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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive guide to all things Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway
I still remember the joy I felt discovering the 1996 edition of this book. I am an avid Warren Buffett fan, and was hungry to find information on Warren and his company, Berkshire Hathaway. I had trouble finding a good source of information on Buffett until I stumbled on an old used copy of Of Permanent Value, the 1996 edition. It was years old and thus wasn't up to...
Published on January 15, 2007 by Richard Casterline

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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For "Berk-Heads" Only
This is a relatively well-written book, telling the story of Warren Buffett in great detail. Let me emphasize this last part by repeating it: it tells the story of Warren Buffett _in great detail_.
Author Andrew Kilpatrick has tackled his subject with the dedication of a stalker. Throughout _Of Permanent Value_ readers will be told, not just how WEB has accumalated a...
Published on May 23, 2003 by thewahlmighty


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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For "Berk-Heads" Only, May 23, 2003
This is a relatively well-written book, telling the story of Warren Buffett in great detail. Let me emphasize this last part by repeating it: it tells the story of Warren Buffett _in great detail_.
Author Andrew Kilpatrick has tackled his subject with the dedication of a stalker. Throughout _Of Permanent Value_ readers will be told, not just how WEB has accumalated a mind-boggling fortune, but also how well he tips (or doesn't), who his favorite philosopher is and what type of car he drives. You'll learn of the different groups of Buffett fans, the relatives of Buffett, the foundation that will spread around his wealth after he's no longer tap-dancing to work. And you'll read accounts of (random) people who saw Buffett in China, who taught or went out with him when he was younger, and so on and so on ad infinitum.
As such, the book is primarily for those who want to know more about who Warren Buffett the person is, than about how one can be more like him financially. To those, then, who want to know how to invest like Buffett I do not recommend you read this book--at least not until after you've read the other, better books on this subject. These are _The Warren Buffett Way_ (my favorite), _The Making of an American Capitalist_, and _How to Pick Stocks Like Warren Buffett_.
If you, however, _do_ want to know much more about Buffett than the average person, this book can not be recommended highly enough. Everything has been written down in the pages of this book--the only thing that wasn't discussed was whether Buffett wears boxers or briefs. (I'm sure Kilpatrick's saving this one for the next, revised edition however.)
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive guide to all things Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway, January 15, 2007
By 
I still remember the joy I felt discovering the 1996 edition of this book. I am an avid Warren Buffett fan, and was hungry to find information on Warren and his company, Berkshire Hathaway. I had trouble finding a good source of information on Buffett until I stumbled on an old used copy of Of Permanent Value, the 1996 edition. It was years old and thus wasn't up to date, but was everything I was looking for. I have owned the last four latest editions since that discovery, so that I am always kept up to date.

OPV gets a makeover for 2007...switching to a two volume format to encompass the huge amount of updated information on BRK. I must say, this new format was a long time coming, as the bindings are much better than on the 2006 version, which was huge!

This latest version has updates on everything from Hurricane Katrina to the new Iscar purchase, to Warren hanging out with LeBron James. While containing all of the latest updates, this book also retains all of the information it always had going back to the earliest days of BRK -- complete with copies of the actual paperwork drawing up the original Buffett Partnership!

There really is no comparison to any other book out there, as no other book comes close to offering the breadth of information on Warren Buffett. This book even has his first tax return, which he filed at age seven. While this is a very thick set of books, it doesn't have to be read from cover to cover. The book is split into 355 separate sections, with a detailed table of contents making it easy to skip to the section you want to read. It doesn't flow from cover to cover...so at this point I think of it more as a reference, like an encyclopedia on Warren and Berkshire, where you skip to any subject in which you are interested.

This book also includes the extracurricular activities surrounding Buffett, including the Yellow BRKers fan club and the shareholder's meetings. I like to sit down and re-read a good chunk of the latest issue before the shareholder's meetings to get fired up. I actually learn new things every time I read a section, because there is so much there. It's also fun to take to the shareholder's meetings, because the author is usually in the exhibit hall and will autograph your copy.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book about Warren Buffett. A must read for all Buffett fans., December 12, 2006
First, I want to mention two things that you should know about this book. One is that this book is suitable for Warren Buffett true fans (if you aren't yet, you probably will become one after you read this book). Secondly, since this book contains almost everything that you might want to know about Warren Buffett, the book is quite thick (though this year it is divided into 2 volumes which is very helpful and much more convenient to hold/read). The indexing might be confusing (Andy mentioned that he tried to make it in chronological order, and I belive at the same time he wanted to put some fresh content in the first couple chapters). I have read this book more than once (including the previous versions), so I'm quite familiar with the content and structure, but even as you started completing a couple chapter, you would be able to start understanding the big picture (from Warren's childhood till his current Berkshire days.)

