Learn More. The 50 greatest Yogi Berra quotes. When you come to a fork in the road, take it. You can observe a lot by just watching. We made too many wrong mistakes. I knew the record would stand until it was broken. I usually take a two-hour nap from one to four. Never answer an anonymous letter. How can you think and hit at the same time?
It gets late early out here. We have deep depth. Pair up in threes. Why buy good luggage, you only use it when you travel. All pitchers are liars or crybabies. Even Napoleon had his Watergate. Bill Dickey is learning me his experience. He hits from both sides of the plate. It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.
Let them walk to school like I did. I never said most of the things I said. I never saw anyone hit with his face. It's a very unequal contest. And in due time, they lost all those billions of dollars. CBS provides an interesting example of another rule of psychology—namely, Pavlovian association.
If people tell you what you really don't want to hear what's unpleasant—there's an almost automatic reaction of antipathy. You have to train yourself out of it. It isn't foredestined that you have to be this way. But you will tend to be this way if you don't think about it.
Television was dominated by one network—CBS in its early days. And Paley was a god. But he didn't like to hear what he didn't like to hear. And people soon learned that. So they told Paley only what he liked to hear. Therefore, he was soon living in a little cocoon of unreality and everything else was corrupt—although it was a great business. So the idiocy that crept into the system was carried along by this huge tide.
It was a Mad Hatter's tea party the last ten years under Bill Paley. And that is not the only example by any means. You can get severe misfunction in the high ranks of business. And of course, if you're investing, it can make a lot of difference. If you take all the acquisitions that CBS made under Paley, after the acquisition of the network itself, with all his advisors—his investment bankers, management consultants and so forth who were getting paid very handsomely—it was absolutely terrible.
I think it lasted all of two or three years or something like that. So very soon after he'd issued all of that stock, Dumont was history. You get a lot of dysfunction in a big fat, powerful place where no one will bring unwelcome reality to the boss. So life is an everlasting battle between those two forces—to get these advantages of scale on one side and a tendency to get a lot like the U.
Agriculture Department on the other side—where they just sit around and so forth. I don't know exactly what they do. However, I do know that they do very little useful work. On the subject of advantages of economies of scale, I find chain stores quite interesting. Just think about it. The concept of a chain store was a fascinating invention. You get this huge purchasing power—which means that you have lower merchandise costs.
You get a whole bunch of little laboratories out there in which you can conduct experiments. And you get specialization. If one little guy is trying to buy across 27 different merchandise categories influenced by traveling salesmen, he's going to make a lot of poor decisions. But if your buying is done in headquarters for a huge bunch of stores, you can get very bright people that know a lot about refrigerators and so forth to do the buying. The reverse is demonstrated by the little store where one guy is doing all the buying.
It's like the old story about the little store with salt all over its walls. But you should see the guy who sells me salt. So there are huge purchasing advantages. And then there are the slick systems of forcing everyone to do what works. So a chain store can be a fantastic enterprise.
Parent club ideas
It's quite interesting to think about Wal-Mart starting from a single store in Bentonville, Arkansas against Sears, Roebuck with its name, reputation and all of its billions. How does a guy in Bentonville, Arkansas with no money blow right by Sears, Roebuck? And he does it in his own lifetime—in fact, during his own late lifetime because he was already pretty old by the time he started out with one little store…. He played the chain store game harder and better than anyone else. Walton invented practically nothing. But he copied everything anybody else ever did that was smart—and he did it with more fanaticism and better employee manipulation.
So he just blew right by them all. He also had a very interesting competitive strategy in the early days. He was like a prizefighter who wanted a great record so he could be in the finals and make a big TV hit. So what did he do? He went out and fought 42 palookas. And the result was knockout, knockout, knockout—42 times. Walton, being as shrewd as he was, basically broke other small town merchants in the early days.
With his more efficient system, he might not have been able to tackle some titan head-on at the time. But with his better system, he could destroy those small town merchants. And he went around doing it time after time after time. Then, as he got bigger, he started destroying the big boys. But I personally think that the world is better for having Wal-Mart. I mean you can idealize small town life. But I've spent a fair amount of time in small towns.
- Parent club ideas!
- Bring up the Bodies (Wolf Hall Trilogy, Book 2)!
- Fundamental Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (7th Edition).
- Cliches and Expressions of origin.
- Seven Days in Utopia – More Noteworthy Quotes.
- Reflective practice for healthcare professionals : a practical guide!
