Investors can spend a lot of time rehashing the mistakes they’ve made, be it the money they have lost, or just from imagining the money they could have made if they had done something differently. However, Warren Buffett points out that “You know, if every shot you hit in golf was a hole-in-one…the game would soon lose interest. So you have to hit a few in the woods occasionally just to make it a little more interesting.”
Now, Buffett is not really preaching that you should go out and deliberately make mistakes, and he has tried hard to learn from his own, including the investments he didn’t make.
“Well, the mistakes we made, and we made them, some of them big time, are of two kinds. One is when we didn’t invest at all in something that we understood that was cheap, maybe because we weren’t even working hard enough at looking at the whole list, or because, for one reason or another, we just didn’t, we didn’t take action,” Warren Buffett said at the 2004 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting. “And the second was starting in on something that could have been a very large investment and not maximizing it. Charlie (Munger) is a huge believer in the idea that you don’t sit around sucking your thumb when you can, when something comes along that should be done that you pour into it.”
Hear Buffett’s full explanation
© 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.