Why studying Warren Buffett is like reading CliffsNotes

Photo: Bill Pugliano/ Getty Images.

If you’re short on time but big on learning from investment greats, here’s a trick: read Warren Buffett for the CliffsNotes version of great investment advice.

Golub Group’s John Dowling spoke with SumZero about how he learned to be a value investor.

Here’s the relevant excerpt from SumZero’s post, bolded.

SumZero: Tell me about your investing background and investing mentors and heroes.

John Dowling: My career began in 1998 at PricewaterhouseCoopers where I served a consultant for clients looking to transact in the market for privately-owned businesses. As a generalist analyst I was afforded the opportunity to research a variety of different industries and hone my valuation skills, but my real passion was to become a buy-side analyst, a role in which there are direct consequences, either favourable or unfavorable, for your decisions. I was fortunate to land a position at Peters MacGregor Capital Management, a value-investment shop whose investment philosophy closely mirrored my own. I worked there for two plus years before joining up with Golub Group ten years ago.

In terms of my mentors, as is typically the case with many value investors, Buffett has been my biggest influence. What’s interesting about Buffett is that he’s really a synthesis of so many great investors that came before him. If you’ve read books like Phil Fisher’s “Uncommon Stocks and Uncommon Profits” or Adam Smith’s “The Money Game”, you’ll notice that when Buffett speaks he’s often making direct quotes from these books. It was rumoured that when Buffett met David Dodd, the co-author of “Security Analysis”, Mr. Dodd was stunned to learn that Buffett knew more about the investing examples in the book than Dodd did himself! Point being, if you read Buffett, you’re in essence, learning from all the giants whose shoulders he’s stood on.

Read the full SumZero interview here.

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