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Secrets in Plain Sight: Business & Investing Secrets of Warren Buffett (eBooks on Investing Series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Jeff Matthews
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99

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Book Description


“The most insightful analysis of Buffett and Berkshire I’ve ever read.”
– Vitaliy N. Katsenelson, author of the “Little Book on Sideways Markets.”

“Jeff Matthews is a great writer, which make ‘Secrets in Plain Sight’ a must-read.”
– Bethany McLean, contributing editor of Vanity Fair and author of “The Smartest Guys in the Room.”

“Warren Buffett ... is our most successful investor and this book explains why. A great way to start on your path to prosperity.”
– Larry Kudlow, economist and host of The Kudlow Report on CNBC.


How did Warren Buffett become the world's richest man? The greatest investor of our times? America's most successful business executive? Jeff Matthews, a 30-year Wall Street veteran and incisive Buffett watcher, travels to the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting each year to unlock the “secrets” behind Buffett’s success as an investor and CEO. Matthews's findings: Buffett’s "secrets" are in plain sight, and 49 of them are in this book, including new secrets uncovered at the May 3, 2014 annual meeting. Secrets include:


This is the first advice Warren Buffett gives to aspiring investors, and he isn’t kidding. “By the age of 10,” he says, “I’d read every book in the Omaha Public Library with the word ‘finance’ in the title, some twice.” Buffett’s reading habits did not stop there: he still reads thousands of financial statements and annual reports each year, and acquaintances who’ve shared rides on NetJets with Buffett report that he’ll chitchat briefly and then start reading from a stack of material. But Buffett doesn’t steer investors toward any particular investment style. Instead, he advises reading everything possible to find the style that suits you. Says the world’s best investor: “If it turns you on, it probably will work for you.”


Buffett originally spurned a chance to buy a small California-based boxed chocolate maker in the early 1970s. “I don’t think we want to be in the candy business,” he told the caller. At the time, Berkshire was mainly an insurance company. After looking hard at the numbers, however, and with the encouragement of his California-based business partner, Charlie Munger, Buffett changed his mind and they bought See’s Candies for a mere $25 million. It was one of the greatest acquisitions any company would ever make, and it happened because Warren Buffett was open-minded.


Buffett and Munger believe another key to investment success is to assiduously search for a few “lollapalooza” ideas … and when you do find them, make a major commitment. “You really want one that you don’t have to sell,” says Charlie Munger. “Then you can sit on your a__ for 30 years.”


“I don’t want to have the chances of having something go wrong to be slim, I wanna have it be none,” says Warren Buffett. “There’s no way I can assign that to a risk committee.” It is no coincidence that Berkshire Hathaway was one of the few financial companies in the world that required no bailout during the crisis. Says Buffett, “I worry about everything at Berkshire.”


Jeff Matthews is not like most Buffett watchers, and this book is not like most Buffett books: it is an easy to read, even-handed evaluation of Warren Buffett’s business and investing acumen by an astute, analytical value-based investment manager.

Product Details

  • File Size: 4598 KB
  • Print Length: 198 pages
  • Publisher: eBooks on Investing (May 21, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004X6ZEOO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #423,752 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Basic introduction to Warren Buffet May 25, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you are just vaguely curious about Warren Buffet and don't want heavy reading, this is the book for you. However, if you're looking for more concrete, detailed information, rather than a nice story, I would choose a different book. The book is a quick-reading and somewhat entertaining story of the author's trips to 2 Berkshire annual meetings. It's an interesting account of the annual meetings and the general aura around Buffet as "Oracle of Omaha," and includes some basics on his investment strategy at Berkshire Hathaway.

I appreciate what the author was going for, but I could have done without the meaningless details on the particulars of the author's journey (rental car issues, flight delays, rain) that didn't add anything to the content. I didn't get much out of the book in terms of learning about Buffet's investment strategies, beyond just general information. When the author decided to divulge details, he would put a disclaimer ("Warning: boring insurance information coming up"), which I found annoying and somewhat insulting to the reader's intelligence or attention span.

In short, I found the book good, enjoyable and informative light reading, but a bit too fluffy for what I was looking for. It's just a quick intro on Buffet to pique your interest to learn more.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must-Read Buffett Book May 10, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This was a great read. It clearly lays out Buffett's investing methods without the high-finance-speak in a short, easy to read package. This is the must-read Buffett book for anybody looking to begin investing.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a must read on Warren Buffett May 5, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A fresh look at Warren Buffett.

The Author explains in clear language,the secrets that enabled Warren Buffett to become the most successful investor in history.

Using the backdrop of the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in Omaha Ne.,the story of Mr.Buffett's success is woven into a colorful account told over several years.

