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Mungerisms (孟格主義)

(1)”Most people are too fretful, they worry to much.  Success means being very patient, but aggressive when it’s time.”

(2)”Using [a stock’s] volatility as a measure of risk is nuts. Risk to us is 1) the risk of permanent loss of capital, or 2) the risk of inadequate return. Some great businesses have very volatile returns – for example, See’s [a candy company owned by Berkshire] usually loses money in two quarters of each year – and some terrible businesses can have steady results.”


(3)”I think that, every time you saw the word EBITDA [earnings], you should substitute the word “bullshit” earnings.”

(4)“Warren talks about these discounted cash flows. I’ve never seen him do one.” ”It’s true,” replied Buffett. “If the value of a company doesn’t just scream out at you, it’s too close.”


(5)”If you buy something because it’s undervalued, then you have to think about selling it when it approaches your calculation of its intrinsic value. That’s hard. But if you buy a few great companies, then you can sit on your ass. That’s a good thing.”


(6)”We bought a doomed textile mill [Berkshire Hathaway] and a California S&L [Wesco] just before a calamity. Both were bought at a discount to liquidation value.”

我們買了帶給我們兩個災難公司,一個是紡織廠Berkshire Hathaway,一個是存貸公司Wesco,可悲的是我們是用"清算價值"買的..

(7)”For society, the Internet is wonderful, but for capitalists, it will be a net negative. It will increase efficiency, but lots of things increase efficiency without increasing profits. It is way more likely to make American businesses less profitable than more profitable.  This is perfectly obvious, but very little understood.”


(8)”Virtually every investment expert’s public assessment is that he is above average, no matter what is the evidence to the contrary.”


(9)”Investing is where you find a few great companies and then sit on your ass.”


(10)”Warren spends 70 hours a week thinking about investing .”


(11)”People calculate too much and think too little.”


(12)”Whenever you think something or some person is ruining your life, it’s you. A victimization mentality is so debilitating.”


(13)”The tax code gives you an enormous advantage if you can find some things you can just sit with.”


(14)”If you’re going to buy something which compounds for 30 years at 15% per annum and you pay one 35% tax at the very end, the way that works out is that after taxes, you keep 13.3% per annum.  In contrast, if you bought the same investment, but had to pay taxes every year of 35% out of the 15% that you earned, then your return would be 15% minus 35% of 15%—or only 9.75% per year compounded. So the difference there is over 3.5%. And what 3.5% does to the numbers over long holding periods like 30 years is truly eye-opening…”

如果你買了一家每年以15%報酬持續30年的公司,在最後一年.你付了35%獲利了結, 你的報酬是13.5%.反之,如果你每買了這家公司,30年間不斷的每年獲利了結,並付上35%的稅,你最後的報酬是9.75%,雖然只有3.5%的差異,但拉長30年可是大的要命

(15)”The number one idea, is to view a stock as an ownership of the business [and] to judge the staying quality of the business in terms of its competitive advantage. Look for more value in terms of discounted future cash flow than you’re paying for. Move only when you have an advantage. It’s very basic. You have to understand the odds and have the discipline to bet only when the odds are in your favor.”


(16)”Failure to handle psychological denial is a common way for people to go broke. You’ve made an enormous commitment to something.You’ve poured effort and money in.  And the more you put in, the more that the whole consistency principle makes you think,” Now it has to work. If I put in just a little more, then it ’all work…. People go broke that way —because they can ’t stop,rethink,and say,’ I can afford to write this one off and live to fight again.  I don’t have to pursue this thing as an obsession —in a way that will break me .’ “

無法控制心智上的困頓是人們破產原因之一.一個人已經付出巨大的心力和金錢,當你付出愈多時,你的心裡就會想"只要在付出一點就會成功了.....人們就是這樣破產的,因為它不會重新思考"重新再來.沒必要讓這件事形成阻礙 -- 讓我受到傷害

(17)”…in terms of business mistakes that I’ve seen over a long lifetime, I would say that trying to minimize taxes too much is one of the great standard causes of really dumb mistakes. I see terrible mistakes from people being overly motivated by tax considerations. Warren and I personally don’t drill oil wells. We pay our taxes. And we’ve done pretty well, so far. Anytime somebody offers you a tax shelter from here on in life, my advice would be don’t buy it.”


(18)”I believe that we are at or near the apex of a great civilization….In 50-100 years, if we’re a poor third to some countries in Asia, I wouldn’t be surprised. If I had to bet, the part of the world that will do best will be Asia.”


