Here’s a great excerpt from an interview that Warren Buffett did with BizNews in 2017 in which he illustrates how investing is much like reporting. Buffett was asked the following question:
When you’re doing these analyses, then and now, do you have computers that help you, or how did you actually read it all, did you just get printed materials, or how did you, in those days get the materials to read about the Washington Post, or how do you do it today?
And here’s his response:
Well, pretty much the same way, except there are fewer opportunities now, but I met Bob Woodward [Journalist – Washington Post] and he’d just come out with the president scandal and all of a sudden at all of thirty years of age, he was getting quite wealthy and we had breakfast or lunch over at the Madison Hotel and he said, “What do I do with this money?” and I said, “Investing is just about assigning yourself the right story. Imagine Ben Bradlee [Editor – Washington Post], this morning said to you, “What is the Washington Post company worth?” what would you do if you had to write the story in a month? You’d go out and interview TV brokers and newspaper brokers and the owners and you’d try and value each asset”.
I said, “That’s what I’d do, I assign myself the right story and it’s nothing more than that”. Now there are some stories I can’t write, if you ask me to write a story on what is some glamorous, but non-profit making business worth, I don’t know how to write that story, but if you ask me to write a story on what is Potomac electric power, or something like, I can write the story and that’s what I’m doing every day, I’m assigning myself a story and then I go out and do it.
You can read the entire interview here – Warren Buffett Interview, BizNews, 2017.
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