Warren Buffett News: “The Einstein of Money”

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAYBuffett mentor had personal foibles (Omaha)
Warren Buffett’s early investment mentor followed straight-arrow ethics in business but had an unorthodox personal life, investment analyst Joe Carlen writes in a new book, “The Einstein of Money” (Prometheus Books, 368 pages, $25). Benjamin Graham was the author of “The Intelligent Investor,” the book that shaped Buffett’s investment philosophy and has been a business best-seller since it was published in 1949. Buffett enrolled at Columbia University to study under Graham and worked for him in New York City in the 1950s.

Buffett’s model seems inimitable (FT)
Warren Buffett is often held up as the heroic asset manager who proves it is possible to outperform through a relatively simple buy and hold strategy. Berkshire Hathaway, his investment vehicle, has delivered annual average returns of 19.8 per cent since 1964, compared with 9.2 per cent for the S&P 500. There were only two calendar years in that period when shareholders suffered losses – 2001 and 2008 – and even then they were in single digits. There were only eight years (of 47) when returns were below those of the index. But Mr Buffett is also exhibited as the exception that proves the rule that investment skill is in short supply. Few others can match his record.

Warren Buffett: 10 invaluable tips for value investors (NDTV)
Legends are rarely made overnight. Yet, the Oracle of Omaha, as value investor Warren Buffett is popularly known, seems to have formulated his basic investing philosophy fairly early on in the day and continues to refine it even today. He started the firm in 1956 with about $105,000, raised mostly from friends and relatives. From those early letters to Berkshire Partners’ investors (or ‘partners’ prior to becoming public company) between 1957 and 1962, in Buffett’s own words, here are 10 tips for value investing.

Choosing between Ayn Rand and Warren Buffett (MontereyHerald)
The flap over President Barack Obama’s “you didn’t build that” gaffe is at once sillier and more significant than it seems. It’s sillier because fair-minded observers, including neutral fact-checking referees, agree that the president’s words are shamelessly being taken out of context. For Romney to base so much of his campaign on bogus editing is lame. Yet the uproar is significant because — properly framed — this election offers a stark choice between do-it-yourself libertarianism and Whig capitalism, between Ayn Rand and Warren Buffett.

Buffett Dumber Than a Caveman? Fat Chance (DailyFinance)
Is superinvestor Warren Buffett badly mismanaging Berkshire Hathaway (NYS: BRK.A) (NYS: BRK.B) subsidiary GEICO by spending an inordinate amount of money on advertising? Earlier this week, my fellow Fool Rich Smith took a look at a recent study from data specialist SNL Financial and concluded just that. In “Warren Buffett: Great Investor, Lousy Insurance Salesman,” Rich quipped that despite GEICO’s heavy ad spending, “insurance companies getting significantly less media exposure than what Buffett’s paying for are running circles around his cavemen, and stomping his gecko into a puddle of green goo.”

Warren Buffett’s BFF Ariel Hsing Beats Luxembourg’s Chinese-Born Star To Advance in Olympic Table Tennis (Slate)
When she was 9 years old, California table tennis prodigy Ariel Hsing was invited to play with Warren Buffett and his pal Bill Gates for the Omaha billionaire’s 75th birthday. Despite owning an impressively large paddle, Buffett was overmatched. “The only way I could have beaten her would have been if someone was holding her down,” he told the Wall Street Journal earlier this year. Though Buffett could surely afford to pay his minions to hold Hsing down while he pelted her with ping pong balls, he’s chosen a friendlier approach. “Uncle Warren” has invited Hsing—now 16 and a rising senior at San Jose’s Valley Christian High School—to take on all comers at several of Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meetings, where she shows the super rich the difference between ping pong and world-class table tennis. Last September, according to the WSJ, Buffett wrote Hsing a note promising, “I will come watch you in the Olympics—whether 2012 or 2016.”