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Woman: And now one of the most
respected investors in America

is going to tell you
about his secrets.

Man: "Warren Buffett."
It's the sound of money.

$9.2 billion...
Woman 2: Billionaire investor Warren Buffett,

the second richest man
in America.

Man 2:
He's estimated to be worth about $62 billion.

That makes him
the richest man in the world.

Woman 3: You know,
Buffett is not exactly what you might expect.

Woman 4:
Even though he's in the money business,

he doesn't even own
a calculator or a computer.

Man 3:
He takes the long view,

and it's made him billions,
many billions.

Man 4:
Maybe you can beat the house,

but I don't think you can beat
Warren Buffett.

Man 5: Buffett filed his first
tax return at 13 years old.

But he's no average
billionaire, Tom.

No, he certainly isn't, Matt.

Woman 5:
He's a $44 billion average Joe.

Man 7:
Warren Buffett has an approach

that doesn't make him very popular
with his fellow billionaires.

Man 8: Warren Buffett,
the boy from Nebraska

who grew up to become
the Wizard of Omaha.

Man 9: What was it about him
that allowed him to become

the richest man in the world?
How did he do it?

Warren: 70 years ago,
I was in high school.

Almost a third as long
as the country has been around.

And when I was
in high school,

I really only had
two things on my mind...

girls and cars.
and I wasn't doing very well with girls,

so we'll talk
about cars.

But lets just imagine
that when we finish,

I'm going to let each one of you
pick out the car of your choice.

Sounds good, doesn't it?
Pick it out,
any color, you name it,

it'll be tied up with a bow,
and it'll be at your house tomorrow.

And you say,
"Well, what's the catch?"

And the catch is...
that it's the only car you're
going to get in your lifetime.

Now what are you going to do,
knowing that that's the only car

you're ever going to have
and you love that car?

You're going to take care of
it like you cannot believe.

Now what I'd like to suggest
is that you're not going to get
only one car in your lifetime,

but you're gonna get
one body and one mind,

and that's all
you're going to get.

And that body and mind
feels terrific now,

but it has
to last you a lifetime.

I'm on the way
to the office.

It's all
of a five-minute drive.

Been doing it...
for 54 years.
One of the good things
about this five-minute drive

is that on the way there's a McDonald's,
so I'll pick up something.

Woman on speaker: Good morning,
thank you for choosing McDonald's.

Go ahead and order
whenever you're ready.

I'll have a Sausage McMuffin
with egg and cheese.

Woman: Anything else?
That's it, thank you.

Warren: Yeah,
and I tell my wife as I shave in the morning,

I say either $2.61,
$2.95, or $3.17,

and she puts that amount
in a little cup by me here

and that determines
which of three breakfasts I get.

Hi. 2.95.
Okay, 2.95.

There's the two.
How you doing, sir!

Hey, great!
You're on "Candid Camera"!

I see. Hello, everybody!
When I'm not feeling quite so prosperous,

I might go with a 2.61,
which is two sausage patties,

and then I put 'em together
and pour myself a Coke.

Hi, how are you?
Hi. I've been good.

3.17 is a bacon, egg,
and cheese biscuit,

but the market's
down this morning,

so I think I'll pass up the
3.17 and go with the 2.95.

I like numbers.

It started before
I could remember.

It just felt good,
working with numbers.

I was always playing around with
numbers in one-way or another.

And it was fun to have
a bunch of guys over

and have them betting on which
marble would reach the drain first.

I had a lot
of energy as a kid.

I... I was inquisitive,
and I was the youngest one

always in the class,
'cause I'd skip.

I've always been competitive.
I liked to read
more than most kids.

I really like
to read a lot.

My Aunt Edie gave me
a copy of "The World Almanac"

and that was heaven to me.
And I can still tell you that Omaha's
population was 214,006 in 1930.

Some numbers
just kind of stick with you.

And very early,
probably when I was seven or so,

I took this book out
of the Benson Library

called "A Thousand Ways
to Make a $1,000."

And one of the ways
in this book

was having
penny weighing machines.

