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Buffett Beyond Value: Why Warren Buffett Looks to Growth and Management When Investing Hardcover – March, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

While Warren Buffett’s investment ideas are simple to understand, his success can be difficult to duplicate—unless you become familiar with how he really goes about the process of investing.

In this engaging new book, author Prem C. Jain extracts Warren Buffett’s investment wisdom from Berkshire Hathaway annual reports, Buffett’s letters to shareholders and partners in his partnership firms, and as many of Buffett’s other writings as he could find—thousands of pages written over the past fifty years. Through this effort, Jain uncovers the key elements of Buffett’s approach and offers an accessible way to apply it to your own investment endeavors.

With Buffett Beyond Value, you’ll quickly learn that, contrary to popular belief, Warren Buffett is not a pure value investor, but a unique thinker who combines the principles of both value and growth investing strategies. You’ll also discover why Buffett emphasizes the importance of high-quality management above many other metrics when evaluating a company he’s interested in.

Written for anyone serious about stock market investing, this unique guide skillfully outlines the proven principles Buffett has followed over the course of his long and successful career and shows you what it takes to make them work for you. Topics include:

  • How to build a diverse and profitable portfolio the Warren Buffett way

  • Why you need an appropriate psychological temperament to be a successful investor

  • Buffett’s thoughts on market efficiency and the ways in which you can incorporate them into your investment decision making

  • How issues related to profitability and accounting can provide you with a perspective that is uncommon in investing circles

  • Why Buffett thinks differently from others about portfolio diversification, corporate governance, and much more

If there’s one person worth listening to when it comes to investing—whether you’re an individual investor, a student, an academic, or a professional portfolio manager—it’s Warren Buffett. And with Buffett Beyond Value as your guide, you’ll gain valuable insights that could enhance your understanding of investing and improve your ability to make more profitable decisions in today’s markets.

From the Back Cover

“Many books about Warren Buffett describe him as simply a ‘value’ investor. Jain gives us a clearer understanding of the techniques of the man known as ‘the world’s greatest investor’ and shows that his investment principles are consistent with many of the precepts of modern financial theory.”
BURTON MALKIEL, Professor, Economics Department, Princeton University; author of A Random Walk Down Wall Street and The Elements of Investing

“This is required reading for all Buffettologists looking for more than just sound bites and folk wisdom in their quest to peer into the mind of one of the greatest investors of all time. Read this book slowly and savor every page while sipping a Cherry Coke!”
ANDREW W. LO, Harris & Harris Group Professor, MIT Sloan School of Management

“What better way to become a successful investor than to study the teachings of Warren Buffett? And, what better way to study those teachings than to read Buffett’s forty-year writings contained in his annual reports? Prem C. Jain jump-starts those lessons by culling Buffett’s most salient investment secrets and summarizes them in a wonderful and easy-to-read book.”
HOWARD M. SCHILIT, author of Financial Shenanigans; founder, Financial Shenanigans Detection Group

“Post the 2008-2009 financial crisis, everyone from New York to New Delhi is looking for investment advice. The advice has just arrived! Prem C. Jain’s lucid, accessible encapsulation of Buffett’s investment wisdom is a page-turner—it’s full of investment nuggets and entertaining anecdotes, and yet the write-up is faithful to economic theory. Buffett’s investment thesis is now out in the open, and therefore may a thousand Buffetts bloom!”
S.P. KOTHARI, Managing Director, Blackrock; Gordon Y Billard Professor of Management, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (March 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470467150
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470467152
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #945,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Considering this book was written by an academic, I am surprised by the lack of intellectual rigour. The most important part of investing is valuing the business. This section of the book leaves much to be desired. When calculating intrinsic value the author projects future growth rates by assuming they will be the same as recent past growth rates. This is a very dangerous assumption because the past does not predict the future and growth rates have a tendency to rapidly decay. The author bases his discount rate on the mortgage rate for his house. Again I feel this is flawed and the reasoning is not well explained by the author.

