Brad Feld

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The Buffett Letters

Apr 02, 2005

I landed in Paris today to visit Amy for a week (she’s spending six weeks over here to immerse herself in French).  I usually get the sleep thing right on international flights – I screwed up this time because I was tired and crashed on the leg from Denver to Cincinnati.  So – I had a nice seven hour flight to listen to music on my Bose QuietComfort 2 Headphones and read.

After my post on Warren Buffett’s Annual Shareholder Letter, one of my blog readers sent me the “Annual Letters of Buffett Partnership, Limited, 1957 – 1970.” Unfortunately (again – maybe it’s Paris) I forgot who sent this to me.  I apologize – my mother taught me to always say thank you and acknowledge others.  At 39, I have to write certain things down to remember them and – since I’m on a continual holy mission to revolutionize the way I interact with computers (which includes eliminating paper from my life) – I didn’t write it down.  And – ironically – in this case – I printed them out (rather than tossing them in my “Inbox -> Read” folder), so I don’t have the original email.  So – if you are the one, thank you – feel free to put up a comment saying “hey Brad – you buckethead – it was me.”

You’d think that at midnight Colorado time I’d finally fall asleep on the flight.  But, in between finishing off a series of speeches by Buffett’s long time partner Charlie Munger (sent to me by the same person – I think <g>) and grinding through Buffett’s letters, sleep was not forthcoming.

The letters are a work of art.  Buffett demonstrates his brilliance from age 25 to 39 (yikes – there’s that 39 again) – both in investing, how he operates his business, and how he communicates.  They are just magnificent. 

I considered posting several things from them.  However, in several places, it was made clear that these letters are not for public consumption.  Specifically, “while they are of great interest, and Mr. Buffet has let it be known that he has no objection to people passing them around like this, but does not care for the idea of them being posted in a public forum.  Please honor his wishes.  PLEASE DO NOT POST THESE LETTERS.”  So – I respect that and will merely tease you with the delight I got from reading them, even if they contributed to my need to sleep from noon Paris time until 4pm today.