Warren Buffett: You Don’t Need Tons Of IQ In This Business | 1985 | Summary and Q&A

November 10, 2020
Investor Archive
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Warren Buffett: You Don’t Need Tons Of IQ In This Business | 1985

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In this video, the speaker discusses Warren Buffett, his investment philosophy, and his approach to the stock market. He explains that Buffett's success lies in his ability to buy undervalued stocks and focus on the long-term value of businesses, rather than short-term market fluctuations. Buffett emphasizes the importance of temperament and a stable personality for successful investing, rather than high intelligence or complex strategies. He also talks about why Buffett chooses to stay away from technology companies and Wall Street, preferring to focus on businesses that he can understand and value. The video highlights that Buffett's simple yet effective approach to investing sets him apart from other money managers.

Questions & Answers

Q: What is Warren Buffett's investment style?

Warren Buffett's investment style involves buying stocks or businesses that are undervalued and have long-term growth potential. He focuses on the value of the business itself and disregards short-term market fluctuations. Buffett's success comes from his ability to carefully assess the true worth of a business and make investment decisions based on that assessment.

Q: What is the most important quality for an investment manager according to Buffett?

According to Buffett, the most important quality for an investment manager is temperament rather than intelligence. He believes that a stable personality, one that is not easily swayed by the opinions of others or influenced by market trends, is crucial in making sound investment decisions. Buffett states that investment decisions should be based on facts and reasoning, rather than following the crowd.

Q: How does Buffett differ from other money managers?

Unlike many professional investors, Buffett does not focus on short-term market predictions or stock price movements. He views himself as an owner of a business rather than a trader of stocks. Buffett believes that the real test of value investing is whether the investor cares about the stock market being open or closed. He values businesses based on their intrinsic worth and is not influenced by daily price fluctuations.

Q: Why does Buffett choose to stay in Omaha, Nebraska instead of being on Wall Street?

Buffett prefers to stay in Omaha because it provides him with a quieter environment free from the overstimulation of Wall Street. He appreciates the lack of constant distractions, allowing him to focus solely on valuing businesses and making investment decisions. Buffett believes that being away from Wall Street allows him to maintain a long-term perspective and avoid getting caught up in short-term market trends.

Q: What is Buffett's intellectual process for investing?

Buffett's intellectual process for investing involves defining his area of competence, valuing businesses within that area, and finding the ones that are undervalued. He admits that there are many things he is not competent enough to value, such as technology companies, and he chooses to focus on areas where he has expertise. Buffett values businesses first and is not influenced by stock prices initially. He later evaluates prices to see if they align with his valuation.

Q: Has Buffett ever bought a technology company?

No, Buffett has not bought any technology companies in his 30 years of investing. He admits that he does not understand them well enough to make informed investment decisions. While acknowledging the technological revolution happening, he is content with not being involved in that sector. Buffett understands that he cannot be successful in every investment and accepts that there will be areas he is not knowledgeable about.

Q: Is it boring to wait for the right investment opportunity?

Waiting for the right investment opportunity may be perceived as boring by most people, but Buffett disagrees. He states that boredom is a common problem for professional money managers who feel compelled to constantly be in the market. However, Buffett's patient approach allows him to wait for the perfect pitch, even if it takes months or years. He believes that the absence of forced decisions enables him to focus on what really matters: finding undervalued businesses.

Q: Why doesn't everyone follow Buffett's investing approach?

Buffett's investing approach is simple, yet not everyone follows it because they become entangled in complex theories and data manipulation. Academic studies and professors often focus on various variables such as the best days to buy/sell stocks or patterns related to specific companies. Buffett believes that these variables are irrelevant to successful investing and should not cloud one's judgment. He emphasizes that stocks are merely pieces of businesses, and the focus should be on assessing the value of those businesses.

Q: What sets Buffett apart from other money managers?

Buffett's ability to consistently generate wealth and his long-term investment approach separate him from other money managers. Unlike many professionals who chase short-term gains, Buffett takes a patient approach to stock investing, focusing on the intrinsic value of businesses. He prioritizes temperament over intelligence in the investment process and avoids getting caught up in market trends. Buffett's simplicity and discipline in valuing businesses have made him one of the most successful investors of our time.

Q: What is Buffett's view on short-term market fluctuations?

Buffett does not concern himself with short-term market fluctuations. He believes that if an investor is making a good investment based on the value of a security, it should not matter whether the stock market is open or closed. Buffett contends that stock prices do not provide meaningful information about a business itself, but rather, they are just a reflection of its market value. He focuses on understanding and valuing businesses, not on predicting short-term price movements.

Q: Does Buffett feel the need to swing at every investment opportunity?

No, Buffett does not feel the need to swing at every investment opportunity. He likens the securities business to a baseball game, where there are no called strikes. Buffett emphasizes that investors have the luxury of waiting for the perfect pitch, even if it means not making any investment for an extended period. Unlike other money managers who may feel pressured to constantly be in the market, Buffett waits for investment opportunities that align with his valuation and understanding of businesses.


Warren Buffett's approach to investing is centered around buying undervalued businesses for the long term and focusing on their intrinsic value rather than short-term market fluctuations. He prioritizes temperament and stable personality over high intelligence, emphasizing the importance of staying true to one's own reasoning and not getting swayed by the crowd. Buffett chooses to stay away from Wall Street and the overstimulation it brings, preferring a quieter environment to focus on valuing businesses. His approach may seem simple compared to academic theories, but it has proven to be highly successful, making him one of the most well-known and respected investors of our time.

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