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The Midas Touch

The strategies that have made Warren Buffett the world's most successful investor

By John Train

Paperback £14.00 / $19.99
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The Midas Touch

The strategies that have made Warren Buffett the world's most successful investor

By John Train

Jacket text

Second edition featuring a brand new foreword.

If you had put $10,000 in Buffett’s original investing partnership at its inception in 1956, you would have collected about $293,738 by the time he dissolved it at the end of 1969. He had never suffered a down year, even in the severe bear markets of 1957, 1962, 1966, and 1969. When the partnership was wound up, you could have elected to stay with Buffett as a shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., which was spun off from the partnership and became Buffett’s investing vehicle. In that event, your $10,000 would by the end of 1986 have turned into well over $5 million.

So, John Train introduces the remarkable story of Warren Buffett in his classic text, ‘The Midas Touch’. First published in 1987, ‘The Midas Touch’ was one of the first books to recognise Warren Buffett’s spectacular record, and to attempt to explain how he achieved his success. It is short, lucid and written with style and wit. A worthy testimony to its remarkable subject.

From the back cover of the book:

This is the book that tells readers how to invest like the man known as ‘the Wizard of Omaha’ (Forbes) and the investor with ‘the Midas Touch’ .

Warren Buffett is the most successful investor alive – the only member of the Forbes 400 to have earned his fortune entirely through investing. Bestselling author John Train analyzes the strategies, based on the value approach, that have guided Buffett in his remarkable career, strategies that work even though Buffett operates a thousand miles from Wall Street.

About the author

John Train founded Train, Smith Investment Counsel in New York. His other books on investing include 'The Craft of Investing', 'The Money Masters' and 'The New Money Masters'. Train has also written several hundred columns for the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, the New York Times, Harvard magazine, and other publications.


‘The Midas Touch traces the highlights of Mr Buffett’s life and career from his childhood in Omaha … to his spectacular coups in the market over the past 30 years.’
– New York Times

‘The Midas Touch is definitely not for a total beginner as it assumes a certain basic level of knowledge. If you don’t know what a PE ratio is then you need something more basic. But if you think that you are going to double your money in two months because you have just bought a stock on a PE of 35 after it was tipped in Shares magazine you need to read on. Advanced Buffettologists won’t learn much from this book – they have probably read it already. But if you know that Warren Buffett is a legend but not why this is a concise and easy to ready way of finding out.’
– Tom Winnifrith

‘Provides an excellent glimpse into Buffett’s life, ideas, and background as well as detailed discussions of Buffett’s investment philosophy and techniques.’
– Dow Theory Letters

‘The Midas Touch is a fabulous value … imparts a wealth of lessons for any investor to emulate, no matter how skilled.’
– The Market Chronicle

‘John Train has a global vision of investing. He understands men and markets. He is an outstanding market forecaster. He writes elegantly. Like the Midas of his title, the things he touches turn to gold.’

– Lewis E. Lehrman, Morgan Stanley


Foreword to the 2009 edition

I. A Master Investor

"I'll Take the Money"
Starting Early
Influences: 85 Percent Ben Graham
Influences: 15 Percent Phil Fisher
"Commodity" and "Franchise"
The Advertising Oligopoly and Other Favorites
Buffett's Big Idea
The Other Graham
A College Goes into the Television Business
Buffett's Great Throw of the Dice

II. Some Favorite Investing Principles

Good Businesses
Bad Businesses
The Market and Fair Value
Nothing Exceeds Like Success
Pricing the Whole House
The Part Is Better Than the Whole
Risk and Reward
The Margin of Safety
Zigging When You Ought to Zag
The Efficient Market Hypothesis
What a Good Boy Am I
The Out of My League Dilemma
The Leverage in Insurance Companies
The Cash Magnification Effect
The 12 Percent Equity Bond 88 Goodwill - the Gift that Keeps Giving

III. Buffett's Methods

Keep It Simple
Gold Is Where You Find It
Res Ipsa Loquitur
Corporate Stock Repurchase Programs
Special Distributions
Stock Options
Corporate Philanthropy

IV. How To Invest Like Buffett

Understand the Figures
Apply Your Own Business Experience
Go and Look
Venture Capital
Know the Values
Reverse Engineering
The Secret: Steady Compounding
Avoid Risk
What It Takes to Be a Good Investor
What Makes a Bad Investor

How applicable is Buffett's method today?
What, then, should the prudent investor do now?

I. Some of Berkshire Hathaway's Principal Equity Transactions
II. Berkshire Hathaway's Principal Year's End Holdings
III. Buffett's Epistles: Extracts from Berkshire Hathaway's Annual Reports
IV. Principal Equity Holdings of the Sequoia Fund
V. Principal Equity Holdings of Grinnell College Endowment Fund
VI. Principal Equity Holdings of Tukman Capital Management

Other investment books by John Train
A Warren Buffett Bibliography

Published: 15/04/2013
Edition: Pb
Pages: 256
Formats: paperback - ISBN 9780857193162
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