The Genius That Is Warren Buffett (and a GIVEAWAY to boot!)

October 1, 2008

I picked up a copy of Alice Schroeder’s The Snowball – Warren Buffett and the Business of Life* yesterday. I had just barely begun reading the book when I came across a section that I wanted to share with you. It’s a talk that Mr. Buffett gave at the Sun Valley ’99 conference, which was attended by LOTS of techies and the newly-rich from the internet bubble. Here’s some tidbits from his talk:

Buffett speaking:

“…I would like to talk today about the stock market,” he said. “I will be talking about pricing stocks, but I will not be talking about predicting their course of action next month or next year. Valuing is not he same as predicting.

“In the short run, the market is a voting machine. In the long run, it’s a weighing machine.

“Weight counts eventually. But votes count in the short term. And it’s a very undemocratic way of voting. Unfortunately, they have no literacy tests in terms of voting qualifications, as you’ve all learned.”

Continuing…

“…What you’re doing when you invest is deferring consumption and laying money out now to get more money back at a later time. And there are really only two questions. One is how much you’re going to get back, and the other is when.

“Now, Aesop was not much of a finance major, because he said something like, ‘A bird in hand is worth two in the bush.’ But he doesn’t say when.” Interest rates—the cost of borrowing—Buffett explained, are the price of “when.” They are to finance as gravity is to physics. As interest rates vary, the value of all financial assets—houses, stocks, bonds—changes, as if the price of birds had fluctuated. “And that’s why sometimes a bird in the hand is better than two birds in the bush and sometimes two in the bush are better than one in the hand.”

The talk goes on for several more pages in the book. The author mentions that the techies didn’t much care for Warren’s speech because they represented something new and exciting. In other words, they were smarter than everyone else. We all know what happened in 2000! Those pages alone are worth the price of the book!

Anyway, to celebrate the release of the book, I thought it would be cool to give away a copy. If you’re interested in winning a copy, leave a comment below. All I ask is that you remember my two rules:

1. You must be a resident of the U.S. or Canada, and…

2. You can only enter ONE TIME!

*Affiliate Link

172 responses to The Genius That Is Warren Buffett (and a GIVEAWAY to boot!)

  1. Count me in!

  2. I’d like to enter the contest, if it’s not too late!

  3. I’m interested.

  4. Anything about Buffet is worth the read.

  5. That sounds like a very interesting read indeed.

  6. me too

  7. count me in

  8. Warren is the man!

  9. Not often is the world blessed with an exceptional thinker who can express his ideas in such an engaging manner. Much to appreciate in Buffet’s pearls of wisdom, from both a philosophical and literary perspective – not to mention financial perspective! I look forward to reading/hearing every word I can find that issued from his mouth…!

  10. Win or lose the giveaway, this is definitely a book on my reading list.

  11. Great giveaway. Thanks.

  12. I’m always interested in what Warren Buffet has to say, and I’d love to read about it in depth.

    P.S. I have to agree with Andre — “Warren is the man!”

  13. Warren is often ahead of the curve, from derivatives as weapons of mass destruction to his recent wager on the merits of a simple stock index fund outperforming(ofcourse after fees)hedge funds over time. Interesting that already 250 hedge funds are no longer in existence just this year, and I am sure redemptions in some funds going forward will bring more problems for the market. Stick with Buffett and Munger. Age does not equate with being OLD.

  14. Buffet books are always great!

  15. Let me in, I read many books about him, hope to read the official one!

  16. Count me in !!

  17. Looking forward to reading the book, thanks for the update on your site!

  18. I have heard some wonderful and facinating things about Warren Buffett. When I have heard him speak and read articles about him he always has such unusual insights on such a broad spectrum of subjects. I have never read any of his books but am happy at the prospect of being included in the possibility of receiving a free copy of his book. Thank you for the opportunity.

  19. We can only hope that Buffett continues his track record of success with his recent investments in GE and GS … that would be a great sign that we’re nearing the bottom of the current markets…