Jokes, Facts and Words of Wisdom from Warren Buffett
From 12 people in 1975 to more than 30 000 today, Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting is the Disneyland of investors. People come from all over the world to listen to 2 old men talk about a plethora of issues. Not least, to hear Buffett’s jokes. Here are some of his words.
Full stadium during Berkshire Hathaway’s investor conference:
Did you know?
– Buffett plays bridge online at least four times a week and goes under the name “T- Bone.” His buddy Bill Gates goes under the name “”Chalengr”
– He still lives in the same small 3-bedroom house in mid-town Omaha, that he bought after he got married 50 years ago. He says that he has everything he needs in that house.
– He drives his own car everywhere and does not have a driver or security around him.
– He never travels by private jet, although he owns the world’s largest private jet company.
– His past time after he gets home is to make himself some pop corn and watch television.
– In 1991, Buffett spent 9 months and 4 days in NYC saving Salomon Brothers — he counted…
– Bill Gates met him for the first time a few years ago. Bill Gates did not think he had anything in common with Warren Buffett. So he had scheduled his meeting only for half hour. But when Gates met him, the meeting lasted for ten hours and they’re now best friends.
– Warren Buffett does not carry a cell phone
– “I don’t believe in dynastic wealth”, Warren Buffett said, calling those who grow up in wealthy circumstances “members of the lucky sperm club.
– He has donated $31 billion (85% of his fortune) to charity and not to his children. The children agree!
– “A very rich person should leave his kids enough to do anything but not enough to do nothing”
– The June 9, 2012 auction for lunch with Buffett yielded a record figure of $3,456,789; the highest figure paid for a lunch with the investor.
– Warren Buffett said he has made the most money in his career “by sitting on my ass.”
– I was 20 years old, I looked like I was about 16 and behaved like I was 12
– He skirted a question about whether Indian-born Ajit Jain, Mr. Buffett’s right-hand man, would succeed him as Berkshire’s chief executive one day. He said instead: “I owe the people of India an enormous amount for sending me Ajit Jain.” Mr. Buffett said that Mr. Jain has probably made more money for Berkshire than Mr. Buffett had. He added that he once wrote to Mr. Jain’s parents in India saying, “If you’ve got one more like him, send him over.”
– Buffett’s answer to a question about how he would like to be remembered: “I’d like to be remembered as the world’s oldest man”
– “When they open that envelope, the first instruction is to take my pulse again.” After mentioning that the instructions of his succession are sealed in an envelope at headquarters.
Investing with Buffett:
– Warren bought his first share at age 11 and he now regrets that he started too late!
– At age 14 he bought a small farm with savings from delivering newspapers.
– I try to buy stock in businesses that are so wonderful that an idiot can run them. Because sooner or later, one will.
– I could end the deficit in 5 minutes. You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP all sitting members of congress are ineligible for reelection.
– Diversification is a protection against ignorance. It makes very little sense for those who know what they’re doing.
– Over the long term, the stock market news will be good. In the 20th century, the United States endured two world wars and other traumatic and expensive military conflicts; the Depression; a dozen or so recessions and financial panics; oil shocks; a flu epidemic; and the resignation of a disgraced president. Yet the Dow rose from 66 to 11,497.
– Managers thinking about accounting issues should never forget one of Abraham Lincoln’s favorite riddles: `How many legs does a dog have if you call his tail a leg?’ The answer: `Four, because calling a tail a leg does not make it a leg’.
– Success in investing doesn’t correlate with I.Q. once you’re above the level of 25. Once you have ordinary intelligence, what you need is the temperament to control the urges that get other people into trouble in investing.
– The dumbest reason in the world to buy a stock is because it’s going up.
– At the bottom of the bear market in October 1974 when fear was at its peak a Forbes article interviewed Buffett. Buffett, for the first time in his life, made public prediction about the stock market.
“How do you feel? Forbes asked.
“Like an oversexed guy in a whorehouse. Now is the time to invest and get rich.”
The Guru’s advices:
– His company, Berkshire Hathaway, owns more than 70 companies. He writes only one letter each year to the CEOs of these companies, giving them goals for the year. He never holds meetings or calls them on a regular basis.
– He has given his CEO’s only two rules.
Rule number 1: Do not lose any of your shareholder’s money.
Rule number 2 : Do not forget rule number 1.
