A great business at a fair price is superior to a fair business at a great price.
If you can get really good at destroying your own wrong ideas, that is a great gift.
If all you succeed in doing in life is getting rich by buying little pieces of paper, it's a failed life. Life is more than being shrewd in wealth accumulation.
We try more to profit from always remembering the obvious than from grasping the esoteric.
So, economics should emulate physics' basic ethos, but its search for precision in physics-like formulas is almost always wrong in economics.
In the LBO field there is a buried covariance with marketable equities, toward disaster in generally bad business conditions, and competition is now extremely intense.
A board member should be perfectly willing to leave at any time and willing to make the tough calls.
I think that, every time you saw the word EBITDA, you should substitute the word bullshit earnings.
The big money is not in the buying and selling ... but in the waiting.
No wise pilot, no matter how great his talent and experience, fails to use his checklist.
Don't do cocaine. Don't race trains. And avoid AIDS situations.
Just avoid things like racing trains to the crossing, doing cocaine, etc. Develop good mental habits.
We have to have a special insight, or we'll put it in the 'too tough' basket. All of you have to look for a special area of competency and focus on that.
It's not a competency if you don't know the edge of it.
A rough rule in life is that an organization foolish in one way in dealing with a complex system is all too likely to be foolish in another.
In my life there are not that many questions I can't properly deal with using my $40 adding machine and dog-eared compound interest table.
Understanding both the power of compound interest and the difficulty of getting it is the heart and soul of understanding a lot of things.
Great investing requires a lot of delayed gratification.
Accounting incomes were reduced by discrepancy but the net amount paid by lawyers for lawyerly discrepancy is close to zippo. In this case, the goddess of justice was blind.
In engineering, people have a big margin of safety. But in the financial world, people don't give a damn about safety. They let it balloon and balloon and balloon. It's aided by false accounting.
Strategic plans cause more dumb decisions than anything else in America.
Being an effective teacher is a high calling.
We only want what success we can get despite encouraging others to share our general view about reality.
A lot of our respected financial institutions are just casinos in drag.
Financial institutions make us nervous when they're trying to do well.
The ethos of not fooling yourself is one of the best you could possibly have. It's powerful because it's so rare.
Good businesses can survive a little bad management.
Almost all good businesses engage in 'pain today, gain tomorrow' activities.
Once you get into debt, it's hell to get out. Don't let credit card debt carry over. You can't get ahead paying eighteen percent.
Step by step you get ahead, but rarely in fast spurts.
Mankind invented a system to cope with the fact that we are so intrinsically lousy at manipulating numbers. It's called the graph.
Investing is where you find a few great companies and then sit on your ass.
To the man with only a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.
Darwin paid particular attention to disconfirming evidence. Objectivity maintenance routines are totally required in life if you're going to be a great thinker.
It's a finite and very competitive world. All large aggregations of capital eventually find it hell on earth to grow and thus find a lower rate of return.
In the corporate world, if you have analysts, due diligence, and no horse sense, you've just described hell.
The definition of hell in the legal system is: endless due process and no justice; (in the corporate world) it would be: endless due diligence and no horse sense.
One could imagine a period like Japan13 years ago, however, in which indexing over time wouldn't work.
Invert, always invert.
Those who keep learning, will keep rising in life.
If you don't keep learning, other people will pass you by. Temperament alone won't do it -- you need a lot of curiosity for a long, long time.
The name of the game is continuing to learn. Even if you're very well trained and have some natural aptitude, you still need to keep learning.
A lot of success in life and business comes from knowing what you want to avoid: early death, a bad marriage, etc.
If we've been a little more successful than other people, is because we always realised that the school of life was always open, and if you were not learning more you are falling behind.
Let me know what your problem is, and I will try to make it more difficult for you.
Just keep your head down and do your best.
Missing out on some opportunity never bothers us. What's wrong with someone getting a little richer than you? It's crazy to worry about this.
In fact I've probably never seen such a wide moat.
How do you compete against a true fanatic? You can only try to build the best possible moat and continuously attempt to widen it.
If you skillfully follow the multidisciplinary path, you will never wish to come back. It would be like cutting off your hands.
The general systems of money management today require people to pretend to do something they can't do and like something they don't. It's a terrible way to spend your life, but it's very well paid.
I like people admitting they were complete stupid horses' asses. I know I'll perform better if I rub my nose in my mistakes. This is a wonderful trick to learn.
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