Feb 14, 2020

NGPF Podcast: Author Roger Lowenstein discusses Warren Buffett, the subject of his book, The Making of An American Capitalist


The book, The Making of An American Capitalist, may be 25 years old but the subject, Warren Buffett, remains a fascinating character today. In this podcast. Roger shares what he discovered through his exhaustive research on Buffett which included conversations with neighbors in Omaha, college classmates and his early investors. You will learn about Buffett's habits, his talents and the characteristics of the businesses he invests in. With the gift of time, Roger also provides his perspective on what has changed about Buffett in the intervening years and what has remained constant. Enjoy (and be sure to pick up Roger's book too)!


  • 0:00~1:36 Introduction
  • 1:36~6:04 Road to writing about finance
  • 6:04~10:23 Investor sentiment and the stock market 
  • 10:23~16:50 Stories from Wall Street
  • 16:50~27:37 Writing about Warren Buffet in the 90s
  • 27:37~28:11 A word from NGPF
  • 28:11~32:16 Warren Buffet’s habits
  • 32:16~38:42 Characteristics of businesses Warren Buffet invests in
  • 38:42~44:06 How Warren Buffet’s character changed over time
  • 44:06~47:53 Changes in investment strategy 
  • 47:53~51:28 The next book regarding investments during the Civil War era
  • 51:28~52:26 Conclusion



  • “There’s an irony there [that Warren Buffet suggests people invest in index funds]. It’s true, everybody can’t invest with Warren Buffet. If everybody did, then he would be the entire market and he would be the average. What he was saying is that most of you don’t have special talents in investing just like most of you aren’t going to be good enough to play basketball in the NBA with Lebron James. Most of you aren’t even going to find a manager that has special talents because most of them don’t really have any talent. They have a talent for collecting fees, but that’s about it.”


About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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