And let me tell you you shouldn't get too idealistic about all those businesses he destroyed. Plus, a lot of people who work at Wal-Mart are very high grade, bouncy people who are raising nice children. I have no feeling that an inferior culture destroyed a superior culture. I think that is nothing more than nostalgia and delusion. But, at any rate, it's an interesting model of how the scale of things and fanaticism combine to be very powerful. And it's also an interesting model on the other side—how with all its great advantages, the disadvantages of bureaucracy did such terrible damage to Sears, Roebuck.
Sears had layers and layers of people it didn't need. It was very bureaucratic. It was slow to think. And there was an established way of thinking. If you poked your head up with a new thought, the system kind of turned against you. It was everything in the way of a dysfunctional big bureaucracy that you would expect.
In all fairness, there was also much that was good about it. But it just wasn't as lean and mean and shrewd and effective as Sam Walton. And, in due time, all its advantages of scale were not enough to prevent Sears from losing heavily to Wal-Mart and other similar retailers. Here's a model that we've had trouble with.
- Ultra-wideband Coherent Optical LANs!
- Evans to Betsy (Constable Evans, Book 6).
- The Hun: Scourge of God AD 375-565.
- The Search for Non-Newtonian Gravity.
- Nanosilicon: Properties, Synthesis, Applications, Methods of Analysis and Control;
Maybe you'll be able to figure it out better. Many markets get down to two or three big competitors—or five or six. And in some of those markets, nobody makes any money to speak of. But in others, everybody does very well. Over the years, we've tried to figure out why the competition in some markets gets sort of rational from the investor's point of view so that the shareholders do well, and in other markets, there's destructive competition that destroys shareholder wealth.
If it's a pure commodity like airline seats, you can understand why no one makes any money. As we sit here, just think of what airlines have given to the world—safe travel, greater experience, time with your loved ones, you name it. Yet, the net amount of money that's been made by the shareholders of airlines since Kitty Hawk, is now a negative figure—a substantial negative figure. Competition was so intense that, once it was unleashed by deregulation, it ravaged shareholder wealth in the airline business.
Yet, in other fields—like cereals, for example—almost all the big boys make out. But why are cereals so profitable—despite the fact that it looks to me like they're competing like crazy with promotions, coupons and everything else? I don't fully understand it. Obviously, there's a brand identity factor in cereals that doesn't exist in airlines. That must be the main factor that accounts for it. And maybe the cereal makers by and large have learned to be less crazy about fighting for market share—because if you get even one person who's hell-bent on gaining market share….
I'd ruin Kellogg in the process. But I think I could do it. In some businesses, the participants behave like a demented Kellogg. In other businesses, they don't. Unfortunately, I do not have a perfect model for predicting how that's going to happen. For example, if you look around at bottler markets, you'll find many markets where bottlers of Pepsi and Coke both make a lot of money and many others where they destroy most of the profitability of the two franchises.
That must get down to the peculiarities of individual adjustment to market capitalism. I think you'd have to know the people involved to fully understand what was happening. In microeconomics, of course, you've got the concept of patents, trademarks, exclusive franchises and so forth. Patents are quite interesting. When I was young, I think more money went into patents than came out. Judges tended to throw them out—based on arguments about what was really invented and what relied on prior art. That isn't altogether clear. But they changed that.
They didn't change the laws. They just changed the administration—so that it all goes to one patent court. And that court is now very much more pro-patent. So I think people are now starting to make a lot of money out of owning patents. Trademarks, of course, have always made people a lot of money. A trademark system is a wonderful thing for a big operation if it's well known. The exclusive franchise can also be wonderful.
If there were only three television channels awarded in a big city and you owned one of them, there were only so many hours a day that you could be on. So you had a natural position in an oligopoly in the pre-cable days. And if you get the franchise for the only food stand in an airport, you have a captive clientele and you have a small monopoly of a sort. The great lesson in microeconomics is to discriminate between when technology is going to help you and when it's going to kill you.
And most people do not get this straight in their heads. But a fellow like Buffett does. For example, when we were in the textile business, which is a terrible commodity business, we were making low-end textiles—which are a real commodity product. What was he thinking?
“Golfing Goddesses”- It’s all about Connecting
We're earning substandard returns and keeping it open just to be nice to the elderly workers. But we're not going to put huge amounts of new capital into a lousy business. And he knew that the huge productivity increases that would come from a better machine introduced into the production of a commodity product would all go to the benefit of the buyers of the textiles.
