Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything, 1966-2012: A Fortune Magazine Book

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Overview

Warren Buffett built Berkshire Hathaway into something remarkable— and Fortune journalist Carol Loomis had a front-row seat for it all.
 
When Carol Loomis first mentioned a little-known Omaha hedge fund manager in a 1966 Fortune article, she didn’t dream that Warren Buffett would one day be considered the world’s greatest investor—nor that she and Buffett would quickly become close personal friends. As Buf­fett’s fortune and reputation ...

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Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything, 1966-2013

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Overview

Warren Buffett built Berkshire Hathaway into something remarkable— and Fortune journalist Carol Loomis had a front-row seat for it all.
 
When Carol Loomis first mentioned a little-known Omaha hedge fund manager in a 1966 Fortune article, she didn’t dream that Warren Buffett would one day be considered the world’s greatest investor—nor that she and Buffett would quickly become close personal friends. As Buf­fett’s fortune and reputation grew over time, Loomis used her unique insight into Buffett’s thinking to chronicle his work for Fortune, writ­ing and proposing scores of stories that tracked his many accomplishments—and also his occa­sional mistakes.
 
Now Loomis has collected and updated the best Buffett articles Fortune published between 1966 and 2012, including thirteen cover stories and a dozen pieces authored by Buffett himself. Loomis has provided commentary about each major arti­cle that supplies context and her own informed point of view. Readers will gain fresh insights into Buffett’s investment strategies and his thinking on management, philanthropy, public policy, and even parenting. Some of the highlights include:

  • The 1966 A. W. Jones story in which Fortune first mentioned Buffett.
  • The first piece Buffett wrote for the magazine, 1977’s “How Inf lation Swindles the Equity Investor.”
  • Andrew Tobias’s 1983 article “Letters from Chairman Buffett,” the first review of his Berk­shire Hathaway shareholder letters.
  • Buffett’s stunningly prescient 2003 piece about derivatives, “Avoiding a Mega-Catastrophe.”
  • His unconventional thoughts on inheritance and philanthropy, including his intention to leave his kids “enough money so they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing.”
  • Bill Gates’s 1996 article describing his early impressions of Buffett as they struck up their close friendship.

Scores of Buffett books have been written, but none can claim this work’s combination of trust between two friends, the writer’s deep under­standing of Buffett’s world, and a very long-term perspective.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This fascinating collection presents a selection of articles about the financial mogul, many by Loomis and twelve12 by Buffett himself, published in Fortune Magazine from the time he first burst on the scene as a young financial genius up until today. As a longtime personal friend, she brings a unique perspective into his mindset, but readers will likely treasure Buffett's own insights most of all, such as his view of inheritance, reported in 1986: "To him the perfect amount to leave children is â??enough money so they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing.'" More recently, in 2010, he explained, "My wealth has come from a combination of living in America, some lucky genes, and compound interest. Both my children and I won what I call the ovarian lottery." His common sense and wry humor can be appreciated by everyone, but investors will be especially intrigued by gems like this explanation of Berkshire Hathaway's management philosophy: "We want people to join us because they want to be with us until they die." Loomis has created an engaging picture of a great influencer of our time. Agent: Tracy Brown, Tracy Brown Literary. (Nov.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780594535683
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover
  • Publication date: 11/21/2012
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 44,123
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

CAROL J. LOOMIS is a senior editor-at-large at Fortune, where she has worked since 1954. She has been the magazine’s expert on Warren Buf­fett since 1966 and has edited his annual letter to shareholders since 1977. Her many honors include five lifetime achievement awards, including a Gerald Loeb Award for business journalism and Time Inc.’s first-ever Henry Luce Award. This is her first book. She lives in Westchester County.

