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Warren Buffett, fully Warren Edward Buffett, aka Oracle of Omaha

(1930 - )


American Businessman, Investor and Philanthropist, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway

"Turn-arounds" seldom turn.
A great investment opportunity occurs when a marvelous business encounters a one-time huge, but solvable problem.
A hyperactive stock market is the pickpocket of enterprise.
A market downturn doesn’t bother us. For us and our long term investors, it is an opportunity, to increase our ownership of great companies with great management, at good prices. Only for short term investors and market timers, it is a correction not an opportunity.
A public opinion poll is no substitute for thought.
A simple rule dictates my buying: Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.
A story that was passed down from Ben Graham illustrates the lemminglike behavior of the crowd: "Let me tell you the story of the oil prospector who met St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. When told his occupation, St. Peter said, “Oh, I’m really sorry. You seem to meet all the tests to get into heaven. But we’ve got a terrible problem. See that pen over there? That’s where we keep the oil prospectors waiting to get into heaven. And it’s filled—we haven’t got room for even one more.” The oil prospector thought for a minute and said, “Would you mind if I just said four words to those folks?” “I can’t see any harm in that,” said St. Pete. So the old-timer cupped his hands and yelled out, “Oil discovered in hell!” Immediately, the oil prospectors wrenched the lock off the door of the pen and out they flew, flapping their wings as hard as they could for the lower regions. “You know, that’s a pretty good trick,” St. Pete said. “Move in. The place is yours. You’ve got plenty of room.” The old fellow scratched his head and said, “No. If you don’t mind, I think I’ll go along with the rest of ’em. There may be some truth to that rumor after all."
A very rich person should leave his kids enough to do anything but not enough to do nothing.
Accounting consequences do not influence our operating or capital-allocation decisions. When acquisition costs are similar, we much prefer to purchase $2 of earnings that is not reportable by us under standard accounting principles than to purchase $1 of earnings that is reportable.
After all, you only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out.