When Warren Buffett Speaks. . . people listen.
"If people want to improve their investing skills, it has to help to study how the Master does it. This short book outlines Buffett's philosophy and techniques."
Peter S. Lynch, Fidelity Investments
"Common sense with a deft irony . . ."
John C. Bogle, founder of The Vanguard Group and author, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing
"It was Warren Buffett's thoughts and philosophy that first captivated investors. Janet Lowe has done us all a great service by collecting and arranging Warren Buffett's wit and wisdom in an easy-to-read and enjoyable book."
Robert G. Hagstrom, Portfolio Manager, Legg Mason Growth Trust mutual fund, and author, The Warren Buffett Way, Second Edition
"A must-read. Buffett's wit and wisdom is a roadmap for anyone looking to succeed in business, investing, and life."
Steve Halpern, Editor, www.thestockadvisors.com
Janet Lowe is the author of the bestselling Bill Gates Speaks and Jack Welch Speaks. Her articles have appeared in such publications as Newsweek, the Christian Science Monitor, the Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle.
Acknowledgments xiii Introduction 1 ABOUT LIFE 13 Omaha? Omawhere? Omawhat? 13 Live how you want to live 15 Eat what you want to eat 15 Have a hobby 16 Be passionate 19 Aim high 20 Aim well 23 Focus on your goals 23 Keep life in perspective 23 Be honest 27 Tell the whole truth, please 28 Letter to the Wall Street Journal 30 Cultivate good character 36 Believe in yourself 37 But don t get too stuck on yourself 38 Dodge the hype 44 Share your wisdom 44 Disregard old age 45 ALSO: Attention Investors: Warren Buffett is crossing the street 20 Nice guys finish first sometimes 24 Choose your heroes well 40 Rose Blumkin, matriarch of the Nebraska Furniture Mart 47 ABOUT FRIENDS 51 Know what friendship is 51 Go to bat for your pals 51 Guiding Governor Schwarzenegger 52 Build lifelong friendships 54 ALSO: Charlie Munger 54 ABOUT FAMILY 58 Don t spoil your kids 58 The Buffett children 62 Work things out with your wife 75 Be kind to your mother 81 ALSO: What others say about Warren Buffett 70 Astrid Menks, Buffett s second wife 78 The controversial Susan T. Buffett Foundation 79 What Leila Buffett had to say about her son 82 What the critics say 82 ABOUT WORK 85 Work for the fun of it 85 Start early 88 Work where you want to work 89 Work with good people 90 Give a pat on the back 92 Be loyal to your partners 93 Guard your time 95 Know when to quit 97 ABOUT RUNNING A BUSINESS 99 Communicate well 99 Know when to say no 100 Set an example 101 Take care of shareholders 104 Hire well, manage little 110 Put a premium on experience 111 Be smart about allocating capital 111 Be brave 112 Use crossover skills 112 The mighty machine called Berkshire Hathaway 113 ALSO: The Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting 102 Goodbye to a good idea 106 The Salomon scandal 108 Berkshire Hathaway online 109 ABOUT INVESTING 116 Have a philosophy 116 Recognize the enemy: inflation 117 Experience epiphany 119 Never mind what the professors say 125 Meet Mr. Market your servant, not your guide 126 Ignore Mr. Market s moods 129 Listen for opportunity s call 130 Know the difference between price and value 133 Seek intrinsic value 133 Expect to be out of step 134 Earnings, earnings, earnings 137 Look forward, not back 138 Avoid risk 139 Don t gamble 141 Watch for unusual circumstances 143 Don t be surprised by circumstances 143 Avoid excessive debt 144 Look for screaming bargains 145 Arbitrage when possible 145 Be patient 148 Think for yourself 149 Have the right tools 150 Be wary of Wall Street 151 Only buy securities that you understand 152 An old dog prowls new markets 153 PetroChina 155 An expanding circle of competence 157 Buy reading glasses 160 Become an investigative reporter 161 Keep it simple 162 Think big 164 Know what you re looking for 166 Don t sweat the math 167 Admire frugality 169 Set realistic goals 171 Face facts 171 Expect change 174 Be capable of change 175 Admit your mistakes 182 No thumb sucking 185 Join AA (Airlines Anonymous) 186 Learn from your mistakes 190 Buy storybook stocks 191 Seek excellent companies 193 Stick with quality 196 Junk bonds 197 Appreciate franchise value 199 Respect pricing power 202 Find a company with cheap float (then try to not misplace the company) 203 Learn to like Monopoly 204 Find managers who think like owners 205 Management is important, but a good company is more important 206 Avoid the Institutional Imperative (the tendency for corporations to act like lemmings) 206 Favor companies that repurchase their own stock 207 Don t worry about diversification 207 Invest for the long term 208 To sum up 209 And when you ve become wealthy by following in the footsteps of Buffett, pay your dues to society 210 Investing is one way of contributing to the public well-being 210 When rewards are disproportionate 211 Pay your taxes and don t complain 214 Give as generously as you receive 218 Thoughts on charitable giving 223 Will Buffett s gift affect the company? 226 The last word 227 ALSO: Benjamin Graham 120 The Used-Cigar-Butt School of Investing 135 He tells them, but they don t listen 172 Baby Berkshire shares 175 What does the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation do? 224 Berkshire s Book Value vs. the S&P 500 231 Berkshire Hathaway Share Price 233 Time Line 235 Endnotes 241 Permissions 271