Lessons From Warren Buffett: How to Evaluate a Company’s Management

A critical component to any successful company, especially over the long term, is the quality of its management. As an investor, Warren Buffett thinks there are two key aspects of relevance to shareholders that they should consider.

“I think you judge management by two yardsticks,” Warren Buffett said at the 1994 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting. “One is how well they run the business and I think you can learn a lot about that by reading about both what they’ve accomplished and what their competitors have accomplished, and seeing how they have allocated capital over time. You have to have some understanding of the hand they were dealt when they themselves got a chance to play the hand. But, if you understand something about the business they’re in, and you can’t understand it in every business, but you can find industries or companies where you can understand it, then you simply want to look at how well they have been doing in playing the hand, essentially, that’s been dealt with them. And then the second thing you want to figure out is how well that they treat their owners. And I think you can get a handle on that, oftentimes.”

Buffett added: “It’s interesting how often the ones that, in my view, are the poor managers also turn out to be the ones that really don’t think that much about the shareholders, too. The two often go hand in hand.”

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© 2022 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

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