When you’re done with Part 1, don’t miss Part 2 of this Book Summary.
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“Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.” — Francis Bacon (The Essays of Francis Bacon, 1696)
If you've ever wanted to read through all of Warren Buffett's shareholder letters, you really have two choices: read every from cover-to-cover letter separately OR read through the best advice from over the years grouped into clear categories ranging from Investing to Acquisitions to Taxation. Having done both I can guarantee you that reading through the best wisdom arranged by category is much more fun and insightful. You don't just get Warren's thoughts on Investing for instance from one shareholder letter — you get his best ideas from every letter.
All the letters are woven together into a fabric that reads as a complete and coherent narrative of a sound business and investment philosophy.
What Lawrence Cunningham has created with The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America is remarkable. I'd argue that reading it in its entirety is just as valuable as getting an MBA. It contains all of the best advice that Warren Buffett has shared over the years — all hard fought and won from real-world experience. This isn't a book about theory, it's a book about wisdom gained from decades of practices.
As Lawrence Cunningham sums up in the introduction, "Experienced readers of Warren Buffett's letters to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway have gained an enormously valuable informal education."
Buy the Book: The Essays of Warren Buffett by Lawrence Cunningham
Notes & Transcript: Find my full notes and transcript for this episode at outlieracademy.com/warrens-essays.
A Short Primer on Berkshire Hathaway
For those asking, "Why is it worth studying Warren Buffett's shareholder letters?" The answer lies in what Berkshire Hathaway has built over the last 50+ years.
In the introduction, Lawrence Cunningham lays out the size and scale of Berkshire Hathaway’s operations and investments in just a few short paragraphs. It’s a staggering description given Berkshire Hathaway has been built in just a few decades from a failing textile business.