- Verlag: Cunningham Group (30. April 2001)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0966446119
- ISBN-13: 978-0966446111
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 1,9 x 17,1 x 24,8 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 1.111.056 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
The Essays Of Warren Buffett: Lessons For Corporate America (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 30. April 2001
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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 --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.
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Buffet has the strangest of powers in that he comes across as a homespun billionaire. Now that's different from just being homespun, the way Sam Walton was, or just being a billionaire, like Bill Gates. Buffet flaunts his wealth and his professional love of money, all the while expressing essential, eternal truths in simple, earthy phrases. When I saw Buffet speak at business school he tapped on the microphone to test it and said "testing, testing, one-million, two-million, three-million." It is that natural genius for combining wealth, truth and comedy that is most vividly on display in "The Essays of Warren Buffet.".
Of course, these timeless, simple truths are all known - the way we know that "eat less, exercise more" is how to lose weight. And yet, and yet, it takes Buffet to remind us to "think like an owner"; invest only in management that you "like, trust, and admire"; and buy pieces of business (stocks) when it costs less than the intrinsic value.
There are the excellent statements of managerial accountability, business valuation, and capital structure. Helpful warnings on accounting shenanigans, trading costs, and paying heed to Mr. Market. For clarity, brevity, wit, truth, and learning, there is no business writer in the 20th century that compares with Warren Buffet.
Buffet's sayings are irreplaceable (and I am not cherry picking here, but merely highlighting a half-dozen of the hundreds of bon mots in this book):
"On the other hand, working with people who cause your stomach to churn seems much like marrying for money - probably a bad idea under any circumstances, but absolute madness if you are already rich."
"The speed at which a business success is recognized, furthermore, is not that important as long as the company's intrinsic value is increasing at a satisfactory rate. In fact, delayed recognition can be an advantage: It may give us the chance to buy more of a good thing at a bargain price."
"Just as work expands to fill available time, corporate projects or acquisitions will materialize to soak up available funds... any business craving of the leader, however foolish, will be quickly supported by detailed rate-of-return and strategic studies prepared by his troops"
In regard to acquisitions, which usually fail to earn the cost of capital: "The managers at fault periodically report on the lesson they have learned from the latest disappointment. They then usually seek out future lessons."
"One of the ironies of the stock market is the emphasis on activity. Brokers, using terms such as `marketability' and `liquidity," sing the praises of companies with high share turnover... but investors should understand that what is good for the croupier is not good for the customer. A hyperactive stock market is the pick pocket of enterprise."
On acquiring bad companies for cheap prices: "In my early days as a manager I, too, dated a few toads. They were cheap dates - I've never been much of a sport - but my results matched those of acquirers who courted higher-price toads. I kissed and they croaked."
Buffet is approaching literature here - the nuance involved, and the delicious counter-pointing of toads, dates, sport are pitch-perfect. The payoff - "I kissed and they croaked" is as fine a line of found poetry as exists.
Buffet, having studied at the feet of the master of investment literature for the first half of the 20th century, has ascended to become the master of investment literature, unqualified. This is a book that will please Buffet-maniacs, investors, finance newbies, and anybody with an interest in the articulated evolution of managerial capitalism that has separated the finance and capital allocation specialties from the operational and day-to-day specializations.
In closing, it's appropriate to quote America's great investing wag quoting America's greatest political wag - the subject is, as always with Buffet, simple maths and simple truths:
"Managers thinking about accounting issues should never forget one of Abraham Lincoln's favorite riddles: `How many legs does a dog have if you call his tail a leg?' The answer: `Four, because calling a tail a leg does not make it a leg'."
Enjoy this book.
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. Since most sales are done over the Internet these days, the cover needed a face-lift.
"The adage remains, however, that one should not judge a book by its cover. This book should continue to be judged on its content and organization, in which a distinctive investment and business philosophy is coherently articulated. Thanks to the many fans of the book, first published in 1997. I hope you enjoy the updated edition. And I hope to see many of you in Omaha for the Berkshire shareholders' meeting in May."
With regard to the Third Edition's subtitle, "Lessons for Corporate America," my own opinion is that almost all of the lessons can be of substantial value to leaders in any organization, whatever its size and nature may be. Among Buffett's most important and yet least appreciated talents is his ability to establish a direct and personal rapport with each person he meets or who reads any of his letters as well as any of his articles such as those included in Carol Loomis' superb book, Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything, 1966-2012.
I watched three segments of Buffett and Loomis' appearances on The Charlie Rose Show and their informal but gracious manner made me feel as if I had been a personal friend of theirs for many years. (I wish I had purchased Berkshire stock 50 years ago!) Credit Cunningham with brilliant editing as well as his own contributions to what continues to be a "moveable feast" of information, insights, wisdom, and wit. Once again, his Introduction (all by itself) is worth much more than the cost of the book as he again discusses with rigor and eloquence what he considers to be key points about Buffett and his leadership of Berkshire Hathaway in recent years.
