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Even Buffett Isn't Perfect: What You Can--and Can't--Learn from the World's Greatest Investor Hardcover – May 1, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
Another aspect of the book I found to be more than a pleasant surprise was just how level-headed it was. Having read a number of investment-themed books, I can be sure that all good ones will present a heavy dose of what I like to call "financial science". Given that most investment strategies are based on some foundation of financial theory, this makes sense. But while many of these can get a bit too technical, the author does a good job of communicating relevant concepts without requiring the reader to have a degree in finance. Indeed, I initially cringed when he brought up the concept of correlation coefficient -- two words many of us probably haven't heard since high school. But his explanation of this and other important concepts were very easy to follow and rooted in common sense. He also doesn't inundate you with these concepts, only focusing on those that are required to help understand how Buffett invests and why it has worked so well for so long.
I enjoyed all of the chapters and felt the final ones -- which criticize Buffett's views on a few key issues such as taxes, corporate governance, and earnings guidance -- were especially well argued. However, my favorite, and perhaps most sobering, part of the book was when Dr.Read more ›
The final chapter takes on Buffett's view of taxes, where apparently the prophet of Omaha just can't comprehend the obvious advantages of supply side economics. The author suddenly switches gears and begins to lecture Buffett on his views of the "death tax," which he makes sound like the government taking every last penny of a man's lifelong savings. It's cheap journalism that clearly has an agenda.
The ideological bent is tipped off in the introduction, written by the author's boss, Steve Forbes. While having to pay homage to the man, Forbes can't wait to rail against his more progressive view on taxes, especially calling out the death or inheritance tax. This coming from a man who owes absolutely everything he has to an inheritance.
Buffett may not be perfect, but he deserves better than that.
"Even Buffett Isn't Perfect's" first chapter goes through a bloviated and pointless discussion of diversification trying to somehow make something out of the fact that Buffett recommends diversification (actually - a low-cost index fund) for others who don't have the stock research time and mindset that he does, while focusing his investments when he started out to get maximum impact. Now, given the tens of billions in Buffett's portfolio, he can no longer focus like he once did. Pretty simple - right? Unfortunately, the book took some 20+ pages to do the same.
Then its off to another worthless discussion of Google vs. Washington Post. Buffett doesn't like investing in new "transforming" companies because they lack of track record and most fail in the initial stages of competition. In addition, he doesn't like technology stocks because he recognizes he doesn't know enough about the field to adequately assess. Saved you another 20+ pages of blarney.
Janjigian believes Buffett is wrong in opposing momentum investing ("follow the crowd," at least for awhile) and cites two supporting studies. Reality, however, is that academics rarely agree on anything, and I'd bet there are at least another two studies that contradict Janjigian's point.
Eventually, Janjigian gets to what really upsets him about Buffett - the fact that Buffett favors higher taxes for the wealthy and opposes ending the estate tax. That has nothing to do with investing strategy!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I like this book event the author is kind of redundant.
I would recommend to new investors especially the new ones.
6/12: Although I am pretty active in the stock market, I admit that I didn't know anything about Warren Buffett (minus the heaps of... Read more
You've probably some of them. Let's get rich by investing like Warren Buffett books.
There's one big problem. Read more
I thought the best way to learn from the nº 1 investor ever would be to learn from his scarce mistakes. Read morePublished on June 5, 2011 by emilio
The picture on the cover is certainly Buffett, but the thoughts inside are purely the authors. Where possible, the author claims, despite statements to the contrary by Buffett,... Read morePublished on November 22, 2010 by N. Shanske
I checked this book out at my public library, because I thought it was a book about investing. I was pretty disappointed. Read morePublished on October 10, 2010 by S. Schwalm
As I read the book I kept getting the impression that it isn't really a book about Buffett. Rather it's a book about the Forbes view of business and taxes. Read morePublished on June 22, 2010 by Mark Ahicks
Well, when I bought it, I though that was a differente book that others that I have read, but if you already read another book about mr Buffett, you probably don't need to read... Read morePublished on June 21, 2010 by Rodolfo R. Araujo