Why Investing is the Greatest Business in One Quote

WarrenI recently read an article from 1974 by Warren Buffet in which he was quoted saying “I call investing the greatest business in the world,” he says, “because you never have to swing.” You stand at the plate, the pitcher throws you General Motors at 47! U.S. Steel at 39! And nobody calls a strike on you. There’s no penalty except opportunity lost. All day you wait for the pitch you like; then when the fielders are asleep, you step up and hit it.” and I couldn’t agree more.

Patience and discipline are key qualities of investors and when combined with thorough research & analysis, grade five math, a basic accounting class, hard work, persistence and perseverance you are destined to win.

Risk is obsessed over in the finance industry but using a value investing approach (intrinsic value) as assets get cheaper (provided allocation concentration is controlled as well as leverage minimal or non existent) the risk is mitigated in an arguably perfect correlation with negative price moves. An example of this would be if you are buying a $1 for 50 cents and it went to 30 cents, it has not become more risky but less risky as would any rational person believe. How could someone possibly believe if $1 increased to $2 it is less risky? The latter is certainly not the case. Intrinsic value can provide an anchoring point and increase confidence provided apples are apples and $1 is $1.

Buffet was also quoted from the article saying “You’re dealing with a lot of silly people in the marketplace; it’s like a great big casino and everyone else is boozing. If you can stick with Pepsi, you should be OK.” “First the crowd is boozy on optimism and buying every new issue in sight. The next moment it is boozy on pessimism, buying gold bars and predicting another Great Depression.”

From personal experience I have found I made the best decisions and made the biggest returns looking in unconventional spots doing the opposite of the majority (Buying when others are selling, Selling when others are buying) as reflected in one of my favourite Mark Twain quotes, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority it is time to pause and reflect.” 

It is not incredibly hard and the professionals would not like you to know the actual simplicity of the business or they would be out of jobs. Now use your head and look for incredibly cheap companies/business as if you were buying a piece of ownership using net worth or book value calculations and KISS (keep it simple stupid) only analyzing business you understand.

Dividends & earnings growth can provide extra income or can be re-invested and compounded throughout your life time at an extraordinary pace.  Proof Here.

Investing is truly a business you are paid for your time and the sky is the limit as countless billionaires and multi millionaires have proven over the last century. If the word was going to end I don’t think fiat currency and gold bars are a concern (food,water,safety) so just sit back relax and let the dividends roll.

Investing can quickly provide financial security and help finance businesses around the world, creating jobs, as it truly is the lifeblood of our capitalist economy.


2 thoughts on “Why Investing is the Greatest Business in One Quote

  1. Well said Tannor! You are absolutely right and it is important to keep it simple. I find that it also has a lot to do with one’s personality. Most investors trip up because it is scary in a way to take a stand that is at odds with everyone else, which you must. There is a certain level of arrogance involved as you are saying to the market that y’all are wrong and I am right. There is also humbleness required to understand that you might make mistakes and take action when this happens.

  2. Thanks Shailesh, I totally agree. It can be very nerve racking going against the crowd and general consensus at times but as you said, you MUST. Thorough research initially, followed by disciplined emotions during the investment process is certainly a key to success.

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