Warren Buffett built Berkshire Hathaway into something remarkable— and Fortune journalist Carol Loomis had a front-row seat for it all.
When Carol Loomis first mentioned a little-known Omaha hedge fund manager in a 1966 Fortune article, she didn’t dream that Warren Buffett would one day be considered the world’s greatest investor—nor that she and Buffett would quickly become close personal friends. As Buffett’s fortune and reputation grew over time, Loomis used her unique insight into Buffett’s thinking to chronicle his work for Fortune, writing and proposing scores of stories that tracked his many accomplishments—and also his occasional mistakes.
Now Loomis has collected and updated the best Buffett articles Fortune published between 1966 and 2012, including thirteen cover stories and a dozen pieces authored by Buffett himself. Loomis has provided commentary about each major article that supplies context and her own informed point of view. Readers will gain fresh insights into Buffett’s investment strategies and his thinking on management, philanthropy, public policy, and even parenting. Some of the highlights include:
The 1966 A. W. Jones story in which Fortune first mentioned Buffett. The first piece Buffett wrote for the magazine, 1977’s “How Inf lation Swindles the Equity Investor.” Andrew Tobias’s 1983 article “Letters from Chairman Buffett,” the first review of his Berkshire Hathaway shareholder letters. Buffett’s stunningly prescient 2003 piece about derivatives, “Avoiding a Mega-Catastrophe.” His unconventional thoughts on inheritance and philanthropy, including his intention to leave his kids “enough money so they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing.” Bill Gates’s 1996 article describing his early impressions of Buffett as they struck up their close friendship.
Scores of Buffett books have been written, but none can claim this work’s combination of trust between two friends, the writer’s deep understanding of Buffett’s world, and a very long-term perspective.
This fascinating collection presents a selection of articles about the financial mogul, many by Loomis and twelve12 by Buffett himself, published in Fortune Magazine from the time he first burst on the scene as a young financial genius up until today. As a longtime personal friend, she brings a unique perspective into his mindset, but readers will likely treasure Buffett's own insights most of all, such as his view of inheritance, reported in 1986: "To him the perfect amount to leave children is enough money so they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing.'" More recently, in 2010, he explained, "My wealth has come from a combination of living in America, some lucky genes, and compound interest. Both my children and I won what I call the ovarian lottery." His common sense and wry humor can be appreciated by everyone, but investors will be especially intrigued by gems like this explanation of Berkshire Hathaway's management philosophy: "We want people to join us because they want to be with us until they die." Loomis has created an engaging picture of a great influencer of our time.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Good but repetitive
Warren Buffet is a role model for so many reasons. More people need to learn about his values, management style and commitment to philanthropy.