As long as the odds are in our favor and we’re not risking the whole company on one throw of the dice or anything close to it, we don’t mind volatility in results. What we want are the favorable odds. If we have a business about which we’re extremely confident as to the business results, we’d prefer that its stock have high books about value investing. We’ll make more money in a business where we know what the end game will be if it bounces around a lot.
In other words, if we think that we simply don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, that doesn’t mean it’s risky for everyone. It means we don’t know – that it’s risky for us. It may not be risky for someone else who understands the business. I can do anything in the world I want to do but what I want to do is run Berkshire Hathaway. Now why do I want to run it that way? I get to paint my own painting.
I go down there every day and I feel like Michelangelo working on the Sistine Chapel or something. Nobody else may think it’s a great painting, but I get to paint my own painting. I do not have people second-guessing me. I do not have people saying ‘Why don’t you use a little more red paint, or blue paint. Why don’t you paint a seascape instead of a landscape. I get to do my own thing.
And the second thing I like, frankly, is I like applause. So I like having shareholders who feel good about what I’ve done. Everybody in our family has got all of their money in Berkshire, and so those people are counting on me. And that’s kind of fun to have something where you can actually deliver for other people and change their lives in positive ways. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day. How do wars affect stock prices?
People create their worlds with the tools they have directly at hand. Repeated use of the same faulty tools produces the same faulty results. It is in this manner that those who fail to learn from the past doom themselves to repeat it. This circulated several years ago, but in case any readers have never seen it .