Warren E. Buffett's first authorized biographer believes the world's richest man and renowned value investor is “a vulnerable human being who isn't perfect,” whose genius is due to “focus and intensity.”
Alice Schroeder's book, “The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life,” is scheduled to be released Sept. 29. It will be published by Bantam.
In an interview Sept. 5, Ms. Schroeder discussed the man and the book.
“The book tells the story of how he made a snowball of money and how he spends his time,” Ms. Schroeder said. “Warren Buffett said life is like a snowball. All you really need is wet snow and a really long hill.”
“What he is talking about is compounding, the snowball effect. He's talking about finding your own wet snow. The long hill is starting early and how hard it is to push your snowball.”
“The book contains a lot of life lessons people will find useful.”
She talked about the paradoxes that make up Mr. Buffett: “He has a grandfatherly demeanor, very warm, down-to-earth personality, but he is obviously a shrewd businessman. He is someone who espouses thrift, but has a jet-setter lifestyle.”
“He often talks about the simplicity of the investment ideas that made him rich, how he goes home at 5 o'clock. Some people find it frustrating he makes it look easy.
“The book tells you how he became the richest man on earth wasn't easy. While many of his concepts are simple, there is nothing easy about it.
“A great deal of the book concerns his personal story,” she said.
“Several major turning points in his life had a big effect on him. There are things that have not been told before about him in the book.”