Nothing was going to stick to our ribs as owners. That's such an obvious concept—that there are all kinds of wonderful new inventions that give you nothing as owners except the opportunity to spend a lot more money in a business that's still going to be lousy. The money still won't come to you. All of the advantages from great improvements are going to flow through to the customers. Conversely, if you own the only newspaper in Oshkosh and they were to invent more efficient ways of composing the whole newspaper, then when you got rid of the old technology and got new fancy computers and so forth, all of the savings would come right through to the bottom line.
In all cases, the people who sell the machinery—and, by and large, even the internal bureaucrats urging you to buy the equipment—show you projections with the amount you'll save at current prices with the new technology. However, they don't do the second step of the analysis which is to determine how much is going stay home and how much is just going to flow through to the customer.
I've never seen a single projection incorporating that second step in my life. And I see them all the time. So you keep buying things that will pay for themselves in three years. That's the textile business. And it isn't that the machines weren't better. It's just that the savings didn't go to you. The cost reductions came through all right. But the benefit of the cost reductions didn't go to the guy who bought the equipment. It's such a simple idea. It's so basic. And yet it's so often forgotten. Then there's another model from microeconomics which I find very interesting.
When technology moves as fast as it does in a civilization like ours, you get a phenomenon which I call competitive destruction. You know, you have the finest buggy whip factory and all of a sudden in comes this little horseless carriage. And before too many years go by, your buggy whip business is dead. You either get into a different business or you're dead—you're destroyed. It happens again and again and again. And when these new businesses come in, there are huge advantages for the early birds.
But if he gets off the wave, he becomes mired in shallows…. But people get long runs when they're right on the edge of the wave—whether it's Microsoft or Intel or all kinds of people, including National Cash Register in the early days. The cash register was one of the great contributions to civilization. It's a wonderful story. Patterson was a small retail merchant who didn't make any money. One day, somebody sold him a crude cash register which he put into his retail operation.
And it instantly changed from losing money to earning a profit because it made it so much harder for the employees to steal…. He got the best distribution system, the biggest collection of patents and the best of everything. He was a fanatic about everything important as the technology developed. I have in my files an early National Cash Register Company report in which Patterson described his methods and objectives. And, of course, that's exactly what an investor should be looking for. In a long life, you can expect to profit heavily from at least a few of those opportunities if you develop the wisdom and will to seize them.
After all, we're cranky and idiosyncratic—as you may have noticed. And Warren and I don't feel like we have any great advantage in the high-tech sector. In fact, we feel like we're at a big disadvantage in trying to understand the nature of technical developments in software, computer chips or what have you. So we tend to avoid that stuff, based on our personal inadequacies.
Again, that is a very, very powerful idea. Every person is going to have a circle of competence. And it's going to be very hard to advance that circle. If I had to make my living as a musician…. I can't even think of a level low enough to describe where I would be sorted out to if music were the measuring standard of the civilization. So you have to figure out what your own aptitudes are. If you play games where other people have the aptitudes and you don't, you're going to lose.
And that's as close to certain as any prediction that you can make. You have to figure out where you've got an edge. And you've got to play within your own circle of competence. If you want to be the best tennis player in the world, you may start out trying and soon find out that it's hopeless—that other people blow right by you. However, if you want to become the best plumbing contractor in Bemidji, that is probably doable by two-thirds of you.
It takes a will. It takes the intelligence. But after a while, you'd gradually know all about the plumbing business in Bemidji and master the art. That is an attainable objective, given enough discipline. And people who could never win a chess tournament or stand in center court in a respectable tennis tournament can rise quite high in life by slowly developing a circle of competence—which results partly from what they were born with and partly from what they slowly develop through work.
So some edges can be acquired. And the game of life to some extent for most of us is trying to be something like a good plumbing contractor in Bemidji. Very few of us are chosen to win the world's chess tournaments. The fact that we don't think we're very good at it and have pretty well stayed out of it doesn't mean that it's irrational for you to do it. Well, so much for the basic microeconomics models, a little bit of psychology, a little bit of mathematics, helping create what I call the general substructure of worldly wisdom.
Now, if you want to go on from carrots to dessert, I'll turn to stock picking—trying to draw on this general worldly wisdom as we go. I don't want to get into emerging markets, bond arbitrage and so forth. I'm talking about nothing but plain vanilla stock picking. That, believe me, is complicated enough. And I'm talking about common stock picking. And it's rather interesting because one of the greatest economists of the world is a substantial shareholder in Berkshire Hathaway and has been for a long time.
