Book of the week: Analysing Buffett’s deals

Book of The Deals of Warren BuffettThe Deals of Warren Buffett: Volume 1, the first $100m
By Glen Arnold
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.

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.