Berkshire Hathaway Letters to Shareholders, 1965-2015
Warren E. Buffett first took control of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., a small textile company, in April of 1965. A share changed hands for around $18 at the time. Forty-eight letters to shareholders later, the same share traded for $134,060, compounding investor capital at just under 21% per year -- a multiplier of 7,448 times.
This book compiles the full, un-edited versions of every one of Warren Buffett's letters to the shareholders from 1965 to 2015 (706 pages), including 1965-1976 letters not available on Berkshire's website. In addition to providing an astounding case study on Berkshire's success, Buffett shows an incredible willingness to share his methods and act as a teacher to his many students.
There are hundreds of books about Buffett's life, advice, and methods. These are his actual letters -- word for word -- a "lesson plan" of his views on business and investing. You can find most of the letters for free on Berkshire's website, but this compiles them into a well-designed, easily readable format. (Source)
Why read this
This collection of letters can be read as the history of post-war American capitalism, along tons of insights into investment, management reputation (talk about personal brand consistency here) and practical business logic. It is also an amazing writing exercise and I would say one of the first "customer education blogs" our there. Being able to share complex investment decisions and business results in such fun and simple ways it's an intellectual phenomenon.
Lately, I am truly passionate about documentation of human experiences and development over time, both qualitative and quantitative. Being able to read 50 years worth of a human's work and intellectual insights was an eye opening experience. Lots of jokes (like this one) and fun life stories make the read of couple hundred pages a super fast time travel journey.