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Buffet’s Shareholder Letter

edited March 2 in Fund Discussions
I taught my first investing class 70 years ago. Since then, I have enjoyed working almost every year with students of all ages, finally “retiring” from that pursuit in 2018.
Along the way, my toughest audience was my grandson’s fifth-grade class. The 11-year-olds were squirming in their seats and giving me blank stares until I mentioned Coca-Cola and its famous secret formula. Instantly, every hand went up, and I learned that “secrets” are catnip to kids.
Teaching, like writing, has helped me develop and clarify my own thoughts. Charlie calls this phenomenon the orangutan effect: If you sit down with an orangutan and carefully explain to it one of your cherished ideas, you may leave behind a puzzled primate, but will yourself exit thinking more clearly.
Talking to university students is far superior. I have urged that they seek employment in (1) the field and (2) with the kind of people they would select, if they had no need for money. Economic realities, I acknowledge, may interfere with that kind of search. Even so, I urge the students never to give up the quest, for when they find that sort of job, they will no longer be “working.”
Charlie and I, ourselves, followed that liberating course after a few early stumbles. We both started as part- timers at my grandfather’s grocery store, Charlie in 1940 and I in 1942. We were each assigned boring tasks and paid little, definitely not what we had in mind. Charlie later took up law, and I tried selling securities. Job satisfaction continued to elude us.


  • I feel so lucky that I was able to find 'that' kind of job.
  • The two best jobs that I had in my life were four years with the Coast Guard and twenty-something years supporting San Francisco's public safety radio systems.
  • edited March 2
    Old_Joe said:

    The two best jobs that I had in my life were four years with the Coast Guard and twenty-something years supporting San Francisco's public safety radio systems.

    Were you still working at 91 like Buffett, OJ?

    And, nice to see Queen Elizabeth II at 95 is back on the job.

    I’d agree with the sentiment that public service work (of assorted types) is highly rewarding - even if the pay less than in the private sector. Having read / participated on the board a long time, I do think managing money would have been both enjoyable and profitable. However, I’d have lost people a fortune in the early years.

    PS- Thanks @bee for posting. There was a bit of coverage in the WSJ, but the Russian War has kind of diminished / overshadowed the normal attention Buffet’s letters receive.
  • edited March 2
    Will consume Buffet’s entire letter eventually (because I truly enjoy financial writing). But was motivated here to quick-read a couple articles. Sounds like he’s “wary” of valuations.

    A quote from the letter:

    “Deceptive 'adjustments' to earnings -- to use a polite description -- have become both more frequent and more fanciful as stocks have risen," Buffett wrote. "Speaking less politely, I would say that bull markets breed bloviated bull...."

  • A lotta bs there...
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