Monday, February 16, 2009

The Buffet Biography (The Snowball by Alice Schroeder)

I am wrapping up The Snowball these days. It is a great biography of Mr. Buffett: it is VERY upclose and personal. Not sure why he'd give so much access to anyone. It is much more about the person and much less about the investor Buffett. He's portrayed as a smart, patient and rational investor but in personal aspects, he comes across as vulnerable, attention-seeking, conflict-avoiding, shy boy.
There is little in the way of investment insights which was a bit of a disappointment for me because of both the subject and the author (a former Morgan Stanley insurance sector analyst).
Interestingly, there has been some sort of a fallout from the book. I read somewhere that Buffett did not like the way his deceased wife Susan was portrayed in the book. In general, his family does not come across in a very good light.
The book is also heavily skewed towards the 1990's and 2000's. There are nice chunks dedicated to the troubles with Salomon Brothers, Coca Cola, General Re and the original Berkshire.
Overall, a pleasant read but little "cashable" information.

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