Gems from Warren Buffett: Wit and Wisdom from 34 Years of Letters to Shareholders
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In one sentence: "A lifetime of Warren Buffett's Wit and Wisdom in 122 pages" Warren Buffett is the world's most famous and successful investor. Every year, he writes a 30-40 page letter to shareholders of his company, Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. These letters have become required reading for people seeking success in all walks of life, but especially business and investing. "Gems from Warren Buffett" is a collection of 240 of Warren Buffett's wittiest and most insightful thoughts ("gems"), culled from 34 years of his iconic letters. These gems lighten spirits with their humor, enlighten minds with their wisdom, and provide an interesting view into one of America's most successful CEOs.
future prospects of a 42-year-old center fielder on the basis of his lifetime batting average.” -1988 letter * * * “Lethargy bordering on sloth remains the cornerstone of our investment style: This year we neither bought nor sold a share of five of our six major holdings.” -1990 letter * * * “Stocks cannot forever overperform their underlying businesses, as they have so dramatically done for some time.” -1992 letter * * * “I find that a long-term familiarity with a company
money with such managers should be labeled patsies, not partners.” -2010 letter * * * “Part of the appeal of Black-Scholes to auditors and regulators is that it produces a precise number. Charlie and I can’t supply one of those. We believe the true liability of our contracts to be far lower than that calculated by Black-Scholes, but we can’t come up with an exact figure – anymore than we can come up with a precise value for GEICO, BNSF, or for Berkshire Hathaway itself. Our inability to
zeal; now they are experiencing a lemming-like fate.” -1990 letter * * * “But as happens in Wall Street all too often, what the wise do in the beginning, fools do in the end. In the last few years zero-coupon bonds (and their functional equivalent, pay-in-kind bonds, which distribute additional PIK bonds semi-annually as interest instead of paying cash) have been issued in enormous quantities by ever-junkier credits. To these issuers, zero (or PIK) bonds offer one overwhelming advantage:
of Woodstock - the Berkshire Annual Meeting - will be held on Monday, May 5. Charlie and I thoroughly enjoy this event, and we hope that you come. We will start at 9:30 a.m., break for about 15 minutes at noon (food will be available - but at a price, of course), and then continue talking to hard-core attendees until at least 3:30.” -1996 letter * * * On a “crisis” at the 1996 annual shareholder meeting: “The night before the meeting, I lost my voice, thereby fulfilling Charlie's
principle: predicting rain doesn’t count, building arks does.)” -1981 letter * * * “I ignored Comte’s advice - ‘the intellect should be the servant of the heart, but not its slave’ - and believed what I preferred to believe.” -1985 letter * * * “We should do well in several segments of our insurance business. Mike Goldberg has made many important improvements in the operation (prior mismanagement by your Chairman having provided him ample opportunity to do so).” -1985 letter * *