About Carol Loomis, Compiler of Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything, 1966-2012
Overview and Thoughts about the Book
Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything is a collection of articles about Warren Buffet, some of which were either written by Fortune and Carol Loomis herself (13 cover stories), Warren Buffett himself (12 articles), or various other writers. All of which definitely help to contribute to understanding Warren's thought process and principals. The book starts with an article about Alfred Winslow Jones, who is largely considered the father of hedge funds. At the time, Warren Buffett had started a partnership, which he eventually closed in 1969 due to what he believed to be unfavorable market conditions. By that time he had already amassed $25 million dollars. While many of these articles you can probably find online, Carol provides insightful information on each of the articles in hindsight. This includes the aftermath of what had happened in the banking crisis of 2008 and Buffett's temporary seat at Solomon as chairman.
For someone who is looking to gain rare insight into Warren's investment principals, you'd have to go through 368 pages of articles to comb though and pick out the fruit. Evidently he does not lay out his investment procedures in simply easy to follow steps, but each of these articles does provide incredible insight into Warren's thoughts and more importantly his adherence to his principals. In particular, a couple of the articles illustrates Warren's cost management and thriftiness.
I would say about a third of the articles are about Warren's generosity in donating a large portion of his fortune to charities. It goes through how the idea came about, who else he has involved, and his relationship with Bill Gates in all of this.
Had I had the insight and good fortune of collecting all the articles on or related to Warren Buffett prior to or during 2009, I would probably be sitting on a lot more cash than I am right now. Being able to say that means that there is intrinsic value in all of the articles presented in the book. All the way from how to pass on wealth to your future generations to what to look for in purchasing a business. While all of this is easier said then done, at the very least you will have some kind of background into going about becoming a better person and investor. Not to mention, the articles are very well written in their own right, which makes Tap Dancing to Work: Warren Buffett on Practically Everything an entertaining read if nothing at all.