Monday, January 4, 2016

Quotes of 2015

Here's a collection of quotes said or written at some point during 2015.

John Bogle on Investor Returns
"Advisers or whoever saying you should get out of healthcare and into technology or into financials. That's a way to manage money that doesn't work. Who knows what will do best? I don't even know anybody who knows anybody who does." - John Bogle

Stocks and Risk
"Stock prices will always be far more volatile than cash-equivalent holdings. Over the long term, however, currency-denominated instruments are riskier investments – far riskier investments – than widely-diversified stock portfolios that are bought over time and that are owned in a manner invoking only token fees and commissions. That lesson has not customarily been taught in business schools, where volatility is almost universally used as a proxy for risk. Though this pedagogic assumption makes for easy teaching, it is dead wrong: Volatility is far from synonymous with risk. Popular formulas that equate the two terms lead students, investors and CEOs astray." - Warren Buffett

Investment Sins
"Investors, of course, canby their own behavior, make stock ownership highly risky. And many do. Active trading, attempts to 'time' market movements, inadequate diversification, the payment of high and unnecessary fees to managers and advisors, and the use of borrowed money can destroy the decent returns that a life-long owner of equities would otherwise enjoy." - Warren Buffett

Berkshire's Architect

"What most of you do not know about Charlie [Munger] is that architecture is among his passions. Though he began his career as a practicing lawyer...he designed the house that he lives in today – some 55 years later. (Like me, Charlie can't be budged if he is happy in his surroundings.) In recent years, Charlie has designed large dorm complexes at Stanford and the University of Michigan and today, at age 91, is working on another major project.

From my perspective, though, Charlie's most important architectural feat was the design of today's Berkshire. The blueprint he gave me was simple: Forget what you know about buying fair businesses at wonderful prices; instead, buy wonderful businesses at fair prices." - Warren Buffett

What's Gold Intrinsically Worth? 
"You don't want to be one of these people, spending years telling reality that it is wrong." - Jason Zweig

Buffett on Value vs Growth 
"I always say if you aren't investing for value, what are you investing for? And the idea that value and growth are two different things makes no sense. I mean, growth is part of the value equation and a company that grows and uses little capital in doing it...is obviously worth more money than one that doesn't grow. That doesn't make the one that doesn't grow valueless though." - Warren Buffett

Bogle on Speculation 
"It's just speculators not speculating on what they think is going to happen but what they think other speculators think is going to happen..." - John Bogle

"This speculative binge that we're seeing here … has nothing to do with the fundamentals behind the long-term value of equities in particular, which are created by the values of corporations, earnings and dividends, and reinvestment in the business." - John Bogle

Activists & the AmEx Buyback, Part II 
"People assume when we buy some stock we want it to go up. We don't want it to go up. Maybe, obviously, eventually... five or ten years from now [we'd like it]." - Warren Buffett

Corporate Hocus-Pocus 
"Berkshire is now a sprawling conglomerate, constantly trying to sprawl further.

Conglomerates, it should be acknowledged, have a terrible reputation with investors. And they richly deserve it." - Warren Buffett

"Since I entered the business world, conglomerates have enjoyed several periods of extreme popularity, the silliest of which occurred in the late 1960s. The drill for conglomerate CEOs then was simple: By personality, promotion or dubious accounting – and often by all three – these managers drove a fledgling conglomerate's stock to, say, 20 times earnings and then issued shares as fast as possible to acquire another business selling at ten-or-so times earnings. They immediately applied 'pooling' accounting to the acquisition, which – with not a dime's worth of change in the underlying businesses – automatically increased per-share earnings, and used the rise as proof of managerial genius. - Warren Buffett

Munger on Efficient Markets, Indexing, & Stock Pickers 
"They were teaching my colleagues that the stock market was so efficient that nobody could beat it....I knew it was bull. When I was young I never went near a business school so I didn't get polluted by the craziness.

[laughter]

I never believed it. I never believed there was a talking snake in the Garden of Eden. I had a gift for recognizing twaddle, and there's nothing remarkable about it. I don't have any wonderful insights that other people don't have. I just avoided idiocy slightly more consistently than others." - Charlie Munger

Happy New Year,

Adam

Quotes of 2014 Part I & II 

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