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Table of Contents

Preface xv

The Jones Nobody Keeps Up With-April 1966 Carol Loomis 1

From "Hard Times Come to the Hedge Funds"-January 1970 An excerpt from an article Carol Loomis 7

How Inflation Swindles the Equity Investor-May 1977 Warren Buffett 9

A Small College Scores Big in the Investment Game-December 18, 1978 Lee Smith 23

Berkshire's Shareholder Contributions 28

Shareholders Get to Vote on Charity-November 30, 1981 Lee Smith 29

Berkshire Gives Up on Giving-August 11, 2003 Nicholas Varchaver 32

Letters from Chairman Buffett-August 22, 1983 Andrew Tobias 34

From "Can You Beat the Stock Market?"-December 26, 1983 An excerpt and a sidebar from an article Daniel Seligman 40

Buffett and Capital Cities/ABC 43

Excerpts from articles Stratford Sherman Peter Petre Bill Saporito Carol Loomis 43

From "Beating the Market by Buying Back Stock"-April 29, 1985 An excerpt from an article Carol Loomis 47

Guess Who's Bought Whoops Bonds-April 29, 1985 Kenneth Labich 49

From "Now Hear This"-April 28, 1986 53

From "Should You Leave It All to the Children?"-September 29, 1986 Excerpts from an article Richard I. Kirkland Jr. 54

Dial B-U-F-F-E-T-T for Merger-December 22, 1986 From Newstrends Section 57

Early Fears about Index Futures-December 7, 1987 A warning letter sent by Warren Buffett to Congressman John Dingell Jr. 58

The Inside Story of Warren Buffett-April 11, 1988 Carol Loomis 62

Buffett and Salomon 76

The Wisdom of Salomon?-April 11, 1988 Carol Loomis 77

Warren Buffett's Wild Ride at Salomon-October 27, 1997 Carol Loomis 78

From "Now Hear This"-January 10, 1994 Buffett's wry comment 2½ years after the Salomon crisis broke 90

Nebraska Special-September 26, 1988 Terence Paré 91

A Warm Tip from Warren Buffett: It's Time to Buy Freddie Macs -December 19, 1988 Brett Duval Fromson 92

What Happened at the Bridge Table 95

A Very Full Deck-June 5, 1989 Julia Lieblich 95

Raising' Cayne-January 15, 1990 Alan Deutschman 95

From "How to Live with a Billion"-September 11, 1989 Excerpts from an article Alan Farnham 97

From "Now Hear This"-October 23, 1989 98

New Warren Buffetts? And the Old One 99

From "Are These the New Warren Buffetts?"-October 30, 1989 An excerpt from an article Brett Duval Fromson 100

And Now a Look at the Old One-October 30, 1989 Brett Duval Fromson 101

How I Goofed-April 9, 1990 An excerpt from Buffett's letter to shareholders in the 1989 Berkshire Hathaway annual report 103

From "The Children of the Rich and Famous"-September 10, 1990 Excerpts from an article Alan Farnham 107

The Midas Touch at a Discount-November 5, 1990 Edmund Faltermayer 109

Buffett Buys Junk-April 22, 1991 Jennifer Reese 111

From "Now Hear This"-April 5, 1993 112

Buffett and Coca-Cola 113

Excerpts from articles John Huey Betsy Morris Pattie Sellers Carol Loomis 113

How Buffett Views Risk-April 4, 1994 An excerpt from Buffett's letter to shareholders in the 1993 Berkshire Hathaway annual report 116

Buffett Hits $200 Million Downdraft-November 17, 1994 Colin Leinster 117

Buffett and Gates 119

The Billionaire Buddies-January 16, 1995 Brent Schlender 120

Gates on Buffett-February 5, 1996 Bill Gates 121

From "Untangling the Derivatives Mess"-March 20, 1995 An excerpt from an article Carol Loomis 126

Two Items from "Now Hear This"-April 3, 1995 and May 29, 1995 127

From "Why Warren Buffett's Betting Big on American Express"-October 30, 1995 Excerpts and a sidebar from an article Linda Grant 128

Gift That Gives-A Bit O'Buffett-March 18, 1996 Bethany McLean 132

The Bill and Warren Show-July 20, 1998 Brent Schlender 133

A House Built on Sand-October 26, 1998 Carol Loomis 152

Are Jimmy and Warren Buffett Related?-June 21, 1999 Tyler Maroney 162

Put Bite into Audit Committees-August 2, 1999 Carol Loomis 164

Mr. Buffett on the Stock Market-November 22, 1999 A Buffett speech that Carol Loomis converted into an article 166

