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Warren Buffett - My Biggest Mistake

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Uploaded on May 23, 2011

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The largest loss that Berkshire ever had was about 2% of its net worth. This is by making few deals and being very careful. However, the bigger mistakes are those of omission. He owned 5% of the Walt Disney Company in the 1960s. It was selling very cheap. They bought 5% for only 4 million dollars. They then sold that 5% position for about $6 million. If he had held on to it, it would be worth more than a billion dollars today. But that kind of thing doesn't show up in traditional accounting practices.

The airline is an industry that shows that you can't just bet on an obvious industry. Anyone could tell that it was going to change the world. But on net, the airline industry hasn't made any money. Just because an industry is so obviously going to be huge and change the world, it doesn't mean that it is a good investment.

Buffett never thinks about what the stock market is going to do. If he had the chance to buy the Walt Disney Company privately, then he wouldn't care about the stock market. Either way, he would look at the business. He doesn't know how to predict the stock market or interest rates. What he does know is how to analyze businesses. If he buys a good business at the right price, then he will do well over time.

When he bought See's Candy, he didn't think about the stock market. He thought about whether Russel Stover's could take market share from them. It would be the same analysis whether he was buying the entire company or whether he was buying 6% of a company.

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