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Pilgrimage to Warren Buffett's Omaha: A Hedge Fund Manager's Dispatches from Inside the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting Hardcover – October 7, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (October 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 007160197X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071601979
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Welcome to the “WOODSTOCK OF CAPITALISM”

Omaha Nebraska, Saturday May 3, 2008 The nation’s largest mortgage lender, Countrywide Credit, has collapsed after 38 years of making home loans—-a victim of its own aggressive lending practices, soaring loan losses, and a credit squeeze that forced it to sell out at a fire-sale price.

Bear Stearns, which survived the Crash of 1929 without a single layoff and ranked among the top investment banks in the United States, virtually disappeared overnight after 85 years on Wall Street. Only an 11th hour rescue by JP Morgan and the U.S. Treasury prevented a world-wide financial meltdown.

And 31,000 people have converged on Omaha to hear what Warren Buffett thinks will happen now.

The “Oracle of Omaha” is in the building.

“After reading Pilgrimage to Warren Buffett’s Omaha, my view of Buffett has been radically changed. Jeff Matthews reveals some of Warren Buffett’s most interesting professional foibles and personal blemishes.”—Douglas A. Kass, Seabreeze Partners Management Inc.

About the Author

Jeff Matthews founded Ram Partners, LP, a hedge fund based in Greenwich, CT, in 1994. His distinctive financial blog, Jeff Matthews Is Not Making This Up, is regularly featured in the Wall Street Journal’s blog roll and has a loyal following among Wall Street analysts, traders, and portfolio managers, as well as investors around the world.


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Customer Reviews

Mr. Matthews takes you into the world of Warren Buffet and his shareholders.
Christopher J. Bruno
Mr. Matthews' eloquent yet understandable prose coupled with his dry wit make the book an easy read while still providing fodder for the investor's mind.
Dean A. Mendes
It is a relatively quick and easy read, but Matthews does not skimp on details or impressions.
Paul Aleckson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Koral on October 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As a long time reader of Mr. Matthews' blog, JeffMatthewsIsNotMakingThisUp, I looked forward with anticipation to his book on his take-aways from the Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meetings. Upon reading, I was not disappointed. The book is based on a series of blog posts from the first year Mr. Matthews attended the "Woodstock of Capitalism", as the Berkshire shareholder meetings are affectionately referred to.

The book, I should note, is not another biography of Warren Buffett like Roger Lowenstein's excellent "Buffett: The Making of An American Capitalist". Nor is the book a distillation of Berkshire Hathaway's investment tenets such as Robert Hagstrom's "The Warren Buffett Way". The book focuses mainly on the type of questions Berkshire shareholders ask Mr. Buffett and his partner, Charlie Munger, as well as the answers they provide. The author then proceeds to offer his own take on the views shared by Mr. Buffett and Mr. Munger, as well as the questioners/shareholders themselves.

Mr. Matthews throughout his work offers some great contrasts between the public pronouncements by Mr. Buffett and the actions Berkshire Hathaway takes with its float and shareholder capital. An example would be Berkshire's use of derivatives on currency trades, while Mr. Buffett publicly pronounces the use of derivatives as "financial weapons of mass destruction".

Readers will also get the sense of the admiration the author holds for Mr. Buffett and the way he runs Berkshire shareholder meetings, which are unlike any other shareholder meeting for American publicly traded companies.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Bulls & Bears on October 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I found this book to be an enjoyable read that, unlike Snowball, kept my attention straight through. I enjoyed Jeff Matthews' insight into the mind and personality of the "Oracle of Omaha". I would recommend this book to anyone - from wall street hotshots to young professionals just starting out.
Jeff also provides an in-depth look into the incredible following that hangs on Warren's every word... a comprehensive account that I had yet to see in previous Buffett books.
I would also suggest checking out his blog - I've been an avid reader of it since early 2006 and have enjoyed the majority of his posts. Like the book, Jeff's posts are full of his wit and astute perspective.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A. Miller on February 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
As someone that has been to the annual meeting a number of times, I agree that the book was very light on details and would have been better left as blog entries. Perhaps, it was more insightful for those that haven't been to the annual meeting. Also, I found a number of inaccuracies in the book and it came across as not being well researched. One that I can think of off-hand is that he describes Buffett as a athiest, which is not accurate. Buffett has described his religious beliefs as agnostic for a number of years. These are not the same thing.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Christopher J. Bruno on October 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a great read. The moment I picked it up I couldn't put it down. When I finally did put it down, I couldn't stop thinking about it. Mr. Matthews takes you into the world of Warren Buffet and his shareholders. His writing and analysis takes a completely different look at Mr.Buffet's investing methods along with the way he interacts with his shareholders. It is a fresh look at Warren Buffett that will cause some to think twice about the "Oracle of Omaha". I also liked how he takes a look at Mr. Buffets long time friend and partner Charles Munger. Being a college student and not owning any shares of Berkshire Hathaway this is as close as I am going to get to the annual meeting in Omaha and it does a great job taking the reader to the Qwest Center in Omaha, Nebraska. The book opens up many questions about who Warren Buffett is and what he is all about. After finishing this book, all I wanted to do was learn more about Mr. Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway. You don't have to be an investment banker or hedge fund manger to understand or appreciate this book. This is an excellent tool to understand investing as well as learning how to succeed in any type of profession. It doesn't have all the answers but it paints the big picture. Mr. Matthews does a great job. I know he writes a financial blog and have yet to read it but after reading this, I am already a fan of his knowledge and writing. As Mr. Buffet says: "Read everything" and if you are going to read anything soon, read this book.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By CVG on October 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Pilgrimage to Warren Buffet's Omaha matches Roger Lowenstein's standard setting Buffett biography in terms of taking a clear-headed look at, to use the cliche, the man and the myth. Written in a breezy style that makes this an easy and delightful weekend read, Mr. Matthews leverages his years of Wall Street experience to insightfully illustrate, illuminate and at times question both the style and the substance of the Buffett/Munger team, cleary the most succesful investors of our, or probably any, day. The author's distillation of both the Buffett/Munger investment thesis and approach makes for a wonderful primer on the theory and practice of investing in the stock market. This book sits squarely at the intersection of great fun to read and thoroughly enlightening.
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