Thursday, March 17, 2011

An humble investor

I was reading the transcript of Warren Buffett's interview with Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and the following quote made me feel humble:
I can tell you it’s very hard to change. I was at Solomon (laughs) and it, the nature of Wall Street is that overall it makes a lot of money relative to the number of people involved, relative to the IQ of the people involved and relative to the energy expended.They work hard, they’re bright, but they aren’t, they don’t work that much harder or that much brighter than somebody that, you know, is building a dam someplace, you know, or a whole lot of other jobs. But in a market system it pays off very, very big, you know. And it, in effect, you know, boxing pays off very big now compared to what it did when the only auditorium we had was 25,000 seats at Madison Square Garden and now you’ve cable television so you can put a couple of, you know, lightweights who you’ll never of again, you know, on pay per view and they’ll get millions for it now. Market systems produce strange results and Wall Street, in general, the capital markets are so big, there’s so much money, taking a small percentage results in a huge amount of money per capita in terms of the people that work in it. And they’re not inclined to give it up.

I have never heard a doctor saying that what he is doing is not harder then what a person working as a garbage collector is doing. A lawyer will never be able to accept what he is doing is not harder than what a cook is doing. An architect would never be able to convince himself ever that what he is doing is not harder than what a barber is doing.

Here is a man who has been working in the investment industry for more than 55 years and he thinks people in his field are not doing work harder than what a man building a dam is. Kudos to his humility and modesty.

I would suggest you read the whole transcript.
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