Another Great One-Liner from Warren Buffett

Last Updated Nov 4, 2009 6:35 AM EST

Time will tell whether Berkshire Hathaway's acquisition of railroad operator Burlington Northern Santa Fe is a money-maker, although I would be the last one to doubt Warren Buffett.


The deal is not just momentous in terms of size, but it also includes the first ever 50-for-1 stock split of its smaller, class B shares (for the record, Class A trades at approximately $100,000 per share.) The B shares fetch over $3,300 each today, which means that after the split, the cost of one share will be around $65. I remember my brother in-law asking me about his holding in Berkshire Hathaway some years ago. My response was that owning the shares was akin to having a fairly inexpensive value fund in your portfolio.

So, the deal is the largest ever for Berkshire and Buffett said it was an "all-in wager" on economic recovery, which made me chuckle. This guy is what broadcasters like to call a bite machine! Here are some of my favorite Buffett quotes:
  • "Rule No.1: Never lose money. Rule No.2: Never forget rule No.1"
  • "Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful."
  • "It's far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price."
  • "You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out."
  • "Whether we're talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down."
  • "Price is what you pay. Value is what you get."
  • "I don't look to jump over 7-foot bars: I look around for 1-foot bars that I can step over."
  • "Most people get interested in stocks when everyone else is. The time to get interested is when no one else is. You can't buy what is popular and do well."
  • "Never count on making a good sale. Have the purchase price be so attractive that even a mediocre sale gives good results."
  • "In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield."
  • "The investor of today does not profit from yesterday's growth."
Image by Flickr User dok1, CC 2.0
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    Jill Schlesinger, CFP®, is the Editor-at-Large for CBS MoneyWatch. She covers the economy, markets, investing or anything else with a dollar sign. Prior to the launch of MoneyWatch in 2009, Jill was the chief investment officer for an independent investment advisory firm. In her infancy, she was an options trader on the Commodities Exchange of New York.

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