A Look into Warren Buffett’s Success

Read about one man's greatest achievements.

Inside the investments of Warren Buffet: twenty cases
Lu, Yefei. Columbia Business School, 2016
293p bibl index afp, 9780231164627 $35.00, 9780231541688 $34.99

Lu’s work is a must-have for anyone teaching or studying finance. Even if you have a shelf full of books about Warren Buffett and his investing style, this is an excellent edition. As noted in the book’s subtitle, Lu provides a chronology of Buffett’s successes in case studies of 20 investments in the period from 1958 to 2011. Moreover, each of the studies provides a detailed discussion of the firm acquired, and the author maintains a consistent pattern of analysis: why the firm was attractive, what changes were made, etc. Lu provides analysis from his expertise as both a portfolio manager and an economist, and the case studies are concise, insightful, and provide lots of useful data as illustration. The writing is excellent and engaging, and Lu delivers on what he promises in the introduction: he tells Buffett’s story through successful investments. It is therefore a fascinating bridge between the biographies and the “how to invest” books. One would assign this book to students just to have them learn from Lu’s use of primary source materials, his approach of seeking to understand the qualitative factors and context in each case, and his upfront description of his methodology of valuation.

Summing Up: Essential. Lower-division undergraduates through professionals.
Reviewer: M. H. Lesser, Lenoir-Rhyne University
Subject: Social & Behavioral Sciences – Business, Management & Labor
Choice Issue: Jan 2017