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The Snowball

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The Snowball

Warren Buffett and the Business of Life


15 min read
10 take-aways
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What's inside?

In this compelling bio of Warren Buffett, one image stands out: a childhood portrait with his favorite toy – a moneychanger.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Background
  • Engaging


Warren Buffett is “everyman” as multibillionaire. Despite his vast wealth, he has always eschewed ostentation. He pays himself about $100,000 annually, which in today’s U.S. economy places him in the upper-middle-class. He lives in the same simple Omaha, Nebraska, house that he bought in 1958 for $31,500. He prefers an old gray suit to expensive London tailoring. In Buffett’s early days, when he was only a multimillionaire and not a multibillionaire, he walked around with holes in the soles of his shoes. To Buffett, wardrobe doesn’t matter; what matters is making money. He is better at this pursuit than anyone else in the world. In 2008, Forbes magazine ranked him as the globe’s richest man, with a net worth of $62.3 billion. Author Alice Schroeder does a masterful job of chronicling Buffett’s improbable, inspiring life. As a former superstar research analyst, Schroeder uses her expert knowledge of finance and commerce to detail Buffett’s investment philosophy and business activities. getAbstract praises Schroeder’s remarkable skills as a researcher and writer. Her book is packed with fascinating details and trenchant observations about the “Oracle of Omaha.” One of the best business biographies available, this book shows how the world’s greatest investor amassed the world’s greatest fortune, while staying true to his essential self.


The World’s Wealthiest Individual

Warren Buffett earned his vast fortune all by himself. Instead of living amid Wall Street’s bustle, Buffett lives and works in Omaha, Nebraska, a bucolic city in the U.S. heartland. Throughout his career, backwater Omaha has been Buffett’s base, though the rest of the business world sees it as a déclassé town of no special significance. To build his enormous wealth, Buffett exhaustively studied the stock market and the world of commerce, learning everything he could about individual companies, and their potential for growth and earnings. This hard-earned knowledge has been his guiding light and his path to becoming the richest man in the world.

Buffett’s investment philosophy, adapted from his mentor, investment guru Benjamin Graham, is remarkably simple: Look for companies whose stock values are priced less than the organization’s “intrinsic” value and invest accordingly. Buffett does not concern himself with the market’s temporary ups and downs. He invests for the long term, focusing on companies’ sound business fundamentals and capacity to generate superior earnings year after year. Through this straightforward process, ...

About the Author

Alice Schroeder, was initially a CPA, and later became a respected research analyst. Impressed with her writing skills, Warren Buffett recommended that she become a full-time writer instead.

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    J. C. 1 decade ago
    The summary provides an excellent overview of the life of Warren Buffett, but note that it does not go into the specific strategies that Buffett uses to identify new investing opportunities.