(19)”To some extent, stocks are like Rembrandts. They sell based on what they’ve sold in the past. Bonds are much more rational. No-one thinks a bond’s value will soar to the moon.” “Imagine if every pension fund in America bought Rembrandts. Their value would go up and they would create their own constituency.”


(20)”It’s crazy to assume that what’s happening in Argentina and Japan is inconceivable here.”


(21)”REITs are way more suitable for individual shareholders than for corporate shareholders. And Warren has enough residue from his old cigar-butt personality that when people became disenchanted with the REITs and the market price went down to maybe a 20% discount from what the companies could be liquidated for, he bought a few shares with his personal money. So it’s nice that Warren has a few private assets with which to pick up cigar butts in memory of old times – if that’s what keeps him amused.”


(22)”Smart people aren’t exempt from professional disasters from overconfidence. Often, they just run aground in the more difficult voyages they choose, relying on their self-appraisals that they have superior talents and methods.”


(23)”The whole concept of the house advantage is an interesting one in modern money management. The terms of the managers of the private partnerships look a lot like the take of the croupier at Monte Carlo, only greater.”

莊家優勢在金錢管理行業是一個有趣的東西.投資經理就像一個在Monte Cario賭場的莊家,只是規模比較大罷了

(24)”There are always  people who will be better at some thing than you are.You have to learn to be a follower before you become a leader.”


(25)”We all are learning, modifying, or destroying ideas all the time. Rapid destruction of your ideas when the time is right is one of the most valuable qualities you can acquire. You must force yourself to consider arguments on the other side. If you can’t state arguments against what you believe better than your detractors, you don’t know enough.”


(26) “I remember the $0.05 hamburger and a $0.40-per-hour minimum wage, so I’ve seen a tremendous amount of inflation in my lifetime. Did it ruin the investment climate? I think not.”


(27)”A lot of success in life and business comes from knowing what you want to avoid: early death, a bad marriage, etc.”


(28)”There are two types of mistakes: 1) doing nothing[We saw it, but didn’t act on it]; what Warren calls “sucking my thumb” and 2) buying with an eyedropper things we should be buying a lot of.”


(29)”Checklist routines avoid a lot of errors. You should have all of this elementary wisdom, and you should go through a mental checklist in order to use it. There is no other procedure that will work as well.”


(30)”Litigation is notoriously time-consuming, inefficient, costly and unpredictable.”


(31)”Finding a single investment that will return 20% per year for 40 years tends to happen only in dreamland. In the real world, you uncover an opportunity, and then you compare other opportunities with that. And you only invest in the most attractive opportunities. That’s your opportunity cost. That’s what you learn in freshman economics. The game hasn’t changed at all. That’s why Modern Portfolio Theory is so asinine.”


(32)”The more hard lessons you can learn vicariously rather than through your own hard experience, the better.” “Well, some of our success we predicted and some of it was fortuitous.”


(33)”The general assumption is that it must be easy to sit behind a desk and people will bring in one good opportunity after another — this was the attitude in venture capital until a few years ago. This was not the case at all for us — we scrounged around for companies to buy. For 20 years, we didn’t buy more than one or two per year. …It’s fair to say that we were rooting around. There were no commissioned salesmen. Anytime you sit there waiting for a deal to come by, you’re in a very dangerous seat.”


(34)”Our biggest mistakes, were things we didn’t do, companies we didn’t buy.”


(35)”You can progress only when you learn the method of learning.”


(36)”It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.”


(37)”Berkshire’s past record has been almost ridiculous. If Berkshire had used even half the leverage of, say, Rupert Murdoch, it would be five times its current size.”

波克夏的紀錄輝煌的可以.如果波克夏願意加大槓桿1/2.如Rupert Murdoch.現在可能變成原本的5倍大..

(38)”It took us months of buying all the Coke stock we could to accumulate $1 billion worth — equal to 7% of the company. It’s very hard to accumulate major positions.”


(39)”All large aggregations of capital eventually find it hell on earth to grow and thus find a lower rate of return”


(40)”If you have only a little capital and are young today, there are fewer opportunities than when I was young. Back then, we had just come out of a depression. Capitalism was a bad word. There had been abuses in the 1920s. A joke going around then was the guy who said, ‘I bought stock for my old age and it worked — in six months, I feel like an old man!’ “It’s tougher for you, but that doesn’t mean you won’t do well — it just may take more time. But what the heck, you may live longer.”


