TMBA 357: A Review of Snowball, a Biography Of Warren Buffett

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Recently, Dan and Ian decided to find out a little more about someone who is a legend in the world of business and investing.

For a very long time, Warren Buffett was the richest person in the world. And, as part of their research, Dan and Ian recently read Alice Schroeder’s fantastic biography of Warren Buffett titled “The Snowball”.

They felt that they learnt so much from both the book, and from the principles that Warren Buffett applies in his life and business, that they decided to dedicate an episode to his story.


Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • Warren Buffett’s description of finding success. (2:10)
  • Why Buffett believed in making meaningful investments in companies rather than just buying stock. (3:14)
  • The difference between keeping an “Inner Scorecard” and an “Outer Scorecard”. (6:10)
  • Warren Buffet’s views on partnerships. (9:47)
  • The importance of being hyper-focused on what you are good at. (14:31)

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Dan & Ian

Published on 10.06.16
  • Well if you’re looking to make a $20k to $30k investment in an internet business, I can help you with that. ;-)

  • That I am good sir ! :) let’s discuss ……

  • Jonathan Rollins

    I wasn’t sure about this episode at first, having read The Snowball a couple of years ago, but I’m glad I listened to the episode. It was interesting to hear Ian and Dan pull out many of the same lessons that I did from the book, and a few extras too.
    One thing caught my attention toward the end of the podcast- when you guys are discussing the use of cash and being patient. Dan’s poker analogy made me think of the description of Edward Thorp’s use of the Kelly Formula in the book “Fortune’s Formula”.
    As with Buffet and Ben Graham, Thorp’s application of the Kelly formula is likely dated (shorting warrants and going long on the same stock), but the way Thorp allocated cash to trades (or in hands of blackjack) based on how much cash he had, what the probability of the predicted outcome was and his tolerance for risk at the time I found useful.
    If you need a book to read, “Fortune’s Formula” is an entertaining study. And probably won’t make Ian any more comfortable investing the stock market.

  • cheers Jonathan appreciate the heads up and suggestion

  • ww

    This is one of my all time favorite business books and I’m so glad you did an episode on it.

    But I took away different lesson from the book about WB’s investing style. Many of his investments, especially in his early years, were short term investments where he had no interest in influencing management.

    The most important Buffett quote for the TMBA community, I think, is “I am a better investor because I am a businessman, and a better businessman because I am an investor.”

    People seem to be psyched out by this idea that hedge fund wizards have an edge because they have computing power, rig the system, etc.

    But what about the “edge” of actually owning and running your own business? As just one example, doesn’t doing SEO for your ecommerce site give you an insight on Google, Amazon, etc that few possess?

    There really seems to be this script that buying shares of a public company is fundamentally different than building one or buying one from @Joseph Magnotti.

    I think the genius of Buffett is that he thought about owning a fractional interest in a public company as no different than owning 100% of a private company. If that’s right, then we business owners should all be more optimistic about our ability to make smart investments in companies — private or public.

  • good point, I think we got were surprised that at the core of his talent were entrepreneurial chops

  • Ram Kesarwani

    Thank you so much for this Biography, and Warren Buffett is a really great man and I think every business man know him. We are also inspired from him and just started our business as a Translation India.

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