His textbook always taught that the stock market was perfectly efficient and that nobody could beat it. But his own money went into Berkshire and made him wealthy. So, like Pascal in his famous wager, he hedged his bet. Is the stock market so efficient that people can't beat it? Well, the efficient market theory is obviously roughly right—meaning that markets are quite efficient and it's quite hard for anybody to beat the market by significant margins as a stock picker by just being intelligent and working in a disciplined way.
Indeed, the average result has to be the average result. By definition, everybody can't beat the market. That's just the way it is. So the answer is that it's partly efficient and partly inefficient. It was an intellectually consistent theory that enabled them to do pretty mathematics.
So I understand its seductiveness to people with large mathematical gifts. It just had a difficulty in that the fundamental assumption did not tie properly to reality. Again, to the man with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. If you're good at manipulating higher mathematics in a consistent way, why not make an assumption which enables you to use your tool? The model I like—to sort of simplify the notion of what goes on in a market for common stocks—is the pari-mutuel system at the racetrack. If you stop to think about it, a pari-mutuel system is a market.
Everybody goes there and bets and the odds change based on what's bet. That's what happens in the stock market. Any damn fool can see that a horse carrying a light weight with a wonderful win rate and a good post position etc. But if you look at the odds, the bad horse pays to 1, whereas the good horse pays 3 to 2.
Then it's not clear which is statistically the best bet using the mathematics of Fermat and Pascal. The prices have changed in such a way that it's very hard to beat the system. Given those mathematics, is it possible to beat the horses only using one's intelligence? Intelligence should give some edge, because lots of people who don't know anything go out and bet lucky numbers and so forth. Therefore, somebody who really thinks about nothing but horse performance and is shrewd and mathematical could have a very considerable edge, in the absence of the frictional cost caused by the house take.
I used to play poker when I was young with a guy who made a substantial living doing nothing but bet harness races…. Now, harness racing is a relatively inefficient market. You don't have the depth of intelligence betting on harness races that you do on regular races. What my poker pal would do was to think about harness races as his main profession. And he would bet only occasionally when he saw some mispriced bet available. You have to say that's rare. However, the market was not perfectly efficient.
It's efficient, yes. But it's not perfectly efficient. And with enough shrewdness and fanaticism, some people will get better results than others. The stock market is the same way—except that the house handle is so much lower. If you take transaction costs—the spread between the bid and the ask plus the commissions—and if you don't trade too actively, you're talking about fairly low transaction costs. So that with enough fanaticism and enough discipline, some of the shrewd people are going to get way better results than average in the nature of things. It is not a bit easy. But some people will have an advantage.
And in a fairly low transaction cost operation, they will get better than average results in stock picking. Here again, look at the pari-mutuel system. I had dinner last night by absolute accident with the president of Santa Anita. He says that there are two or three betters who have a credit arrangement with them, now that they have off-track betting, who are actually beating the house.
They're sending money out net after the full handle—a lot of it to Las Vegas, by the way—to people who are actually winning slightly, net, after paying the full handle. They're that shrewd about something with as much unpredictability as horse racing. And the one thing that all those winning betters in the whole history of people who've beaten the pari-mutuel system have is quite simple. They bet very seldom. It's not given to human beings to have such talent that they can just know everything about everything all the time.
But it is given to human beings who work hard at it—who look and sift the world for a mispriced be—that they can occasionally find one. And the wise ones bet heavily when the world offers them that opportunity. They bet big when they have the odds. And the rest of the time, they don't. It's just that simple.
That is a very simple concept. And to me it's obviously right—based on experience not only from the pari-mutuel system, but everywhere else. And yet, in investment management, practically nobody operates that way. We operate that way—I'm talking about Buffett and Munger. And we're not alone in the world. But a huge majority of people have some other crazy construct in their heads.
And instead of waiting for a near cinch and loading up, they apparently ascribe to the theory that if they work a little harder or hire more business school students, they'll come to know everything about everything all the time. To me, that's totally insane. The way to win is to work, work, work, work and hope to have a few insights. How many insights do you need? Well, I'd argue: that you don't need many in a lifetime. If you look at Berkshire Hathaway and all of its accumulated billions, the top ten insights account for most of it. And that's with a very brilliant man—Warren's a lot more able than I am and very disciplined—devoting his lifetime to it.
