BOOK DETAILS

Warren Buffett on Business: Principles from the Sage of Omaha

Warren Buffett on Business: Principles from the Sage of Omaha

by Warren Buffett

ISBN: 9780470502303

Publisher Wiley

Published in Calendars/Business

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Book Description

The proven business principles of Warren Buffett.

Warren Buffett is one of the most admired and prolific investors and managers in corporate America. Warren Buffett on Business is a timeless guide to strategies that can help you run a successful business. This book is a one-of-a-kind collection of Buffett's letters to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway written over the past few decades, and in a clear, simple style distills the basic principles of sound business practices.

Through Buffett's own remarkable words, this practical management handbook shares valuable insights on communicating with, and treating employees and shareholders fairly; responsible corporate governance; ethical behavior; patience and perseverance; admitting mistakes; and having a passion for work.

Contains priceless pearls of business and management wisdom, woven into a delightful narrativeDesigned in an accessible manner and organized by business and management topics with strong lessons from BuffettProvides direct, hands-on information on major topics concerning managers, entrepreneurs, business students, and anyone interested in business

Informative and inspiring, this unique book puts Warren Buffett's business beliefs in perspective.

from audible.com

Sample Chapter


Chapter One

Shareholders as Partners

Although our form is corporate, our attitude is partnership. Charlie Munger and I think of our shareholders as owners-partners, and ourselves as managing partners.... We do not view the company itself as the owner of our business assets but instead view the company as a conduit through which our shareholders own the assets. CEOs must embrace stewardship as a way of life and treat their owners as partners not patsies. It's time for CEOs to walk the walk. -Warren Buffett

Charlie and I hope that you do not think of yourself as merely owning a piece of paper whose price wiggles around daily and that is a candidate for sale when some economic or political event makes you nervous. We hope you instead visualize yourself as a part owner of a business that you expect to stay with indefinitely, much as you might if you owned a farm or apartment house in partnership with members of your family. For our part, we do not view Berkshire shareholders as faceless members of an ever-shifting crowd, but rather as co-venturers who have entrusted their funds to us for what may well turn out to be the remainder of their lives.

The evidence suggests that most Berkshire shareholders have indeed embraced this long-term partnership concept. The annual percentage turnover in Berkshire's shares is a small fraction of that occurring in the stocks of other major American corporations, even when the shares I own are excluded from the calculation.

In effect, our shareholders behave in respect to their Berkshire stock much as Berkshire itself behaves in respect to companies in which it has an investment. As owners of, say, Coca-Cola or Gillette shares, we think of Berkshire as being a non-managing partner in two extraordinary businesses, in which we measure our success by the long-term progress of the companies rather than by the month-to-month movements of their stocks. In fact, we would not care in the least if several years went by in which there was no trading, or quotation of prices, in the stocks of those companies. If we have good long-term expectations, short-term price changes are meaningless for us except to the extent they offer us an opportunity to increase our ownership at an attractive price.

Charlie and I cannot promise you results. But we can guarantee that your financial fortunes will move in lockstep with ours for whatever period of time you elect to be our partner. We have no interest in large salaries or options or other means of gaining an "edge" over you. We want to make money only when our partners do and in exactly the same proportion. Moreover, when I do something dumb, I want you to be able to derive some solace from the fact that my financial suffering is proportional to yours.

* * *

At Berkshire, we believe that the company's money is the owners' money, just as it would be in a closely-held corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship.

* * *

What we promise you-along with more modest gains-is that during your ownership of Berkshire, you will fare just as Charlie and I do. If you suffer, we will suffer; if we prosper, so will you. And we will not break this bond by introducing compensation arrangements that give us a greater participation in the upside than the downside.

We further promise you that our personal fortunes will remain overwhelmingly concentrated in Berkshire shares: We will not ask you to invest with us and then put our own money elsewhere. In addition, Berkshire dominates both the investment portfolios of most members of our families and of a great many friends who belonged to partnerships that Charlie and I ran in the 1960s. We could not be more motivated to do our best.

* * *

Though our primary goal is to maximize the amount that our shareholders, in total, reap from their ownership of Berkshire, we wish also to minimize the benefits going to some shareholders at the expense of others. These are goals we would have were we managing a family partnership, and we believe they make equal sense for the manager of a public company. In a partnership, fairness requires that partnership interests be valued equitably when partners enter or exit; in a public company, fairness prevails when market price and intrinsic value are in sync. Obviously, they won't always meet that ideal, but a manager-by his policies and communications-can do much to foster equity.

(Continues...)

Excerpted from "Warren Buffett on Business: Principles from the Sage of Omaha" by Warren Buffett. Copyright © 0 by Warren Buffett. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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