Lessons From Warren Buffett: Study Folly

Warren Buffett has learned a lot over the years from studying the mistakes that other people have made. In fact, he and Charlie Munger are students in the study of folly.

“In terms of reading of financial history and all that sort of thing, I’ve always been absolutely absorbed with reading about disasters,” Warren Buffett said at the 2012 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting. “And there’s no question. I mean, when you look at the folly of humans — you know, I’ve focused on the folly in the financial area — there’s all kinds of folly elsewhere — but just the financial area will give you plenty of material if you like to be a follower of folly. And I do think that understanding, and that’s what gave us some advantage over these people that have IQs of 180, you know, and can do things with math that we couldn’t do. They just, they really just didn’t have an understanding of how human beings behave and what happens. 2008 was a good example of that, too. So, we’ve, we have been a student of other people’s folly, and it’s served us well.”

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© 2021 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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