Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Of Permanent Value: The Story of Warren Buffett, Abridged Edition
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on July 28, 2004
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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on July 29, 2004
This new edition is the most comprehensive and compelling history of Berkshire Hathaway and it's officers, owners and hundreds of people who have invested in, run, benefitted, admired, nurtured, or otherwise influenced the life of Warren Buffett, as well as countless other people,factors and strategies responsible for the unprecedented and still relentless growth of one of the most successful corporate enterprises of all time. 272 quick-reading chapters cover just about every facet of the Buffett mistique, personality, thought process and lifestyle. The investment executive author and former journalist nails down all the whos, hows, wheres, whens, whys and hows relating to this remarkable man from his youth through the 2004 Berkshire Annual Meeting which brought 20,000 enthusiastic shareholders to Omaha this past May. Frank Betz
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on September 4, 2002
Andy Kilpatrick tells the story of Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway with exacting detail. To those of us who love the subject we will certainly enjoy this book. New details in Buffett's life and the story of Berkshire Hathaway can be found here for even the most avid researcher of this man and his company. If you do not know of Buffett start with Mr. Kilpatrick's book and you will be richer after reading "Of Permanent Value".
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First, I want to mention two constructive feedback about this book. One is that this book is probably only suitable for Warren Buffett fanatics/fans. For general investors interested about Berkshire Hathaway or how Warren Buffett invest, this is probably not the best book to read (as it has so much more info. i.e. more than 1000 pages). Second is that I have read this book more than once and I still don't know how the book is organized (the chapters aren't following chronological order, alphabetical nor topical order), therefore it is quite confusing to read as you progress from one chapter to another. Only after you read enough chapter (or completed the book) then you can put it all in the big picture in your head (from Warren's childhood till his current Berkshire days). Nonetheless, kudos to Andrew Kilpatrick for putting this book together. Moreover, once you know the limitation, this book is easily considered the best book about Warren Buffett in my opinion.

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 two 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.

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 in 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
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
First, I want to mention two constructive feedback about this book. One is that this book is probably only suitable for Warren Buffett fanatics/fans. For general investors interested about Berkshire Hathaway or how Warren Buffett invest, this is probably not the best book to read (as it has so much more info. i.e. more than 1000 pages). Second is that I have read this book more than once and I still don't know how the book is organized (the chapters aren't following chronological order, alphabetical nor topical order), therefore it is quite confusing to read as you progress from one chapter to another. Only after you read enough chapter (or completed the book) then you can put it all in the big picture in your head (from Warren's childhood till his current Berkshire days). Nonetheless, kudos to Andrew Kilpatrick for putting this book together. Moreover, once you know the limitation, this book is easily considered the best book about Warren Buffett in my opinion.

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 two 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.

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 in 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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on September 28, 2002
"The Buffett Bible...It provides the definitive story of his career but it also has space to shed light on Buffett the man. What it reveals is the connection between his success at investing and his character." -- Daily Telegraph
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VINE VOICEon September 3, 2004
Warren Buffett, the American Icon, is captured beautifully in these 1500some pages. The book is a haphazard collection of notes, annecdotes, rumors and stories of the Oracle himself. It contains much of the traditional folk wisdom of the man, as well as much of the lore you probably haven't heard yet. At 1500 pages, there's something for everyone.

The book is a must for any member of the cult of Warren.
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on January 10, 2004
This is obviously the most comprehensive book ever written on the life of Warren Buffett, the undisputed world champion of investing. This is not a quick "How to invest" book, but if you are looking to learn as much as you possibly can about Warren Buffett and the cult of investors who make the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting a "Woodstock for Capitalists", this book is for you. As an added bonus, at over 1,400 pages you will be sure to have a functional doorstop when you have completed reading this monster.
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on January 5, 2003
Of Permanent Value: The Story Of Warren Buffett is a weighty tome will appeal to fans of financial wizard Warren Buffett, exploring his newfound popularity in wake of the latest stock market environment and exploring how Buffett began from scratch to form a business empire. Rises and falls blend with in-depth examinations of Buffett business philosophy and perspectives to pack in over 1400 pages of detail in a surprisingly lively read. Biography and business savvy makes for an intriguing blend, here.
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on March 7, 2003
This is a great book that adds detailed research not included in Warren Buffett's annual reports for Berkshire Hathaway.
Recommended highly!
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