And I sat and calculated
how much it would cost

to buy the first
weighing machine,

and then how long
it would take for the profit

from that one to buy another one,
and I would sit there

and create these
compound interest tables

to figure out how long
it would take me to have

a weighing machine
for every person in the world.

I had everybody in the country
weighing themselves ten times a day,

and me just sitting there like John
D. Rockefeller of weighing machines.

The allowance when I was a
little boy was a nickel a week,

but I liked the idea of having a little
more than a nickel a week to work with,

and I went
into business very early.

I started selling Coca-Cola
door to door.

I sold gum door to door.
I sold
"Saturday Evening Post,"

"Liberty" magazine,
"Ladies Home Journal," you name it.

I think I enjoyed the game
almost right from the start.

But I like being my own boss.
That's one thing I liked
about delivering papers.

I could arrange
the route I wanted.

Nobody was bothering me
at 5:00 or 6:00 in the morning.

I was delivering
500 papers a day,

and I made a penny a paper,
but in terms of compounding,

that penny's turned
into something else.

Einstein is reputed to have said
that "Compound interest

is the eighth wonder of the world"
or something like that,

and it goes back to that story you probably
learned when you were in grade school

where somebody did
something for the king,

and the king said,
"What can I do for you?"

And he said,
"Well, lets take a chessboard

"and put one kernel of wheat
on the first square

"and then double it
on the second

and double it on the third."
And the king readily agreed to it,
and by the time he figured out

what two to the 64th
amounted to,

he was giving away
the entire kingdom.

So it's a pretty simple concept,
but over time,

it accomplishes
extraordinary things.

Berkshire is an amazing company.
Fourth largest company
in the "Fortune" 500.

He is the only person
who has ever, from scratch,

built a company that is in the
top 10 of the Fortune 500.

Woman: Berkshire Hathaway.
Fine, thank you.

Warren: Well,
Berkshire is a holding company of sorts.

It owns a large number
of separate businesses

that operate
independently of each other

and, to a great extent,
from the parent company, Berkshire Hathaway.

All right, well,
we're going to get more from you in a second.

Warren: So we have maybe 70,
maybe 80 businesses,

and we ask them
to behave in a way

that doesn't hurt
our reputation

at Berkshire Hathaway,
but they run their own lives.

Other people do most of the decorating in
the office, so various things come in.

when I moved in in 1962...

you can see this...
I went down
to the South Omaha Library,

and I think for a dollar,
I got seven copies

of old "New York Times"
from big times like
the Panic of 1907.

This is one...
1929 obviously.

But I wanted
to put on the walls

days of extreme panic
in Wall Street,

just as a reminder that anything
can happen in this world.

I mean it...
it's instructive art
you can call it.

I was born in 1930
here in Omaha, Nebraska,

during the stock market crash.
My dad lost his job in 1931,
a year after I was born.

He was a stock salesman,
and he had what little savings
he had in the bank,

and so he started
his own company.

He worked right through
the depression.

Bertie Buffett:
He had an investment company,

and as an adult
when I looked back,

I thought, "Wow, did that ever
take a lot of nerve."

Sometimes we'd
go down there on Sunday,

and we could play
with the adding machine.

My brother and I tended
to play the games together.

And I remember
at one point he said to me,

"I'm going to be a millionaire by the
time I'm... 30," or something like that.

It was totally outside of anything
my family had experienced,

but he just was
unusual that way.

Doris Buffett:
Well, I was the oldest,

and then my brother
and then my sister.

And my father would go
to New York periodically

to check on businesses,
stocks, and things like that,

and he'd come back,
he'd always have a costume

for each of us,
and Warren loved it.

He was very good-natured.
He was quiet.

It was hard to tell
he was a genius at that point,

but I mean,
who was looking?

The first books I read on investment

were actually
in my dad's office.

Pretty soon, I read
all the books in the office

and read some of them
more than once.

My dad had
various nicknames for me.

He'd call me
"Fireball" sometimes,

because I'd start
little businesses.

He didn't care
about money at all.

He believed very much
in having an inner scorecard

and never worry about what other
people are thinking about you.

You know, just... just...
if you know why you're doing what
you're doing, that's good enough.

I admired everything
about him to the extent

that I was absorbing lessons
from him without knowing it.