(41)”Regarding the demographic trend called Baby Boomers, it’s peanuts compared to the trend of economic growth.  Over the last century, [our] GNP is up seven times.  This was not caused by Baby Boomers, but by the general success of capitalism and the march of technology.  Those trends were so favorable that little blips in the birth rate were not that significant.  We can keep social peace as long as GNP rises 3% annually – this can pay for spending by politicians.  If we ever got to stasis [no growth], then with all the promises, you’d get real tensions between the generations.  The Baby Boomers would exacerbate it, but the real cause would be lack of growth.”

嬰兒潮對經濟成長來說影響是很小的,在上個世紀,我們的GNP成長了7倍.這不是幼嬰兒潮所引起的,而是資本主義跟科技的進步.我們可以讓社會保持和平,只要我們的GNP每年成長3% ...這可以支付政客所帶來的浪費.如果我們停止了增長,緊張關係就會在幾代之間產生.嬰兒潮只是加劇而已,最根本原因還是缺乏經濟成長

(42)”Practically everybody overweighs the stuff that can be numbered, because it yields to the statistical techniques they’re taught in academia, and doesn’t mix in the hard-to-measure stuff that may be more important. That is a mistake I’ve tried all my life to avoid, and I have no regrets for having done that.”


(43)”You must know the big ideas in the big disciplines, and use them routinely — all of them, not just a few. Most people are trained in one model — economics, for example — and try to solve all problems in one way. You know the old saying: to the man with a hammer, the world looks like a nail. This is a dumb way of handling problems.”

你必須理解各個領域的大道理,並且常常使用它...這些道理不多.大部分的人只會單向思考 -- 如經濟思維,而且只用一種方式解決問題,這就像一個拿著棒槌的人,把所有東西都視為釘子,這一種很白癡的做法

(44)”The whole concept of dividing it up into ‘value’ and ‘growth’ strikes me as twaddle. It’s convenient for a bunch of pension fund consultants to get fees prattling about and a way for one advisor to distinguish himself from another. But, to me, all intelligent investing is value investing.”


(45)”In my whole life, I have known no wise people who didn’t read all the time – none, zero. You’d be amazed at how much Warren reads, at how much I read. My children laugh at me. They think I’m a book with a couple of legs sticking out.”

在我整個生涯中,我們沒有聽過哪個聰明的人不是大量閱讀的 -- 一個也沒有.你會對巴菲特閱讀多少而吃驚的,我大概也是.我的小孩稱我為會有兩條腿的書

(46)”We read a lot.  I don’t know anyone who’s wise who doesn’t read a lot.  But that’s not enough: You have to have a temperament to grab ideas and do sensible things.  Most people don’t grab the right ideas or don’t know what to do with them.”


(47)”We get these questions a lot from the enterprising young. It’s a very intelligent question: You look at some old guy who’s rich and you ask, ‘How can I become like you, except faster?”


(48)”It takes almost no capital to open a new See’s candy store. We’re drowning in capital of our own that has almost no cost. It would be crazy to franchise stores like some capital-starved pancake house. We like owning our own stores as a matter of quality control”

去開一新的巧克力See's candy是幾乎不需要資本的.我們已經被充滿無成本的資金淹沒了.對於煎餅店這種缺乏資金的商店做這種事是瘋狂的.況且我們喜歡做直營來控制品質

(49)”It’s dangerous to short stocks.”


(50)”Being short and seeing a promoter take the stock up is very irritating. It’s not worth it to have that much irritation in your life.”


(51)”It would be one of the most irritating experiences in the world to do a lot of work to uncover a fraud and then at have it go from X to 3X and and have the crooks happily partying with your money while you’re meeting margin calls. Why would you want to go within hailing distance of that?”


(52)”…the cost of being a publicly traded stock has gone way, way up. It doesn’t make sense for a little company to be public anymore. A lot of little companies are going private to be rid of these burdensome requirements….”


(53)”Well the open-outcry auction is just made to turn the brain into us mush: you’ve got social proof, the other guy is bidding, you get reciprocation tendency, you get deprival super-reaction syndrome, the thing is going away… I mean it just absolutely is designed to manipulate people into idiotic behavior.”


(54)”The problem with closed bid auctions is that they are frequently won by people making a technical mistake, as in the case with Shell paying double for Belridge Oil. You can’t pay double the losing bid in an open outcry auction.”


(55)”We’re partial to putting out large amounts of money where we won’t have to make another decision.”


(56)”Understanding how to be a good investor makes you a better business manager and vice versa.”


