I think it’s fair to say I’m a little obsessed with Warren Buffett. Just like damn near every other investor.
To be honest, I’m looking forward a little bit to when Buffett dies. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I want the guy to kick it. I’ll be as sad as the rest of y’all when he does finally pass. I’m just a little sick of the cult worship. Not saying Buffett doesn’t deserve the attention, because he does. I just wish guys like Walter Schloss got their due, too.
Never heard of Walter Schloss? I’ll do a blog post on him sometime. He’s a pretty neat guy.
I’m just as guilty of the Buffett worship as anyone. I’ve wrote about the guy about once a month for the last two years. Last week I pointed out the real secret to his investing success. I also asked if Buffett would end up a billionaire if he started out today, and I busted a few Buffett myths back in the day. I even interviewed the guy, which went about as badly as expected. It turns out Warren is no fan of my crap.
Despite having a little Buffett fatigue, I was still excited when I heard HBO was producing Becoming Warren Buffett, a biographical film that promised to be jam-packed with interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and old family pictures. It promised to be a good time if you’re a Buffett lover.
I watched the movie so you don’t have to. Here’s my Becoming Warren Buffett review.
Like the time I reviewed Early Retirement Extreme, I’ll divide my review into stuff I liked and stuff I didn’t like.
Becoming Warren Buffett starts out with our hero driving to work, explaining the ins and outs of his breakfast routine. Each day he drives to a McDonald’s drive-thru near his house and gets two sausage patties (cost: $2.61), a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit (cost: $2.95) or a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit (cost: $3.17). The market is down that morning, so he goes with the sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit.
Once he gets to the office Buffett pours himself a Coke to go with his meal — from Berkshire’s very own fountain soda machine — and gets to work. I would like my own Coke machine. What a perk.
That’s followed up with Buffett talking extensively about his investing career, and many shots of the Berkshire Hathaway offices. Among the dozens of different framed pictures there was a newspaper front page of the 1929 stock market crash, a Creature from the Black Lagoon poster with Buffett’s face photoshopped in, and, of course, the portrait of his father.
Buffett is shown reading newspapers at his office, including picking up and using an iPad for about two seconds, which brought me untold amounts of pleasure.
If you’re looking for a documentary on how to invest, you won’t get it from Becoming Warren Buffett. The movie spends a lot of time focusing on Buffett’s relationship with his wife and kids, with the latter getting plenty of screen time. The only exception is his current wife, Astrid. She barely gets mentioned. This is all very familiar if you’ve read The Snowball, but I still enjoyed it. It’s obvious Buffett is especially close to Susie, his daughter.
There’s a scene near the end where Buffett goes to Dairy Queen with Susie and his grandkids. You can tell he’s trying hard to make up for time he didn’t spend with his kids when they were younger.
There really isn’t a whole lot I didn’t like about Becoming Warren Buffett.
I think there was a bit too much focus on Buffett’s family. I understand he wanted the movie to really focus on his family, so I guess that’s understandable. More about Warren Buffett and less about Susan Buffett would have been better, even if the latter is pretty interesting.
I also wanted views from inside Buffett’s house, dammit. I bet there’s all sorts of cool memorabilia inside his house. Astrid was probably the one who kiboshed that.
Don’t watch this if you want to learn how to be a great investor. It does go into Buffett’s investing criteria, but only barely. I think the movie could have spent a little more time on Buffett the investor rather than Buffett the half-assed family man.
That was really about it. Overall it was a pretty good flick.
Watch Becoming Warren Buffett
Don’t have HBO? No problem. A few nice folks have put the entire movie on Youtube. Watch it before John Oliver gets it yanked. Somehow.
Have you watched Becoming Warren Buffett? Leave your opinions in the comments.