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The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life
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Product Description

Here is THE book recounting the life and times of one of the most respected men in the world, Warren Buffett. The legendary Omaha investor has never written a memoir, but now he has allowed one writer, Alice Schroeder, unprecedented access to explore directly with him and with those closest to him his work, opinions, struggles, triumphs, follies, and wisdom. The result is the personally revealing and complete biography of the man known everywhere as “The Oracle of Omaha.”

Although the media track him constantly, Buffett himself has never told his full life story. His reality is private, especially by celebrity standards. Indeed, while the homespun persona that the public sees is true as far as it goes, it goes only so far. Warren Buffett is an array of paradoxes. He set out to prove that nice guys can finish first. Over the years he treated his investors as partners, acted as their steward, and championed honesty as an investor, CEO, board member, essayist, and speaker. At the same time he became the world’s richest man, all from the modest Omaha headquarters of his company Berkshire Hathaway. None of this fits the term “simple.”

When Alice Schroeder met Warren Buffett she was an insurance industry analyst and a gifted writer known for her keen perception and business acumen. Her writings on finance impressed him, and as she came to know him she realized that while much had been written on the subject of his investing style, no one had moved beyond that to explore his larger philosophy, which is bound up in a complex personality and the details of his life. Out of this came his decision to cooperate with her on the book about himself that he would never write.

Never before has Buffett spent countless hours responding to a writer’s questions, talking, giving complete access to his wife, children, friends, and business associates—opening his files, recalling his childhood. It was an act of courage, as The Snowball makes immensely clear. Being human, his own life, like most lives, has been a mix of strengths and frailties. Yet notable though his wealth may be, Buffett’s legacy will not be his ranking on the scorecard of wealth; it will be his principles and ideas that have enriched people’s lives. This book tells you why Warren Buffett is the most fascinating American success story of our time.


From the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews:

  • Good reading
    The book is well laid out and describes Mr. Buffett and his life style. I wish it had more of his thinking included in it . I would definitly reccomend it to be read by any one for a look at a classical way to make a fortune....more info
  • This book tells you what Powerpoint is.
    I was wrangling between buying this book and VS Naipaul's own authorized biography. I ended up buying both.
    Anyway, here are my personal list of Good and Bad with this book:
    Good:
    *The exposition of important meetings and deals and lecture are great; definitely reflects an author who's an insider in the finance arena.
    *The reader can feel that really the book is an `authorized' biography. You cannot get some of the facts gathered, checked, and countercheck (because the subject and involved people are old to very old).
    *The tone and writing style are not hard reads
    *Although it borders on idolatry on some passages, the book still presents facts and numbers when needed.
    *Mr. Buffett's achievement, analysis, and composure in business cannot be `under-appraised' in any way. The book did some good and interesting expositions on this.

    Now, the Bad
    There are 'strange' arcs and facts that to me added unnecessary pages. These, for example, do not support any central, side, or any minor theme:
    *Book has excess endnotes (bordering on absurd when your read it)--like one that explains what Powerpoint is. If you have the 20 to 30 bucks to purchase this book, you are expected to know what is Powerpoint.
    *Warren Buffett's crushes and dates during grade and high school. Amazing. Even if these persons (girls) do not appear later on in the story, Ms. Schroeder appears to have rigorously researched these angles like a giggling schoolgirl interested in puppy love.
    *There are more `for idiots' explanations of concepts that took pages, while paragraphs could have sufficed. Just open any in the middle part and scan for a finance concept and youll see what i mean (then perhaps also see Alan Greenspan's explanation of more complex Fed policies in his memoir for comparison).

    Bottom line though, is it worth your time and money? Yes. 3.5 stars, for being indispensible if you want to know the development of the man, his genius, and legendary traits and achievements.