(57)”What’s fascinating . . .is that you could now have a business that might have been selling for $10 billion where the business itself could probably not have borrowed even $100 million. But the owners of that business, because its public, could borrow many billions of dollars on their little pieces of paper- because they had these market valuations. But as a private business, the company itself couldn’t borrow even 1/20th of what the individuals could borrow.”


(58)”I constantly see people rise in life who are not the smartest – sometimes not even the most diligent. But they are learning machines; they go to bed every night a little wiser than when they got up. And, boy, does that habit help, particularly when you have a long run ahead of you.”


(59)”The basic concept of value to a private owner and being motivated when you’re buying and selling securities by reference to intrinsic value instead of price momentum – I don’t think that will ever be outdated.”

不管是私人擁有的企業或是上市公司,你買賣都需要依照公司的價值來行動,而不是浮動的股價 -- 這永不過時

(60)”Warren and I have not made our way in life by making successful macroeconomic predictions and betting on our conclusions.”


(61)”Well, the questioner came from Singapore which has perhaps the best economic record in the history of any developing economy and therefore he referred to 15% per annum as modest. It’s not modest–it’s arrogant. Only someone from Singapore would call it modest.”


(62)”I don’t spend much time  regretting the past, once I’ve taken my lesson from it. I don’t dwell on it.”


(63)”If you took our top fifteen decisions out, we’d have a pretty average record. It wasn’t hyperactivity, but a hell of a lot of patience. You stuck to your principles and when opportunities came along, you pounce on them with vigor.”


(64)”We just throw some decisions into the ‘too hard’ file and go onto the others.”


(65)”Forgetting your mistakes is a terrible error if you are trying to improve your cognition.”


(66)”In the 1930s, there as a stretch here you could borrow more against the real estate than you could sell it for. I think that’s hat’s going on in today’s private-equity world”


(67)”Mimicking the herd invites regression to the mean.”


(68)”A lot of opportunities in life tend to last a short while, due to some temporary inefficiency… For each of us, really good investment opportunities aren’t going to come along too often and won’t last too long, so you’ve got to be ready to act and have a prepared mind.”


(69)”Everywhere there is a large commission, there is a high probability of a ripoff.”


(70)”Acknowledging what you don’t know is the dawning of wisdom.”


(71)”Recognize reality even when you don’t like it – especially when you don’t like it.”


(72)”We try more to profit from always remembering the obvious than from grasping the esoteric.”


(73) “Over the long term, it’s hard for a stock to earn a much better return that the business which underlies it earns. If the business earns six percent on capital over forty years and you hold it for that forty years, you’re not going to make much different than a six percent return – even if you originally buy it at a huge discount. Conversely, if a business earns eighteen percent on capital over twenty or thirty years, even if you pay an expensive looking price, you’ll end up with one hell of a result.”

長期來說,股價獲利通常與企業盈餘亦步亦趨.如果獲利以40年6%來成長,你最多也是獲得6%報酬 -- 不論你買的多低價.反之,當你買下30年以18%成長的公司,既使你買貴了,你最後還是會大賺..

(74)”Just as a man working with his tools should know its limitations, a man working with his cognitive apparatus must know its limitations.”

就如同一個人使用工具要知道工具的極限 -- 人在認知方面也是要如此

(75)”Many markets get down to two or three big competitors—or five or six. And in some of those markets, nobody makes any money to speak of. But in others, everybody does very well.  Over the years, we’ve tried to figure out why the competition in some markets gets sort of rational from the investor’s point of view so that the shareholders do well, and in other markets, there’s destructive competition that destroys shareholder wealth.  If it’s a pure commodity like airline seats, you can understand why no one makes any money. As we sit here, just think of what airlines have given to the world—safe travel, greater experience, time with your loved ones, you name it. Yet, the net amount of money that’s been made by the shareholders of airlines since Kitty Hawk, is now a negative figure—a substantial negative figure. Competition was so intense that, once it was unleashed by deregulation, it ravaged shareholder wealth in the airline business.  Yet, in other fields—like cereals, for example—almost all the big boys make out. If you’re some kind of a medium grade cereal maker, you might make 15% on your capital. And if you’re really good, you might make 40%. But why are cereals so profitable—despite the fact that it looks to me like they’re competing like crazy with promotions, coupons and everything else? I don’t fully understand it.  Obviously, there’s a brand identity factor in cereals that doesn’t exist in airlines. That must be the main factor that accounts for it.And maybe the cereal makers by and large have learned to be less crazy about fighting for market share—because if you get even one person who’s hell-bent on gaining market share…. For example, if I were Kellogg and I decided that I had to have 60% of the market, I think I could take most of the profit out of cereals. I’d ruin Kellogg in the process. But I think I could do it.”
“You must have the confidence to override people with more credentials than you whose cognition is impaired by incentive-caused bias or some similar psychological force that is obviously present. But there are also cases where you have to recognize that you have no wisdom to add – and that your best course is to trust some expert.”

