Bookcase: Tap dancing to work – Warren Buffett on practically everything

The rise and rise of American investment guru Warren Buffett as seen, largely through the eyes of Fortune magazine writer Carol Loomis, who tracked his career from its earliest years in the 1960s, is worth the time invested to read it or at least most of it.
As Loomis, who both chronicled much of Buffett’s career and so became close friend, says: “When you finish this book, you will have seen the arc of Warren’s business life.”
It’s book designed for busy managers. collection of columns, contributions, features, profiles, thoughts and reports, Tap Dancing to Work can be picked up, read, scanned and returned to the bedside table without losing the thread. The only thread there is, of course, is the one woven by his 60 years of extraordinary investment decision making and wealth creation.
Loomis and her fellow writers at Fortune have comprehensively tracked and reported on Buffett’s amazing career. The story begins with the magazine’s first mention of the little known hedge fund manager back in 1966. brief sentence and mis-spelling of his name was all he got.
The man who would become the “sage of Omaha”, the mid western American city in Nebraska Buffett is wedded to, didn’t gain much public attention till the 1980s. It’s then that Loomis and her cohort of journalists started recording his exploits and the fortunes of his investment vehicle Berkshire Hathaway, small New England textile manufacturer that in 2011 reached number seven on the Fortune 500 list.
In 1988 Loomis wrote her first profile, The Inside Story of Warren Buffet, which described how the soon to be proven market-beating wealth creator stepped away from simply dispensing investment advice and added business management to his repertoire of competencies. This is business journalism at its most competent and consistent. Bringing it together in book makes good sense and compelling reading.
Buffett’s thoughts and reactions to the events that unfolded during the global financial crisis years when even the faith of this champion of the marketplace must have been tested, are both prophetic and profound in their simplicity and consistency.
Loomis realised the value of compiling the scores of Buffett articles Fortune had published over the years. As she notes in her preface: “… they are in themselves business biography – and perfect one for book”. It’s hard to disagree.
Tap Dancing to Work, by the way, is the description Buffett applies to his love for running Berkshire. If more managers felt that way about their jobs, what an entertaining world this would be.

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