With Warren Buffett‘s company, Berkshire Hathaway, in the news today due to its declining profits and stock value, I thought it might be an interesting time to take a look at a recent book by Jeff Matthews: Pilgrimage to Warren Buffett’s Omaha: A Hedfe Fund Manager’s Dispatches from Inside the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting. (Also of interest might be analysis of Buffett’s latest letter to shareholders.)
Pilgrimage to Warren Buffett’s Omaha
This book is an interesting first-person narrative of what it’s like to join the tens of thousands that descend upon Omaha to attend the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholder meeting. It is a very interesting read, encompassing the 2007 and 2008 meetings. While I was kind of bored through the parts where Matthews detailed his travel experiences, I did enjoy his recounting of the famous question-and-answer sessions. The only question that can’t be asked happens to be this one: What’s Berkshire investing in now? Buffett will answer any other question that is posed.
While the question-and-answer sections are, in my opinion, the most interesting parts of the book, there are other sections of interest. Learning about how Berkshire Hathaway operates as a company, and getting insight into Buffett’s investing style and philosophy were fascinating.
However, one of the most interesting revelations on my part came in an answer to a question posed about where the stock market was headed: “Charlie and I have no idea whether the market is going up next week, next month, next year.” It was a poignant reminder that the “Oracle of Omaha” is a media title, and not one that Buffett has given himself.
In the end, the book is an interesting read overall — aside from the drawn-out soapbox speech that somehow the fact that few minorities invest in Berkshire Hathaway is at odds with Buffett’s progressive politics. It’s not like he can make someone invest in his company.
The book is well worth reading, and I enjoyed it immensely. Especially the Buffett quotes. Actually, I think I’d like a book of nothing but Warren Buffett quotes…
image source: McGraw-Hill