很多市場最終都會剩下2-3個競爭者 -- 或是5-6個.這些市場中沒人因此而獲利.但在其他市場卻不是如此.這些年來,我們試著去思考為何這些競爭者如此理性,以至於給ˋ投資人不錯的報酬,但其他則是競爭激烈,給投資人帶來了負面的報酬.例如向航空業,就沒蝦咪人賺到錢.航空業帶給人安全的旅程,美好的經驗,省時.但目前,自萊特兄弟以來為股東帶來的報酬是負的 -- 而且是負的很多.一旦放鬆了監管,競爭就加劇,讓股東的報酬減少 .在其他領域 -- 如麥片,幾乎大的廠商都能賺錢,如果你是中型廠商,你可以賺15%報酬,如果你夠好,你可以賺40%.為何麥片如此賺錢 -- 無論是他們也是相當的競爭,常常辦些特價,優惠等等...我不是很能理解這件事, 明顯的是這可能是品牌的關係,也許也是麥片商已經學習到不要瘋狂的廠市占率....例如如果我是家樂氏,我決心擁有60%市占率,這我一定做得到,但這會毀了家樂氏.
你必須有自信去駕馭這些人,因為這些人的認知被激勵引起的偏見蒙蔽了或是其他如心理壓力.但是,你也不須理解到你不是特別聰明 -- 最好相信專家.

(76)”In business we often find that the winning system goes almost ridiculously far in maximizing and or minimizing one or a few variables — like the discount warehouses of Costco.”

在商業中,贏家的系統幾乎是誇張多的簡單化或是複雜化變數 -- 例如Costco的折價的商店

(77)”There are worse situations than drowning in cash and sitting, sitting, sitting. I remember when I wasn’t awash in cash — and I don’t want to go back.”

有些狀況比擁有很多現金沒事做更糟糕,我記得我資金拮据時 -- 我可不想回到當時

(78)”If you always tell people why, they’ll understand it better, they’ll consider it more important, and they’ll be more likely to comply.”


(79)”Spend less than you make; always be saving something. Put it into a tax-deferred account. Over time, it will begin to amount to something. This is such a no-brainer.”


(80)”I try to get rid of people who always confidently answer questions about which they don’t have any real knowledge.”


(81)”I believe in the discipline of mastering the best that other people have ever figured out. I don’t believe in just sitting down and trying to dream it all up yourself. Nobody’s that smart…”


(82)”I know someone who lives next door to what you would actually call a fairly modest house that just sold for $17 million. There are some very extreme housing price bubbles going on .”


(83)”Experience tends to confirm a long-held notion that being prepared, on a few occasions in a lifetime, to act promptly in scale, in doing some simple and logical thing, will often dramatically improve the financial results of that lifetime. A few major opportunities, clearly recognizable as such, will usually come to one who continuously searches and waits, with a curious mind that loves diagnosis involving multiple variables. And then all that is required is a willingness to bet heavily when the odds are extremely favorable, using resources available as a result of prudence and patience in the past.”


(84)”The present era has no comparable referent in the past history of capitalism. We have a higher percentage of the intelligentsia engaged in buying and selling pieces of paper and promoting trading activity than in any past era. A lot of what I see now reminds me of Sodom and Gomorrah. You get activity feeding on itself, envy and imitation. It has happened in the past that there came bad consequences.”

現在這時代的資本主義可是跟以往不同的.很多聰明人都來股票市場攪和.這讓我想起了Sodom and Gomorrah.自我,忌妒,模仿.這會招來後果

(85)”Our investment style has been given a name – focus investing – which implies ten holdings, not one hundred or four hundred. The idea that it is hard to find good investments, so concentrate in a few, seems to me to be an obvious idea. But 98% of the investment world does not think this way. It’s been good for us.”


(86)”You want to be very careful with intense ideology. It presents a big danger for the only mind you’re ever going to get.”


(87)”Like Warren, I had a considerable passion to get rich. “Not because I wanted Ferraris– I wanted the independence. I desperately wanted it.”