– His advice to young people: Stay away from credit cards and invest in yourself.
– When asked what advice he would give to the Indian government on making India an attractive investment destination? “India has done pretty well without my advice so far,” said Mr. Buffett.
– Warren Buffett retells the story that was passed down from Ben Graham and illustrates the lemming like 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.”
– Derivatives are like sex. It’s not who we’re sleeping with, it’s who they’re sleeping with that’s the problem.
– On Gold: “It gets dug out of the ground in Africa or someplace. Then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it”
– No matter how great the talent or effort, some things just take time: You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.
– Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls-Royce to get advice from those who take the subway.
– Honesty is a very expensive gift. Do not expect it from cheap people.
– Without passion, you don’t have energy. Without energy, you have nothing.
– It’s crazy to take a job you don’t like just because it looks good on your resume. That’s like saving sex for your old age. Do what you love and work for whom you admire the most, and you’ve given yourself the best chance in life you can.
Source: Huffington Post
Fun with Warren:
– “I have an enthusiasm for reading reports. I am like a teenager reading playboys”
– There are really only three kinds of people in the world: those who can count and those who can’t.
– Giving the name “Investor” to institutions that trade actively is like calling someone who repeatedly engages in one night stands a romantic.
– “When a girl hangs up on me once I try again,” he explained. “Well when you call back and her husband answers normally that puts a damper on things, eh Warren?” Kernen asked, likely referring to Buffett’s comment at Berkshire Hathaway’s shareholder meeting that he was more likely to be killed by a jealous husband than prostate cancer. Without missing a beat, Buffett replied “It’s certainly been tough when I call your house.”
– I wouldn’t mind going to jail if I had three cellmates who played bridge.
– Someone asked what effect Buffett’s death would have on Berkshire stock. Another answered: A negative effect. Without missing a beat, Buffett quipped: It won’t be as negative for the stock as it will be for me.
And that is why he is called the Oracle of Omaha.
PS: Today (August 30th 2013) is Buffett’s Anniversary (83 yrs) so let’s all wish him:
“Happy BirthDay Warren!!”
– “Just imagine that it is 24 hours before you are born. A genie comes and says to you in the womb, “You look like an extraordinarily responsible, intelligent, potential human being. Going to emerge in 24 hours and it is an enormous responsibility I am going to assign to you – determination of the political, economic and social system into which you are going to emerge. You set the rules, any political system, democracy, parliamentary, anything you wish, can set the economic structure, communistic, capitalistic, set anything in motion and I guarantee you that when you emerge this world will exist for you, your children and grandchildren. What’s the catch? One catch – just before you emerge you have to go through a huge bucket with 7 billion slips, one for each human. Dip your hand in and that is what you get – you could be born intelligent or not intelligent, born healthy or disabled, born black or white, born in the US or in Bangladesh, etc. You have no idea which slip you will get. Not knowing which slip you are going to get, how would you design the world? Do you want men to push around females? It’s a 50/50 chance you get female. If you think about the political world, you want a system that gets what people want. You want more and more output because you’ll have more wealth to share around. The US is a great system, turns out $50,000 GDP per capita, 6 times the amount when I was born in just one lifetime. But not knowing what slip you get, you want a system that once it produces output, you don’t want anyone to be left behind. You want to incentivize the top performers, don’t want equality in results, but do want something that those who get the bad tickets still have a decent life. You also don’t want fear in people’s minds – fear of lack of money in old age, fear of cost of health care. I call this the “Ovarian Lottery”. My sisters didn’t get the same ticket. Expectations for them were that they would marry well, or if they work, would work as a nurse, teacher, etc. If you are designing the world knowing 50/50 male or female, you don’t want this type of world for women – you could get female. Design your world this way; this should be your philosophy. I look at Forbes 400, look at their figures and see how it’s gone up in the last 30 years. Americans at the bottom are also improving, and that is great, but we don’t want that degree of inequality. Only governments can correct that. Right way to look at it is the standpoint of how you would view the world if you didn’t know who you would be. If you’re not willing to gamble with your slip out of 100 random slips, you are lucky! The top 1% of 7 billion people. Everyone is wired differently. You can’t say you do everything yourself. We all have teachers, and people before us who led us to where we are. We can’t let people fall too far behind.” Warren Buffett