The rest of the book is largely a rehash of the annual reports and I think it is better to directly read the primary sources because this book misinterprets some of Buffett's writings. For example the author assumes Buffett pays a premium for a business because of "the potential growth". This is not true because Buffett in his reports makes it abundantly clear that if a business could grow by $1 but consumed $100 of capital in the process, this "growth" would be destructive for shareholder value. It may seem that I'm nitpicking here but anyone who reads Jain's book and runs out and start paying a premium simply for "growth" would risk doing great violence to their wealth. The book contains a number of these partial truths and inconsistencies.

Overall I would recommend skipping the book and directly reading shareholder letters.
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A painful read indeed. I regret spending time and money skimming through this book. While the selection of topics is good and the investment philosophy of Buffett is worth studying, the author gets it wrong on many levels. A lot of simple stuff he doesn't really understand properly. Instead he spends a lot of time hypothesizing about what Buffet may thought when investing in this or that company. Often his guesses are widely off the mark. Better to read John Train's or Jack Schwager's books, or biographies by investors with good track records. I'm also surprised by the number of 5-star reviews - looks a bit suspicious?
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Format: Hardcover
If there is one book you should read on Warren Buffett, this is it! Instead of analyzing every little detail of Buffett's life, Jain focuses on Buffett's investment thesis. Contrary to popular opinion, following naive value strategies is unlikely to turn you into a successful investor (as I have found out for myself). Instead, Jain's extensive analysis reveals Buffett's preference for growth companies selling at reasonable prices and managed by outstanding people. More importantly, Jain helps investors to identify such investing opportunities by summarizing the main lessons from each of Buffett's investments and from Buffett's writings. From market efficiency to market psychology, from accounting to corporate governance, this book has it all. I highly recommend it to anyone who is serious about investing in the market.
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I am an extreme Buffett fan. I try to read everything about Buffett and the investment moves he has made or is making. I have attended several Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meetings. I have taught a course on the fundamentals of investing at American University. And in my view, Professor Jain makes a uniquely valuable contribution in his examination of Buffett's investing approach. While keeping the discussion at a level that is easy to understand, this book offers useful information both for readers without a technical background who are interested in understanding that approach, and for those like me, who are already very familiar with it. Jain's perspective in analyzing Buffett's investing style from his area of expertise -- accounting and finance -- adds important dimensions to his discussion. He emphasizes aspects that forced me to reexamine concepts I already knew, and also presents information I did not know. For example, I am familiar with the influence of Benjamin Graham on Buffett's investing style -- the "cigar butt" approach, according to which you buy the stock of a company that is within your circle of competence, and buy it where the price is significantly below the intrinsic value of the firm (i.e., with a margin of safety.) I also knew of Charlie Munger's and Phillip Fisher's influence in modifying Buffett's approach toward one of investing in higher quality companies with growth prospects -- buy stock in a company with good growth prospects while paying a "fair" price, as opposed to buying stock in a lower quality company at a "great" price. But Jain's insightful discussion of this concept has prompted me to reconsider and modify my own investing style, to pay greater attention to the importance of good management for companies with growth prospects.Read more ›
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My qualifications: Ph.D. Finance, investor beginning 1967. Not sure what to make of this one. Buffet will and/or will not do certain things. He will NOT invest in IBM (pp.50,51,165,199,207-8,219-20,233.) Great manager David Solkol is "Buffet's eyes and ears" when Buffet does not "completely understand the technology." (P.84.) " Buffet on derivatives: "financial weapons of mass destruction."(p. 21.) Berkshire tried to purchase Long-Term Capital Management, the poster-boy for derivatives gone into the rathole (p.188-90.) Quality and reputation of management are important for making investments (esp. p. 270.) Berkshire invested in Goldman Sachs and General Electric using convertibles--derivative carrying securities of questionable companies. Flip, flop, and fly. I am going to stay with intrinsic value for security selection, thanks. Not in BRK or BRK.B surely.
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