    I will compare to French's The World Is What It Is (being the other frequently praised authorized biography published in one year) after I finish this one. ...more info
  • Good Book
    Enjoyed this book greatly. Also have read the shorter Buffet bio by Roger Lowenstein (sp?) and that is also good. This book however really allowed me to see how Buffet works and views the world. Recommend. ...more info
  • A book rich in human portrait
    I really enjoyed this book. Beyond telling the story of Warren Buffett's rise to success in the investing and business world, Ms. Schroeder does a masterful job of revealing the more human side of Buffett; complete with his self-admitted frailties, shortcomings, and mistakes in both business and in life. There are many lessons to be learned from reading this book. It is also inspiring in that it reveals that anyone can achieve great things if they have an intense desire to achieve something, a willingness to work hard for it, the ability to focus, uncompromising integrity, and the determination to never give up....more info
  • An exellent read.
    Very well written. A superb view of a financial guru. The history timeline and humor were a plus....more info
  • Warren Buffett - Almost in His Own Words
    All 800 plus pages of this book take some time to read, but it is well worth it. Schroeder is an excellent writer and has constructed a masterpiece. Although this book is a biography of a unique man, Warren Buffet, it reads like a novel. Buffett's life has seen it all in the world of business and the portrayal of his life in this work is phenomenal. He may not be the most daring, cultured or adventurous character in the business world, but he has proved to be one of the smartest, successful and original. The cast of characters in Buffett's life are also entertaining and worth knowing, from his late wife Susie, to caretaker and current wife Astrid to his long-term business partner and lawyer, Charlie Munger. Buffett is still going strong despite his current age, but even when he is long gone, his principles and way of doing business will be legendary. The fact that he has agreed to donate his fortune to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be proof that his influence will be felt for good around the world for years to come. This is a fantastic book about an incredible man and well worth the read. ...more info
  • Interesting Subject, Some Stiff Writing
    I'm fascinated by this folksy Richest Man in The World, and so I can't put the book down. Lots of background information and description of his life and business. After reading more about him as a person, I'm coming away less in awe of the man than I was.

    However, I don't think the writing is all that great. At times it reads like a bland listing of life events and investments made. The author rarely offers much commentary on what she is describing. Seems like she is trying so hard to describe every day of his life that she didn't have time to make any insightful comparisions or comments.

    Still, I'm fascinated by the guy and am enjoying learning more about him....more info
  • Excellent Biography
    Book arrived in time and in good condition.
    The biography was very interestinh and well written....more info
  • Awsome Read
    I could not put his book down quite simply. Besides getting insight to the mind of Buffet his life and that of his family is simply interesting....more info
  • Very unhappy
    I bought this book as a Christmas present for my Son. I ordered it on 28th November but did not receive it until after Christmas so am very very very unhappy....more info
  • I bought it for my husband not knowing......
    I got this for my husband for Christmas not knowing that Warren Buffett was on the other side of my husband's political spectrum. But he did enjoy the book on CD but sometimes it raised his blood pressure yelling at the car CD player....more info
  • Boring
    I was interested in how Buffet thinks. I got bored in the first 30 pages, couldn't read on. Skipped 100 pages, still boring. Skipped to end, still boring. Might be a good documentation of his life, but I wanted some good inspiration of what he believes. I am sure it is in there, but I don't want to take that much time to distill it. In short, it was too long! In contrast, Greenspan's book is much more interesting, even though it reads like an economics textbook....more info
  • great insights to a great man
    I will listen to this again I am sure. The Snowball gives an 'over the shoulder' perspective of a person who has been nothing less than an elemental force in the world economy. Perhaps most satisfying is the insight that Warren Buffett got to be so successful by working hard, using logic, and learning from mistakes. His integrity shines through, regardless of what one might think of his choices in his love life. ...more info
  • traskstman
    This is an excellent book, so far very interesting the first 250 pages. Warren is a remarkable man. The author di a wonderful job....more info
  • A great book, especially in today's economic crisis
    I purchased this book for my husband and gave it to him for Christmas. Since then, he has been devouring it. The book is quite large and my husband describes it as "heavy reading" because there is a great deal of detail about Warren Buffet's life and the people in it, both from a personal perspective and also from a business perspective. My husband reads passages of the book to me because he is so enthusiastic about it, and I have to admit that the content does indeed sound very interesting. It appears that the content of Warren's book and especially Warren's financial philosophies are very relevant to the current economic crisis in which America finds itself right now.

    From the amount of enjoyment my husband is getting in reading this book, I would have to recommend it highly....more info
  • The Snowball: by Dean
    The book Snowball:Warren Buffett is great to read. I never knew he was as active as he is....more info
  • Way too long and extraneous, not concise at all!
    This book is listed as a 'roughcut' and I can see why-every little niggling detail is included. The book is in serious need of editing!

    I cannot possibly recommend this book as is and I question the publisher's decision to release it as it is. The book needs serious editing work.