While not a self help book,practical information and keen insights allow the reader to,if not become the next Warren Buffett,certainly understand who as an investor Warren Buffett is,and by so doing,better understand how to become a better investor yourself.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Follow-up May 15, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read Jeff Matthews's first book, "Pilgrimage to Omaha" and while his new book describes the same events, it reads like a completely different book. There is very little overlap. In addition, the book provides an interesting look back at the 2007 and 2008 meetings while incorporating the economic turmoil that has occurred since then. The events of 2008, 2009 and all the momentous developments that have transpired at Berkshire needed discussing. That is what Matthews provides in an intelligent and poignant manner.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Buffet October 6, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've read more Buffett books than anybody. i find ithis book too simplistic and elementary. I'm not very happy with this book and won't recommend it to Buffett fans. It's an entertaining read but you won't learn anything new.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Ever March 3, 2012
By Dech007
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am a fan of Buffet so this book is really worth to read. The last 30% of this book is very productive.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars for Warren! January 23, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I have been a huge fan of Warren Buffet's investing genius for years. I really enjoyed this book, which clarifies Warren Buffet's investing strategies so any lay person can understand them. Also nice to know how he legally avoids all those income taxes! - Aimee Elizabeth, Author of Poverty Sucks! How to Become a Self-Made Millionaire.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Book Review from the Aleph Blog August 10, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I consider myself a lesser light compared to many following Warren Buffett. Yes, I am a value investor and an actuary, so I guess I have some punch in attempting to analyze the actions of one far greater than me.

The book is organized around two main trips that the author made to the Annual Meeting of Berkshire Hathaway, with some notes from the the 2011 tacked on.

This book tries to distill the ideas of Buffett into simple concepts, and largely succeeds. It also alleges weaknesses in Buffett's reasoning. Why not consolidate similar, less profitable businesses? Why not invest a little more in existing businesses? I partially agree: I used to call Berkshire Hathaway "a grab bag of undermanaged businesses." But I've changed my mind, mostly.

The cost of doing the first of those could be considerable. Buffett gets certain deals because the seller knows that he will leave the business alone. The unique culture, friendships, family relationships will be maintained. The seller doesn't get top dollar, but he gets the satisfaction that he was true to those he worked with and served him. Getting these businesses cheaply is a competitive advantage for Berkshire Hathaway, even if it means a certain amount of inefficiency. Personally, I expect the next CEO or two will centralize the company, and turn it into a normal company.

As for investing more in existing businesses, all the manager has to do is put forth the case to his boss, Buffett. Buffett will give him a quick decision.

But the author is right, in general, Buffett has not focused on organic growth. He has acquired all of the businesses that the owns, aside from the reinsurance business.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Plain sight
BRKA once in a Life Time
Good insight,well presented.
In summary BRKA is K.I.S.S.
Buffett and Munger up close and personal,you can not ask for anything more for this... Read more
Published 17 days ago by daniel osaro
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It's good
Published 8 months ago by PT
3.0 out of 5 stars Detailed accounts of meetings
basically light observations and accounts of the Berkshire shareholder meetings. not much added wisdom but decent journalism. does make me want to attend a meeting myself tho.
Published 8 months ago by pascal
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting insights into the annual shareholders meetings
Although I enjoyed getting an inside look at the happenings of the shareholders meetings, I felt that the author was at times more redundant than he needed to be in relaying the... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Kay S. Le
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting take on Buffett
I've read about 30 books on value investing in general and Buffett in particular. This one really gets you thinking and provides good context when thinking about Berkshire... Read more
Published on May 7, 2013 by A. Brenninkmeijer
4.0 out of 5 stars "I'm your bank now."
I consider the book a fairly objective study of Buffett (one of the most studied men in America). It is sometimes unfair as when he wonders why, if Buffett is so smart, isn't... Read more
Published on May 3, 2013 by ByronC
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my favorite
Having read most of the Buffett books out there this one wasn't one of my top picks. Suggest The Warren Buffett Way, Buffett - The Making of an American Capitalist, or Buffett... Read more
Published on December 21, 2012 by Kevin B.
4.0 out of 5 stars Secrets in Plain Sight, Warren Buffet
A good perspective of what drives thousands of investors to travel to Omaha to attend the Bershire Hathaway annual meeting of stockholders and how accessible the "oracle of Omaha"... Read more
Published on September 22, 2012 by hscarfo
4.0 out of 5 stars I Can See Clearly Now
Good read and well written. The book recalls memories of the meetings
in 2007 and 2008 (have attended since 2002). Read more
Published on November 16, 2011 by Kindle Customer
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