And the idea that all lives have
equal value is something that

all three of his children
felt since I can remember.

My dad at one point
ran for congress

when I was 12 or so.
It was
a very republican household.

I campaigned for him.
My sisters campaigned for him.

The whole family did.
My mother was
very, very bright,

and she was very gregarious.
She was a good campaigner for my dad.

She had a lot of ambition,

and I think
my brother Warren got a lot

of his extreme competitiveness
from my mother, actually.

She was brilliant at math.

You know, I guess
they still had these things

where you crank them
and things added up,

and she could add it in her head
faster than the machine could do it.

She was
absolutely amazing in that.

Warren: She was very dutiful
about taking care of the kids,

but you didn't get
the same feeling of... of love.

It was there, but it just... it didn't
come out the same way as with my dad.

Howard Buffett, Sr. on radio:
In the nation, the only permanent way

to prosperity is
a balanced budget.

Unless that goal
is achieved,

all post-war plans will collapse
like Hitler's conquest.

Man on radio: You have heard
Congressman Howard L.H. Buffett,

a Republican member
of the House of Representatives

from Nebraska
speaking on the...

When I was about 12 or 13,

we moved to Washington,
my family, and I was mad.

I was having fun in Omaha,
and I lost all my friends,

and now I moved to a town
where they were all strange,

and so I was very,
very unhappy.

At school,
I just lost interest.

I took pleasure
in tormenting my teachers.

At that time for example,
AT&T was the stock

that all teachers owned
for their retirement,

and I decided that it would
drive my teachers a little crazy

if I went and short the stock,
because when you go short a stock,

you're betting
that it will go down.

So I shorted
10 shares of AT&T,

and then brought
the confirmation to school

and showed these teachers
I was shorting the stock.

They found me
a big pain in the neck,

but they did think I knew
a lot about stocks.

And then at home,
my mother would have terrific headaches,

and you didn't want to be around her
when she was having the headaches,

and she would... she would lash out more.
She would never do it in public.

Doris: Well,
I think we were terrified of her.

When I'd wake up
in the morning,

I'd listen to hear her voice.
I could tell by her voice

if it was going to be
a terrible day or not.

Warren: When she got difficult,
the three children felt it.

When I was at the low point, sort of,
I decided that I would run away.

So I talked two other guys
into running away with me.

We went out,
and we start hitchhiking...

and then we got picked up
by the highway patrol

and that scared
the hell out of us.

It's very interesting. My dad never
really gave me hell about doing this,

but he finally said,
"You know,"

he said,
"you can do better than this."

And just saying that,
I mean, I...

I felt like I was
letting him down, basically.

So in all ways,
he was teaching me.

Never taught
by telling me things,

he just taught by example.
He had unlimited confidence in me,
even when I screwed up,

and that takes you
a long, long way.

The best gift
I was ever given

was to have the father
that I had when I was born.

I didn't want to go to college.
I was 16 when I got out of high school

and I was buying stocks.
I mean,
I actually was having a pretty good time

and I didn't see that really was much
to be gained by going to college,

but my dad
kind of jollied me into it.

He had a roommate who was a friend of mine,

and the roommate said
it would just drive him crazy,

because he studied
all the time,

and Warren would come in
15 minutes before the exam

and just ace his way
through it.

Warren: I finished in three years,
'cause I had enough credits,

and I was in a hurry.
I wanted to get out.

When I got out of the University of Nebraska,

I applied
to Harvard Business school.

They told me I was to get
interviewed in a place near Chicago.

I got there,
and he interviewed me for about 10 minutes,

and he said, "Forget it."
"You're not going
to Harvard."

And so now I'm thinking,
"What do I tell my dad?

Oh, this is terrible."
And it turned out to be

the best thing
that ever happened to me.

Later that summer,
I was looking
through a catalog

and in the catalog, it had these
names of people that were teaching,

and one was Graham
and another was Dodd.

I had read this book
by the two of them,

so I wrote him a letter
in mid-August,

and I said,
"Dear Professor Dodd,"

I said, "I thought
you guys were dead."

"But, now that I found out
that you're alive

and teaching at Columbia,
I would really like to come."

And he admitted me.
So, you know what?

