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Monday, October 18, 2010

Rose Gorelick Blumkin

There is a lively discussion going on at "Bargaineering" on money tips for young professionals. Along these lines, I would highly recommend a short reading of Chapter 44 of "The Snowball Warren Buffett and the Business of Life" by Alice Schroeder. Snowball is the biography of Warren Buffett, and Chapter 44 is the story of Rose Gorelick Blumkin, a remarkable lady/character whom Buffett respected enormously.

It is a story that illustrates how far a person can go in this country if they are willing to work hard, are smart, and have a lot of energy.

Ms. Blumkin travelled more than 9,000 miles across Asia and had to finesse her way past Russian guards to get to America. She had to struggle to learn English. She had to "bootleg" furniture in for her furniture outlet because competitors wouldn't deal with her.

Buffett bought her business for $55 million without even conducting an audit.

Warren Buffett once said, "Put her up against the top graduates of the top business schools or chief executives of the Fortune 500 and, assuming an even start with the same resources, she'd run rings around them."