culled from 34 years of his iconic letters. These gems lighten spirits with their humor, enlighten minds with their wisdom, and provide an interesting view into one of America's most successful CEOs.
here, since most words in this book are Warren Buffett’s and used with his permission. Mark Gavagan graduated from Utica College in upstate New York, spent several years climbing the corporate ladder at a Fortune 100 company, and left in 1997 to become a professional day trader during the dot-com boom and bust. While trading was lucrative and exciting, it contrasts sharply with Warren Buffett’s “buy and hold forever” philosophy. Mark left trading in 2003 to strike out on his own as an
Managers and owners need to remember, however, that accounting is but an aid to business thinking, never a substitute for it.” -1986 letter * * * “But it’s much easier to criticize than to improve such accounting rules. The inherent problems are monumental.” -1980 letter * * * On obscure accounting maneuvers that masked significant deterioration in other firms’ underlying businesses: “The reaction of weak managements to weak operations is often weak accounting. (‘It’s difficult for
effect, such managements are saying that they want a good many of the existing clientele continually to desert them in favor of new ones - because you can’t add lots of new owners (with new expectations) without losing lots of former owners. We much prefer owners who like our service and menu and who return year after year. It would be hard to find a better group to sit in the Berkshire Hathaway shareholder "seats" than those already occupying them. So we hope to continue to have a very low
learned – the hard way – after many years in the business: Surprises in insurance are far from symmetrical. You are lucky if you get one that is pleasant for every ten that go the other way. Too often, however, insurers react to looming loss problems with optimism. They behave like the fellow in a switchblade fight who, after his opponent has taken a mighty swipe at his throat, exclaimed, ‘You never touched me.’ His adversary’s reply: ‘Just wait until you try to shake your head.’ ” -2005 letter
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