In his latest Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting, Warren Buffett discusses how looking back, they have bought during some really dumb times. Here’s an excerpt from the meeting:
Buffett: The interesting thing is you know obviously we haven’t the faintest idea what the stock market is going to do when it opens on Monday. We never have had.
We have never made, Charlie and I, I don’t think in all the time we’ve worked together and I’ll tell you something later on maybe about how learning takes place but we have never, I don’t think we’ve ever made a decision that where either one of us has either said or been thinking we should buy or sell based on what the market’s going to do.
Buffett: Or for that matter on what the economy is going to do. We don’t know, and the interesting thing is some sometimes I get some credit someplace for the fact that you know how wonderful it was that we were optimistic in 2008 when everything was down, stocks and all that sort of thing.
We spent a big percentage of our net worth in a very dumb time and I shouldn’t say we, it’s I!
We spent about 15 or 16 billion dollars, which was a lot bigger to us then than it is now. We spent it in the last few weeks over a period of three or four weeks between Wrigley and Goldman Sachs and Gen… at a terrible time.
As it turned out I mean I didn’t think… I didn’t know it was going to be a good time or a bad time, but it was a really dumb time, and I wrote an article for the New York Times and buy American and all these things.
Well if I’d had any sense of timing and waited six months until I think the low was in March and in fact I think I was on CNBC maybe that day or something but I totally missed that opportunity.
I totally missed you know in March of 2020…. we have not been good at timing. We’ve been reasonably good at figuring out when we were getting enough for our money and we had no idea when we bought anything… well we always hoped it would go down for a while so we could buy more, and we hoped even after we were done buying and ran out of money that if it was cheap the company would keep buying. In effect taking our interest up.
I mean that stuff you could learn it in fourth grade, but it’s not what’s taught in school. And I mean so never give us any credit… well actually give us all the credit I mean, go out and tell everybody how smart we are, but we aren’t.
We haven’t ever timed anything. We’ve never figured out insights into the economy.
You can watch the entire discussion here:
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