Warren Buffett: Revivalist-May 19, 2000 Amy Kover 176

Warren Buffett Invests in the First Lady-October 20, 2000 Jeffrey Birnbaum 178

Admired-Again and Again 180

The Value Machine-February 19, 2001 Carol Loomis 181

A Letter from Fortune's Letters Column-March 26, 2001 190

Warren Buffett on the Stock Market-December 10, 2001 A Buffett speech that Carol Loomis converted into an article 191

The Mash Note Everybody Wants-September 16, 2002 Jerry Useem 203

The Oracle of Everything-November 11, 2002 Andy Serwer 204

A Letter from Fortune's Letters Column-February 17, 2003 215

Avoiding a "Mega-Catastrophe"-March 17, 2003 An excerpt from Buffett's letter to shareholders in the 2002 Berkshire Hathaway annual report 216

Where We're Putting Our Money Now-March 17, 2003 A second excerpt from Buffett's letter to shareholders in the 2002 annual report 221

The Sage Goes to Asia-May 26, 2003 Clay Chandler 222

The Power Issue 224

From "The 25 Most Powerful People in Business"-August 11, 2003 Excerpts from an article Jerry Useem 224

The Most Powerful Businessperson: Warren Buffett-August 11, 2003 Andy Serwer 225

America's Growing Trade Deficit Is Selling the Nation Out from Under Us. Here's a Way to Fix the Problem-And We Need to Do It Now. -November 10, 2003 Warren Buffett Carol Loomis 227

Why Foreigners Can't Ditch Their Dollars-November 10, 2003 Warren Buffett Carol Loomis 235

The Market According to Buffett-May 17, 2004 David Stires 236

The Best Advice I Ever Got-March 11, 2005 A Warren Buffett recollection Carol Loomis 237

The $91 Billion Conversation-October 31, 2005 Daniel Roth 239

Cut Your Gains!-March 20, 2006 An excerpt from Buffett's letter to shareholders in the 2005 Berkshire Hathaway annual report 247

Buffett's Alter Ego-May 29, 2006 Andy Serwer 251

Buffett Backs GM-And Buys a Caddy-May 29, 2006 Alex Taylor III 254

The Philanthropist Emerges 255

Warren Buffett Gives It Away-July 10, 2006 Carol Loomis 256

How Buffett's Giveaway Will Work-July 10, 2006 Carol Loomis 264

Would You Like That $11 Billion in Twenties?-July 24, 2006 Carol Loomis 67

Buffett to Gates: Spend It!-March 19, 2007 Jia Lynn Yang 268

Marking to Myth-September 3, 2007 Warren Buffett 270

The Oracle's Credit Crisis-March 31, 2008 Telis Demos 271

What Warren Thinks...-April 28, 2008 Nicholas Varchaver 272

Buffett's Big Bet-June 23, 2008 Carol Loomis 279

From "What Obama Means for Business"-July 2, 2008 An excerpt from an article Nina Easton 285

Buffett's Market Metric Says Buy-February 16, 2009 Carol Loomis Doris Burke 286

From "Riders on the Storm"-April 20, 2009 An excerpt from an article Adam Lashinsky 288

Buffett Takes Charge-April 27, 2009 Marc Gunther 289

From "Who the Admired Admire"-March 22, 2010 An excerpt from an article Anna Bernasek 296

Buffett's Mr. Fix-It-August 16, 2010 Brain Dumaine 297

The Giving Pledge 305

The $600 Billion Challenge-July 5, 2010 Carol Loomis 306

My Philanthropic Pledge-July 5, 2010 Warren Buffett 314

A New Buffett Takes Beijing-October 17, 2011 Bill Powell 316

A Nation Grapples with Charity-October 17, 2011 Bill Powell 320

Why Stocks Beat Gold and Bonds-February 27, 2012 An excerpt from Buffett's letter to shareholders in the 2011 Berkshire Hathaway annual report 321

Final Note from the Editor 327

Acknowledgments 329

Index 333

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2013

    Highly Recommend

    Interesting information on how he invests, his perspective on life, biographical information on how he started out. Worthwhile read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2013

    A lifetime of useful wisdom to apply toward your life, business.