One very positive points about this book is: eventhough this book is very abundant in information, it is not boring to read. One of the reason is that the chapters are mostly short (and getting directly to the point). If you don't feel like reading the whole book , you can always pick the chapters that interest you. Kudos to Andy Kilpatrick for putting this book together (I also appreciate his sense of humor). Once you know the limitation (thick, somewhat random indexing), this book is easily considered the best book about Warren Buffett in my opinion. Not only for today, but ever.. I know that is a bold statement...

Another thing I like about Of Permanent Value: Pictures.. pictures.. pictures.. Lots of pictures.. A picture worth a thousand words..

Now about the content of the book. You will learn a lot about Warren Buffett and his life, and not only investing topic (investing decisions that he made throughout his career) but his life principles, family, and business in general as well. You will learn about his first job delivering papers when he was 13 (he filed income tax and deducted the bike as business cost), and how he build his first business (pinball machine business), created Buffett partnership, break it up (liquidate), acquire berkshire mills, creating Berkshire Hathaway as investment vehicle, and many other great investment decision/story that he made (Geico, See's Candies, Dairy Queen, General Re, Coca Cola, Salomon, Washington Post, Gillette etc)

Buffett concrete rules for investing are:
1. Never lose money
2. Never forget rule #1

I know it's easier said (what he say above about to never lose money) than done based on my 10 years of invesitng experience , but then again I'm no Warren Buffett.

In my opinion, here are the 5 strategy/skills that Warren Buffett uses (Mr. Buffett, please correct me if I'm wrong):
1. Intrinsic Value
2. Margin of Safety
3. Temperament (discipline and understanding Mr.Market)
4. Circle of Competence (knowing what your circle of competence)
5. Common Sense (which I think is the most important factor and encapsulate everything about Warren Buffett.)

You will learn that Warren is very good with numbers (calculating in his head) and memorizing so many facts and numbers. You will also learn that Warren is a man with a very good sense of humor.

There are so many things/chapters that I like on this book. Let me try to mention three of my favorite sections.

One is when Warren need to make a decision who would run Salomon ($150B institution with 8000 employees) within 2 days during their first crisis. There are 12 top-level managers that he interviewed. "This was the most important hire of my life", said Warren to the Columbia business students. The chapter explain his thought process of this candidate selection in detail. Warren mentioned that the good news (for the students and the candidate) is that he didn't ask what their grades were (laughter). Warren also said, "Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence and energy. and if they don't have the first, the other two will kill you. if you think about it, it's true, if you hire somebody without integrity, you want them to be dumb and lazy" (laughter). And he conclude the topic with this statement which I think is very powerful: "Pick the kind of person to work for you that you want to marry your son or daughter. You won't go wrong". By the way, he picked Deryck Maughan by the way for his integrity.

Another chapter that I really like is how Warren put the audience (of more than 2000 people) through Business School in an electrifying two minutes (The chapter about "Generics"). See how Warren answer the question of "Will developments in the generic brand area hurt coca-cola?" which is a very important questions. I'll try not to spill too much and take the joy of reading this chapter yourself but he basically explains in a nutshell (with all the details and numbers) how business and competition works (and using several other example like Gilette, Marlboro, Sam Cola etc) and how he convinced the audience (and me as a reader) that coca cola is considered immune to generics. He explains how one can save $500 for smoking generic brand (vs Marlboro) which is a lot of money. While a man will probably will only save $11 per year by not using Gilette Sensor and probably leave band-aids on his face and an uncomfotable experience for opting for generics/lower quality blades. And for coca cola, the net profit margin is only 1 cents per serving (can) while a lot of the ingredients cost (such as the aluminium close to 6 cents a can, sugar 1.3 ounce per can or 1.75 cents etc) the same regardless for coke or other cola company.

The third chapter that I like is when Warren is being questioned by CEOs about what is his best advice for CEOs/leaders.. expecting to get some standard answers like honesty and loyalty.. Warren actually didn't even touch those areas (which I'm sure Warren do think those are also important).. but what Warren actually said is, "Set your expectation low, and you will rarely get dissapointed".

I'll stop here before it's getting too long. In summary, If you are a Warren Buffett fans, then this book is for you. If you are uncertain, you can get other books first (potentially less thick book), like "Warren Buffet Way" or maybe "Buffettology", and if you like them (Warren) or want to know more about Warren then get this book. I personally don't like it at the beginning but as time goes by (and after I re-read the book/chapters), I changed my mind, this book is a masterpiece.

As a Berkshire shareholder, I want to encourage all berkshire shareholders (and potential/future shareholders) to read this book to know more about the person in charge of your berkshire investment. I also want to encourage all shareholders to go to the annual shareholder meeting while Mr. Buffett is still in charge.

