Case study: Warren Buffett

Perhaps no investor exemplifies trading in the 1990s as does Warren E. Buffett. "Investment entrepreneur and executive, born in Omaha, Nebraska, USA. A stockbroker's son, educated at the University of Nebraska and Columbia University, he formed his own firm, Buffett Partnership, Ltd, in his hometown in 1956. His investment successes, particularly in buying undervalued companies whose stocks shortly began to rise, made him extremely rich and gained him the sobriquet, "oracle of Omaha.' He helped rescue Salomon Brothers from corporate raiders in 1987, and took charge of the New York City house in 1992 in the wake of an insider trading scandal." (citation)

Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett's personal investment fund, is one of the most powerful institutional investors in the country. It recently used 2% of its assets to buy about 130 million ounces of silver, close to a quarter of the world's supply. (citation) Though a self-avowed "technophobe" with no e-mail address, ( Buffet's power in computerized trading is significant. lists 28 books about Buffet, with titles like "Buffettology : The Previously Unexplained Techniques That Have Made Warren Buffett the World's Most Famous Investor." In lieu of proper training in financial systems, many small investors buy such "get rick quick" type guides, often falling prey to this kind of "cult of personality." A reading from another book about him: "One of the easiest ways to invest like Buffett is coattailing-- buying what he buys.... You figure out the rationale behind the investment after the fact." (Midas Touch 90) It is ironic that Buffett's number one rule of investing is that people should only invest in companies that they have researched and understand well. Yet others take advantage of his name to sell their own schemes and methods. Buffett is clearly an unwilling and reclusive celebrity in the online trading world. but some still blindly follow him hoping to ride his coattails without full information on what Buffett's strategies truly are.