Warren Buffett: Starting Over – What I Would Have Done Differently

Johnny HopkinsWarren BuffettLeave a Comment

During the 2012 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting, Warren Buffett discussed what he would have done differently if he had the chance to start over. Here’s an excerpt from the meeting:

WARREN BUFFETT: Oh, I think you have all kinds of opportunities.

I would probably do very much what I have done in life, except I’d do it — I’d try and do it a little earlier, and I would have tried to be a little bit better when I was running a partnership, in terms of aggregating the money faster.

I used to work with $5,000 contributions from partners and, you know, I would try to develop an audited record of performance as early as I could.

I would try to attract some money, and then when I’d build up a fair amount of money out of investing, I would try to get into something much more interesting, which would be buying businesses to keep.

You mentioned private equity, which very often is buying businesses to sell. I don’t want to be buying and selling businesses. I mean, if I establish relationships with people that come to me with their business, and they want to join Berkshire, I want it to be for keeps.

And that’s been enormously satisfying. But it takes some capital to get into that business, and I didn’t have any capital when I started out, so I built it through managing money for myself and other people, combined.

And like I say, I would get us through that process as fast as I could and then into a game where I could buy businesses of significance and interest to me. And I’d spend the rest of my life doing it, just as I’ve done.

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