A recent Morningstar article outlined investing advice shared by Warren Buffett in a 1985 television interview, reportedly the first time he “candidly described some of the most important rules and principles to become a successful investor.”
Here’s are some key takeaways:
- Margin of Safety, described as the application of “a discount…that will protect you from any mistake you might make when assessing the intrinsic value of a business.” He explained, “So, if you think of a business or a stock…as being worth 100, you might want to wait until the stock market trades it at 80 or 70 before buying it just to be on a safe side.”
- Stable Personality: To invest, says Buffett, you need a “temperament that neither derives pleasure from being with the crowd or against the crowd.” He explains, “You’re not right or wrong because a thousand people agree or disagree with you. You are right because your facts and your reasoning are right.”
- Use the stock market wisely. Buffett says, “I don’t have to make money at every game…You can sit here and look at thousands of pitches and finally get one right there where you want something that you understand and then you swing.” He warns against watching stock prices too often.
- Understand your circle of competence. Buffett is a big advocate for reading: Read the annual reports of the companies you’re interested in, read books about their industry or any subject you’re interested in.”