巴菲特跟我要變得富有的原因不是因為我們要法拉利跑車,而是獨立 --我極度渴望

(88)”Anyone with an engineering frame of mind will look at [accounting standards] and want to throw up.”


(90)”It’s a good habit to trumpet your failures and be quiet about your successes.”


(91)”In effect about half our spare cash was stashed in currencies other than the dollar. I consider that a non-event. As it happens it’s been a very profitable non-event.”


(92)”As for what we like least, we don’t want kleptocracies. We need a rule of law. If people are stealing from the companies, we don’t need that.”


(93)”I agree with Peter Drucker that the culture and legal systems of the United States are especially favorable to shareholder interests, compared to other interests and compared to most other countries. Indeed, there are many other countries where any good going to public shareholders has a very low priority and almost every other constituency stands higher in line.”


(94)”Berkshire in its history has made money betting on sure things.”


(95)”I don’t think there’s any business that we’ve bought that would have sold itself to a hedge fund. There’s a class of businesses that doesn’t want to deal with private-equity and hedge funds…thank God”

我不認為我們買過的公司願把它賣給對沖基金或是私募基金 ..感謝老天

(96)”We’re guessing at our future opportunity cost. Warren is guessing that he’ll have the opportunity to put capital out at high rates of return, so he’s not willing to put it out at less than 10% now. But if we knew interest rates would stay at 1%, we’d change. Our hurdles reflect our estimate of future opportunity costs.”


(97)”Our ideas are so simple that people keep asking us for mysteries when all we have are the most elementary ideas.”


(98)”The idea of a margin of safety, a Graham precept, will never be obsolete. The idea of making the market your servant will never be obsolete. The idea of being objective and dispassionate will never be obsolete. So Graham had a lot of wonderful ideas.”


(99)”Ben Graham could run his Geiger counter over this detritus from the collapse of the 1930s and find things selling below their working capital per share and so on….  But he was, by and large, operating when the world was in shell shock from the 1930s—which was the worst contraction in the English-speaking world in about 600 years. Wheat in Liverpool, I believe, got down to something like a 600-year low, adjusted for inflation. the classic Ben Graham concept is that gradually the world wised up and those real obvious bargains disappeared. You could run your Geiger counter over the rubble and it wouldn’t click. … Ben Graham followers responded by changing the calibration on their Geiger counters. In effect, they started defining a bargain in a different way. And they kept changing the definition so that they could keep doing what they’d always done. And it still worked pretty well.”


(100)”Warren and I don’t feel like we have any great advantage in the high-tech sector. In fact, we feel like we’re at a big disadvantage in trying to understand the nature of technical developments in software, computer chips or what have you. So we tend to avoid that stuff, based on our personal inadequacies. Again, that is a very, very powerful idea. Every person is going to have a circle of competence. And it’s going to be very hard to advance that circle. If I had to make my living as a musician…. I can’t even think of a level low enough to describe where I would be sorted out to if music were the measuring standard of the civilization.  So you have to figure out what your own aptitudes are. If you play games where other people have the aptitudes and you don’t, you’re going to lose. And that’s as close to certain as any prediction that you can make. You have to figure out where you’ve got an edge. And you’ve got to play within your own circle of competence.  If you want to be the best tennis player in the world, you may start out trying and soon find out that it’s hopeless—that other people blow right by you. However, if you want to become the best plumbing contractor in Bemidji, that is probably doable by two-thirds of you. It takes a will. It takes the intelligence. But after a while, you’d gradually know all about the plumbing business in Bemidji and master the art. That is an attainable objective, given enough discipline. And people who could never win a chess tournament or stand in center court in a respectable tennis tournament can rise quite high in life by slowly developing a circle of competence—which results partly from what they were born with and partly from what they slowly develop through work.”


(101)”Beta and modern portfolio theory and the like – none of it makes any sense to me.”

貝塔和現代組合投資理論對我來說就是 -- 完全是亂來

(102)”Today, it seems to be regarded as the duty of CEOs to make the stock go up. This leads to all sorts of foolish behavior. We want to tell it like it is.”


(103)”Our standard prescription for the know-nothing investor with a long-term time horizon is a no-load index fund. I think that works better than relying on your stock broker. The people who are telling you to do something else are all being paid by commissions or fees. The result is that while index fund investing is becoming more and more popular, by and large it’s not the individual investors that are doing it. It’s the institutions.”


