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Showing 1-10 of 21 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 26 reviews
on December 14, 2011
I originally thought I would list some pros and cons regarding this book, but it occurred to me that depending on what you are looking for, aspects of this book may appeal to you--or maybe not so much. Using a get-to-the-point-quickly approach, here are some observations that hopefully will help you decide whether this book is right for you:

1. This book is short and sweet. Some readers (perhaps many) will get through this book in just one sitting. Depending on your available time, reading speed and familiarity with investing, I estimate this book might take, at most, two or three sittings. I don't read that fast, and I finished it in one evening. It is nominally 211 pages long, exclusive of the introduction and index. However, there are enough blank or partially blank pages, pages with tables that list the last 11 years of earnings for XYZ company (one year per line), and pages with very standard information about companies (name, address, phone number, website, year founded, etc.--again, one item per line) that an adjusted number of pages is closer to 150. Moreover, this is a physically small book, so its 150 pages of content would amount to something closer to 110 - 120 more normally-sized pages, at most. If you prefer a short, very easy to read book, this may be right for you.

2. Basically, the authors attempt to explain a simplified version of Warren Buffett's investing style, which they finish by page 46, and then they use the rest of the book to illustrate how Mr. Buffett's investing approach can be applied to 17 companies that Buffett has picked for Berkshire Hathaway. I think it is fair to say that some readers may find the discussions regarding the 17 companies somewhat repetitive, even though there are obviously some differences in what these companies do. (You don't have to buy this book to find out which companies Mr. Buffett has invested in, since that information is publicly available. The companies are: American Express, Bank of New York Mellon, Coca-Cola, ConocoPhillips, Costco, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft, Moody's, Procter & Gamble, Sanofi, Torchmark, Union Pacific, U.S. Bancorp, Wal-Mart, Washington Post, and Wells Fargo.)

3. The co-authors of this book are Mary Buffett and David Clark. Ms. Buffett was married to one of Warren Buffett's sons for 12 years, and that experience is billed as a source of her unique insight into Warren Buffett's ways. The other co-author, Mr. Clark, has followed Mr. Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway for a long time and is the managing director of an investment partnership. It isn't clear how much each author contributed to the book. There is no indication that Warren Buffett has endorsed this book. There are no indications to the contrary, either. (If I was Ms. Buffett and I had received any quotable encouragement from Warren Buffett, I would have been sure to mention it somewhere in the book.) This is the eighth book written by these two authors, and they all address investing and have "Buffett" somewhere in the title.

4. The approach used by the co-authors can be simplified this way: Find a company with a durable competitive advantage (so that its future results may be somewhat predictable), figure out its average growth rate (regarding earnings per share) over the last 10 years, use this historical growth rate to project earnings forward 10 years, and then use this future earnings figure together with a conservative valuation (e.g., a price/earnings ratio) to estimate the company's future stock price. Then add in dividends and calculate an estimated annual investment return. The authors go so far as to literally guide you, step-by-step, in using a financial calculator to do the essential math.

5. To the extent that a company's future growth resembles its past growth, and to the extent a company's future price/earnings ratio resembles its historical ratios, this method can prove helpful. However, when the economic, business or competitive environments change, things can get tricky. That's when Warren Buffett will do much better than the average investor. His uncanny insight into business is not easily summarized in any book, short or long, because his insight is derived from many years of personal study and unique experience.

6. So can this book be useful for someone looking for a better understanding of what drives stock returns? Yes indeed. For someone reasonably familiar with Mr. Buffett's approach, however, this book does not plow a lot of new ground. (I expect the authors might differ from me on this point, but I'll stick with this assessment.) I wouldn't hesitate to give this book to one of my adult children--or anyone unfamiliar with the general Warren Buffett approach--as a useful primer with a number of specific examples.
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on March 5, 2012
In the recession of 2008-2009, when stock market was falling and most people were selling their stocks, the all-time greatest investor was buying stocks. According to the Warren Buffet, the best time to buy stocks is when nobody wants to buy them.

Warren looks at the bear market as the opportunity to buy great businesses at bargain prices. In the bull market, when almost all stock market investors buy stocks, he sells his worst-performing stocks at good prices and waits for the bear market to add more money in his well-performing stocks.

Why You Should Read This Book?

1. You should read this book to know when warren buy his stocks and how he chooses these stocks. What qualities he looks in the stocks before buying them. In this book, you will find additional information about the 17 companies that Warren Buffett has identified as the best stocks for the long-term.

2. You would learn that Warren Buffett's key to success is that he knows how to identify strong stocks and he does not buy these stocks in the bull market. Instead he sells some stocks in the bull market. Then he waits to take full advantage of the inevitable crash of the stock market that occurs every 5-6 years.

3. In the market crash, the stock prices of the strong companies also fall down, this is the time when Warren steps in and buys these stocks at bargain prices. Then he holds these stocks for 3-4 years before seeing any major profit. As the economy starts to improve, the stock prices of these strong companies increase more quickly than other stocks.

4. In 2008-09 the stock prices of strong companies were selling at the lowest price-to-earning ratios since eighties. Would you like to know about some of these strong stocks that Warren Buffett is buying for his personal portfolio and for Berkshire Hathaway.

5. After reading this book, you would know more about how to choose good stocks? What are the characteristics of good companies? How to value these companies given their current market price?

Using this information, you will surely be able to find attractive investments and make money in the stock market. Best of Luck!
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on May 24, 2017
I'm fully satisfied.
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on September 13, 2012
Despite some bad reviews of Mary Buffets books, if you read this one, along with buffetology or the new one and her interpretation of financial statements. All of which are similar but have a few small different key details in each they make sense. If you want to you can compare these to what is said in the snowball if you are unsure.

I know all this sounds to simple for many, but this is aiming for 10%-15% average annual returns, not to get rich quick. It took Buffet quite a while and what Mary is explaining is not how Buffet started with cigar butts but how he picks stocks now.
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on October 2, 2013
This is a good step by step introduction into a form of value investing. All the numbers and calculations are thoroughly explained, and the reasons behind why they are used are detailed. It's a great book for those starting to invest, as it's short and detailed with great examples. You want to do better than, "hmmm....seems like Ford will go up?" Then this book is for you.
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on January 20, 2016
Well written, I'm still reading it, so far I'm enjoying his indights.
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on September 2, 2016
Very useful book
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on June 5, 2015
The book was an easy read. Give the history of the he owns stock in at this point when the book was published.
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on August 20, 2012
Originally checked this book out from the library. Renewed it till the library made me bring it back. So I jumped on Amazon & purchased my own copy. It has so much information. Not loaded down with a bunch of useless garbage. Gets an "A+" from me.
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on September 14, 2014
Excellent and interesting book.You learn and acquire set of tools that are helpful forever
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