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Buffettology: The Previously Unexplained Techniques That Have Made Warren Buffett The Worlds Paperback – June 8, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Stevin Hoover Hoover Capital Management Absolutely the best book ever written on Warren Buffett's investment methods.

About the Author

Mary Buffett is a bestselling author, international speaker, entrepreneur, political and environmental activist. Ms. Buffett appears regularly on television as one of the top finance experts in America.  She has been the principal speaker for prestigious organization around the world.  Ms. Buffett has worked successfully in a wide range of businesses including extensive work as a consultant to several Fortune 500 companies.  She lives in California.

David Clark holds degrees in both finance and law, and in the late seventies was the founding member of the original Buffettologists - a small group of early Berkshire shareholders who studied the investment methods of Warren Buffett. He is now recognized as one of the world's leading authorities on the subject and has written extensively on it. He lives in Warren Buffett's hometown, Omaha, Nebraska, and is the Managing Director of a private investment partnership.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; 1st Fireside Ed edition (June 8, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068484821X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684848211
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #230,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Mongle on January 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
Probably the best of the Buffett books. Mary isn't part of the Buffett gang anymore, so she doesn't have anything to protect, just plenty to tell.
Mary Buffett and David Clark spell out Buffett's methodology as well as anybody. But once you get into the meat of the book, you realize that Buffett had (and has) a lot of advantages over most other investors. That, in and of itself, doesn't take away from the genius behind the method, just that you aren't going to approximate his returns without a lot of luck.
Particularly interesting is that many of his "great" purchases were made either when the market had momentarily beaten down a good company, or when the market in general was on the ropes. Both situations recall the sage advice to "buy when blood is running in the streets." Sadly, most investors are usually loaded up with stocks (and paper losses) and without the wherewithal to buy more when these panics hit.
That's where Buffett's business strategy comes in. By investing heavily in insurance companies early and often, he's the beneficiary of a steady stream of cash, ready to be put to use whenever the opportunity presents itself.
The authors' advice to mimic Buffett in seeking out consumer "monopolies" with intangible assets is good; "an unregulated monopoly that the world hasn't recognized yet," as they say. However, thousands of Wall Street's brightest are hard at work all day and into the night looking for those same jewels. So you'll have plenty of competition.
Two problems arise from this type of book. The first is that the assumptions made about the expected growth of earnings/dividends over the course of the next 10 years can easily go astray. The business environment is changing rapidly. Long-range predictions haven't held up well recently (and frequently don't).
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful By James H. McDuffie on February 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
Although I agree with some reviewers about the origin of the book I believe it should be judged by its merits rather than by whether or not Mary Buffett is capitalizing on her relationship with Buffet's son. The book makes a great deal of sense actually and I have made a great deal of money in the stock market using methods almost identical to those espoused in the book.
However, the authors fail to explain why low debt, high return on equity companies are so attractive. They dance around but never hit the correct answer. This makes me wonder if they really understand it. For the reader's future reference, once this simple fact is truly understood the investor is on his or her way to understanding investment. Another difficulty is that there are mathematical errors in the book and simplistic mathematical calculations. But the errors induced thereby are not large and no one seems to realize that the calculations are just a poor man's replacement for calculus. As someone with a extensive mathematical background I find this perfectly acceptable. Quite frankly, I have never needed more than simple algebra to understand investments anyhow so restricting the reader to this is good. Also, some sections of the book wander about somewhat aimlessly trying to explain rather simple concepts. I just think the authors don't have a quantitative background. As I said above that is ok but these concepts can be explained better in words than they are in the book.
Finally, other reviewers are correct. Mary Buffett using Warren said this and Warren said that etc. throughout the book grates after a very few pages.
But in the final analysis the book is worth the time and effort.
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49 of 54 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
I've read Robert Hagstrom's "The Warren Buffett Portfolio", Ben Graham's "The Intelligent Investor", James O'Shaughnessy's "What Works on Wall Street", and Peter Lynch's "One Up On Wall Street". "Buffettology" is better than all of them combined. It tells you Warren's basic investment strategies AND the mathematics to calculate what is and isn't a good buy. It goes far beyond just P/E ratios and ROE.

Before I bought the book, I wondered if maybe Mary Buffett didn't really know Warren's investment strategies and was just using her name to sell books. I was wrong. She goes into great detail about how he picks stocks. Far more detail than is in Hagstrom's book or in BRK's Annual Reports (but those are good sources too).
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Value Seeker on March 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
Some people writing reviews of this book have criticised Mary Buffett for cashing in on her former relationship to Warren Buffett. I don't have a problem with that. Everyone who has written a book about Buffett has done it to make money. What I found interesting about this book was that Mary Buffett has not included a single example of her using the information in this book to buy a company's shares in the stock market and make money. Mary Buffett doesn't provide the name of one company she made money on - or her reasoning behind buying it. We all know Warren Buffett can make money in the stock market. Mary Buffett doesn't show us that by using the information in her book she has ever made a dime.

The book is written for a reading level of about junior high school. The book might be helpful to someone that age just getting interested in investing. If a parent has a child that age getting interested in the stock market, this might be an OK present. There is some good information in chapter 16 on the characteristics of excellent businesses and in chapter 18 on where to find information on companies that have shares listed on stock exchanges. A key point made in the book is that there are two separate parts to successfully investing in the stock market: 1) identifying excellent businesses 2) after you have found several excellent businesses buying shares of any of these companies ONLY at times when their shares are trading at low bargain prices.

Warren Buffett's company is Berkshire Hathaway. The best place to learn about Warren Buffett is the Berkshire website. It's free. The quality of the man's writing on business and the stock market (almost) matches his skill as an investor. If you are really interested in learning about investing you will appreciate and enjoy reading Warren Buffett's letters to shareholders posted for free on the Berkshire website far more than this book.
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Buffettology: The Previously Unexplained Techniques That Have Made Warren Buffett The Worlds
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