(104)”closet indexing….you’re paying a manager a fortune and he has 85% of his assets invested parallel to the indexes. If you have such a system, you’re being played for a sucker.”


(105)”Black-Scholes is a know-nothing system. If you know nothing about value — only price — then Black-Scholes is a pretty good guess at what a 90-day option might be worth. But the minute you get into longer periods of time, it’s crazy to get into Black-Scholes.”


(107)”It’s hard to predict what will happen with two brands in a market.  Sometimes they will behave in a gentlemanly way, and sometimes they’ll pound each other.  I know of no way to predict whether they’ll compete moderately or to the death.  If you could figure it out, you could make a lot of money.”


(108)”We’ve really made the money out of high quality businesses. In some cases, we bought the whole business. And in some cases, we just bought a big block of stock. But when you analyze what happened, the big money’s been made in the high quality businesses. And most of the other people who’ve made a lot of money have done so in high quality businesses.”


(109)”A lot of share-buying, not bargain-seeking, is designed to prop stock prices up. Thirty to 40 years ago, it was very profitable to look at companies that were aggressively buying their own shares. They were motivated simply to buy below what it was worth.”


(110)”There are two kinds of businesses: The first earns 12%, and you can take it out at the end of the year. The second earns 12%, but all the excess cash must be reinvested — there’s never any cash. It reminds me of the guy who looks at all of his equipment and says, “There’s all of my profit.” We hate that kind of business. “


(111)”There are actually businesses, that you will find a few times in a lifetime, where any manager could raise the return enormously just by raising prices—and yet they haven’t done it. So they have huge untapped pricing power that they’re not using. That is the ultimate no-brainer. … Disney found that it could raise those prices a lot and the attendance stayed right up.  So a lot of the great record of Eisner and Wells … came from just raising prices at Disneyland and Disneyworld and through video cassette sales of classic animated movies… At Berkshire Hathaway, Warren and I raised the prices of See’s Candy a little faster than others might have. And, of course, we invested in Coca-Cola—which had some untapped pricing power. And it also had brilliant management. So a Goizueta and Keough could do much more than raise prices. It was perfect.”

你偶爾可以發現那種事業,只要CEO將產品提價就可以獲得大的利潤...他們也許還沒做,這是尚未開發的.這當然無須動腦...迪士尼發現它可以提價,遊客還是絡繹不絕,所以Eisner and Wells 之所以做這樣好只是因為把Disneyland樂園和Disneyworld動畫提高價錢....在波克夏,我們也會提高See's Candy的價格,可口可樂也是這樣的情形,況且他還有優秀的經理Goizueta and Keough,它們可以更有時間去做其他的事,這還不錯..

(112)”At Berkshire Hathaway we do not like to compete against Chinese manufacturers.”


(114)”We’re the tortoise that has outrun the hare because it chose the easy predictions.”


(116)”Understanding both the power of compound return and the difficulty of getting it is the heart and soul of understanding a lot of things.”


(117)”Generally speaking, it can’t be good to be running a big current account deficit and a big fiscal deficit and have them both growing. You would be thinking the end there would be a comeuppance.” “[But] it isn’t as though all the other options look wonderful compared to the US. It gives me some feeling that what I regard as fiscal misbehavior on our part could go on some time without paying the price.”


(119)”Almost all good businesses engage in ‘pain today, gain tomorrow’ activities.”


(120)”No CEO examining books today understands what the hell is going on.”


(121)”Generally speaking, if you’re counting on outside directors to act [forcefully to protect your interests as a shareholder, then you’re crazy].  As a general rule in  America, boards act only if there’s been a severe disgrace. My friend Joe was asked to be on the board of Northwestern Bell and he jokes that ‘it was the last thing they ever asked me.’ I think you get better directors when you get directors who don’t need the money.  When it’s half your income and all your retirement, you’re not likely to be very independent.  But when you have money and an existing reputation that you don’t want to lose, then you’ll act more independently.”


(122)”If mutual fund directors are independent, then I’m the lead character in the Bolshoi Ballet.”

如果共同基金的董事可以獨立,那我就是 Bolshoi Ballet的主要舞者了

(123)”Of course I’m troubled by huge consumer debt levels – we’ve pushed consumer credit very hard in the US.  Eventually, if it keeps growing, it will stop growing. As Herb Stein said, “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”  When it stops, it may be unpleasant.  Other than Herb Stein’s quote, I have no comment.”