That... it just shows,
you never can tell.

Man: Gentlemen,
Professor Graham.

Ben was this incredible teacher.

I mean he... he was a natural,
and he drew us all in.

Are Wall Street professionals...
they more accurate in the shorter
term than the long term forecast?

Well, our studies indicate that you have
your choice between tossing coins...

and taking the consensus
of expert opinions,

and the results are just
about the same in each case.

It was like learning baseball

from a fellow
who's batting .400.

It really... it shaped
my professional life.

There are two rules of
investing according to Warren,

and he learned this
from Ben Graham.

Rule number one,
never lose money.

Rule number two,
never forget rule number one.

Ben Graham basically coined
the term "value investing."

He believed
in careful scrutiny

of a company's
financial statements,

and that if you bought value,
it would eventually prove out.

A few years ago,
I went to Amazon,

and sure enough,
they had this manual there,

so while reliving my youth...
other guys were going to Amazon

and probably buying
old "Playboys" or something,

but I bought old
Moody's manuals instead,

and when I got out of school,
I started selling stocks,

I was 20 years old at the time,
looked about 16,
and acted about 12,

so I was not the most impressive
salesperson anybody ever met.

But what I would do was I went
through, page by page,

looking for possibly
undervalued stocks.

Peter Kunhardt: Is this like going
through an old family album?

When I got out of business
school at Columbia,

I developed pretty decent
skills in terms of business,

but I hadn't really come to
terms with the world exactly.

What were you like around girls back then?

Bad. I was... I was sort of out of the
swing of things there for a while.

I went to my 60th reunion,
and there was a girl there.

I took her out one time to the
Uptown Theater in Washington,

and I asked her whether she
remembered what movie we saw,

and she said,
"No, I don't remember that."

And then she said,
"But I do remember one thing."

And like an idiot,
I said, "What was that?"

And she said, "Well,
you picked me up in a hearse."

And it was true
that I owned

a half-interest in a hearse
while I was in high school,

which was not
the smoothest thing that...

or coolest,
as they would say now...

that you could...
you could do on a date.

There were two turning
points in my life.

Once when
I came out of the womb,

and once when I met
Susie, basically.

She was the girl, yep.
But it took her
a little longer

to figure out
I was the boy.

Susie Buffett:
I was going to be

his youngest sister's roommate
at Northwestern.

So I walk into their house,
he was sitting in this chair,

and he made
some sarcastic quip.

So I made one back.
I thought, "Who is this jerk?"

And that's how we met, yes.
Listen, Warren is smarter
than you even know.

His brain is going
all the time.

And my dad said to me,
"Now you have
to understand about him...

"you're not going to have
discussions with him

"like you would
most normal people,

but he has
a heart of gold."

He was just
totally enamored of her,

and why not?
And she of him.

She'd sit on his lap all the time,
and he'd stroke her hair.

It was softening him.
Susie was
really kind, considerate,

and she was
the balancing force.

Warren: I just got very,
very, very lucky.

But I was
a lopsided person,

and it took a while,
but she just stood there

with a little watering can
and just nourished me along
and... and changed me.

Somebody once said
that the chains of habit

are too light to be felt until
they're too heavy to be broken.

I had been terrified
of public speaking.

I couldn't do it.
I'd throw up.

And I knew if I didn't cure it then,
I'd never cure it.

And so I saw an ad in the paper
for the Dale Carnegie Course,

which worked on developing your
ability to speak in public,

and I went down there.
Dale Carnegie:
Be sincere.

A good smile
has the same effect

as a puppy's tail.
When a puppy wags...

They made us do all these crazy things

to get out of ourselves,
and so we stood on tables

and did all kinds of things.
If I hadn't had done that...

my whole life
would have been different.

So in my office
you will not see

the degree I got from the
University of Nebraska.

You will not see the Masters degree
I got from Columbia University,

but you'll see
the little award certificate

I got
from the Dale Carnegie Course.

As a matter of fact,
every week,

the instructor
would give a pencil

to whoever had done the most with
what we'd learned the week before.

And so in the fourth
or fifth week,

I proposed to her mother,
and she said yes.
And so that week,

I won the pencil,
I also got engaged,

and it was
an incredible week.