I don't mean to say that he's only had ten insights. I'm just saying, that most of the money came from ten insights. So you can get very remarkable investment results if you think more like a winning pari-mutuel player. Just think of it as a heavy odds against game full of craziness with an occasional mispriced something or other.
And you're probably not going to be smart enough to find thousands in a lifetime. And when you get a few, you really load up. And once you'd punched through the card, you couldn't make any more investments at all. So you'd do so much better. Again, this is a concept that seems perfectly obvious to me. And to Warren it seems perfectly obvious. But this is one of the very few business classes in the U. It just isn't the conventional wisdom. To me, it's obvious that the winner has to bet very selectively. It's been obvious to me since very early in life. I don't know why it's not obvious to very many other people.
I think the reason why we got into such idiocy in investment management is best illustrated by a story that I tell about the guy who sold fishing tackle. Do fish really take these lures? Investment managers are in the position of that fishing tackle salesman. They're like the guy who was selling salt to the guy who already had too much salt. And as long as the guy will buy salt, why they'll sell salt. But that isn't what ordinarily works for the buyer of investment advice.
If you invested Berkshire Hathaway-style, it would be hard to get paid as an investment manager as well as they're currently paid—because you'd be holding a block of Wal-Mart and a block of Coca-Cola and a block of something else. You'd just sit there. And the client would be getting rich. So what makes sense for the investor is different from what makes sense for the manager.
Get Mini Golf Club - Microsoft Store
And, as usual in human affairs, what determines the behavior are incentives for the decision maker. From all business, my favorite case on incentives is Federal Express. The heart and soul of their system—which creates the integrity of the product—is having all their airplanes come to one place in the middle of the night and shift all the packages from plane to plane.
If there are delays, the whole operation can't deliver a product full of integrity to Federal Express customers. And it was always screwed up. They could never get it done on time. They tried everything—moral suasion, threats, you name it. And nothing worked. Finally, somebody got the idea to pay all these people not so much an hour, but so much a shift—and when it's all done, they can all go home.
Well, their problems cleared up overnight. So getting the incentives right is a very, very important lesson. It was not obvious to Federal Express what the solution was. But maybe now, it will hereafter more often be obvious to you. All right, we've now recognized that the market is efficient as a pari-mutuel system is efficient with the favorite more likely than the long shot to do well in racing, but not necessarily give any betting advantage to those that bet on the favorite. In the stock market, some railroad that's beset by better competitors and tough unions may be available at one-third of its book value.
In contrast, IBM in its heyday might be selling at 6 times book value. So it's just like the pari-mutuel system. Any damn fool could plainly see that IBM had better business prospects than the railroad. But once you put the price into the formula, it wasn't so clear anymore what was going to work best for a buyer choosing between the stocks. So it's a lot like a pari-mutuel system. And, therefore, it gets very hard to beat. What style should the investor use as a picker of common stocks in order to try to beat the market—in other words, to get an above average long-term result?
You simply figure out when oils are going to outperform retailers, etc. You just kind of flit around being in the hot sector of the market making better choices than other people. And presumably, over a long period of time, you get ahead. However, I know of no really rich sector rotator. Maybe some people can do it. I'm not saying they can't. All I know is that all the people I know who got rich—and I know a lot of them—did not do it that way. The second basic approach is the one that Ben Graham used—much admired by Warren and me. As one factor, Graham had this concept of value to a private owner—what the whole enterprise would sell for if it were available.
And that was calculable in many cases. Then, if you could take the stock price and multiply it by the number of shares and get something that was one third or less of sellout value, he would say that you've got a lot of edge going for you. Even with an elderly alcoholic running a stodgy business, this significant excess of real value per share working for you means that all kinds of good things can happen to you.
You had a huge margin of safety—as he put it—by having this big excess value going for you. But he was, by and large, operating when the world was in shell shock from the s—which was the worst contraction in the English-speaking world in about years. Wheat in Liverpool, I believe, got down to something like a year low, adjusted for inflation. People were so shell-shocked for a long time thereafter that Ben Graham could run his Geiger counter over this detritus from the collapse of the s and find things selling below their working capital per share and so on.
And in those days, working capital actually belonged to the shareholders. If the employees were no longer useful, you just sacked them all, took the working capital and stuck it in the owners' pockets. That was the way capitalism then worked. Nowadays, of course, the accounting is not realistic because the minute the business starts contracting, significant assets are not there.