我對巨大的負債消費感到擔心....過去美國不遺餘力刺激消費但最後,成長勢必會趨緩,就如同Herb Stein所說的:如果他沒繼續就必定會終止,終止時勢必會感到相當的不適應

(124)” I think it would be a great improvement if there were no D&O insurance . The counter-argument is that no-one with any money would serve on a board. But I think net net you’d be better off.”


(125)”We don’t care about quarterly earnings (though obviously we care about how the business is doing over time) and are unwilling to manipulate in any way to make some quarter look better.”


(128)”We have a history when things are really horrible of wading in when no one else will.”


(129)”We have monetized houses in this country in a way that’s never occurred before. Ask Joe how he bought a new Cadillac [and he’ll say] from borrowing on his house. We are awash in capital. [Being] awash is leading to very terrible behavior by credit cards and subprime lenders -a very dirty business, luring people into a disadvantageous position. It’s a new way of getting serfs, and it’s a dirty business. We have financial institutions, including those with big names, extending high-cost credit to the least able people. I find a lot of it  revolting because it’s a free market doesn’t mean it’s honorable.”

我們用房子抵押換成現金的方法之前從來沒發生過,問問Joe,你如何用抵押房子去買下凱迪拉克,我們處於資本過剩的年代,過剩造就可怕的行為,如刷爆信用卡跟底阿貸款證卷化 -- 一個骯髒的生意,吸引人去往不利於他的方向.這是一個讓人成為奴役的新方法.包括一些大的金融機構,貸給那些信用低的人,我覺得噁心,自由市場不意味這是光榮的

(132)”I know just enough about  thermodynamics to understand that if it takes too muchl  fossil- fuel to create ethanol, that’s a very stupid way to solve an energy problem.”


(133)”It is entirely possible that you could use our mental models to find good IPOs to buy.  There are countless IPOs every year, and I’m sure that there are a few cinches that you could jump on.  But the average person is going to get creamed.  So if you’re talented, good luck. IPOs are too small for us, or too high tech, so we won’t understand them.  So, if Warren’s looking at them, I don’t know about it.”


(134)”Well envy/jealousy made, what, two out of the ten commandments? Those of you who have raised siblings you know about envy, or tried to run a law firm or investment bank or even a faculty? I’ve heard Warren say a half a dozen times, “It’s not greed that drives the world, but envy.”


(135)”Suppose, any one of you knew of a wonderful thing right now that you were  overwhelmingly  confident- and correctly so- would produce about 12% per annum compounded as far as you could see. Now, if you actually had that available, and by going into it you were forfeiting all opportunities to make money faster- there’re a lot of you who wouldn’t like that. But a lot of you would think, “What the hell do I care if somebody else makes money faster?” There’s always going to be somebody who is making money faster, running the mile faster or what have you. So in a human sense, once you get something that works fine in your life, the idea of caring terribly that somebody else is making money faster strikes me as insane.”


(138)”…in terms of which businesses succeed and which businesses fail, advantages of scale are ungodly important. …  In some businesses, the very nature of things is to sort of cascade toward the overwhelming dominance of one firm. And these advantages of scale are so great, for example, that when Jack Welch came into General Electric, he just said, “To hell with it. We’re either going to be # 1 or #2 in every field we’re in or we’re going to be out.”

規模有時對企業極為重要,這優勢極為明顯,例如GE的Jack Welch說的,要不是第1或是第2,剩下就出局

(139)”Obviously, consideration of costs is key, including opportunity costs. Of course capital isn’t free. It’s easy to figure out your cost of borrowing, but theorists went bonkers on the cost of equity capital. They say that if you’re generating a 100% return on capital, then you shouldn’t invest in something that generates an 80% return on capital. It’s crazy.”


(167)”…by regularly reading business newspaper and magazines I am exposed to an enormous amount of material at the micro level..  I find that what I see going on there pretty much informs me about what’s happening at the macro level.”


(170)”Size will hurt returns. Look at Berkshire Hathaway – the last five things Warren  has done have generated returns that are splendid by historical standards, but now give him $100 billion in assets and measure outcomes across all of it, it doesn’t look so good. We can only buy big positions, and the only time we can get big positions is during a horrible period of decline or stasis. That really doesn’t happen very often.”

管理的資產愈大,報酬會愈低,看看波克夏, -- 以歷史紀錄來看,巴菲特上5個投資還不錯,但如果給他1000億美金去投資,它就不會投資如此好,這時只能投資大的項目,通常這機會只有出現在總體經濟很差的時候,但這機會不多..

(176)”Civilized people don’t buy gold. They invest in productive businesses.”



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