    That is not to say there isn't good pertinent writing included, but the reader must wade through at least 50% of details not germane to the main theme or story at hand. Concise this book is not. You've been warned!...more info
  • An objective, interesting, and thorough view of a great man.
    This is an excellent book. Major points: No one is perfect, TIMING is everything, and you CAN be successful in finance when applying simple, common sense....more info
  • Great Book
    Let's be clear on what this book is NOT about: it is NOT about giving you a quick and dirty tipsheet to make money off stocks.

    This book is about Warren Buffet's life. The very length of the book will have you seeping into Warren's life since he was a toddler, all the way up to the present. You'll learn about how investing for him began with collecting coins, selling newspapers and franchising pin-ball machines. And since Warren has been involved with American finance closely, you'll also get an inside look at some of the most important financial events of our time in the past century.

    For example, the seeds of the current financial crisis were sown to a large extent in 1996 when Greenspan did not let Long-term Capital Management go bankrupt in fear of the "systemic risk" argument. That allowed other large i-banks to believe that they would be similarly saved if things went sour and they took crazy, speculative risks. Very few people know that and understand how the current credit crisis was directly a result of poor decisions by the Fed that started many, many years ago. This book will walk you through all this since Warren was involved with most of the important financial events in our time.

    You will learn that it takes emotional intelligence, hard work and discipline to be a good investor as much as IQ. ...more info
  • THE Book on Warren Buffet
    "The Snowball" a wonderful book that gives you insight into the life of the greatest investor of our time. On the one hand he is a humble, somewhat quirky individual with strong Mid-Western values, on the other he is prodigy with an incredible business mind. I previously read the other Buffet biography, "Making of an American Capitalist," which was also very good, but this book gives you a very detailed picture of Warren Buffet, the human being, who is shaped by his family and his experiences. ...more info
  • Beyond Expectations!
    The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life
    was purchased as a gift for a savy investor. The recipient reported he began reading immediately and his family didn't see him again until the next night. He thought he already knew about Warren Buffet, but the surprises kept him so intrigued he couldn't put it down until he read the last word. It pleased me that the gift was so well received and appreciated. ...more info
  • Fascinating Book About A Business Legend
    I found Snowball totally compelling -- not only a fascinating biography, but one of the best business books I've ever read. Warren Buffett is an inspiration, not just to investors but to anyone who has built a business. The book offers a perspective on how a brilliant investor succeeds by living his principles and overcoming his own flaws and weaknesses. I only wish I'd been able to read the book 10 years ago. I'd be far wealthier now, and I would have been more appreciative of the few times I've actually met Mr. Buffett....more info
  • Great Book
    I am about halfway through reading the book and I am still enthralled. The book is very well written and does an excellent job of interweaving personal details, historical details and investments and results. One of the best non fiction books I've read in a long time. I highly recommend this book....more info
  • Badly marred by whopper errors, economic ax-grinding, tedious over-writing, more
    This baby's got some major boo-boos in just the first 50 pages. (But there's more later!)

    1. She claims Hoover was Coolidge's VP. Nope, twas Charles Curtis.

    2. She claims some other speech, not "Cross of Gold," was William Jennings Bryan's most famous. Not even close.

    3. A possible whopper. On page 17, she describes the "notoriously fumble fingered Buffett" trying to "get up" a PowerPoint slide as if it were an actual slide... Dunno if she believes that, but it halfway sounds that way.

    And, as I said, that's just in the first FIFTY pages.

    Biggestt of the later errors?

    Page 639, Schroeder says the Taoiseach is "head of state" of Ireland.

    NOPE. Try "head of government," not "head of state." And, in a parliamentary government, that's a big difference.

    She also appears to take some Dust Bowl yarns as truth.

    ===

    Economic ax-grinding? Claiming that going off the gold standard, specifically, Great Britain in 1930, is just an "excuse to write bad checks."

    So, Ms. Goldbug, you still carry non-gold-backed Federal Reserve Notes in your wallet? Vote for Ron Paul? Etc., etc.

    Also speaking of writing back checks, in the midst of this economic meltdown, you didn't "fluff" any CDOs, CDSs, etc. at Morgan Stanley, did you? Afraid of having any bonuses capped by the "bad check writing" U.S. Govt?

    She later repeats the oft-retold conservative myth, or lie, that the New Deal "didn't work." Wrong. Especially before FDR got balanced-budget cold feet, he cut unemployment in half during his first term.

    ===

    Over-writing?