Last but not least, if I have to sum this book up in a word or two, I would use the word "WISDOM" to describe this book, though I have a strong feeling that Warren will disagree with me and think that the more suitable phrase is "COMMON SENSE"

Happy Investing!

Sidarta Tanu
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have Book, January 6, 2007
The mantra; "If it sounds too good to be true; it probably is!" was a mantra that I lived by personally and professionally, as a business lawyer, in advising clients on business and financial transactions for over 33 years.

In a recent conversation with a good friend, a very successful local doctor, I asked: "When are you going to retire?" With a sad look on his face he responded: "Charlie, I made a lot of very bad investments!" I'm familiar with some of those investments that scammed many locals.

So what if someone said: "You can have the `Smartest Investor in the World' manage your money and he will charge you only 10 cents a year for his services, with no other fees or charges, for a $100,000 investment."

Sound too good to be true?

Amazingly, it is true!

Andrew Kilpatrick's new 2 volume 2007, International Edition of his book: "Of Permanent Value, The Story of Warren Buffett" is a MUST HAVE set for anyone who wants to reduce the cost of effective money management, sleep well at night knowing that their money is being managed by a man who is universally admired and respected for his honesty, integrity, commitment to his shareholders and his incredible financial acumen; Warren Buffett.

The new edition lays out the entire story of Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway and the multiple individuals in every walk of life who are attracted to his unique personality. The two volume work is divided into 335 nugget-sized chapters for easy reading with photos galore.

With 1848 pages, this is not a book you grab (you'll get a hernia) and read before going to sleep. But, IF you want to know EVERYTHING there is to know about "The World's Most Successful Investor" who has made many people VERY RICH while managing their money for pennies then buy this book. It is the ultimate encyclopedia for investing with comfort and confidence. The book exhaustively covers not only the "must know" financial history of Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway but woven throughout the book are wonderful anecdotes that enable the reader to really get to know Warren Buffett and gain insight into his incredible wisdom, human and financial insights and his down to earth sense of humor.

The $50 that you will pay for this book may be the best investment you'll ever make.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most comprehensive study of the life of the world's greatest invesor, January 25, 2007
Andy has really outdone himself with this set of two volumes. It has so much information in it that one has to pace himself when reading.There are 1800 plus pages. I find it highly interesting and infomative. If ever one wanted to know any thing about Warren Buffett, then this is the place to go. It probably has facts about WEB that even he may have forgotten.

That fact that this book has compiled just about evey fact that one might want to know about Buffett, from what type of car he drives to how many cokes he consumes a day, to his fond love of hamburgers,to the cost of his house in Omaha, it is in this set of two volulmes.

I am especially impressed with the stories on the early days of his partnership, and the wealth creation that came with throwing in with the unknown WEB. The amount of millionaires that he has created through his investing genius, as well as his patience on investing for the long term is to be found in this treatise over and over. I also feel that the lessons of life that Warren teaches is also most important. His value system is also on the mark. It is truly an amazing fact that the man is so correct in the manner in which he makes money, and also that he is so far ahead of the curve when it comes to his personal ethics. For example, when he got out of Freddy Mac, most people did not understand why. He did and sure enough, along come the accouting issues. He preached about stock options being expensed, about eating your own cooking. He has talked about the dangers of derivatives as well as excessive executive compensation. He is on the mark on all issues, and he sees the problems and explains it in simple english. Probably best of all, he lives his life in front of an open window,with everyone watchine his every move, but he lives it like he tells it. Andy has really laid it all out for anyone to see.

I know that if one wants to know how to invest like Warren Buffett, that this is a "must have" set. It is the best $ 50.00 dollars that a person will ever spend in the quest of long term investing and making money.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warrren Buffett--a complete Biography, December 26, 2006
By 
J. C. HOLT (Clinton, New Jersey) - See all my reviews
For both casual fans and serious students of Warren Buffett, Andrew Kilpataraick's book,"Of Permanent Value" is an astounding, and prolific assortment of material that thoroughly describes the life of this extraordinary man. The author has managed to compose and compile a mine of entertaining information that is a joy for serious students of Buffett or those who want only to spend an enjoyable evening browsing the man and his methods. Either way, the book is entertainment at its best and an overflowing source of accurate biographical material. I also found the book's unique style of presentation to be a large plus which contributed greatly to the enjoyment of reading. By means of an outstanding array of photographs, captions and factual material, Mr. kilpatrick has very cleverly compiled what, to date, must be the most fascinating and extensive collection of materials pertaining to the history and lifestyle of Warren Buffett.

