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The Midas Touch - The strategies that have made Warren Buffett the world\'s most successful investor

Cover of  by John Train

According to Forbes Magazine: There is a handful of terrific books by terrific writers, many of whom invested money for a living; none is better than John Train.

While I would not go as far as that, I would suggest that for many Trains The Midas Touch could prove to be an interesting and informative read.

I say for many since this tome is another addition to the stable of books about Warren Buffett. If you have already read in depth about the Oracle of Omaha, you may not glean too much more from this volume but for those seeking an overview of Buffetts rise to the top (Part I), investing principles (Part II), operating methods (Part III) and methods of evaluating potential investments (Part IV), Train provides this succinctly.

In part I Train tracks Buffetts development from taking a few flyers on shares as an eleven year old, through embarking on a series of enterprises whilst still at school (including retrieving lost golf balls, publishing a horse racing tip sheet, Stable Boy Selections, and placing pinball machines in barbershops), onto studying under Benjamin Graham, running a $100,000 investing partnership and then Berkshire Hathaway. The biographical nature of much of this part of the book is continued throughout but in the following sections is neatly interspersed with outlines of Buffett's investment philosophy and techniques.

The structure ensures that the book never becomes too heavy a read and facilitates a good understand of the basics by which Buffett invested. However, this does not mean it is a book for the complete beginner. For example, by page 14 ratios such as inventories to sales, debt to equity and depreciation to plant value are being mentioned.

Additionally, some may note the text was first published in 1987 and this edition in 2003, and consider it dated or irrelevant as a result. However, as the likes of Benjamin Grahams The Intelligent Investor (read by Buffett in 1949 and the investment book I would argue none is better than) have shown, the basic principles of sound investment haven't and don't change. As such, this book is essentially as relevant today as it was when first published. The Midas Touch contains information which can improve people as investors as well as some interesting detail of Buffetts life and therefore, for those not clued up on its subject, it is highly recommended.

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