Wall Street People: True Stories of Yesterday's Barons of Finance - Vol. 2

By Charles D. Ellis; James R. Vertin | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Who's Warren Buffett?


The handwritten letter was from "La Champouse." 42 Avenue de Marseille, Aix-en-Provence. Benjamin Graham was living in the South of France, retired, with his lady friend, and translating Greek and Latin classics. That was a favorite avocation. The prescript of Security Analysis, the forbidding black bible of security analysts, is from Horace: many shall be restored that are now fallen and many shall fall that are now in honor.

I hadn't known him, but I had written some sentences about him in The Money Game. Graham, I had written, "was the dean of our profession, if security analysis can be said to be a profession. The reason that Graham is the undisputed dean is that before him there was no profession and after him they began to call it that."

Graham liked being called the Dean. He corrected a sentence in my book in Greek that no one had checked, and one or two other references. He said he had something in mind to discuss, when he came to New York.

Shortly after, he did appear in New York, to see a publisher about his translation of Aeschylus and to see his grandchildren. I asked him what he thought of the market. Hoc etiam transbit, he said, "this too shall pass."

Graham said he wanted me to work on the next edition of The Intelligent Investor, the popular version of his textbook. "There are only two people I would ask to do this," he said. "You are one, and Warren Buffett is the other."

"Who's Warren Buffett?" I asked. A natural question. This was 1970, and Warren Buffett wasn't known outside of Omaha, Nebraska, or Ben Graham's circle of friends.

Today, Warren is so well known that when newspapers mention him they sometimes need no phrase in apposition to identify him, or if they do, they say simply, "the investor." There are full-length biographies of Buffett on the shelves. He is indeed "the investor," one of the best in history. Investing has made him the second richest person in the country, behind his bridge buddy Bill Gates.

Even in 1970, Warren had an outstanding investment record with an unfashionable technique. He started an investment partnership in 1956 with $105, 000 from friends and relatives. When he terminated that partnership in 1969, it had $105 million and had compounded at 31 percent. Warren's performance fee meant he was worth about $25 million. He ended the partnership because he said he couldn't understand the stock market anymore.

I was not the right author to work on the next edition of The Intelligent Investor. I was an acolyte of Sam Stedman (not the mutual fund nor the bridge conventions) by way of Phil Fisher. Stedman's investment philosophy,


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Wall Street People: True Stories of Yesterday's Barons of Finance - Vol. 2


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 276

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?