Tag Archives: Warren Buffett

Lessons From Warren Buffett: You Don’t Have to Make It Back the Way You Lost It

Pouring more money into a money losing stock in the hope of making back your losses is not only dangerous, it is unnecessary Warren Buffett says. There are lots of ways to make money and there is no advantage to making your money back on the same stock that you have previously lost money, rather than buying something else.

“It is true that a very important principle in investing is you don’t have to make it back the way you lost it,” Warren Buffett said at the 1995 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting. “And in fact, it’s usually a mistake to make, try and make it back the way that you lost it.”

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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.

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.

Buffett Donates Shares to Three Foundations

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Today, Warren E. Buffett has converted 9,608 A shares into 14,412,000 B shares in order to donate 14,414,136 shares of Berkshire Hathaway “B” stock to five foundations: 11,003,166 to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, 1,100,316 shares to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation and 770,218 shares to each of the Sherwood Foundation, Howard G. Buffett Foundation and NoVo Foundation. The donations have been delivered today.

Mr. Buffett’s ownership of Berkshire now consists of 229,016 A shares and 276 B shares.

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 a 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.

Lessons From Warren Buffett: Having Opinions on the Wrong Things Can Harm Your Investing

Will the stock market go up? Will it go down? There are so many different forecasts on what markets will do that it is tempting to try and form your own opinion in order to bolster your investing strategy. Warren Buffett says don’t do it. Having bullish or bearish opinions about things that are ultimately unknowable is not only a waste of time, but it can also keep you from focusing on what you can know about.

“Charlie and I never have an opinion about the market because it wouldn’t be any good and it might interfere with the opinions we have that are good,” Warren Buffett said at the 1994 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting. “If we’re right about a business, if we think a business is attractive, it would be very foolish for us to not take action on that because we thought something about what the market was going to do, or anything of that sort. Because we just don’t know. And to give up something that you do know and that is profitable for something that you don’t know and won’t know because of that, it just doesn’t make any sense to us, and it doesn’t really make any difference to us.”

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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.

Lessons From Warren Buffett: You don’t Know Who is Swimming Naked Until…

Risk is not something that is always immediately apparent. In fact, it is not until markets plunge, a company goes belly up, or a catastrophic event happens that causes insurers to pay large claims, that the degree of risk truly becomes clear.

“You don’t find out who’s been swimming naked until the tide goes out,” Warren Buffett said at the 1994 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting. “You don’t, you really don’t find out who’s been swimming naked until the wind blows at them.”

Buffett pointed out that the adage applies as much to bonds and reinsurance as it does to the stock market. Investors that chase return through low-rated bonds, or insurance companies that write risky policies, can look like geniuses until circumstances turn against them and expose their true risk, often with catastrophic results.

“Reinsurance business, by its nature, will be a business in which some very stupid things are done en masse periodically,” Buffett noted. “I mean, you can be doing dumb things and not know it in reinsurance, and then all of a sudden wake up and find out, you know, the money is gone.”

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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.

Lessons From Warren Buffett: You’re Neither Right nor Wrong Because People Agree With You or Disagree

Warren Buffett believes firmly that the work of the investor is to find opportunities, and it makes no difference if other people agree with you or not.

“Ben Graham said long ago that you’re neither right nor wrong because people agree with you or disagree with you,” Warren Buffett noted at the 2006 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting. “You’re right because your facts and reasoning are right. So all you do is you try to make sure that the facts you have are correct. . . . And then once you have the facts, you’ve got to think through what they mean. And you don’t take a public opinion survey. You don’t pay attention to things that are unimportant. I mean, what you’re looking for is something — things that are important and knowable. If something’s important but unknowable, forget it. I mean, it may be important, you know, whether somebody’s going to drop a nuclear weapon tomorrow but it’s unknowable. It may be all kinds of things. So you — and there are all kinds of things are that knowable but are unimportant. In focusing on business and investment decisions, you try to think — you narrow it down to the things that are knowable and important, and then you decide whether you have information of sufficient value that — you know, compared to price and all that, that will cause you to act. What others are doing means nothing.”

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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.

Lessons From Warren Buffett: When They Say the Word Synergy They Really Mean

While discussing what makes Berkshire Hathaway an attractive place to sell your successful business to, Warren Buffett noted that the term synergy is really just another way of saying that that a lot of people are going to get fired. And often first in line to get fired are the people that helped make a company successful in the first place.

“They would have all these ideas about synergy, and synergy would mean that the people that had helped him build the business over 30 years would all get sacked,” Warren Buffett said at the 2013 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting. “And that the acquiring company would come in like Attila the Hun and be the conquering people, and he just didn’t want to do that to the people that helped him over the years.”

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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.

Lessons From Warren Buffett: Do Anything That Makes Sense and Don’t Limit Yourself

While many mutual funds and ETFs limit themselves to a particular area, this is not Warren Buffett’s approach. He wants the maximum flexibility to take advantage of opportunities, and he also doesn’t want to be forced to do any particular thing.

“I would say that we think the most logical fund is the one we have at Berkshire where, essentially, we can do anything that makes sense and are not compelled to do anything that we don’t think makes sense,” Warren Buffett said at the 2007 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting. “So any entity that is devoted to a limited segment of the financial market we would regard as being at a disadvantage to one that has total authority if you have the right person in charge… So we would not want to devote our funds to something that was only going to buy bonds, something that was only going to buy futures, or anything of the sort.”

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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.

Lessons From Warren Buffett: Risk and Time Horizon are Inextricably Linked

Risk and the amount of time you intend to hold a stock are inextricably linked, according to Warren Buffett. That linkage is what makes day trading stocks so risky, as the shorter the holding period, the more likely that short term price movements will sink you.

“Well, we do define risk as the possibility of harm or injury. And in that respect we think it’s inextricably wound up in your time horizon for holding an asset,” Warren Buffett said at the 1994 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting. “If you intend to buy XYZ Corporation at 11:30 this morning and sell it out before the close today, I mean, that is, in our view, that is a very risky transaction. Because we think 50 percent of the time you’re going to suffer some harm or injury. If you have a time horizon on a business, we think the risk of buying something like Coca-Cola at the price we bought it at a few years ago is essentially, is so close to nil, in terms of our perspective holding period. But if you asked me the risk of buying Coca-Cola this morning and you’re going to sell it tomorrow morning, I say that is a very risky transaction.”

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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.

Lessons From Warren Buffett: There’s More Than One Way to Get Into Heaven

Warren Buffett’s such a legendary investor that you might think that he has found the ultimate way to get rich, but that’s not what Buffett himself believes. His comment on the differences between his approach and Peter Lynch’s shows just that.

“I’ve said in investing, in the past, that there’s more than one way to get to heaven,” Warren Buffett said at the 1994 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting. “And there isn’t a true religion in this, but there’s some very useful religions.”

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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.