March 11, 2011

Oracle of Omaha

I now know more than I ever wanted to about Warren Buffett. I've made 28 postings on the Discussion Board and I'm tapped out. Interesting facts -

Charles Munger is his partner and appears to take a back seat to Warren. I find Charlie fascinating and don't think you have to be front and center to be an effective leader.

Charlie and Warren are in it for the long haul (literally and figuratively), believing slow and steady wins the race. While reading I was reminded of one of my favorite authors, Malcolm Gladwell. A favorite Gladwell quote is "Success is not a function of individual talent, it is the steady accumulation of advantages." I had the pleasure of hearing Gladwell speak at a conference in 2007 and he used the analogy of Fleetwood Mac's experimental, trial-and-error road to success as the way we should be innovating in business over the current culture of instant gratification and gambling everything on one supposed sure thing. From what I gather Charlie feels the same - try different ideas, test them out and stay in it for the long haul.

"Warren and I have not made our way in life by making successful macroeconomic predictions and betting on our conclusions. Our system is to swim as competently as we can and sometimes the tide will be with us and sometimes it will be against us. But by and large we don't much bother with trying to predict the tides because we plan to play the game for a long time. I recommend to all of you exactly the same attitude. It's kind of a snare and a delusion to outguess macroeconomic cycles...very few people do it successfully and some of them do it by accident. When the game is that tough why not adopt the other system of swimming as competently as you can and figuring that over a long life you'll have your share of good tides and bad tides?"

Berkshire Hathaway was an east coast textile company Buffett purchased out of spite - he called it his greatest folly.

Buffett spoke of tech industry greed (he's never been a tech fan) at a 1999 Sun Valley executive retreat with many tech execs in the audience. He predicted then the stock market would not /could not continue its fantastic run based on history (34 yr comparison).

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