* * *
Review of Second Edition:
Over the years, I have read several of the essays that Warren Buffett included in Berkshire Hathaway's annual reports. After reading two biographies of him (Alice Schroeder's The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life and Roger Lowenstein's Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist), I purchased a copy of this volume and began to work my way through the contents selected, arranged, and introduced by Lawrence A. Cunningham. I began with Cunningham's Introduction (all by itself, worth much more than the cost of the book) in which he reviews what he considers to be key points about Buffett and his leadership of Berkshire Hathaway.
For example, "The CEOs of Berkshire's various operating companies enjoy a unique position in corporate America. They are given a simple set of commands: to run their business as if (1) they are its sole owner, (2) it is the only asset they hold, and (3) they can never sell or merge it for a hundred years." With regard to investment thinking, "one must guard against what Buffett calls the `institutional imperative.' It is a pervasive force in which institutional dynamics produce resistance to change, absorption of available corporate funds, and reflexive approval of suboptimal CEO strategies by subordinates. Contrary to what is often taught in business and law schools, this powerful force often interferes with rational business decision-making. The ultimate result of the institutional imperative is a follow-the-pack mentality producing industry imitators, rather than industry leaders - what Buffett calls a lemming-like approach to business."
Cunningham organizes the essays within seven sections between Buffett's Prologue (Pages 27-28) and his Epilogue (Pages 273-282):
I Corporate Governance
II Corporate Finance and Investing
III Alternatives to Common Stock
IV Common Stock
V Mergers and Acquisitions
VI Accounting and Valuation
VII Accounting Policy and Tax Matters
As Buffett explains in his Prologue, members of Berkshire Hathaway's shareholder group receive communications directly "from the fellow you are paying to run the business. Your Chairman has a firm belief that owners are entitled to hear directly from the CEO as to what is going on and how he evaluates the business, currently and prospectively. You should demand that in a private company; you should expect no less in a public company. A once-a-year report of stewardship should not be turned over to a staff specialist or public relations consultant who is unlikely to be in a position to talk frankly on a manager-to-owner basis."
Those who share my own keen interest in Warren Buffett's leadership and management principles will learn a great deal from a careful reading of these essays. They are quite literally "from the horse's mouth." The substantial value-added benefits include the fact that Buffett thinks and writes so clearly, duly acknowledges bad decisions and personal regrets (yes, there were several), explains what he learned from them, and meanwhile reveals a playful (albeit dry) sense of humor. He also includes a number of personal observations about America, especially about its culture and economy, at various times throughout the last 25-30 years. The two aforementioned biographies indicate that throughout his life, Buffett thoroughly enjoyed each and every opportunity to increase others' understanding of sound business principles that include but are by no means limited to investments.
Readers who are not among Berkshire Hathaway's shareholders will especially appreciate the fact that, in each of these essays, Buffett establishes and then sustains a direct and personal rapport. The tone is conversational and, better yet, inclusive. He never talks down to his reader. He never "dumbs down" the material. Inevitably and appropriately, he cites Berkshire Hathaway situations when illustrating certain key points but, really, most of the material in this book will have wide and deep general interest to executives as well as to shareholders who otherwise have no association with either Buffett or his company. I highly recommend this book without hesitation or qualification.
Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Lawrence A. Cunningham readers have access to essays that previously were available primarily to shareholders, and which are organized in this book thematically for the first time. Annual reports are generally easy to come by, however as I write, 1 Share Of Berkshire Hathaway "A" requires $59,900.00, and the "Baby Berkshires" $1,966.00 per share. Many are quick to respond the price is so high as Mr. Buffet has not split the stock, ever. But what is more important is why he has never done this. This book explains his theory on this matter, and dozens of others.
Mr. Buffet has his critics, they range from the idiotic, "he's lucky", "his success allows him to make attractive deals", and to those who feel he missed the money that was made in tech stocks. As for the luck theory, who else has earned 23.8% compounded annually for over 25 years? Winning the lottery is probably more likely an event. As to the attractive deals his wealth is said to facilitate, I guess the answer is, is the questioner serious? He made what he has, his reputation allowed him to have the Federal Government allow Solomon Brothers to continue participating in the bond market based on one thing, his word! This is a man who has rescinded very successful trades because news arrived within days of his buying that could have given the appearance of his having had information others were not privy to.
This book has more useful information and ideas that have been proven over decades than any 10 hot Business Books of the moment. Mr. Buffet has had off years, but he has never gone bust.
One of my favorite stories is when he was hanging out with friends as a kid, his pals were collecting bottles for the deposit. He was collecting bottle caps, sorting them, and determining who was drinking what brand! He clearly was put amongst us for a reason.
On a time invested basis there is no better or more rewarding reading than these essays. No one can match what he has accomplished, why would someone not wish to hear what he has to say on dozens of topics?
Having read several other books claiming to have captured and outlined Buffett's investment wizardry, I am excited to report that finally some one has done so beautifully. Cunningham distills and presents the Berkshire philosophy in a coherent and organized manner that puts it in a whole new light. This book is an excellent investment guidance source for everyone, from the novice to the more seasoned investor. You will find yourself dog-earing pages and underlining like crazy. Absolutely brilliant!