Book Review: The Snowball, Warren Buffett

The Snowball is the biography of legendary investor Warren Buffett. The book is longer and has more fluff than I’d prefer, but it is his most prominent biography. It paints a picture of an obsessive, eccentric investor that was ahead of his time. The obvious question is how did he become so rich?

More than anything there are two concepts: float and compound interest. Float is the lag between payment to the business and the time it needs to issue services. This can be seen in his insurance businesses where clients pay for insurance today and services could be years away. The other idea, compound interest, is the idea that not only do you get returns on the money you invest, but also earn money on those returns. Its exponential growth, not linear.

If you’re interested in what type of character Buffett is, the book is excellent. If you’re just hoping for some investing tips, the paragraph above will do.