In "Of Permenant Value" Andy Kilpatrick has managed to capture all of Warren Buffett. The book portrays the public's fascination with him, Berkshire Hathaway stockholder's adoration of him, his charisma, methods, genius, and an endless array of material relating to his public and private life. Within this book, the author has very resourcefully succeeded in weaving the entire life of his subject; from Warren's earliest days as a young boy in Omaha hustling coca colas at a nickel a pop, all the way to his current status as, perhaps, the richest, private investor in the world.

Not only is this a fascinating book to browse or seriously explore, it is also, to date, probably the most complete record available of Warren Buffets life, his close friends, associates, many of the successes and failures through which he's navigated, and the affects his presence has had on both individuals and entire industries.

The extent of material contained in Kilpatrick's most recent two-volume edition assures that it is undoubtedly destined to be one of the most sought-after references by anyone researching the life of this extremely interesting and unique individual.

Author, Andrew Kilpatrick, has adhered closely to Buffett's most basic philosophy---the intrinsic value of his work greatly exceeds its cost.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ballooning volume size with shrinking contents, May 12, 2007
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Kind of dissapointed after flipping through the two huge volumes. Nice pictures (but many of them not that clear)through out the book, and seemed to keep up to day with most of the recent events related to Warren Buffett. But the events has not much to read about. For example, about Buffett's purchase of USG stocks lately, only simply mentioned the fact without any background or related story (but the table of contents sure seemed to suggest otherwise). The older one-volume version of the book seemed to have more stuff to read then the new two-volume version, even the older text-only cover seemed to be nicer than the colorful picture-jammed new cover. The new 2 volume version seems to be a chronicle album rather than a historical book. Usually less really means more. Ballooning a book's size with air would only send the disappointed readers away.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ANDY K HAS DONE IT AGAIN !, December 17, 2006
By 
Sherrie Gregory (Lincoln, Nebraska) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This time Andy K. divided the enormous amount of material he has compiled into two volumes. This is a much more manageable size to read and handle.

Once again, Mr. Kilpatrick has created a totally unique collection of Buffett memorabillia and photos that give the most complete view of the "Oracle of Omaha" to be found anywhere in the Universe. This is a "must have" for anyone wanting to know anything about Warren Buffett and his phenomenal creation of Berkshire Hathaway. No one can make this story more fun and interesting to read than Andrew Kilpatrick and it is generously punctuated with photos that I can't fathom where he finds them. The photos are a priceless and powerful part of this beautiful book. His coverage of all the latest in Berkshire news and acquisitions makes it the best way to keep up with all of Buffett's moves, be it business or personal.

I highly reccomend this book to both the novice Buffett inquiry to the seasoned "have read it all" person. The chapters are short enough that it is easy to "cherry pick" around for areas of the most interest and not worry about having to pick up where you left off or read it from front to back. Although I have loved all the books Kilpatrick has done, this is the "MASTERPIECE" in my humble opinon. Great idea for a great Christmas surprise for anyone that invests or is thinking of investing, or is just interested in the incredible story of Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway. No shortage of good fun and humor here either. That is another aspect of the book that makes it such a pleasure. I have been a fan of both Warren Buffett and Mr. Kilpatrick for a long time. Many thanks to both for adding so much to my life ! Keep up the great work Andy and Warren!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding Update!, January 8, 2007
By 
R. M. Mayhew (St. Louis, MO USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This edition is the result of information accumulated and refined since 1992 when Andrew Kilpatrick began writing about Warren Buffett. Each update of the book has been bigger (literally) and better. Not much moves in the world of Warren Buffett without Mr. Kilpatrick being aware of it (and including it).

There is great humor, insight and information in this book. You'll learn about an incredible personality and be truly entertained in the process. My bookshelf has several books on Warren Buffett and Mr. Kilpatrick's is my favorite.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Buffett Book By a Bunch!, July 28, 2004
By 
Sherrie Gregory (Lincoln, Nebraska) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
If you ever wondered about ANY thing to do with Warren Buffett or Berkshire Hathaway, this is the ultimate source to own! Andy has outdone himself in his latest effort to compress the life and times of Warren Buffett between the covers of a book. The writing is engaging and interesting, it is lavishly drenched with over 800 photos that you will no doubt not see anywhere else, and make reading about the Berkshire empire all that more interesting. Kilpatrick does not skimp on any detail of Buffett's long and stellar carreer in investing. The personal and humorus stories and photos are woven throughout to make it a very entertaining and informative Buffett encyclopedia. Since the chapters, for the most part, are not that long, one can pick it up and read for as long or as short a time as is convienent. All in all,a most complete and exellent record of a "bigger than life" life!

A MUST have for Buffett fans!
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Of Permanent Value: The Story of Warren Buffett, Abridged Edition
Of Permanent Value: The Story of Warren Buffett, Abridged Edition by Andrew Kilpatrick (Hardcover - August 10, 2002)
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