    When we have a footnote, a DUH footnote, telling us banks were more vulnerable to robberies during the Depression because they didn't have electronic security systems, you know this baby has been over-written by at least 200 pages.

    Another anal footnote? Footnoting a source for Buffett not ice-skating well as a kid because he had weak ankles. Anal.

    You could surely whack half or more of the 100 pages of footnotes, leaving 150 pages out of more than 800 to easily be cut.

    It's overwritten in another way.

    Schroeder never claims she's trying to imitate the personality of Buffett in her writing style, as defenders of her claim here. Therefore, it's obvious she just doesn't know how to write a biography, or a hagiography.

    It's like Gertrude Stein said about Oakland, ultimately. "There's no there there" in this book, other than the Chinese water torture of nearly 900 pages of draggy writing, interspersed with defensiveness of Saint Warren of Omaha.

    ===

    And, that's the primary part of the "more" from the title of my review.

    This is NOT a neutral biography. Interesting that Schroeder doesn't tout it as the "authorized" biography, because that's exactly what it is. So, it's not going to be neutral, despite Warren's charge to her to write the worse whenever she hears two accounts of a story. Warren knows she's already sold herself by this point, so he doesn't have to worry.

    I might originally have rated this baby at two stars, but it appears Buffett-heads are little short of Obamiacs, so this baby has to get a one-stsr rating to compensate.

    ===

    I will say that, ***not having read ANY Buffett bio before,*** I learned some things about him (which I surely could have learned from another bio).

    His almost-intuitive "friends" approach to buying nearly cost him his a** with Salomon. He only survived that because of a reputation he'd already had. But, in her "dispassionate" or mind-numbing/quasi-hagiographic style, Schroeder never takes him to the woodshed for the dumbest "friends" decision this side of George W. Bush looking into Vlad the Impaler Putin's eyes and not seeing John McCain there.
    ...more info
  • Exhaustive and often times exhausing biography of a complex man
    One has to give Alice Schroeder her due in that she has written a comprehensive and exhaustive biography of one of the most enigmatic and legendary people in American business history. This book goes into exacting and stunning detail for a biography subject. The Buffett family is exposed, warts and all for the world to see. The book can at times be a bit drag and I will say that I found it overlong and at times Schroeder offered too much detail it did excel at portraying interesting people in a linear fashion so we can see how they got to their final destinations. And special kudo's to Schroeder for making dull financial events seem like thrillers.

    The author sweeps in and out with both Buffet's inner circle and the group of celebrities he eventually becomes one with. The pacing is seamless and all in all the focus never strays far from Warren. Well worth reading and entertaining, if a little bit too long! ...more info
  • A Second-Person Autobiography
    Alice Schroeder isn't the biographer of Warren Buffet so much as she enabled him to provide us with his autobiography. After reading it I come away impressed by her writing skill and profoundly impressed by Warren Buffet. I had no preconceptions about Mr. Buffet before this book; I was simply curious how he became rich. I generally tend to be cynical, but this book has made me an un-abashed admirer of this peculiar, enormously principled businessman....more info
  • Insightful ....
    Over the past couple of years, dozens of books have been written with Warren Buffett's name included in the title. This is one in which the author actually possesses some credentials, having a connection of sorts to Buffett. The Snowball is insightful and provides the kind of inside look at one of America's most fascinating people...I would like to have seen more real strategies about finance. I highly recommend Nobody's Fool: A Skeptic's Guide to Prosperity by Al Jacobs. Mr. Jacobs offers practical and helpful strategies that are universal to anyone interested in growing wealth.
    ...more info
  • The Snowball: Warren Buffett
    The book is well done and more interesting than I expected. Of course, I am a Warren Buffett fan....more info
  • A great biography
    It has taken me awhile to get through this book. Not because it was boring, but due to a busy lifestyle. I have however found myself picking up this book whenever I had the chance and even taking it with me to read. The book delves deep into Warren Buffett's past and you get to catch a glimpse into his personal life which helps you understand what made him the man he is today.

    Warren Buffett is one of my two role models (Charles T. Munger is the other) and this book reaffirmed why he is my role model. I learned so much from this book, not only about why he made business decisions he did, but also about life. Go into this book with an open mind and you will learn a lot. Normally biography books are not what I would read for enjoyment, but with this book I have found myself reading it and laughing at some of the things Warren Buffett does or about some of the sayings he made throughout his life. This lets you see Warren Buffett as a person and not as some rich guy who deserves your respect. By reading this book you will realize he has earned your respect.

