In an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box in February 2019, Warren Buffett offered a simple piece of advice to investors looking to repeat his success. He said: “Never invest in a business you cannot understand. “You have to learn how to value businesses and know the ones that are within your circle of competence and the ones that are outside.”
Another tip the billionaire has spoken about is ignoring daily market movements.
Mr Buffett doesn’t pay much attention to the daily ups and downs of the stock market, it was revealed.
In fact, when asked about it during Berkshire Hathaway’s 2008 annual meeting, Mr Buffett said “forget about the word ‘stock.’”
“What we see when we look at the stock market is we see thousands and thousands and thousands of companies priced every day,” he said.
“We ignore 99.9% of what we see, although we run our eyes over them. And then every now and then we see something that looks like it’s attractively priced to us as a business.”
The 89-year-old has also warned of avoiding values traps – when an investor thinks they are getting a stock at a discounted price but in reality, the business has a fundamental flaw that greatly reduces its intrinsic value.
Mr Buffett explained this philosophy in his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders as far back as 1989.
“It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price,” he wrote.
One piece of advice he has repeated on a number of occasions is to invest in a business or product with the long term in mind, rather than short term punts.
CNBC quoted the Wall Street stalwart as saying: “When we buy a stock, we would be happy with that stock if they told us the market was going to close for a couple of years. We look to the business.
“It’s exactly the same way as if you are going to buy a farm.
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“You would not get a price on it every day and you wouldn’t ask whether the yield was a little above expectations this year or down a little bit. You’d look at what the farm was going to produce over time.”
Finally, Mr Buffett has claimed that investing is actually easier than many believe, but that there is no ‘easy button’.
He said: “You don’t need to be a rocket scientist. Investing is not a game where the guy with the 160 IQ beats the guy with the 130 IQ.
“Investors should be skeptical of history-based models. Constructed by a nerdy-sounding priesthood…these models tend to look impressive.
“Too often, though, investors forget to examine the assumptions behind the models. Beware of geeks bearing formulas.”
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