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221 Alice Schroeder: The Snowball

The Snowball is a comprehensive biography of Warren Buffett, one of the world’s most successful investors and business leaders.

Alice Schroeder: The Snowball


The Snowball provides a detailed and comprehensive look at the life and career of Warren Buffett, one of the most successful investors and business leaders in history. Author Alice Schroeder traces Buffett's life from his childhood in Omaha, Nebraska to his rise as the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and his status as a billionaire philanthropist. Along the way, Schroeder explores the strategies and principles that have made Buffett a successful investor, as well as his personal life and relationships.


Title: The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life

Author: Alice Schroeder

Publishing Year: 2008

Publisher: Bantam

Length in Hours: 36 hours and 58 minutes

5 main ideas

  1. Warren Buffett's success as an investor is rooted in his disciplined approach to investing, his focus on long-term value creation, and his ability to find undervalued companies.
  2. Buffett's personal life and relationships have played a significant role in shaping his approach to business and investing.
  3. Buffett's philosophy of "value investing" has influenced generations of investors and business leaders.
  4. Buffett has used his wealth and influence to support philanthropic causes, including education and health care.
  5. Buffett's leadership at Berkshire Hathaway has helped to shape the company into a major player in industries such as insurance, energy, and retail.
Alice Schroeder: The Snowball

5 funny quotes

  1. "Buffett has always enjoyed a good game of cards, as long as he isn't playing for money. He's also a pretty good bridge player."
  2. "Buffett has been known to enjoy a hamburger and a Cherry Coke for breakfast."
  3. "Buffett once said that he was 'wired at birth to allocate capital.' It's unclear if he was also wired for his sweet tooth."
  4. "Buffett is known for his love of Cherry Coke and his aversion to technology. He once said that he doesn't use email because he doesn't like spending his day typing."
  5. "Buffett once joked that he's in the business of 'picking up cigar butts' -- buying undervalued assets that others have discarded."

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "Investing is the art of allocating capital to assets that will yield a return greater than the capital itself."
  2. "The best investment you can make is in your own abilities. Anything you can do to develop your own abilities or business is likely to be more productive."
  3. "Risk comes from not knowing what you're doing."
  4. "Time is the friend of the wonderful company, the enemy of the mediocre."
  5. "When a management team with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is usually the reputation of the business that remains intact."

5 dilemmas

  1. Balancing the desire for growth and innovation with the need for stability and long-term value creation.
  2. Balancing the demands of a successful career with the need for personal fulfillment and relationships.
  3. Addressing concerns about the concentration of wealth and the potential impact of philanthropy on society.
  4. Balancing the need for transparency and accountability with the desire for privacy and discretion.
  5. Addressing the potential risks of overconfidence and complacency in investing and business.

5 examples

  1. Berkshire Hathaway, the holding company that Buffett has led since 1965, is a major player in industries such as insurance, energy, and retail.
  2. Coca-Cola, one of Buffett's largest holdings, is a company that he has long admired for its strong brand and wide economic moat.
  3. Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, is a close friend and collaborator of Buffett's, with whom he has worked on philanthropic initiatives such as the Giving Pledge.
  4. See's Candies, a California-based chocolate maker, is a company that Buffett has praised for its strong brand and pricing power.
  1. GEICO, an insurance company that Buffett acquired in the 1990s, is a company that he has helped to transform into a major player in the industry.

Referenced books

  1. "The Intelligent Investor" by Benjamin Graham
  2. "Security Analysis" by Benjamin Graham and David L. Dodd
  3. "Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings" by Philip Fisher
  4. "Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger" edited by Peter D. Kaufman
  5. "The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success" by William N. Thorndike

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"The best investment you can make is in your own abilities. Anything you can do to develop your own abilities or business is likely to be more productive."

Alice Schroeder: The Snowball
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