Under social norms and the new legal rules of the civilization, so much is owed to the employees that, the minute the enterprise goes into reverse, some of the assets on the balance sheet aren't there anymore. Now, that might not be true if you run a little auto dealership yourself. You may be able to run it in such a way that there's no health plan and this and that so that if the business gets lousy, you can take your working capital and go home.
But IBM can't, or at least didn't. Just look at what disappeared from its balance sheet when it decided that it had to change size both because the world had changed technologically and because its market position had deteriorated. And in terms of blowing it, IBM is some example. Those were brilliant, disciplined people. And that was some collapse—an object lesson in the difficulties of technology and one of the reasons why Buffett and Munger don't like technology very much. We don't think we're any good at it, and strange things can happen.
At any rate, the trouble with what I call the classic Ben Graham concept is that gradually the world wised up and those real obvious bargains disappeared. You could run your Geiger counter over the rubble and it wouldn't click. But such is the nature of people who have a hammer—to whom, as I mentioned, every problem looks like a nail that the Ben Graham followers responded by changing the calibration on their Geiger counters.
In effect, they started defining a bargain in a different way. And they kept changing the definition so that they could keep doing what they'd always done. And it still worked pretty well. So the Ben Graham intellectual system was a very good one. Instead of thinking the market was efficient, he treated it as a manic-depressive who comes by every day. To Graham, it was a blessing to be in business with a manic-depressive who gave you this series of options all the time. That was a very significant mental construct. And it's been very useful to Buffett, for instance, over his whole adult lifetime.
However, if we'd stayed with classic Graham the way Ben Graham did it, we would never have had the record we have. And that's because Graham wasn't trying to do what we did. For example, Graham didn't want to ever talk to management. And his reason was that, like the best sort of professor aiming his teaching at a mass audience, he was trying to invent a system that anybody could use. And he didn't feel that the man in the street could run around and talk to managements and learn things. He also had a concept that the management would often couch the information very shrewdly to mislead.
Therefore, it was very difficult. And that is still true, of course—human nature being what it is. And so having started out as Grahamites which, by the way, worked fine—we gradually got what I would call better insights. And we realized that some company that was selling at 2 or 3 times book value could still be a hell of a bargain because of momentums implicit in its position, sometimes combined with an unusual managerial skill plainly present in some individual or other, or some system or other. And once we'd gotten over the hurdle of recognizing that a thing could be a bargain based on quantitative measures that would have horrified Graham, we started thinking about better businesses.
And, by the way, the bulk of the billions in Berkshire Hathaway have come from the better businesses. But the great bulk of the money has come from the great businesses. And even some of the early money was made by being temporarily present in great businesses. Buffett Partnership, for example, owned American Express and Disney when they got pounded down. Most investment managers are in a game where the clients expect them to know a lot about a lot of things. We didn't have any clients who could fire us at Berkshire Hathaway. So we didn't have to be governed by any such construct. And we came to this notion of finding a mispriced bet and loading up when we were very confident that we were right.
So we're way less diversified. And I think our system is miles better. However, in all fairness, I don't think a lot of money managers could successfully sell their services if they used our system. But if you're investing for 40 years in some pension fund, what difference does it make if the path from start to finish is a little more bumpy or a little different than everybody else's so long as it's all going to work out well in the end? So what if there's a little extra volatility. In investment management today, everybody wants not only to win, but to have a yearly outcome path that never diverges very much from a standard path except on the upside.
Well, that is a very artificial, crazy construct. That's the equivalent in investment management to the custom of binding the feet of Chinese women. It's the equivalent of what Nietzsche meant when he criticized the man who had a lame leg and was proud of it. That is really hobbling yourself. That's how we're measured. It's so damned elementary that even bright people are going to have limited, really valuable insights in a very competitive world when they're fighting against other very bright, hardworking people.
And it makes sense to load up on the very few good insights you have instead of pretending to know everything about everything at all times. You're much more likely to do well if you start out to do something feasible instead of something that isn't feasible. Isn't that perfectly obvious? How many of you have 56 brilliant ideas in which you have equal confidence? Raise your hands, please. How many of you have two or three insights that you have some confidence in? I rest my case. I'd say that Berkshire Hathaway's system is adapting to the nature of the investment problem as it really is.
We've really made the money out of high quality businesses. In some cases, we bought the whole business. And in some cases, we just bought a big block of stock. But when you analyze what happened, the big money's been made in the high quality businesses.
Related Its Only a Game: Words of Wisdom from a Lifetime in Golf
Copyright 2019 - All Right Reserved