The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life

November 5, 2019 - Comment

Shortlisted for the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Prize 2008The Snowball is the first and will be the only biography of the world’s richest man, Warren Buffett, written with his full cooperation and collaboration. Combining a unique blend of “The Sage of Omaha’s” business savvy, life story and philosophy, The

Shortlisted for the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Prize 2008


The Snowball is the first and will be the only biography of the world’s richest man, Warren Buffett, written with his full cooperation and collaboration.

Combining a unique blend of “The Sage of Omaha’s” business savvy, life story and philosophy, The Snowball is essential reading for anyone wishing to discover and replicate the secrets of his business and life success.


Warren Buffett is arguably the world’s greatest investor. Even as a child he was fascinated by the concept of risk and probability, setting up his first business at the age of six. In 1964 he bought struggling Massachusetts textile firm Berkshire Hathaway and grew it to be the 12th largest corporation in the US purely through the exercise of sound investing principles – a feat never equalled in the annals of business.


Despite an estimated net worth of around US$62 billion, Buffett leads an intriguingly frugal life taking home a salary of only £50,000 a year. His only indulgence is a private jet, an extravagance he wryly acknowledges by calling it “The Indefensible”. In 2006, he made the largest charitable donation on record, with most of it going to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


The Snowball provides a comprehensive, richly detailed insight one of the world’s most extraordinary and much loved public figures.

Alice Schroeder’s The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life might well be one of the most important books you will ever read — particularly in a period when the world’s various economies appear to be entering freefall. This arm-straining (at nearly a thousand pages) but utterly fascinating book has already — against all the odds — achieved an astonishing level of success, given its initially daunting appearance. But it will only take a chapter or so for most readers to see just why this book is enjoying such an unprecedented level of acclaim.

The subject is the life and career of one of the most revered men in the western hemisphere, Warren Buffett (an advisor to new US President Barack Obama) – despite the fact that his name may not be known to most of the general public. Buffett’s story is one that currently has resonances for all of us: a remarkable financial success story. The name of this investor from Omaha is spoken of with admiration by all who know him, despite the fact that he has never written a book on his career or the secrets of his business success. However, he has been persuaded to allow Alice Schroeder to spend time with him and those with whom he works to investigate his business triumphs, his opinions, his mistakes (Buffett is rather winning in admitting to several of the latter – how common is that in his profession?) — and what emerges is a totally comprehensive biography of the man known throughout the world as ‘The Oracle of Omaha’.

What is most revealing about the picture of the man that emerges from these pages (and Schroeder had access not just to her subject and his business associates but also his wife, children and friends) is that we meet a man of intellect – of course – but also of humanity and understanding, with a philosphy and worldview that is both judicious and principled. In an era in which those in Buffet’s profession are more prone to excoriation than praise, the man we encounter here has a sane and clear-eyed philosophy of life and an attitude to business success that is generously instructive — and inspiring. –Barry ForshawAlice Schroeder’s The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life might well be one of the most important books you will ever read — particularly in a period when the world’s various economies appear to be entering freefall. This arm-straining (at nearly a thousand pages) but utterly fascinating book has already — against all the odds — achieved an astonishing level of success, given its initially daunting appearance. But it will only take a chapter or so for most readers to see just why this book is enjoying such an unprecedented level of acclaim.

The subject is the life and career of one of the most revered men in the western hemisphere, Warren Buffett (an advisor to new US President Barack Obama) – despite the fact that his name may not be known to most of the general public. Buffett’s story is one that currently has resonances for all of us: a remarkable financial success story. The name of this investor from Omaha is spoken of with admiration by all who know him, despite the fact that he has never written a book on his career or the secrets of his business success. However, he has been persuaded to allow Alice Schroeder to spend time with him and those with whom he works to investigate his business triumphs, his opinions, his mistakes (Buffett is rather winning in admitting to several of the latter – how common is that in his profession?) — and what emerges is a totally comprehensive biography of the man known throughout the world as ‘The Oracle of Omaha’.

What is most revealing about the picture of the man that emerges from these pages (and Schroeder had access not just to her subject and his business associates but also his wife, children and friends) is that we meet a man of intellect – of course – but also of humanity and understanding, with a philosphy and worldview that is both judicious and principled. In an era in which those in Buffet’s profession are more prone to excoriation than praise, the man we encounter here has a sane and clear-eyed philosophy of life and an attitude to business success that is generously instructive — and inspiring. –Barry Forshaw

Shortlisted for the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Prize 2008


The Snowball is the first and will be the only biography of the world’s richest man, Warren Buffett, written with his full cooperation and collaboration.

Combining a unique blend of “The Sage of Omaha’s” business savvy, life story and philosophy, The Snowball is essential reading for anyone wishing to discover and replicate the secrets of his business and life success.


Warren Buffett is arguably the world’s greatest investor. Even as a child he was fascinated by the concept of risk and probability, setting up his first business at the age of six. In 1964 he bought struggling Massachusetts textile firm Berkshire Hathaway and grew it to be the 12th largest corporation in the US purely through the exercise of sound investing principles – a feat never equalled in the annals of business.


Despite an estimated net worth of around US$62 billion, Buffett leads an intriguingly frugal life taking home a salary of only £50,000 a year. His only indulgence is a private jet, an extravagance he wryly acknowledges by calling it “The Indefensible”. In 2006, he made the largest charitable donation on record, with most of it going to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


The Snowball provides a comprehensive, richly detailed insight one of the world’s most extraordinary and much loved public figures.

Comments

Anonymous says:

A Comprehensive Journey Through the Life of a Modern Day Icon. In this day and age, you would have to be a hermit to have not heard of Warren Buffet.Anyone in the field of investing, or personal development will be naturally drawn to this book, as I was. But it is also a fine story of life in business and in the public eye from the Great Depression to the 2008/9 Global financial meltdown, which will appeal to everybody. Warren’s personal life and philosophy is examined in just as much detail as his business life.I was initially taken aback by…

Anonymous says:

the author is clearly intelligent, some clever words used It is a long read, the author is clearly intelligent, some clever words used. it jumps sections of Warrens life, i like his childhood the best,overall it seems warren makes money for the thrill and challenge of it to see if he is clever enough to beat the market.he doesnt invest so he can spend it.its not a book about how to invest it is more a cse of warren came froma middle classs background with a stockbroker father, in which he had no debt, lived at home…

Anonymous says:

Self-fulfilling prophecy Enjoyable CD set – The dialogue is easy listening as Warren Buffett follows his intuition – To para-phrase: ‘A complicated man with simple tastes.’ His expertise is ‘The contribution / application of centred and informed principles (personal and business) , his financial compound growth, builds steadily throughout the narrative. There are also some wonderful quotes – From a grand father to grandson (even if the grandfather is a Billionaire).There are references to key books in WB life and…

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