Secrets in Plain Sight: Business & Investing Secrets of Warren Buffett by Jeff Matthews

This book is about the 2011 and 2012 version of the Berkshire Annual Meeting with Shareholders. It was conducted in a 6 hour Q&A format and shareholders can shop at the various booths of Berkshire subsidiaries. This was the Woodstock for Capitalists. Berkshire bought both fractional interests of businesses and complete businesses. The existing management pf the various subsidiaries would run the show and channel profits back to Berkshire, if necessary. Warren Buffett’s investment philosophy is long term and he only invests within his circle of competence. He was also a big fan of newspapers. The directors of Berkshire were known to be only paid a pittance due to Buffett’s thrifty nature. Set expectations, meet expectations, repeat. Buy great businesses at reasonable prices, rather than bad businesses at great prices. He only invests in companies with a durable competitive advantage, honest and competent management and at a decent price. Buffett was a prudent man with conservative spending habits. He is particularly bearish on the finance sector due to the underlying risks contained. The importance of good character qualities cannot be over-emphasized.

Lessons from the Book: (1) Do not lose. (2) Know your Circle of Competence. (3) Don’t follow the crowd. (4) Keep reading. (5) Look for easy problems. (6) Keep it Simple. (7) Broaden your horizons and keep an open mind. (8) Don’t believe what you hear, believe what you see. (9) Give back to society whenever you can. (10) Do something you are good at. (11) Have a margin of safety. (12) Think Independently

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