    There is one quote from the book I really like. Warren Buffett said once that he liked talking about stocks when he was 21 because he could give the most masterful talks and reviews of stocks and no one would pay him any attention. But now (this was in the 90's) he can say the stupidest thing and some people out there will think there is some hidden jewel in there somewhere.

    I gave this a 5 out of 5....more info
  • Worth it for any business person who likes biography or non-fiction
    I got this book as a Christmas gift from my daughter and smiled when I opened the gift, though I wouldn't have purchased it myself. Well, my daughter made a great pick. The man is worth reading about, the prose is good, and the emphasis is on life-long principles that would serve virtually anyone in business well. I'd give it a 4.5 if I could.

    Regards,
    Keith...more info
  • Great Book
    Let's be clear on what this book is NOT about: it is NOT about giving you a quick and dirty tipsheet to make money off stocks.

    This book is about Warren Buffet's life. The very length of the book will have you seeping into Warren's life since he was a toddler, all the way up to the present. You'll learn about how investing for him began with collecting coins, selling newspapers and franchising pin-ball machines. And since Warren has been involved with American finance closely, you'll also get an inside look at some of the most important financial events of our time in the past century.

    For example, the seeds of the current financial crisis were sown to a large extent in 1996 when Greenspan did not let Long-term Capital Management go bankrupt in fear of the "systemic risk" argument. That allowed other large i-banks to believe that they would be similarly saved if things went sour and they took crazy, speculative risks. Very few people know that and understand how the current credit crisis was directly a result of poor decisions by the Fed that started many, many years ago. This book will walk you through all this since Warren was involved with most of the important financial events in our time.

    You will learn that it takes emotional intelligence, hard work and discipline to be a good investor as much as IQ. ...more info
  • Review from a simpleton
    For those of you who have ever wondered about the man himself, or for those who simply would like some insight into what makes one of the greated financial minds work, this book is an invaluable review of his life and the significant historical companies he has been involved in. It also does a fair amount of explaining what goes on behind the scenes at the executive level and board level of America's greatest companies....more info
  • fascinating
    It gives us an insight into one of the most complex characters in american finances - both the good and the bad. The info on acquirting companies was terrific. Highlight. On weekend with Reagan, he told the President that what he was doing - spending more than he collected - would forever start the nation on a serious journey of overwhelming debt. This was 1982 and here we are in 2009 and another Republican President has certainly done a number in this area in leaving us shortlyto a horrible long term problem. Finally, you can detect Buffett's sense of humor in things as a number of his words of wisdom have proven to be correct....more info
  • The Greatest Investor
    Warren Buffett authorized Alice Schroeder, a former insurance analyst with Paine Webber, to pen his biography. He told her if there are 2 versions of a story, use the "less flattering version". This tidbit demonstrates how humble the greatest investor in history is. This book is 838 pages excluding notes. I read this book carefully and I will be reading it again. I admire Buffett. I bought my first BRK share in 1997 and its share price dropped 40% recently and fell below liquidation value. I bought a few more. BRK is my single largest holding, accounting for a third of my portfolio. If the price drops more, I will buy more.

    The title Snowball refers to the power of compounding (snowflakes become snowballs). Buffett compounded businesses. He began to sell products (chewing gum) at age 6 years. He always had a fascination with numbers and money. He was a precocious child, very intelligent, good in math. By age 10 he visited Wall Street and developed an interest in stocks. Bought stocks shortly afterwards. By the time he was 16, he was worth $5000 (in today's dollars that would amount to $53,000).

    He was born to intelligent parents who afforded him a good education. He states he won the "ovarian lottery". Had he been born in Bangladesh, for example, to a poor family, his skills in capital allocation would have been useless. As such, he states he was very lucky to be born in the USA. His father was a libertarian Republican congressman whom Buffett admired greatly and mourned his death. He was not close to his verbally abusive mother. Buffett himself is a well known liberal democrat and talks about the need for higher income and capital gains taxes. He says he is a democrat because of the party's stance on civil and reproductive rights. Buffett is an atheist. He has contributed to the democratic party, family planning and "nuke free" organizations.