The wedding date was kind of interesting,

because I couldn't see
anything without my glasses,

and I was
so nervous that I...

I just decided
to take off my glasses

and I wouldn't be able to see
all those people out there.

She was 19 when we got
married and I was 21...

but she was so much more mature than I was.
There was no comparison.

She was a better person
than I was...

but when you get married,
it's not a question of saying,

"I'm going to put
a 14% factor in for humor,

and 17% for intellect,
and 22% for looks."

It doesn't work that way.
I knew it was the right decision, and...
and it was.

You could live anywhere in the world.

Why do you choose
Omaha, Nebraska?

Yeah, I love it, and I...
you know, I was...

born about a mile from here
and, you know,

I've never had a bad
experience in Omaha.

Well, Omaha and Nebraska
are home to me.

Everything about it
seems like home.

It's a pace,
it's relationships.

There's a lot of continuity.
There's a lot of community.

There's a lot
of friendship.

It's a very solid place
and friendly place

in which to grow up in,
in which to conduct a business.

When I came back
to Omaha in early 1956,

I had no idea
what I was going to do.

A few months after I came back,
some members of the family said,

"What should we do
with our money?"

And I said, "Well,
I'm not going back

"in the business
of selling stocks,

but if you would like
to join me in a partnership,"

I said,
"I'll be glad to do it."

So within a couple of months
after coming back,

I set up
the first partnership.

I wrote
all the checks individually.

I filed
11 income-tax returns.

I took delivery on stocks for
all these different companies.

I was a one-man band there for six years.

Sandy Gottesman: Warren would sit
upstairs in his little office there,

and I would bring up
the name of a company,

and most of the time he knew
much more than I did
about the company.

He'd know how many shares
were outstanding.

He'd know the capitalization.
He'd know the earnings.

It was absolutely incredible.
I mean when Warren said something,
it meant a heck of a lot,

and I think all of us paid
a lot of attention to Warren

when he took a definite
stand on something.

Charlie Munger:
When I first met Warren back in 1959,

I recognized immediately
that he was
a very intelligent person.

For the last four
or five years,

the stock market
has been booming along

and presumably
forecasting better business,

which has really
not materialized,

so maybe the stock market
is really correcting

a previous incorrect
forecast this time

rather than making
a new correct one.

He made a lot of money
buying thinly traded securities

that were incredibly
cheap statistically.

Warren was, at that time,

dealing with small companies,
and his investments often were
to buy a company

that you could figure was
a discarded cigar butt,

but it had
one more smoke in it,

and he wanted
to buy at the right time

to be able to benefit
from the one smoke.

The first partnership
started with $105,100.

I put up the 100,
and the other people put up the 105,000.

And then at the start of 1962,
I moved to Kiewit Plaza.

And by the time I moved
to Kiewit Plaza,

we had $7 million invested,
and a fair amount
was profits.

I was then renting a house.
I never owned a house to that point.

And then two years later,
I bought the house
I live in today in 1958.

We had three children,
Susie and I.

And we had 'em young,

which was I think was
a very good thing.

My daughter Susie
was born here.

I named her Susie just like that,
as soon as I looked at her,

because she looked
just like her mother,

And she was a cinch.
And then Howie was, you know,
this absolute bundle of energy...

which made things
very difficult

for big Susie
for a while.

Peter again reverted back
to Susie's personality,

and he was an easy child.
Howard Buffett: Well,
I would describe my childhood as normal,

but who knows
what normal is?

People often think,
"Well, Warren Buffett was
this famous rich guy."

He was not famous,
and he wasn't rich

when we were growing up.
What I saw first and foremost,
day in and day out,
was consistency.

Every day we hear the garage
door close in the house

and then like clockwork,
my dad would come in the door,

"I'm home!" and we'd
all eat dinner together,

which I think surprises
a lot of people.

Susie Buffett, Jr. : My dad,
he used to rock me to sleep at night

and sing "Over the Rainbow,"
so I have

this insanely sentimental
attachment to that song.

I've always had a really close
relationship with him.

I've got three very different kids,

and they've got
a common heart,

which they got
from their mother.

