Book of the week: Analysing Buffett's deals

Book review: The Deals of Warren Buffett: Volume 1, the first $100mFew writers have attempted to analyse Warren Buffett's major deals and investments. This book fills the gap.


Published by Harriman House, £20

Buy at Amazon

Warren Buffett is one of the few investors that many members of the public could recognise. However, few writers have systematically attempted to analyse his major deals and investments. Arnold, a former academic and full-time private investor, attempts to fill this gap in his new book.

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After a brief look at Buffett's overall strategy and investment performance, Arnold takes us on a tour of his major investments, starting with his first investment in Cities Service Preferred at the age of 11. The volume's 22 deals conclude in the mid-1970s, with a look at Buffett's consolidation of all of his scattered investments in Berkshire Hathaway.

The real strength of the book is the way vital information for each deal is systematically laid out, including the dates and returns. Arnold carefully explains what happened, concluding with some key lessons that investors can take away from each deal. Most of these are positive, but Arnold also identifies mistakes or situations where Buffett failed to get the maximum benefit from his investment.

The author also has a knack for finding the key parts of each story, getting his points across without drowning the reader in useless information. This is an accessible book that will provide useful guidance for beginners and experienced investors alike. We eagerly await the next volume.

Dr Matthew Partridge

Matthew graduated from the University of Durham in 2004; he then gained an MSc, followed by a PhD at the London School of Economics.

He has previously written for a wide range of publications, including the Guardian and the Economist, and also helped to run a newsletter on terrorism. He has spent time at Lehman Brothers, Citigroup and the consultancy Lombard Street Research.

Matthew is the author of Superinvestors: Lessons from the greatest investors in history, published by Harriman House, which has been translated into several languages. His second book, Investing Explained: The Accessible Guide to Building an Investment Portfolio, is published by Kogan Page.

As senior writer, he writes the shares and politics & economics pages, as well as weekly Blowing It and Great Frauds in History columns He also writes a fortnightly reviews page and trading tips, as well as regular cover stories and multi-page investment focus features.

Follow Matthew on Twitter: @DrMatthewPartri