    Interestingly, Buffett wanted to attend Harvard but was rejected. He was accepted into Columbia where he fell under the sway of Graham and Dodd. He recommends Grahams' book Intelligent Investor. (He recently gave an interview asking investors to pay particular attention to chapters 8 and 20). He married Susan Thompson, the daughter of a prominent local physician. Susie bore him 3 children. Buffett was distant to his kids, he was busy and focused in his work of compounding money. He adored his wife but she became burned out caring for Buffett that later in life she moved to San Francisco and set up a waitress named Astrid Menks to care for Buffett. After Susie died a few years ago, Buffett married Astrid. Susie, with Warren's blessing, was a social activist. She was very engaged in the civil and gay rights movements. After Susie died, he became very close to his kids.

    Buffett befriended Kay Graham, the owner of Washington Post Co. Kay was famous for her Washington DC parties. Buffett the country bumpkin from Nebraska, met many famous people at these parties which he called elephant bumping. After initial reticence, he found that he enjoyed elephant bumping very much.

    Berkshire Hathaway was a textile mill that Buffett bought. It did not make any money, it was a losing business. Buffett sold it many years later but kept the name. He partnered with Charlie Munger and began to acquire more businesses. Their business dealings became so complex that they were investigated by the SEC in 1975. This caused Buffett a lot of lost sleep and anxious moments. The SEC commissioner, Stan Sporkin concluded that Buffett and Munger mistepped, but were not crooks. They got a gentle tap on the wrist. The incident caused Buffett and Munger to simplify their partnership.

    Another anxious moment for Buffett and Munger was acquiring a stake in Salomon Brothers which became involved in a scandal in buying Treasury bonds. One rogue trader caused so much trouble. Buffett took over as chairman and worked with the federal regulators and paid a massive fine and returned Salomon to health and sold it off. One of the players in this incident was John Merriweather, who later left and founded Long Term Capital Management. In 1999, LTCM nearly imploded and risked causing a global financial meltdown. Buffett offered to buy LTCM only if Merriweather left. Buffett guarded his reputation zealously and Merriweather was considered tainted. The feds, led by Alan Greenspan, saved LTCM, creating a moral hazard. We are still paying the price today because the feds are intervening everywhere these days. Had Buffett taken over LTCM, there would have been no moral hazard.

    Buffett said he made a mistake in investing in US Air. But he bought Net Jets and liked it so much even though it is not making much money. His purchase of General Re took years to pay off. He warned about derivatives long before they became toxic. He cleaned out bad management at Gen Re. His purchase of a utility company caused consternation at the time but with the recent alternative energy boom, his purchase now appears to be a stroke of genius.

    He has now created a wonderful collection of businesses that will long outlast him at least by a generation. Like JP Morgan, John Rockefeller, and Sam Walton, Buffett's BRK will live on long after his death. Buffett is giving away his billions to the Gates Foundation. He is giving his children enough money but not too much. As Buffett says, his death with be a "buying opportunity".

    ...more info
  • Value Investing-the skinny and long version of it
    The book has surprising insights into Warren Buffett's life. I learned a lot about cigar butts, the bathtub memory, and value investing. However, as it is a biography there is a lot of info that is just about the life of the Oracle of Omaha. I wish there was more info on how he does his analysis of companies. I, therefore, have bought another two books including "security analysis"by his mentor Ben Graham. An aperitif, but you will leave the book-nearly 1000 pages later-still hungry. A bit sketchy and superficial-you can tell that Warren went through it with a heavy handed editing brush, but a good insight into his life....more info
  • Fascinating life, horrible author
    Warren Buffet's life story certainly deserved a better writer than this. I have seen better writing than this from middle school students....more info
  • Joaquin de la Guardia, Panama
    Monumental ! Thorough and honest.

    Buffett is without peer for his generosity, integrity and investment talent. Picking one winner after another through out his long career. Always adding new streams of "cash flow" to his "cash machine". Businesses as diverse as prison guard uniforms, candies, energy, apparel, insurance, finance, consumer staples, etc., "the learning machine" was able to study them and handicap them perfectly. Always sharing his wisdom and treating his shareholders with the outmost respect and consideration.

    His observations on corporate America were prophetic.

    Personal problems didn't dim his enthusiasm and joy of life.

    Astonished the world with his accumulation of wealth, and then out did himself as a philanthropist. The famous "tightwad" gave away the totality of his net worth without "putting his name on a single building".

    "Choose your heroes carefully", Buffett fits the bill.
    ...more info