She did most
of the work by far

of bringing up
the children,

which is probably
a good thing.

They have more
of her qualities than mine,

which I would...
I would recommend.

Well, my mom was

the biggest part
of my life growing up...

even though I got disciplined
on a regular basis

and she was usually
the one doing it,

she was still
my best friend.

She was somebody
who would help anybody,

I mean,
whether she knew 'em or didn't know 'em

or maybe even didn't agree with them,
she would still help them.

She was incredibly empathetic,

and she was interested
in every person individually.

She never cared about money
or business at all.

I mean he would go around saying,

"I'm going to be the
richest man in the world."

And I think, well,
it's like somebody says,

"I play music,
and I'm gonna be Mozart."

I don't know.
How does anyone know...

How does anyone know?
You know?

So that was okay.
I don't really care about that.

I would say that Susie led Warren

toward changing
his political views.

He grew up
as a young Republican,

his father was
a Republican congressman,

but Susie saw things
in different ways.

She was the catalyst.
Freedom, freedom, freedom!
Louder, louder,
louder, louder, louder!

Freedom, freedom...
What do we want now?

When the children were growing up,

I was very involved
in civil rights.

I was immersed in it, and I think
that's what made Warren a Democrat.

He would go with me
to hear speakers.

Warren: I remember that speech
that Martin Luther King gave.

That was one of the most inspiring
speeches I... I've ever heard.

I come to say to you
this afternoon...

Warren: Took me right out of my seat.
My wife was with me.

We both had
the same experience.

Martin Luther King: It will not be long.
It was interesting, he...

in that speech, he talked about
truth forever on the scaffold,

long forever on the throne,
but that scaffold sways the future.

Well, he was going
to be dead in six months,

but that scaffold
did sway the future.

My wife was
more active than I was,

but I was 100%
with her mentally.

I was just working a little
more on my own investments.

But it didn't make a difference
what we were gonna do

with the money
after we made it.

I thought I would pile
it up over the years

then she would unpile it
in terms of running a...

one very large foundation.
And I was particularly good
at compounding money,

and therefore society
would benefit by waiting.

I was genetically blessed
with certain wiring

that's very useful in a
highly-developed market system

where there's lots
of chips on the table,

and you know, I happen
to be good at that game.

Ted Williams wrote a book
called "The Science of Hitting,"

and in it he had a picture
of himself at bat

and the strike zone broken
into, I think, 77 squares.

And he said,
if he waited for the pitch

that was really in his sweet spot,
he would bat .400

and if he had to swing at
something on the lower corner,

he would
probably bat .235.

And in investing,
I'm in a no-called strike business,

which is the best business
you can be in.

I can look at a thousand
different companies,

and I don't have to be right on every
one of them or even 50 of 'em...

so I can pick the ball
I want to hit.

And the trick in investing is just to sit
there and watch pitch after pitch to go by

and wait for the one
right in your sweet spot.

And the people that are yelling,
"Swing, you bum"? Ignore 'em.

There's a temptation
for people to act

far too frequently in stocks,
simply because
they're so liquid.

Over the years
you develop a lot of filters,

and I do know what I call
my circle of competence,

so I-I... I stay
within that circle,

and I don't worry about things
that are outside that circle.

Defining what your game is,
where you're going to have an
edge is enormously important.

I bought the first shares
of Berkshire in 1962,

and it was
a northern textile business

destined to become
extinct eventually,

and it was a statistically cheap
stock in a terrible business.

Berkshire Hathaway
was closing mills

and as they closed mills,
it would free up some capital,

and then they would
repurchase shares,

so I bought
some stock with the idea

that there would be another
tender offer at some point,

and we would sell the stock
at a modest profit.

And at one point,
the management asked me at what
price we would tender our stock,

and I said, "$11.50."
And the tender offer
came out a few months later,

and it was
at $11 and 3/8ths,

which was an eighth
of a point cheaper.

And that made me very mad,
so I just started
buying more stock.

I just felt that I'd been
double-crossed by the management.

And in May of 1965,
I bought enough so we
controlled the company,

and we changed
the management.

It was a pretty silly way
to behave,

as Warren has recounted
in retrospect.

