Warren Buffett | HBO Documentary | Summary and Q&A

November 10, 2020
Investor Archive
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Warren Buffett | HBO Documentary

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In this video, Warren Buffett shares his insights on life, investing, and success. He talks about his early experiences in high school, his love for cars, and the importance of taking care of one's body and mind. He reflects on his journey as an investor and his passion for numbers. Buffett discusses his childhood, growing up during the stock market crash, and his early experiences with entrepreneurship. He shares stories about his father, his mother's influence, and his close relationship with his wife, Susan. Buffett also discusses his approach to investing, his partnership with Charlie Munger, and his love for Berkshire Hathaway. Overall, the video provides valuable insights into Warren Buffett's life and philosophy.

Questions & Answers

Q: What things were on Warren Buffett's mind when he was in high school?

When Warren Buffett was in high school, he primarily had two things on his mind: girls and cars. However, he admits that he wasn't doing well with girls, so he focused more on cars.

Q: What analogy does Buffett use to explain the importance of taking care of one's body and mind?

Buffett asks the audience to imagine that they will only have one car for their entire lifetime. He emphasizes that they would take great care of that car. He then suggests that they should treat their body and mind with the same level of care, as they only have one of each.

Q: How does Buffett's daily routine reflect his appreciation for numbers?

Buffett's daily routine involves a five-minute drive to the office, during which he listens to McDonald's prices on the radio and orders his breakfast based on the prices. He even calculates compound interest tables and figures out how long it would take to have a weighing machine for every person in the world. These habits show his fascination and love for numbers.

Q: What sparked Buffett's interest in investing and entrepreneurship at an early age?

Buffett's interest in investing and entrepreneurship started at an early age. He talks about reading books on investment and compound interest as a child. He also recalls calculations he made about buying penny weighing machines and grew fascinated with the idea of making money and compounding it over time.

Q: What was Buffett's first business venture as a child?

As a child, Buffett started his first business venture by selling door-to-door. He sold various products, including Coca-Cola, gum, ink, and magazines. He enjoyed being his own boss and having control over his route and schedule.

Q: What concept does Buffett attribute his success in investing to?

Buffett attributes his success in investing to the concept of compound interest. He references the story of someone offering to double the number of kernels of wheat on a chessboard, which leads to exponential growth. Buffett believes that over time, compound interest can accomplish extraordinary things.

Q: What is Berkshire Hathaway?

Berkshire Hathaway is a holding company that owns a diverse range of businesses. It operates independently from its parent company and includes companies like See's Candies. Berkshire Hathaway is known for its strong corporate culture and its focus on long-term value creation.

Q: How would you describe Berkshire Hathaway's approach to running its businesses?

Berkshire Hathaway allows its subsidiary businesses to operate independently and make their own decisions. However, they are expected to conduct themselves in a way that doesn't harm Berkshire Hathaway's reputation. Each business is given autonomy while being guided by the principles and values of the parent company.

Q: What qualities does Buffett look for in the businesses he invests in?

Buffett looks for businesses that have a durable competitive advantage, or what he calls a "moat." He often seeks companies with strong brands, loyal customers, and the ability to maintain or increase their market share. He believes that businesses with a sustainable competitive advantage can generate consistent profits and long-term value.

Q: What is Buffett's approach to investing in stocks?

Buffett focuses on finding wonderful companies at fair prices, rather than fair companies at wonderful prices. He believes in investing in businesses with strong fundamentals, long-term growth prospects, and good management. Buffett emphasizes the importance of patient investing and waiting for the right opportunities to make informed decisions.

Q: How does Buffett describe his daily routine and work environment?

Buffett describes his daily routine as enjoyable and not work-like. He spends a significant portion of his day reading and thinking. He mentions that he likes things to be quiet and often shuts his office door to avoid distractions. Buffett has a small team of trusted associates with whom he works closely, and they collectively manage Berkshire Hathaway's operations.


Warren Buffett's life and philosophy are shaped by his unique experiences and mindset. He emphasizes the importance of taking care of one's body and mind, treating them as valuable assets that must last a lifetime. Buffett's early interest in numbers and entrepreneurship laid the foundation for his successful investment career. He believes in the power of compound interest and the importance of finding businesses with durable competitive advantages. Berkshire Hathaway's approach to running its businesses prioritizes autonomy and long-term value creation. Buffett's dedication to reading, thinking, and focusing on what he knows best has contributed to his investment success. Overall, Warren Buffett's insights offer valuable lessons in life, investing, and the pursuit of long-term sustainable growth.

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