The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life, by Alice Schroeder
Alessandro Hatami, MD of PayPoint.net
Warren Buffett’s headline-grabbing admission that he made some ‘dumb’ investment decisions last year may have served to remind his acolytes that he is only human, but he remains one of the most admired and respected financial gurus in the world. What this biography offers, in the form of a series of anecdotes, is an insight into the golden rules behind his success.
Firstly, focus on what you want. Buffett was fixated on wealth creation from childhood, when as a birthday treat at ten, he asked to visit the New York Stock Exchange.
Secondly, stick to base principles. Using his mid-Western common sense, he focuses on the intrinsic value of businesses he invests in, rather than on the hype surrounding them.
Crucially, when in doubt, he passes – easy to say, but hard to do.
Lastly, associate with people that complement you. From his mentor Bill Graham at Columbia University to his long-time business partner Charlie Munger, Buffett always seeks to be around people who bring out his strengths.
This is a truly engaging and insightful read – packed with practical life lessons. While few of us will achieve Buffett’s level of success in business, we can draw inspiration from his work ethic and can-do mentality.
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