One of the reasons
Warren is successful

is he's brutal
in appraising his own past.

He wants to identify misthinkings
and avoid them in the future,

but it was an accident that
he chose Berkshire Hathaway.

If the chairman hadn't tried
to cheat him out of an eighth,

there wouldn't have been any
Buffett- Berkshire Hathaway history.

Warren: If you're emotional about investment,
you're not going to do well.

You may have all these
feelings about the stock.

The stock has
no feelings about you.

Looking back, it's interesting,
that tender offer...

I didn't realize it, but it... it happened
about five days after my dad had died

and whether that had affected me or not,
I don't know.

Kunhardt: Do you remember your last
conversation with your father?

Yeah, but I don't want
to talk about it.

I think it just sobered him and hurt him,

Warren soldiers on.
Both Warren and I
could look at our fathers

and see what they did right
and what they did wrong.

Warren's father was a real
old-fashioned right-wing ideologue.

And his father was
so intense about it,

that Warren just decided
that it was mistake...

it cabbaged up your head
to be that much an ideologue,

so he loved his father,
but he didn't want to become

that much of a true believer in...
in anything.

My politics became more overt
after my dad died.

Civil rights
changed my views.

You know, in 1776
Thomas Jefferson wrote,

"All men are created equal,"
and then when they wrote the Constitution,

they all of a sudden
decided that, no,

it was just 3/5ths of a person
if you were black.

I mean, that struck me
as kind of crazy.

Susie: I was talking to him one
day about some racial issue,

and he said to me,
"Wait till women discover

they're the slaves
of the world."

Now how many men
were cognizant of that,

and even women then?
The initial example is really my mother.

She came from a generation
where the main function
of the wife

was to help
her husband in the job.

And my sisters are
fully as smart as I am.

They got better personalities
than I had,

but they got the message
a million different ways

that their future
was limited,

and I got the message
that the sky is the limit

and it wasn't due to a lack of
love or anything of the sort.

It just...
it was the culture.

On the other hand,
you can look

at the flip side of that
and say it's quite encouraging,

because if you look at what
this country accomplished

only using half of its talent,
just think of the potential
for the future.

I'm enormously bullish
on America over the future

and part of the reason
is that we,

by some rather
stupid decisions,

essentially put half our
talent on the sidelines.

Loomis: Warren is probably the most
rational person I've ever met.

Charlie Munger
would be a close rival.

And Charlie became a man
that Warren
depended on heavily

and I think his first

in the discarded-
cigar-butt era

convinced him that it was not
exactly where he wanted to be.

He made so much money for so long

doing what he'd been taught
by Ben Graham,

which he'd buy
these very cheap stocks.

If they were cheap enough,
he didn't care it was

a lousy company
and a lousy management.

He knew he was going to make money anyway,
just because of the cheapness.

Charlie Munger has had a big impact on me

in moving me toward looking for
wonderful companies at fair prices

rather than fair companies
at wonderful prices.

That was enormously important, because it
enabled Berkshire to scale up in a way

that would have been
impossible to do otherwise.

Man: What are the key indicators

you'd look for within companies
before making an investment?

Well, I look for something that
does give them a moat around it.

We have a company called See's
Candies out on the west coast.

See's Candies
Boxed Chocolates.

If you give a box of See's
chocolates to your girlfriend

on the first date
and she kisses you?

We own you.
You know? I mean we...

we can raise
the price tomorrow.

I mean,
you'll buy the same box.

You're not gonna
fool around with success,

so the key there
is the response.

You do not want to get home
on Valentine's Day

and say to your wife
or your sweetheart...

preferably they're
the same person...

you don't say, "Here, honey,
I took the low bid."

It doesn't work.
Price is...
to a degree, is immaterial.

If you've got
an economic castle,

people are gonna come and wanna
take that castle away from you.

You better have
a strong moat.

You better have a knight in the
castle that knows what he's doing.

You're not buying an asset,
you're buying a name,
you're buying a brand,

you're buying
a real franchise here,

and Charlie was more responsible
for that than anybody.

We were mental partners

right from the moment we met.
Woman: I wanna know,
going back 50 years,

what it was like
when you first met Warren.

Well, I thought
he was a prodigy...

and I got a lot
of criticism.

