Book Reviews | Jul 03 2020
FNArena Book Review: Warren And Charlie’s Bedtime Story, by Adam Robinson
By Rudi Filapek-Vandyck
In the end… someone was always going to do it. When I was offered a copy of “Warren and Charlie’s Bedtime Story” the first thing that sprang to mind was: of course!
In the end… it was only a matter of time before someone would actually do it. It turns out, that someone is New Yorker Adam Robinson.
Second time author Robinson wrote a children’s book for adults, weaving the best quotes from and investment principles developed by Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger in an easy-to-read and equally easy-to-understand "bedtime" story featuring one highly talented young boy who’s being coached by his grandfather.
One does not have to be a scholar of Buffett and Munger to identify the many references. One thing this story does very well, it highlights how much of Buffett & Munger’s investment success stems from pure and plain common sense.
Only this time you’ll absorb the secrets behind great investing through the mind and mouth of twelve-year-old Billy Smith.
Robinson is clearly in awe of Buffett and Munger, “the greatest investment team of all time”, inspired by the sixtieth anniversary of their annual shareholder meeting together, which this year was not business as usual because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The author is gifting all royalties to children’s charities. More info can be found through his website https://iamadamrobinson.com/
To add to the educational aim of “Warren and Charlie’s Bedtime Story”, below are possibly the 25 most quoted investment rules from the philosophical partnership that made Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholders gathering one of the most talked about events in global finance.
Eager readers can hold a contest to find out who can identify the most quotes in the book.
1. “It's far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.”
2. “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”
3. “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently."
4. “A simple rule dictates my buying: Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.”
5. “The important thing is to know what you know and know what you don’t know.”
6. “You cannot make a good deal with a bad person.”
7. “Just buy something for less than it’s worth.”
8. “Whether we’re talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down.”
9. “Uncertainty actually is the friend of the buyer of long-term values.”
10. “As in the case with marriage, business acquisitions often deliver surprise after the ‘I do’s.’”
11. “Wall Street makes its money on activity. You make your money on inactivity.”
12. “Every decade or so, dark clouds will fill the economic skies, and they will briefly rain gold.”
13. “Don’t pass up something that’s attractive today because you think you will find something better tomorrow.”
14. “The sillier the market’s behavior, the greater the opportunity for the businesslike investor.”
15. “You only learn who has been swimming naked when the tide goes out.”
16. “The best way to think about investments is to be in a room with no one else and to just think. If that doesn’t work, nothing else is going to work.”
17. “What we do is not beyond anyone else’s competence. I feel the same way about managing that I do about investing: It’s just not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results.”
18. “Rule No. 1 is never lose money. Rule No. 2 is never forget Rule No. 1.”
19. “When seeking directors, CEOs don’t look for pit bulls. It’s the cocker spaniel that gets taken home.”
20. “Our experience with newly-minted MBAs has not been that great. … It’s difficult to teach a new dog old tricks.”
21. “It’s always been a mistake to bet against America, since 1776.
22. “I have every possession I want. I have a lot of friends who have a lot more possessions. But in some cases, I feel the possession possesses them, rather than the other way around.”
23. “A very rich person should leave his kids rich enough to do anything but not enough to do nothing.”
24. “My wealth has come from a combination of living in America, some lucky genes, and compound interest.”
25. “Your best investment is yourself. There is nothing that compares to it.”
Warren and Charlie’s Bedtime Story, by Adam Robinson, 111 pages.
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