Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is out with its annual letter to shareholders.
Near the bottom of the letter, the billionaire investor touches on his favourite reads of 2016.
“The best book I read last year was ‘Shoe Dog’ by Nike’s Phil Knight,” he writes. “Phil is a very wise, intelligent and competitive fellow who is also a gifted storyteller.”
He adds that Omaha, Nebraska-based retailer The Bookworm will have “piles” of the book, in addition to “investment classics by Jack Bogle,” at the annual Berkshire shareholder meeting in May.
Notably, Buffett is actually briefly mentioned near the end of “Shoe Dog.”
The majority of the Knight’s book is dedicated to the story of Nike leading up to its IPO in 1980. But the last chapter shoots forward to 2007 when he and his wife, Penny, go to see “The Bucket List” at the movies.
After the credits roll and the lights go up, Knight writes, he sees a few familiar faces in the theatre lobby:
“At first we can’t place them. We’re still seeing Nicholson and Freeman in our minds. But these faces are equally familiar — equally famous. Now we realise. It’s Bill and Warren. Gates and Buffett.
We stroll over.
Neither man is what you’d call a close friend, but we’ve met them several times, at social events and conferences. And we have common causes, common interests, a few mutual acquaintances. ‘Fancy meeting you here!’ I say. Then I cringe. Did I really just say that? Is it possible that I’m still shy and awkward in the presence of celebrities?”
Knight continues to describe some of the pleasantries exchanged, after which his wife asks if Buffett and Gates enjoyed the movie. He continues:
“Yes, they both say, looking down at their shoes, though it was a bit depressing. What’s on your bucket lists? I nearly ask, but I don’t. Gates and Buffett seem to have done everything they have ever wanted in this life. They have no bucket lists, surely.
Which makes me ask myself: Have I?”
Without spoiling the ending of the book, Knight ultimately concludes that, for all of his success, there is still always something more and something new to do.
(For what it’s worth, Gates also listed “Shoe Dog” as one of his favourite books of 2016.)