My wife said,
"Why are you paying such enormous respect

"to that young man
with a crew cut

who won't eat vegetables?"
He's ungodly smart.

He's got a much broader
intellect than I do,

and he's magnificent
at being able

to condense important ideas
into just a very few words.

If you're not interested
in the economic scene right now,

you're mentally dead.
Charlie has no tact.
Woman: All right,
let's talk a little bit about bankers.

Charlie, on Friday,
compared them to heroin addicts.

Yeah, well,
that's colorful Charlie,

but I would not
have chosen that.

I once wrote of him

that when
they handed out humility,

he didn't get
his fair share.

The ideal way to run a
headquarters is to have one man,

preferably over 80,
sitting in an office
by himself.

Anything else
is pure frippery.

He's always honest in what he tells me,

so I... I listen to him.
We never had an argument.

We just...
We just kinda
roll with it easily.

Suppose Warren doesn't wanna do
something that I would've done,

and suppose that happens four
times over 40 years or something.

What the hell difference
does it make to me?

Net, the record is
working out is fine.

Both of us know that we've
done better by having ethics.

Warren's not interested
in making money
by cheating people.

Warren's opinions

of Wall Street
investment bankers

would not endear him
to their mothers.

He feels that they're,
for the most part,

not out for their clients.
They're out for their own
business interests.

Warren: In the late 1960s,
there were just a flood

of accounting
shenanigans and mergers

built upon false accounting
and misleading people.

It was a time
when a lot of charlatans

were prevailing in Wall Street
and were being applauded
by Wall Street.

I understood what
the game was about,

but I didn't want
to play in it,

so I closed down the
partnership at the end of 1969,

and I took on the title of
Chairman for Berkshire Hathaway.

Munger: Well, I think
the modern Berkshire

is pretty much
all a reflection of Warren.

I have constructed
a business that fits me.

It's kind of crazy
to spend your life painting

if you're painting a subject
you don't want to look at.

I've gotten to paint
my own painting in business

on an unlimited
canvas in a way.

It's a different
sort of place.

I work with a great
group of people

that make my life very easy
and that take good care of me.

Come. Okay.
We have 25 people
in the office,

and if you go back, it's the exact same 25,
the exact same ones.

We don't have any
committees at Berkshire.

We don't have
a public relations department.

We don't have investor relations.
We don't have a general council.

We don't have
a human relations department.

We just don't go for anything that
people do just as a matter of form.

It's exactly the life I like,
and it's not work to me.
It's just a form
of play, basically.

Oh, I...
I like things quiet.

I shut the door,
actually, at the office,

'cause I don't want to hear
anybody talking outside.

Woman on TV:
Broad distinctions between his views

and the belt-tightening

And I still probably spend

five or six hours
a day reading.

Woman on TV:
...look at what's trending today.

Our quick round-up...
Howard: Well,
what's amazing is the stuff he remembers.

It's like a little computer,
you know?

I keep thinking the hard drive will
run out of space, but it doesn't.

Melinda Gates:
He's one of the smartest people we know.

So I was at a couple
of the family dinners

at the Gates house
where Mary, Bill's mom,

was trying to convince him
to come out

to the family place
at Hood Canal

to meet Warren Buffett,
and he was resisting

because he was
really busy with Microsoft.

And finally he said, "Mom,
okay, I'll come for lunch."

Bill Gates:
So the two of us flew out there

somewhat reluctantly,
'cause you know,

buying and selling stocks...
which is how I thought of Warren...

wasn't of particular interest to me
and didn't seem like value added.

It turned out
that was completely wrong.

We knew that day that
we'd be very close friends.

In fact, we just couldn't
get enough of each other.

Shortly after I met Bill Gates,

Bill's dad asked each of us to
write down on a piece of paper

one word that would best describe
what had helped us the most.

Bill and I, without any
collaboration at all,

each wrote the word "focus."
Well, focus has always been a
strong part of my personality.

If I get interested in something,
I get really interested.

If I get interested in a new subject,
I want to read about it,

I want to talk about it, and I want to
meet people that are involved in it.

We both love to work hard.

You know, neither of us
like frivolous things.