Friday, October 19th, 2018
most important thing is to the side is to be able to define which ones you can come to an intelligent decision on and which ones are beyond your capacity to evaluate you don’t have to be right about thousands and thousands of thousands of competition you only have to be right about a couple.
I met Bill Gates on July 5th 1991 we arrived Seattle and Bill said you’ve got to have a computer and I said why and he said well he said you can do your income tax on it I said I don’t have any income Berkshire doesn’t pay a dividend yeah he said well you can keep track of your portfolio I said I only have one stock I said I did I mean he says it’s going to change everything and I said well will it change whether people chew gum and he said well probably not and I said what will change what kind of gum they’d show and I said well then I’ll stick to chewing gum and you stick to computers.
So, I don’t have to understand all kinds of but there’s all kinds of business I don’t understand but there’s thousands of opportunities there I didn’t understand the Bank of America you know and I’ll be able to do that I’m able to understand some given percentage. But Ted Williams wrote a book called the science of hitting and in science of hitting he’s got a diagram shows him at the plate and he’s got the strike zone divided in the seventy-seven squares each the size of a baseball and he says if I only swing at pitches in my sweet zone. Which he shows her and he has what his batting average would be which is 400 if he had to swing at low outside pitches but still in the in the strike zone, his average would be 230 he said the most important thing in hitting is waiting for the right pitch, now he was at a disadvantage because if the count was oh and two or one and two or so on even if that ball was down where he was only going about 230 he had to swing at it.
In investing there’s no called strikes people can throw Microsoft that man you know you name it any stock General Motors and I don’t have to swing yeah nobody’s going to call me out on call strikes I only get us I call if I swing at a pitch and mess. So, I can wait there and look at thousands of companies day after day and only when I see something I understand and when I like the price of which is selling then if I swing if I if I had it fine if I miss it it’s a strike but it’s an enormously advantageous game and it’s a terrible mistake to think you have to have an opinion on everything you only have to have an opinion on a few things.
In fact I’ve told students if when they got out of school they got a punch card with 20 punches on it and that’s all the investment decisions they got to make in their entire life they would get very rich because they would think very hard about each one and you don’t need 20 right decisions to get very rich you know four or five will probably do it over time so I don’t worry too much about the things.
I don’t understand it if you understand some of these businesses that are coming along and can spot things on if you can spot on Amazon for example I mean it’s a tremendous accomplishment what Jeff Bezos has done and I tip my hat to me is a wonderful businessman he’s a good guy too but could I have anticipated that he would be the success and ten others wouldn’t be I’m not good enough to do that but I don’t,
Fortunately I don’t have to you know I don’t have to form an opinion on Amazon, and I did I did form an opinion on the Bank of America and I form an opinion on Coca-Cola I mean Coca-Cola has been around since 1886 there’s 1.8 billion 1.8 billion 8 ounce servings of Coca Cola products sold every day now if you take one penny and get one penny extra that’s 18 million dollars a day and 18 million times 365 is 7 billion 3 less 730 billion orders there’s 6 billion 570 million dollars so annually 6 billion 570 million dollars from one penny do you think Coca-Cola is worth a penny more than you know Coca Cola.
I think so you know and I’ve got about 127 years of history that would indicate it so those are the kind of Asians I like to make and you may have an entirely different field of expertise that I would have and probably much more up-to-date in terms of the kind of businesses that we’re seeing about and you can get very rich if you just understand the feel of them and understand their future.