    A lifetime of useful wisdom to apply toward your life, business.

    Excellent content.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2013

    BN.com

    I like you book okey

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    Posted July 21, 2014

    Swag

    XAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAV. :3 Someone showed me how to post on the computer. Though, technically, I'm breaking my promise... meh. I'll be in and out of the virtual world. Afeadasae, momentarilly. <p>
    Also, I realised something when the thought hit me that I would never talk to you again. <p>
    Songs talking about goodbyes always talk about how they'll never see the person again, or how they're going to miss someone dearly, or how they left on purpose or left accidentally, and how goodbye is all painful and stuff, and how they had to move on to different chapters in life... But, as I thought of all this, I realised something. I don't want to go another chapter without you or Sparrow. And even though I'm perfectly insane for saying this, and if you both are pe<_>dophiles and will ha<_>ck everything and come and murder me in my sleep or whatever, I don't care. I love you guys. And I trust you completely. The second thoughts aren't going to hit me. Xavier... Steven. Steven, I honestly can't imagine a new chapter, or any future chapters beyond this point, without you guys. But to do that without NOOK, or Fb (which, by the way, I secretly despise), I would have to know you in person. <p>
    And so I've decided that when I am touring the world, or writing books, or however I'm going to be widely-know... I'm going to mention hints to you guys, so you can pick up who I am. I want to meet you both in person. So bad. Just give you both these big fat hugs and tell you thanks. And in saying this, you should know that I've lied about things that might anger you in finding out. I'm really sorry. :/ Pathetic that it took almost losing you guys to finally say it. You've been one of my best friends for over a year, and despite what anyone in the world may say, I think that leaving a best friend in the last chapter of your life can be considered a crime. If you don't feel mutually about the whole thing, I understand completely, I just had to tell you. Sorry. Love you. Xx
    <p>
    ~Swag

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2014

    Butin

    I dunno. O.e I'm sorta okay now, but overall, I seriously need proffessional help. Hai. *Chibi Swagaroo climbs his pant leg and cuts holes into the knees of his pants.* e.e

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2014

    Xavier

    You cheered me up. :3 Ah, l needed that. Thank you. <p> I promise you, even though promises are vain and silly, that l will find you and return that hug with as much gusto. o.o Yeah, that's an empty promise, 'cause l don't know what the future holds in store for us. God may plan for me to be poor, to lead a family, to own my own business, feed children all over the world, or to simply be a God-fearing man. o.o l would gladly take a simple road of a difficult life than the tough road of easy living. I know, it sounds flipped around, but those who live easy have money. Money is the root of sin, and it can dig deep unless you have God there at every moment. <p> Anyways. The lies you have told are immaterial. Sure, lies re not good, but who you are has not lied to me. Your name, your face, where you live, what you like, and who you love are things that seem small when l think about what you are to me. I rely on you to be there as my best friend. I never thought l would find you, amongst the many popular kids around the nook, as my very own best friend. You are a one-of-a-kind trophie, really. I will never have one like you, and even though second place sounds bad, my friends aren't placed on a tier winding up or winding down. They are simply there for me. You represent the friend l hope all of my friends will be. Such as Sparrow, you can stand to be around me when others can not. Granted, it is over the interwebs, but l think that counts. :3<p> Swag, l love you. As a sister, you have to be around me until we can not stand each other, then we hve to talk again. Like a mother, you tell me what l need to do, and you have no fear that what you say is incorrect. Like a true friend, you are wholly comfortable with who and what l am, and deapite moments of angst or sadness between us, we remain inseperle until death. Sound like wha marriage should be. Heck, we could be married and bothing would change. Aside from the kids... And the house we would share. And the hugs... *sigh* o3o Meh. Anyways. Caught daydreaming. So embarassing. •////• <p> Facebook is desolate as it is full of life. Just find the right way to use it-- your own way-- and it will feel right eventually. See you, dearie. v.v

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2013

    Exceptional business content!

    Exceptional business content!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    E

    U too

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